Last year, I wrote reviews of 2015 in books and sweaters and firsts. It's so interesting to look back at all that has changed in just a year.
In 2016, I left my job right after getting a big promotion to travel and help my husband run our business, which had finally grown enough to support us both. Leaving my job was simultaneously the hardest and most exciting thing ever - it meant that I could really spend more time doing what I wanted to do, but it also meant jumping in the deep end and really having to figure things out (which I'm still working on).
I have to admit that I didn't read nearly as much in 2016 as I did in 2015. The Artist's Way describes reading as an ultimate escape for creative people, a way to dream about changing reality without having to really run away from it, and reading was certainly an escape for me. But in leaving my job and taking a dream vacation, I could take charge of my life. Escape was no longer necessary. I do still read, but not nearly as much as I did when I was looking for a way out of the grind.
I suppose all of that is to say that I don't have a long list of books to share with you this year, though this one and this one were big favorites for me.
Since we lived out of our RV for two months, I learned important lessons in minimalism. I did upgrade my camera on our trip, and love playing with all the things that are so much easier with a fancy camera.
My favorite purchase of the year, though, is that mug you see up there. It's from The Herdy Company, which supports sustainable rural farming in the Lake District of England. They're "made to make you smile," and the smiling little sheep on my mug does indeed make me smile every morning.
And I can't forget that 2016 is the year I opened my shop, with new items being added every week. Your support means the world to me, and I can't wait to see what the new year brings.
Of course, 2016 wasn't all sunshine and roses and fun new things. Brexit and the U.S. presidential election brought out nasty, divisive, and downright hateful feelings and actions. We're still wondering what the exact outcome will be. We watched as atrocities were committed in Aleppo, terror attacks took place worldwide, we had the hottest year on record, but still have to contend with people who believe that burning fossil fuels doesn't harm the environment...the list goes on. The New York Times "Year in Pictures" is a good start.
For articles that make sense of this mess, Barbara Kingsolver wrote, "But politeness is no substitute for morality, and won’t save us in the end. We only get to decide who we are." And Sally Kohn said (I'm paraphrasing) that political correctness is not enough, and it's the wrong enemy - we should try emotional correctness instead. And Adrienne Martini always shares the right blend of think pieces and corgi pictures. Marie Forleo always has the right blend of humor and advice to deal with life's troubles. Then there's the activist knitting that takes up more of my time these days.
I don't know quite where to end, but as life goes on, so will I. It's my sincere wish that in 2017 we can bring about real and positive change for this world, and I mean to be a part of that.
And I wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope it brings you new adventures, new discoveries, and lots of love.