2020 Taught us all so many things we never expected to learn. I know this has been the worst year of my life, hands down! When I feel like crawling back in bed and hibernating until spring, I try to remember a few things...
Butterfly Threads Quilting
My business was booming. After years of hard work, I had a calendar full of teaching engagements booked years in advance. I was traveling and meeting wonderful quilters. I was enjoying the interaction, the inspiration and the creativity. Teaching is in my soul, and it was so satisfying on so many levels.
COVID changed all of that. No teaching. No travel. No quilters. No income. Full stop.
It was heart breaking and sad and I still feel so unsure of what the future holds. But the huge void of my business disappearing left an opening for a couple of opportunities. I learned how to teach on ZOOM. I learned how much quilters need to get together and share (even if just virtually) and that I'm definitely not alone in the feelings of missing my quilting people.
I also had the time to say YES to the amazing opportunity given to me by Blank Quilting Fabrics when they asked me to design a line of fabric. I have no idea what the fabric industry will even look like next year, but I know it's been the biggest blessing of 2020 to flex my creative muscles in a new direction and feel so much support and enthusiasm in the process.
I learned that even in the darkest hours, sometimes a new opportunity will surprise you!
My 3 bright beautiful kids were all enjoying their college lives when they found out that suddenly, they would be learning from home. There were tears and frustration and so much sadness. Kelly missed her senior year celebrations and final goodbyes. The boys missed campus life and friends as well as vital in person instruction and interaction.
I was thrilled to have them home and they inspired me every day with their determination to make the best of things, rarely complain, and always do their very best. I know starting Vet School online has been so challenging for Kelly, yet she keeps working with determination that amazes me.
By watching the way they all developed new routines and coped in creative ways, I learned that I too wanted to try harder to embrace new ways of doing old things.
Caring for two senior dogs and a wild golden retriever keeps life interesting for sure. I have loved dogs my whole life and always had at least one as part of the family. So when my little 14 year old Lhasa Apso was diagnosed with advanced cancer, I really wasn't surprised. I am very deeply sad that he will be leaving us soon, but I am determined to love him fiercely in the time we have left. Grief is so real and so bitter. I'm going to miss that nutty little snuggle buddy. And while I grieve him, I know his sister will be joining him probably within the year.
It's the almost unbearable price to be paid for all the love they give us, but I've learned that it is so worth it!!!
I have chosen some really amazing women as friends. They have circled around me and loved me and supported me through this wretched year. When I had my hysterectomy, they brought meals, and sent cards and even showed up and sang Christmas Carols in the front yard! They have texted and emailed and called and never let me feel alone for one minute.
When I've been sad, tired, lonely, overwhelmed and discouraged, my friends have never let go. When life events (too awful to mention here) tried to crush me, they were always there, and continue to be.
I learned I choose friends really well!
I learned I am stronger, wiser, and more determined that I ever realized.
My wish for us all, is that we treasure what we've learned in this most challenging year ever, and use the wisdom and knowledge that we've gained to give us courage and grace in the new year.
The flipping of the calendar doesn't take away any of the heartache, but it is a clear reminder, that time moves on, and so do we. I know I want to move into the new year with a kinder heart and an open mind. Know that I am grateful for each and every one of you that are on this journey with me.