Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

What? You're saying we're a month into 2014? Yes, but for me, the new year comes at an awkward time. We're usually traveling, we have to put all the Christmas stuff away, we've got all kinds of sweets left over from the holidays, the days are short, the weather is bad...none of this is conducive to the fresh start that the new year requires.

This year, I noticed that Chinese New Year fell on January 31st and I thought that would be a great time for that fresh start. We're home, the goodies are gone, the days are getting longer, we're coming out of the coldest temperatures in years, we've had time to find a groove.

The groove is no small feat. It's been over a year since we've had anything resembling a normal schedule. We were away from home for more than half of 2013 and spent over 2 weeks of our year driving. My mother-in-law passed away after 15 months in hospice care with my husband and his sister as the primary caregivers. We spent 6 months clearing and renovating her house to put it on the market. During that time my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer and finished chemo.

We made some day trips for respite in the first few months of the year and longer trips for relaxation, family visits, and work later in the year. We did the best we could to make life feel normal when we were at home, but there was still always something hanging over our heads, something that our brains were processing even when we were trying to keep up with work and volunteer obligations or have dinner with friends.

Despite the challenges, despite ignoring this blog for 6 months, despite having little time for social media interaction, I saw increased sales in my Smiling Cat Studio and Smiling Cat Vintage shops.  That encourages me. With more effort in 2014, I'm sure to continue to see increased sales.

The new year's resolutions then?
  • Cook at home again so Friday Food will become a regular feature here again.
  • Become active in social media again.
  • Work on many of those ideas that have been bubbling in my sketchbook over the last year.
  • Increase wholesale venues.
  • Get all this vintage stuff listed and sold!
  • Eat less, walk more.
  • Enjoy being at home.
  • Always start the new year on February 1st!

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