Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy 2009. I am so finished with 2008, except that I need to go back and assess my resolutions for that year. As usual, it was a mixed bag, emphasis on bag.

1. Begin getting back into shape. I guess I did this, and then I experienced more set-backs, and I got a little frustrated from time to time, and I took some time off here and there, but I did keep better perspective, I think. This year I also began strength training as a part of my exercise regime. I have continued swimming and doing my rehab exercises. I wish I could say I had achieved more exercise volume, but I guess that was not the goal.

2. Keep working at nipping the solitaire addiction. I am so over solitaire. In its place, for much of the fall, I had a serious addiction to political blogs, but I am over those now too, at least for the time being. I wish I could claim that the same were true for PathWords and WordTwist on Facebook, but I suppose we all have our weaknesses. One thing I learned was that the solitaire addiction was less about not being able not to play solitaire, and more about being afraid to do more substantive things with my time. Lame, I know, but there it is.

3. Stretch. Check.

4. Learn to knit complicated cables. Not really check, mostly because my knitting interests went elsewhere. Instead, I learned to do stranded colorwork, and that is extremely cool.

5. Learn to turn the heel of a sock. Check. Since January 2008, I have completed six pairs of socks.

6. Remember how far I have come. Wow. I was really smart back in January 2008. But seriously, I am getting better at this. It is still a battle not to look back at the "before" pictures (literal and figurative), but mostly I am succeeding.

And now, for 2009:

1. Continue bringing the body back to strength. I think this year this means prioritizing exercise, continuing to pursue methods of balancing my body (chiropractic, yoga, and perhaps, as Scott wisely suggested, Alexander Technique), continuing my stretching regime, and cross-training.

2. Be aware of the need for work/life, mental/physical, professional/social, knitting/everything-else balances. This will be especially important this year, because I have a year-long fellowship to pursue my research. (Whoop!) I know that under such circumstances, I tend to become overly hermit-like, living so much in my head that I lose touch with other people, and then start to feel sad.

3. Take on knitting challenges. This year--in addition to learning how to knit with two hands, felt, turn a heel, work kitchener stitch--I learned how to pick up dropped stitches, rip back without a life line, and give up on a project that was not working. I am proud of these accomplishments, and in addition to adding skills to my kit, they have made me less hesitant to try new things. As I look back over the year's finished objects (3 baby hats, 7 adult hats, 2 Fair Isle ear wraps, 2 pairs of mittens, 3 lace shawls, 1 ribbon scarf, 1 felted bowl, 6 pairs of socks, 6 dish cloths, 1 sweater vest, and 1 beer cozy), I also think about the sweater vest that did not turn out at all, and that really is not salvagable, and that I will just need to rip out and make something else from the yarn. So it goes. I tried, and it did not work. Keep trying.

4. Finish the book. This, after all, is the point of the fellowship, and it is, I believe attainable.

5. In pursuance of #4, say "NO" to garbage professional requests that I do not really care about anyway. 'Nuff said.

6. Continue remembering how far I have come. That was a wise one--let's see if it can keep working.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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