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It seems as though many of the year-end posts I’ve seen on social media are glad to see 2012 go, but I can’t say I feel the same way. As much as it has held some dark moments for me, this year was the one which brought me my son and all of the amazing moments that come with him. I am a little sad to see it go, when it comes down to it. Still, time marches on, and now is the point in the year where we all tend to take stock of where we are.

I love being a mother more than anything in this world. I was made to do this, and I feel more whole and balanced in my life now than I ever have. I am amazed at where I am now, and I am so happy to be here. My goal in the new year is to stay focused on where my son is right now, of being present with him as much as I can, and treasuring his little moments as much as his big ones. I don’t think that one will be all that difficult, really. 2012 will always be the year that made me a mother, the year that made me James’s mama. Anything else is really just a side note, when you get down to it.

Of course, there’s the really big side note. For years, my driving (career) goal has been to become an OB/GYN. 2012 is the year that broke that dream into tiny little pieces. I keep looking down at all the little fragments and trying to figure out how to put them back together again, but it occurs to me that first I have to figure out what shape I want them in. It’s true that if I am still determined to deliver babies, I can (probably) make that happen for the summer of 2014, which then leads to the question of whether that’s actually what I want anymore. To be honest, I don’t know. There are so many emotions and complications around the whole issue now, among them that I am very, very burned out on fighting tooth and nail in my career. This year I will have to come to some resolution with all of this, or at least begin to make sense out of what I want to be when I grow up (again). For now, I am trying not to worry over it and instead giving God and the universe time to work on untangling and putting back together.

In the meantime, I have determined that this year I want to get my creativity back. My job has me working “normal-people” hours, albeit with an annoying commute thrown in for good measure, and I get TWO WHOLE DAYS off every single week. I hardly know what to do with myself. Our new(ish) house has a dedicated craft space, and this year one of my goals is to carve out time to journal, to write, to work on memory books (I am a huge fan of Project Life), to knit, and to quilt. I have so many I need to finish, and so many I want to start. I want this year to be the year I make time to make things again.

My other goals for 2013 are the typical ones: get fit, pass (and then improve on) my fitness test, run another half marathon and maybe tackle a full, continue to hammer down (and then improve on) our financial status. Win the lottery. You know, run of the mill New Year’s resolutions.

When I look at the overall picture of where I am right now, I’m really in pretty good shape. I’m happy, for all the foibles and pitfalls of the last year. I want to stay happy, and improve on it. At the same time, I feel that I am at a significant juncture in my life, stable but with many options about where I can go from here. It’s not a bad place to be, but I need to think hard about what the next step is. It seems as though I have the seeds of good things planted where I am right now, and this year is about nurturing them, letting them grow, and seeing what fruit comes of it.

Here’s to a fruitful 2013 for all of us.

BWB and I are moving at the end of the month.  We’re headed into a beautiful condo which we will share with a housemate.  We love the new place (especially the pool!), but there is a distinct lack of storage space.  As we prepare to move, we are trying to pare down.  Some things, mostly furniture and seasonal items, we will probably put in a small storage unit nearby.  Other things are going to Goodwill.  I’ve been working hard on decluttering for some time now, but I think if anyone were to look into my craft closet as it is right now, she would have a hard time believing the volume of stuff I have already removed.

There will not be a craft closet in the new house, as there is simply not a spare closet.  As I look at the bins, shelves, and bags full of fabric, stuffing, thread, and other assorted crafty items, I find myself wondering what to do with them.  In fact, I find myself thinking perhaps I should let them go.

For over a decade, I was involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism.  I spent a great deal of time and energy working on clothing and other items in a medieval fashion, and collected a large stash of beautiful fabric.  As my involvement dwindled, I kept thinking I would parlay some of my sewing experience into making clothes for myself, and collected a large stash of interesting patterns.  I knit, and have many unfinished projects with their associated yarns, and many more odd balls of yarn leftover from previous projects.  I keep trying to scrapbook, although my success at that endeavor seems mostly limited to assembling bins and bins of pretty stickers, fancy papers, and photographs forlornly waiting in a filing box.  I quilt, and with that comes boxes of colorful fabric scraps — insidious because even the smallest scraps can be held onto with the excuse that they might be useful someday.  And then there are the bags of stuffing, rolls of batting, polybead filling, bottles of glitter, extra zippers, tins of buttons handed down to me from my mother, and all of the assorted associated clutter of the craftaholic.

I love my craft closet.  I love being able to go in there and dig out all kinds of interesting things for projects, when I have the time.  The problem is, I am a tiny bit busy and “when I have the time” is a little rare these days.  In the meantime, the bins of patterns collect dust, the fabric sits unused, and the scrapbooks remain empty.

There is a part of me that thinks I should keep all of this stuff, because someday I will have a proper craft room where I can organize it better.  Someday I will have the time to make pretty dresses out of the beautiful silk, someday I will get the hang of scrapbooking, someday I will finish all of my knitted UFOs.  Someday.

Then there is the part of me that thinks when the time comes that I have a proper craft room, I can buy another bag of stuffing.  I can find another pretty silk, and there will be patterns I like just as much as the ones in the jam-packed filing box.  This radical part of me is suggesting that I might be happier in a house with less Stuff.  That, if I get rid of the craft stuff I am hauling around with me now, I can more easily justify the fun of picking out new patterns and fabric when I want to do a new project.  This part of me thinks that a clean slate would make it easier to focus on new projects, and that in the long run I would finish more of them if there were fewer of them to focus on.

My husband just read part of this post over my shoulder and IM’d me with the following*:

BWB:   I haven’t read your post, but it seems to be (at least in part) about the loss of crafting storage space. Well, it occurs to me that you will have your old craft storage space in the china cabinet. We will have two closets in our room, and three dressers.  You don’t like putting clothes in dressers anyways…

Me:  Yes, but the question is, do I need to keep all that stuff.

BWB:Oh…
Well, no.

Well, no, indeed.

When I think about how it would feel to get rid of those things, I have to admit that I get a little anxious.  My inner pack-rat is screeching, “BUT I COULD USE THOSE THINGS!  THEY ARE PRETTY!  WASTE OF MONEY!”  And yet, when I think about how it would feel to not have the clutter anymore, I imagine that would feel pretty good.

Maybe it’s time to get a little radical on the craft closet.

Maybe.

* Yes, we are sitting next to each other and IM’ing rather than speaking aloud.  We’re in a coffee shop, but we do it at home so that’s not really an excuse.  What, doesn’t everybody do this?

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