As we close out another year, it is hard not to reflect back on what has passed and look ahead and wonder what tomorrow may bring.
As with every year, 2013 had its good days and its not so good days. We lost Keith’s father this autumn to cancer. It was a profoundly sad time for us all. Ironically, within days of that, I became a grandmother for the first time with the birth of my beautiful grand daughter, Willow. It was as if she was sent to comfort my feeling of loss and sadness, and was a reminder of life renewing itself.
The year 2013 has brought me many new friends. I have met so many wonderful people through our Tole Painter’s Unite painting page from all corners of the world. Their love of creating have been a source of joy and inspiration to me and have rekindled my love of painting.
I also got to travel to see my dear friend Jeannie and meet some fantastic woodworkers. In our few days teaching in New York, Keith and I were able to meet with and make friends with fellow scroll sawyers and we thoroughly enjoyed that. We are thrilled we get to return again in a couple of months for an even bigger show, where we will not only be able to see these friends again, but also see old friends and meet new people and share our love of woodworking. It will be an incredible time.
Our business has done well, too. Our website sales for the year are up nearly fifty percent from last year. That is saying a lot! Although we have had a great deal of growth, we still try to be personal with every customer who visits. Keith and I try to treat people how we wish to be treated and we like being able to personally respond to all the questions and concerns that our customers have. So many of our customers are considered true friends. What a joy that is for us!
Although some people don’t enjoy social media pages such as Facebook, I have found that when used properly they can be (and are) a wonderful way to share information, friendships and creativity. Yes – it takes some time, but when I look at all the new friends and inspiration that I find on that site, I think it is time well spent. I certainly think that my participation there has enriched my life a great deal. If nothing else, it personalizes customers and turns them into friends, as sharing our life’s triumphs, struggles and families with each other brings us all closer.
New Year’s Day is a significant day for many. It is a division of time in which one can gauge ones’ progress and accomplishments. It is a starting point and an ending point at the same time, where one can close one door behind them and open another where a fresh start and a world of hope awaits them. I don’t believe any other day of the year is looked upon in the same way.
It is also a time for resolutions. As people reflect on their accomplishments of the past year, and also perhaps of their short comings, they make vows to themselves to do better. Be it eating better, exercising more, or even accomplishing more when it comes to working or creating, it always seems like a good time to start fresh and new.
For myself, I don’t see things changing much. I wake up each morning with a sense of “newness” of the day. I look at each new day as a new opportunity to do wonderful things. After all – why wait for a new year to be the best person we can be? If I fail on one day, I can always look forward to the next morning to start over and try again. It is amazing how having that mindset can invigorate you.
But closing out the year is also significant. Yes – there are things that I could have done a bit better (posting my receipts for the year, for example!) but there are also things that I have accomplished that I am very proud of. I am surrounded with love and friends and family and wonderful, creative people. And I am happy and at peace.
I wish you all my friends and family the best that 2014 has to offer. Remember though – it is up to you to make your own happiness. I believe that many of us don’t realize the power we have over our own lives and happiness. The world is our oyster. We DO follow where we focus. If we choose to focus on personal growth, creativity and being happy, we are sure to feel that way. Our best gift to ourselves is to not allow negativity to rule our lives. There is so much good in the world that you can center on instead.
I saw a wonderful quote that I wanted to share with you today. When I read it, I thought it was incredibly inspirational. It reads as follows:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ― Neil Gaiman
I don’t think that I could have said it any better. ;)
Thank you my friends for a wonderful year. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your support. And thank you for your inspiration. I know without you all I would not be in the happy place I am today. I am truly grateful.
Happy New Year!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"