Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017 Hello better life

Maybe it's unrealistic to have hopes for a new year - it's just a flip over into a new day in a long string of days, and we know from experience that those have ups and downs in them.  Except in my case there was that one perfect day back in I think 1995, but let's hold that thought for now and instead look at the tea table I set out when Lannie came over this past week. 

The kitchen table works so well as a serving station!  and my red tea towel collection paid off yet again.  as did the super easy tea biscuit recipe from Company's Coming, 'Muffins And More'.   You know, you plan for these things when you are building, but until you get to try it out you never really know for sure your ideas will work.

Getting back to my immediate point though - and I hope you cannot relate to this remark at all - even if I look at my own personal level, 2017 was SO packed with dreck (Christmas tea party aside.)  I just gotta think 2018 will be better.  Yes, our house is still under renovation and not yet unpacked, and Yes, one of the two aunts in the hospital is not recovering well, and Yes, I am officially tired of spending money which I thought could never happen, but I have a lead on a guy who might be able to help finish the healing on last year's broken fingers, we are living in the house again and have the kitchen set up and running smoothly, and with luck I might soon find the digital scale I use to weigh two sock-sized cakes of yarn before snipping the connecting piece.  (in the meantime, I still have about eight bags of ready-to-go sock kits in my coffee table drawer, whew)

Also, Pete and I finally found mirrors we like for our bathroom and the main floor powder room today.  We have been looking for some since the end of July so this is big news, and the bigger news is that they were $100... for both together!

Actually that is more than a little scary isn't it.

But never mind, they are mirrors and it is a huge relief to think we won't have to trail into the closet just to floss a tooth.  (yep, the closet got a mirror before the bathroom did.  this is how upside down 2017 has been for me.)

Want to know about that one perfect day back in 1995 or so?  It went like this.  I woke up in the morning and I wasn't tired.  I had something to put on for work that wasn't uncomfortable.  Nothing bad happened at the office once I got there - it was a quiet, easy day with hardly anybody around except a few super nice friends.  After work I took the subway and bus to a coffee shop where I was meeting Doe - incidentally, it was Doe who gave me the Muffins and More cookbook - because we were going to a book signing with an author we both really liked.  This was back when Toronto coffee shops first started including living room furniture, and Doe and I scored the sofa and armchair, which was wildly lucky.  Doe had recently married and she had her wedding pictures with her, so we had a wonderful time going through them all and remember what a fun day that was.  Then we went across the street to the bookstore and waited in line outside... in perfect weather, naturally.  And finally, we got to meet Sue Grafton and get our copies of her newest book signed.

The next day and all the ones since have had their ups and downs, but I will never forget that one, and when I read yesterday that Sue Grafton had died (again, 2017 was a stinker), I sent thanks up to her spirit for being part of it.

And thank you too, Doe!

Okay, let's get down to the business of this post.  Normally, as you may recall from previous years when I was posting every weekday, before this crazy home renovation started, I spend New Year's Eve cleaning my office so I'm ready for a productive year of creativity.

Last year I didn't do that, and a couple of days later I broke two fingers and couldn't type or knit for I think eight weeks.  So I was a bit wary about again breaking with tradition... but I have decided to go easy on myself this year and leave my watercolour stuff out on the desk so I can just pick up where I left off next time I get a chance to sit there.

(To compensate, I cleaned up and reorganized the front hall.  Pretty sure the desk would have been easier.)

The going easy on oneself concept is the topic for today. Because as a rule I'm hard on me, and I'm really trying to make a change in that department.  Do you criticize yourself a lot and feel guilty for not doing enough?  I feel like everybody must do that to some extent - most of us are looking to improve in some way, so it's not much of a stretch to think we're disappointed in ourselves when we don't quite make it.  But I suspect some people are able to have lower expectations than I am, and I am certain I would never ask of anybody else what I do of myself.

Life's too short for bad habits like that don't you think?  Especially when you are looking at what a stroke does to a person.

So that's my New Year's Resolution for 2018.  I'm not hoping to master a particular knitting technique this time, or finish a challenging or just unfinished project, or even 300% commit to doing a post here every weekday again though I superhugely want that to happen.  I'm not even going to assert myself over my dream of making the last few drapes for the house.  I am just going to do my best to stand tall when I can, and to let myself curl up on a sofa when I can't, and not feel guilty if I have to do that. And I'm mentioning it in case you need to consider doing the same.

Other nice things I wanted to share from this month and didn't include the Christmas tree from the Eaton Centre here in Toronto:

It's so very sparkly isn't it?  Here's a closeup I took because I liked the stripey reflection of the red lights on the escalator:

Also, I managed to paint this a couple of days after burning my hand.

I am here to tell you that it is well worth running cool water over a burn for nearly five hours because I haven't even blistered yet. AND I was able to hold a paintbrush.

And for a parting story, can we just celebrate for a moment the fact that I've been hanging art in more than just my office?  It's been so hard to face putting holes into the walls knowing as I do how carefully they were drywalled and painted, I was barely able to commit to paintings going into specific spots.  Plus, I really like the unbroken areas of paint colour.  But I also like the paintings and I especially like the idea of not having stacks of paintings and mirrors on the floor waiting to be on a  wall.  So last week I finally overcame the mental block and hung a bunch, including this abstract by Ady that has been waiting for years to be framed and displayed.

Makes me so happy to see this as I come down the stairs every morning and all the other times I pass it.

And that's it for me for 2017.  Happy New Year all and I hope you have a wonderful January 1 to boot! 


dina said...

Happy New Year to you and yours. One of my favorite memories of wretched 2017 was the high tea we had!

Mary Keenan said...

Mine too Dina! What good luck that we were able to do that :^)

Laurinda said...

Oh Mary, I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt! I hope she shows some improvement soon
Hooray for new mirrors & artwork on the walls! Your watercolor should go up too- I really love the trees & clouds in it.
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