I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  I sort of feel that vowing to make a resolution means you are vowing to change something that maybe you need to change, and I’ve always been of the mindset that if I didn’t like the way I approached, did, thought, ate, etc I’d fix it, I don’t need a new year to act differently.

Well this was no ordinary year.  And my life is anything but static.  I’ve lost a lot this year, and yet, there is something promising about the future as I discover all the things that I didn’t know I was missing.  My late husband wasn’t big on the kind of adventures I like, and truth be told, I don’t really know what kind of adventures I like.  Sometimes doing them with an enthusiastic buddy is just the best, and my husband wasn’t the enthusiastic sort that would slog through museum mile in NYC or seek out that cultural experience.  He would rather have been skiing or doing some risky sport thing.  

I’m developing a different circle of friends now.  They are just falling into my life in unexpected ways.  Who knew there was a spinner just a block from my house, I walk by her condo whenever I walk the dog.  She has been there for 15 years.  I had no idea.  She is interested in a lot of the things I like to do, or I’m discovering I like to do, and we have already had some pretty fun adventures together.

I was asked by a group of women in mid December to accompany them to the holiday boutique at Lambert Castle.  I’ve lived in this area since the early 70’s when I attended Montclair State, and knew of Lambert Castle but had never been.  Shame on me.  We had a blast and I’m looking forward to going back to take a tour of the actual castle, not when it is hosting a holiday boutique.  I’m really interested in the history.

Likewise, my new friend in the condo’s and I went to the Stickley Museum, which I’m completely embarrassed to say is 15 minutes from  my house and an absolute marvel of a place.  We took a tour, the Sunday before Christmas, it was unbelievable.  I would go back in a heartbeat.

And the next day, I met up with my husband’s cousins from Texas, who were in Manhattan for the weekend. We went to see a Klimt exhibit at a Gallery called the Neue Galerie, which turned out to be four blocks north on 5th Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is actually the Ronald S. Lauder Museum for German and Austrian Art.  I had no idea this museum was even here, it was breathtaking in its scope, and I can’t wait to go back. The German restaurant in the basement was excellent. The Klimt exhibit was pretty amazing as well.  Suddenly there is a big world out there and it was right here all along but I never had the time nor took the time to look.

And the day after that I got in my car and drove two hours to Newtown, CT, home of Taunton Press, publisher of Threads Magazine where I was invited to their holiday party as a regular contributor.  An old friend who had been widowed many years before me told me during a breakfast we had together, to always say yes to whatever you get invited to.  It was a way of relearning the world without your spouse.  She was so right.  The Threads Party was a blast.  The facility was beautiful, and the editors, whom I’ve had tons of correspondence with over the last couple of years, were just as gracious and fun in person as they are to work with professionally.  I look forward to writing more for them.


About 10 years ago, my husband and I took the kids to see the holiday train show at the NY Botanical Gardens.  It was incredible and I’ve always wanted to go back.  My new condo friend has always wanted to go so in the next week we will be heading to the Bronx to check it out before it leaves on the 16th.  I remember that every historic miniature building or site was built out of plant materials.  My husband took something like 3000 photos 10 years ago.  Most likely I will not take any.  Because you can look it up on the internet.  

And so I’m making a resolution this year, to find out all the things I was missing because I was busy raising kids, or traveling, or didn’t have someone to go with, or was too lazy to get on a bus, or drive to wherever.  Life is short, as this year has shown us all.  Seize the day and make it count.

And I even signed up for a five day watercolor class at Peters Valley this summer.  I’m vowing to take a class out there in something, anything, each year, to keep me fluid and looking at life in different ways.  I’m going to be a student again.  

And even today, there are two fibery women I am good friends with, who live in different states in different parts of the country.  But with a group facebook message, we talked on and off all day, sharing what’s on our looms, in our dyepots, and on the spinning wheels.  It was like going to a virtual guild meeting.  

So celebrate that you made it through a particularly tough year, and hold hands and cross the street together as we head into 2017, which by many estimates will be a complete leap of faith.  Read more, weave more, take time to see the things that have always been right under your nose.  Learn something new, cook something new.  Make a new friend.  

Stay tuned…

Comments (12)

Joan AndersonDecember 31st, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Since my divorce 20 years ago I have met so many new interesting people and done some very interesting things that I would never have done if still married. I loved you observations as they are so true. I have lots of fibery friends as well as others and I have learned to be a better friend than I was before. Happy New Year!

Nina RuitDecember 31st, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Lovely thoughts on the end of a tough year. I am recently retired and am like a kid again, re-discovering things around me that have been here and I’ve not had the time for. And, yes, meeting new people and moving forward in a positive way… even moving toward a year that we know will be a huge challenge.

I am making my way slowly toward my two looms!

teabirdDecember 31st, 2016 at 8:10 pm

I’m looking forward to reading about your new adventures !

MarilynJanuary 1st, 2017 at 7:43 am

Thank you, more than you can know, for the inspiration to face change and challenge with a positive optimism, Daryl. Your words and life have impact that ripples around the world. I am sharing your words with a fiber friend who has just lost an adult child two years after the unexpected death of her husband…here’s hoping she will feel a little less lost herself.

Rita SweeneyJanuary 1st, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Thank you Daryl, for once again putting everything in perspective. My cousin’ husband died suddenly on the 17th. Did not know him very much, they live in Germany, but it hit home that my family is getting smaller and smaller. We are now down to just 5. I am so much happier than I have been in years. Life is so much better. I look forward to this year for new adventures, and taking life a little less serious.

leilani bennettJanuary 1st, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Wishing you a bountiful year ahead, Daryl, filled with adventures, friends and love!

Nancy WeberJanuary 1st, 2017 at 3:40 pm

So happy to hear you are finding great new ideas, places to go and see, and new friends — fiber related or not. I look forward to seeing what you do in your water coloring classes this summer — I did done 7 years of watercolor and 4 years of Japanese brush painting and it definitely has helped with my textile journey. Happy New Year to you!

Yvonne Scott MadsenJanuary 2nd, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Thinking of you, Daryl, and so happy to see your progress through this transition. My very best wishes for you and yours in the New Year.
Yvonne in Bellingham WA USA

elizabeth streeterJanuary 3rd, 2017 at 1:29 am

Enjoy what life brings you as i said to my widowed( 18mths) sister the future is ahead might m not be the future you th ought it was going to be but embrace and enjoy. i think i will send your blog entry on to her to read as she has not picked up the pieces yet.

Pat fosterJanuary 3rd, 2017 at 2:59 pm

My husband refused to holiday anywhere but France. At the end of his life I did get him to Munich but no more. Whereas I am adventurous. So when he died five years ago, I set about the world. Just been to Japan for the second time and am off to do India on trains in two months. You will make new friends who like what you like and see lots of inspirational art objects! I agree, no need for resolutions. Just do it.

AngiJanuary 6th, 2017 at 10:26 pm

That is all.

Joan AhernJanuary 26th, 2017 at 1:15 pm

This is the most recent post I could see on my iPad. Oh, I don’t believe in resolutions.

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