I'm not one to make resolutions for the new year. I tried, kind of, in 2014 to pay down debt — and then that plan goes by the wayside with car repairs, car replacement, back storm door replacement, etc. Plus, when I quit smoking for good, the date was June 20. So I know the important changes can come at any time and do come when we are ready to make them.
I had transitioned over to making goals instead of resolutions, specific things I wanted to accomplish in the year ahead. But after a couple years of procrastinating and not accomplishing my goals, I've decided against that route, too.
The new year is really a great time for reflection: What went well last year, and why? What didn't go well? What can I do to improve my happiness and my chances of success?
So, I was all ready to write a New Year's post about those things. And then, two things happened:
1. I got sick. Not sick. A cold. The kind that just makes you feel whiny. Not a serious illness that demands a fighting spirit; a moderate inconvenience that makes you want to stay in bed. It makes broad reflections and long-term plans kind of tricky. At the moment, my biggest focus is that I want this darn head cold to go away. Yes, I do realize how fortunate this makes me. But it's hard for me to go roaring into 2015 with a can-do spirit when I feel headachy, tired and congested. My "start" of 2015 might have to wait a week.
2. I found out that Australian milliner Greer McDonald passed away. (I previously devoted part of a blog entry to her in "Camaraderie, not competition".) I knew that she had been ill, though I don't know any details of what her illness was. She was quite a bit older than I am, but I felt like we were at somewhat similar points on our journeys as milliners. Greer and I interacted on Twitter, Etsy's Milliners of Etsy team, our respective Facebook pages, Instagram, and www.hatacademy.com. I didn't know her well, but in every time we "talked," I adored her. She was enthusiastic about hats and a genuinely nice person. We cheered each other on a couple years ago as we each neared 100 Facebook "likes." I met the milestone first, but then she far surpassed me.
And she was a talented and imaginative milliner. It seemed like she was always experimenting with new techniques and new materials instead of just sticking with the things she had mastered.
Her Facebook page no longer exists. And her Etsy shop had been put on hiatus a while ago (which makes the listings invisible for the most part). But you can still view several of her hats on her Pinterest page: Greer McDonald Millinery. [EDIT: Her Pinterest account is now down, too, sadly.] Here's one of hers I had pinned to my "Hats I Like" board:
I'll put forward my philosophies and plans for 2015 later. In the meantime, I could do worse than follow the example set by Greer — creating with joy, being kind and trying new styles and techniques.