Originally published January 2007 on GetCrafty.com

It might be cliché but I simply cannot help but start the New Year with all sorts of reflection on last year and the year to come. Please bear with me as I review 2006 and gear up for 2007 from a very self-centered perspective. My hope is that it will inspire you to do the same. Life—or mine at least—is so fast paced that there is never time to pause and evaluate. Rereading my New Year’s column from last year is pretty amazing. I hadn’t read it since I wrote it and man, I’m actually really proud of myself and see that I’ve made major leaps in the right direction in 2006. If I can just keep it up, I’ll be wrapping up 2007 in really great shape.

I turn 30 this year, which is alarming and totally exciting all at the same time! An older friend once offered me some life changing words. She told me, people always say your 20s are the time of your life and it only goes down hill afterwards. She totally disagreed, however. Your 20s, she explained, are full of doubt, wandering, wasting time and not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing. In your 30s you have focus, mission and purpose. I’d agree. I think I had a major existential crisis every 6 months between the time I graduated from college at 22 and the age of 27. I used to say, ‘If only I could figure out what I’m supposed to be doing then I know I could work really hard at it and do really well.’ Those were sage words. I have figured out what I’m supposed to be doing and now I feel like I have to make up for lost time and hustle even more than I would have if I’d figured it out when I was 22. Frustrated as I get with my 22 year-old self for not figuring it out sooner, I really can’t be too mad at her. After all, I hadn’t discovered Get Crafty yet!

So looking back over last year’s evaluation of 2005, I’ve done pretty well in 2006. I did not use a credit card a single time. My apartment was messy, but beautiful compared to 2005. I’m still too busy to pack a lunch some of the time but instead of eating expensive food from a restaurant, I eat at my employee cafeteria. It isn’t as healthy as packing a lunch and it isn’t as cheap either, but I can eat lunch for $2-3. We’ve done really well at going to the Farmers Market regularly, which makes eating at home so much easier.

I didn’t spend enough time with my family, but I did much better. I went to all of my brother’s home Lacrosse games. This was doubly good because it was supportive of my brother and gave my mom and I awhile to sit and talk while we watched the game. In 2006, I finally admitted, after all these years, that I love watching TV. There really isn’t any better way to spend time when exhausted. Much like 2005, I spent a lot of time exhausted in 2006. Unlike 2005, I also spent a lot of time preventing exhaustion. I paced myself better, took breaks when I needed them, didn’t bite off more than I could chew (as often!) and was way more organized! I had a lot more balance.

In 2006, I organized two Indie Craft Experience markets, continued to do well at my Public Relations day job, paid off my first credit card, participated in Renegade Chicago and Crafty Bastards in D.C., was filmed for That’s Clever (air date is Jan 22 on HGTV), started a new job as co-editor of Get Crafty and got more press than ever! The Indie Craft Experience was named Best Guerrilla Art by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing, was listed as a Top 10 Must-do Holiday Event by the same publication, was mentioned in the New York Times Magazine and was the first stop on the Indie Craft Documentary filming tour. Shannon and I created the Starlets of Craft calendar with Tweet Design. Three of my designs were chosen for the t-shirt show at MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) called “To a T” and I participated in the Plush Show at Young Blood Gallery by creating a giant plush of the Atlanta skyline. Despite being busy with all of this, I learned to scale back and to only take on projects I was really interested in.

My goals for 2007 are a little more lighthearted and fun than they were for 2006. I have to continue on the right track from 2006 since I spent so much time training myself and learning new habits this past year. Cleaning more, eating well and paying down credit cards are still top priorities. 2007 is going to be full of more fun though! Here’s a quick list of goals for the new year:

_ See more movies.
_ Write more. In fact, I keep telling myself I’m going to write two books in 2007!
_ Make the Indie Craft Experience the best it has ever been—big ideas in the works here!
_ Exercise more.
_ Get more digital photos printed—photos are the best reminder of good times!
_ Totally redo my wardrobe. It’s gotten so blah and disappointing.
_ Meet more crafters from all over the country.

I encourage you to make a cup of tea, sit down and evaluate last year and make some goals for 2007. This is going to be the best year ever…Happy New Year!