Word of the Year: 2024

Apparently my most consistent use of this blog is to post my annual thoughts for the (Gregorian calendar) New Year. I’m okay with that. First, a look back on 2023.

I’m fortunate that I still have the option to work at home most of the time. I’m still at the company that I’ve been at through the entire pandemic (originally since May 2019), while under the second contracting company for placement (since June 2022). Our big water-damage adventure in our home happened in summer 2022, with everything returning to our home in mid/late September 2022. So by the time January 2023 hit, post Santa season, it was really time to get organized as we unpacked and set up the house again. We took advantage of this chore to change up the furniture, which means I’ve spent most of 2023 in my little “work and crafty cubicle” where the “dining room” used to be.

Highlights from Q1 in 2023

This gave me a big opportunity to buy some full-wall-length bookcases and organize all my crafty supplies. Each month there were new little milestones like “the boxes are no longer blocking the bookcase!” or “I’ve built two more small bookcases!” all interspaced with artistic pursuits or events. I’ve also started photographing every box as I put things away on shelves, so I don’t have to exactly remember “where did I put that thing?” instead I can check my Google Photos and either scan the pictures or search for a keyword. And to wrap up the quarter, my sister’s birthday falls in March and my nieces organized a big “all gals weekend” to celebrate, which was marvelous fun.

Highlights from Q2 in 2023

By April, you can see my “wall of textiles” on display and by May, you can see my work corner is just packed with screens and electronics, my “actual home” most days. We had the great fortune to be there for some friends’ wedding, and our annual camping trip over Memorial Day weekend. By June, the living room was clear of boxes enough to finally see out the patio windows, cause for HUGE celebration. Throughout the year, Sweetie continued to travel the country teaching. And I had several opportunities to help run some events and/or textiles demos.

Highlights from Q3 in 2023

Two of those demos were at the Getty Museum (in June and July), several events were part of the SCA, and one textiles day-event in September with Griffin Dyeworks. July was also Sweetie’s birthday celebration, and we were able to surprise him with a gathering of friends for dinner and then axe throwing. More organizing tasks done when I was able to finally move my storage unit from 30-minutes-drive-away (since 2014) to just 2 miles away (it only took 9 years). And after one summer Santa appearance, we started the Fall with the first of two Santa commercials.

Highlights from Q4 in 2023

The BIG accomplishment for the end of the year was completing The Illuminated Santa, affectionately known as the “Lumi Suit.” Definitely read the story about the team who built the suit, Team Shiny. Predictably a few people asked us, “WOW, where can I buy one of those?” to which I laugh maniacally, since I spent weeks hand-sewing every single point of light you see in the fur on this project. My sister even joined the ranks to help perform with the suit at a casting agents party. But besides a full Santa season, in Q4 I still got more spinning done and a chance to teach Andean Backstrap Weaving in-person at the annual Fiber Retreat with Griffin Dyeworks.

About that Word of the Year

Looking at the history of my Word Themes

One thing that happened since lockdown, I haven’t been dancing at all (with just a few exceptions in 2020). This is the first year I really started to miss it. And while I started swimming often before the big water-leak-house-interruption in 2022, I only managed a few swim sessions in 2023, back in April and May and then again in October. When projects keep me up late on weekdays, it’s nearly impossible to get up for swimming at 5 am before my work day. I definitely might need to rethink how to get out there in the pool again.

Did we manage to approach 2023 knowing “there is no off-season?” More than usual, yes. We were better at getting into the swing of things in October/November, but we were also finishing the Lumi Suit in those Fall wee hours. We also have a few major publishing efforts to wrap up and complete, which will take center stage for 2024. Sweetie’s teaching schedule has the possibility of up to nine travel weekends this year, a really heavy schedule.

At home in my crafty world, I’m thinking about those tools I own but rarely use, or the large costuming stash I have from a decade of dancing and teaching dance. It’s probably time to either “use it or rehome it or repurpose it” for those tools and costumes. Paired with our joint projects and my long-range desire to have more mobility again (recovering from knee issues), maybe that’s really my posture for 2024.

2024: Repurposing