Sayonara 2013!

Looking back from this side of the new year, I can’t say I’m sorry to see the end of 2013.

Early in the year, we thought my Dad was dying of congestive heart failure and I spent months silently grieving that I would loose him. It turns out his pacemaker wasn’t working as it should, but it took a perforated bowel, a lifeflight helicopter ride and weeks in the ICU for someone to figure it out. He’s got a replacement pacemaker and is doing drastically better now.

This year also saw the loss of my Great Aunt and my Brother in Law. There’s been death and grieving, with a whopping helping of worry.

But the thing that’s drastically changed my life this year is Fibromyalgia. I’ve been dealing with it since maybe November 2012, but it snuck up on me. I’ve had sciatic nerve pain for years, but then it started to change. Things got worse, I would push through it, and it would be better for a time. Eventually I got to the point where I had more bad days in a week than good days and I finally sought a doctor’s help. In August I got an official diagnosis and started a drug trial (for which I feel certain I was on the placebo). Thankfully the drug trial is finally done now and I’ve begun a treatment course that (so far) seems to be working.

I’m learning that a diagnosis like this can drastically change your life. I used to be able to commit to things, but now I can’t predict what level of focus, energy or pain I’ll have from one day to the next. To say it’s required a bit of adjustment would be the understatement of the century. I used to define my worth as a human being by how productive I was. I would gleefully check off my to do list and when someone asked “What did you do today?” I could rattle off a mile-long list and feel accomplished. I’ve had to shift my priorities, my self-image, and my expectations. But I have to admit that I really miss work. I’m hoping for the best with this drug therapy so that I can have creative thought again and enough energy to produce new designs.

The constant thread this year (and probably the only thing that’s kept me sane), is my Year of Making. I’ll be posting in detail later this week about how it went, but having this photo project, having one thing every day that I COULD accomplish without much effort, helped me immensely. Even on a day when I couldn’t put on a bra, or put away the clean dishes, at least I could take a photograph that would be one more brick in the great wall of a completed daily photo project.

And in the past few days a whole slew of new people have joined me for 2014’s #YearOfMaking. Frankly, it’s kind of exploded. There are people doing it who I’ve never met. I’ve been looking at the twitter and IG feeds for the hashtag and I’m in awe.

So looking forward, I have some goals for 2014 in addition to doing the Year of Making again. Some of them are carryovers from last year that I didn’t get to do, but there are some new ones too:

1. Make my own cheese
2. Learn to play the guitar
3. Make a soufflé
4. Try free motion machine quilting
5. Write more letters

When all the shit started falling down, it was hard to know what to say online. Trying to determine what should and shouldn’t be public knowledge is difficult in this time of eternal information. That worry really made this blog a last priority, and I’ve missed the connection I had because of it. I have to spend some time rebuilding my online friend network and reconnecting with the people I’ve missed over the last year. So bear with me.

I love you guys and am thankful every day for the support of this fantastic knitting community. Let’s start a discussion. What are your goals this year? What do you want to accomplish?

<3, M

Comments 9

  1. Ann Kingstone wrote:

    So sorry about the fibromyalgia Miriam – that totally sucks! I know from my own experience that it is very difficult to live with passion when dealing with permanent chronic illness. My heartfelt good wishes to you for strength and hope.

    I love your goals! Mine are to take a holiday abroad (first time in 10 years!), to blog more (!), and to knit some sweaters for me (ie not just for models).

    Posted 02 Jan 2014 at 6:55 PM
  2. Mim wrote:

    Oh man, vacations are not to be underestimated. C and I took a 10-day road trip to California. It was awesome and made a huge difference in both our moods. We definitely need to be sure that we get more vacation time too. What sweaters do you want to knit for yourself?

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 3:05 PM
  3. Miranda Gaines wrote:

    I only caught the last month or two of your #yearofmaking but I enjoyed seeing your posts so much that I decided to do it myself this year. Thank you for inspiring me.

    Posted 02 Jan 2014 at 7:46 PM
  4. Mim wrote:

    Awesome! Welcome! Are you posting via twitter or IG? Don’t forget to tag with #yearofmaking!

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 3:06 PM
  5. Sarah wrote:

    I certainly hope that the year ahead is better for you and that the medication/treatment helps you to get closer to where you want to be.

    I, too, am not sorry to see 2013 go. It was a crazy year, and I wasn’t even dealing with all the stuff you were. I’m hoping for more calm and balance in the year ahead, with more time to be good to myself and my family.

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 5:58 AM
  6. Mim wrote:

    More calm and balance sounds SOOO good! Frankly, at this point, that’s all I want. 😀

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 3:07 PM
  7. Nonie wrote:

    I have only just discovered your blog as I took your Craftsy class but when I first started knitting (less than 1 year ago) I downloaded your Anthemion pattern – I am only just getting confident enough to knit it.

    I wish you luck with managing your fibromyalgia, I have chronic pain and understand the difficulty in being able to predict from one day to another how you will be able to manage.

    Re: your goals for 2014, if you are in the UK, I can help out teaching you how to make a soufflé.

    Good luck with 2014!

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 4:13 PM
  8. Mim wrote:

    Thanks, Nonie! I have found that a lot of knitters seem to have chronic pain or chronic fatigue issues. I wonder if we gravitate toward knitting because we can be “active” without really doing much physically?

    Thanks for the soufflé offer, but I’m in the US. I do have Julia Child to walk me through, I just need to do it.

    Posted 04 Jan 2014 at 5:44 AM
  9. penny wrote:

    {hugs} i’m excited to join #yearofmaking. In addition I decided my 2014 words of the year are: clarity, balance, and strength. so I guess those are my goals for this year.

    fibro’s a mean one, hang in there.
    watching parents and loved ones deal with health issues is really stressful and to loss … {hugs}

    Posted 07 Jan 2014 at 6:54 PM

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Year of Making — Week 1 on 09 Jan 2014 at 8:16 AM

    […] I followed Miriam Felton’s #yearofmaking project on Twitter this past year and I was so inspired to see her work on making something everyday. (She blogged about the end of the project recently, if you want to check it out.) […]

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