Hello, lovely readers! I've noticed I have gained new followers this month - thank you kindly for supporting this blog as I've voiced my doubt about continuing, but more on that in a bit. Well, I'm so excited to kiss this year goodbye! This will be a long post which I haven't done for sometime but it definitely comes from my heart. I've organized it into sections so you can jump past any topics as you wish to!
First of to set the stage, I must tell you what's been happening to me this year and then the rest will (hopefully) make more sense.
(1) Your Money or Your Life. We've all heard the expression and as I've grown older and wiser (ahem) I can certainly appreciate what that means. You work, you make money but there is little time to enjoy your life. The idea is that you make money while you can, and play when you retire. Well, I think we all know that this traditional mindset applies less and less in this fast changing (and downward declining) economy.
I am self-employed and have been able to work with two large sized clients for the last ten years or so. I've always been asked back by one of the other so even if there's been small gaps in work that was ok, I was still working. However, in the last couple of years the work has been dwindling. The face of the working world (literally, as a lot of my clients have retired or been downsized) has changed so that I have found myself being nudged aside by perhaps younger and let's face it, cheaper resources. That was the case back in May and I've been a woman of leisure since.
At first, I relished having the summer off and playing in the garden. I thought perhaps in the fall, as was typical, there may be work again. However, this time around, it was all quiet except for the rustling leaves. I did talk to someone (a recruiter) about going back to work again but then I realized "I'm done." I couldn't imagine facing the corporate working world again, the tremendous stress that I went through in my last contract and many of my old colleagues are still going through.
The long and short of it is - I'm retired. At least I am retired from my previous work life and now the world is open to me to seek something new. I have no idea what it will be but I think I've finally admitted to myself that that old door is now closed, both pulled from the other side and kept closed on my side. So, lemonade anyone? Lemon Cake? Limoncello? Yes, when life hands you lemons...
2013 was a surprising turning point for me. I never would've imagined this. There are other elements too that made it a tough year but I think I will keep those to myself for now as they involve other people. So I am actually grateful that what happened to my career happened, and that I feel open to new possibilities. 2014, as my calendar above states, will be Living in Gratitude.
(2) Enough words, onto some stitching! I've created a new page above (see header) with all my 2013 stitching. You can see it here too.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time with my scissors, fabric and sewing machine. I started to prepare some linens for my New Year's start! I also hauled out a lot of my smalls so that I start doing the handwork in January. Here's a snapshot of some of the pieces.
One of the things I've had to adjust to not being able to buy things with the snap of my fingers! lol. But you know, we've all said to about our stash, there's more there than we could ever stitch so I am lucky to be able to finally stitch a lot of things that I've been squirreling away for my "retirement days".
(3) Books - paper books, audio books, e-books...I love the written word. By the end of today I will have read and/or listened to 125 books this year!
This is just a sampling of books.
I have a lot of cookbooks. The one new one that I bought this year is Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo. I just love her cooking. What sold the book for me, when I first borrowed it from the library, was the chocolate scone recipe! Then I saw there was enough to admire that I bought my own copy.
Fiction - thank goodness for the library or my life would be sadder and poorer for it. My favourite this year has to be The Rosie Project, which I've mentioned on my blog earlier this year. You see I've purchased my own copy. I've noticed I have purchased more e-books too which has astonished me. The other book you see above called Three Souls, was given to me by a friend. Her friend is the author and this is her debut novel. I thought it was quite good and wanted to mention it here.
I have read so many good books this year I feel so rich! I am on Goodreads though I have not been very active with making friends, etc. If you are there, look me up. (not sure if the link will work, let me know if it doesn`t).
The other two things in the photo are A Fine Romance by Susan Branch, and my set of Downton Abbey seasons 1-3 which just arrived today (notice the shrink-wrap is still on)! Yes, I have missed all of the hoopla with Downton and have only started watching it this month via a library loan. Well, those discs were so worn they skipped and I saw this deal on Amazon after Christmas, so they are mine to watch at my leisure. However, I should watch them all soon as I understand Season 4 will launch soon.
(4) Isn't this the longest blog post ever? Yes, absolutely. That's also why I am thinking of starting another blog, one that's more for my writing, introspection, new discoveries, poems I like, art that I want to explore etc. I think trying to fit everything here is too snug a fit. So, I shall see, but have no fear, I will keep this blog going and it will continue to have a stitching focus.
I had mentioned I took a 6 week art course from a neighbour in May 2012. I had so much fun with it. Here is a couple of photos of my artwork.
The class focused on some sketching and a lot of watercolour. I would take it again but, unfortunately, this woman has moved away so I must try and find another class. Meanwhile I want to get into a habit of doing some "art play" on my own.
(5) Finally, THE END. It has taken me almost 2 hours to compose this post. I had actually made notes of all the things I've wanted to say first! I feel I can cross another thing off my list. And now I must away and get more things done before I kick back and sip bubbly all evening! I will visit your blogs later and admire all your year-end reviews!
I want to thank you all for your support throughout the year. I don't always reply, and I will repeat this once again, I can't comment on a lot of blogs. If your blog is on my Blogroll, I read it even if you never hear a peep from me.
I'm sending you all a big hug and Best Wishes for a Healthy & Happy 2014! I am feeling sentimental and I haven't even started drinking yet! ;-) Julius and Daisy are sending purri-hugs too. !!! See you next year !!!