Musings of an occupational therapist fiber artist

After inadvertently taking a (two-month!) blogging hiatus, I am itching to be back at it. In the neuro-rehab world where I do occupational therapy, I often tell post-concussion patients, who are discouraged by their deep need for naps, sometimes you just gotta let your brain do what it needs to do. I think that’s what just happened to me.

Anyway, I am refreshed.

Although you haven’t heard from me, there’s been plenty of blanket activity, with not one, not two, but three custom orders for a pair of blankets each. Each pair is a unique design challenge, as all will be made nearly entirely of the customers’ own sweaters. Yowza! I’m excited!

The first pair is completed and I’m looking forward to showing it to you. BUT—they are to be Valentine’s gifts, so I must wait and not blow the surprise.

Hence, for now I’ll share some musings.

It’s February, my birthday month, and in the past I’ve made myself some birthday things (see here and here). But I haven’t felt that impulse this year. What I have felt is an impulse to reflect.

Yesterday I packed up a notebook, my much-used copy of Tara Swiger’s Map Your Business, and a mug of coffee (compliantly lidded) to head to a sunny local library. (Have you all noticed how hard it is to find a quiet coffee shop??)

Swiger is a coach to creative/handmade business owners. This book, subtitled “Define Success, Set Goals, and Make a Plan (You’ll Stick With)” , launched me into action last year in areas where I’d been stalling.

Swiger shines in her use of good questions to get her readers/students to define what the heck we’re doing and what we want. For instance, her questions got me to:

  • take note of accomplishments and lessons in the previous year,
  • identify my own “north star” (a lens of values through which I can measure success),
  • brainstorm up some dreams for setting the next year’s goals, and
  • lay out really really detailed action steps for my key goals.

I love her questions! They made me put all this on paper!!

My favorite page in the workbook, as it turns out? Swiger has the biz owner imagine their best version of the coming year and write it down as if it already happened. She says to “paint a picture” and include all the non-business stuff too.

I had never done this before. It was a clarifying process and therefore surprisingly easy to write. The question went straight to the heart of what I really cared about.

The outcome amazed me: 9 of the 11 things I imagined in my best vision for 2017 happened! Some of the successes were internal (less fretting about some tough things in the rehab world); some were external and concrete (a particular number of weekly hours protected for The Green Sheep); and one was a crazy bucket-list dream (a family trip to the United Kingdom)!

All that to say—I learned one very big lesson about commitment:

Daring to voice an aspiration is the first step toward its fulfillment.

Thank you, Tara Swiger!

On a personal note, I also recently read through my journal from last year. I would be remiss to not mention this, something that’s deeply important to me. The thing that struck me in my reading was how my questions, asks, and ruminations before God had not gone unheard. This gave me a great deal of comfort and joy (just like the Christmas carol says!).

7 thoughts on “Musings of an occupational therapist fiber artist

  1. We have the start of the new school yeay here, which is also a cause for much reflection, planning and freaking out. I haven’t had much of a chance to think about my own goals yet, because I figure getting them sorted before everything’s due at once x 2, is enlightened self-interest. I recently wrote a post about living with hydrocephalus and ongoing health and disability issues which I thought would be of interest:
    There was also this:
    Best wishes,

      • Writing has got me through it all. There was a patch there after the shunt went in when I couldn’t really write much but it came back over time. It’s been a life saver. I love your blankets by the way. More like paintings made from wool.

  2. God hears! Yes!
    I think I will plan and map my personal classroom goals for the second half of the year.
    Glad you are writing again💗

    • Yes, he hears! Like with Cornelius? Thanks for the writing encouragement. I love imagining you in your classroom, recognizing and supporting the young writers–just as I know you support EACH gift and skill. Glad you are teaching. Have fun brainstorming goals!

  3. Hi Joanie! It’s me, Ruth Ellen! That trip to the United Kingdom sounds FUN! I’m looking ahead to an ELCA immersion trip to Malaysia and Cambodia about a month from now! It also looks like I’ll probably be going back to Montana late this summer to serve on another Indian reservation for about a month! Sometimes I’m absolutely amazed at all the privileges God has given and keeps on giving me! He loves you, so do I.

    • Thanks for the note, Ruth Ellen! I FINALLY put together a photo album from our trip out to Utah’s national parks when we stopped and saw you along the way. Doesn’t seem 1.5 years ago already. You’ve got some fascinating places and people to see this year. Enjoy God’s wide and wonderful world, Ruthie :)

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