Posted in Life

Out with the old, in with the 2020s

Out with the old, in with the 2020s Posted on 02/01/202011 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

“We share our lives with the people we have failed to be” x

Nothing much of note happened to me, readers, as 23:59 flipped over to 00:00 on the night of 31 December 2019. Actually I spent most of the evening engaged in a friendly challenge with my recently-inherited sewing machine, the one that belonged to my Mum, as I grappled to turn some lovely Scandi birdy canvas fabric into a tote bag (based on this tutorial).

I’ve been on a sewing rampage since me and the sewing machine had our breakthrough, and I have YouTube to thank for that. I finally and once and for all breached the high, high wall of (mis)understanding and figured out how to thread and wind, what the buttons do, how to change a needle, and even how to change the foot. Drunk on the possibilities I started with a doggy bandana and moved on from there.

I have pretty big quilting plans for 2020, I must say (!). Certainly I am just focusing on crafty sewing for the time being as clothing patterns still scare me, but there might be a circle skirt in the stars for me at some point…. I’d like to combine a bit of embroidery and sewing and knock out a few handsome napkins or a tablecloth or two.

I think, mostly, 2020 will be the year of not putting pressure on myself to do anything in particular aside from surviving. That sounds dramatic though it isn’t intended to be; when I say ‘survive’ I mean keep myself on the straight and narrow, mentally and physically, as well as I can manage. There are a few areas that could approximately be defined as self-improvement I want to focus on, namely:

  • Budgeting, frugal living, saving.
  • Crafty stuff, mostly sewing adventures.
  • Read at least 24 books (my Goodreads challenge is here).

I think that’s probably enough for now, especially for a useless sack of uselessness like me!! 2019 was an extremely hot mess. 2018 wasn’t much better. 2017 was pure disaster. The 2010s, all in all, was not my (the) finest decade. I’m not sure much truly changes as our calendar rolls over from one round number to another but I am willing to try to set intentions and take the opportunity to consider this a new a chapter if I can.

Recently over on Instagram I chose the words that were carrying me into 2020. Those words were: rootless, lost, solo.

I still feel the same way. I feel very lost and without purpose and my lack of blogging mojo reflects this. But what I’ve also learned about myself over the past 38.5 years is that for everything there is a season. These fallow periods come around. It’s okay. It’s inevitable, in fact. I keep my head down and work my way back around to function and purpose and meaning as well as I can. I think what’s truly changed for me over the past 6+ months is that I’m beginning to realise that I need to build a life on my own as I cannot and should not rely on others for my health and/or happiness. Independence suits me a whole lot better than daring to trust/rely on another human and I need to work on behaving in sensible grown-up ways so that I can trust and rely on myself fully. Lately all I really want to do is hibernate, and motivation is at a low, but I’m trying to push myself a wee bit and am reaching for a bit more stability.

That’s about all I know, friends. I still feel rootless and lost and solo. But now I also sew?

In the meantime, here’s a little Christmas retrospective. It was cosy and lazy.

Vulpe and me spent a lot of time wandering the park/nearby quays, or snuggling under a blanket on the couch.

I listened to the Astonishing Legends podcast a lot and thought about renewing my Fortean Times subscription.

I also listened to Sufjan’s Christmas album here and there (obvs).

I watched both seasons of Hellier which was enormous paranormal fun (though, ultimately, nothing much actually happens, but it’s awfully well put together and enjoyable to watch).

I watched a lot of sewing/quilting YouTube.

And, of course, I sewed!

How about you friends? Did you have a nice festive/winter break? Do you have much planned in 2020? How are you feeling about the start of a new decade?

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  1. Your post made me kind of sad since like you I feel alone, lost, and rootless as i have for year’s now. I do admire your courage in being optimistic that the future will continue to unfold for you and that you will find your way on your path. I wish i had some of that but I’m not as certain that one can live w/o support. At least that was my learning from being injured and now chronically feeling the effects. though i did it alone and did endure so perhaps that is just my destiny. Anyway i truely hope that 2020 brings good things to you and your pup.
    Take care of yourself and her. Happy sewing 🙂

    1. Oh lordy, I really didn’t mean to make anyone feel sad! 😢 I hope that you aren’t still feeling too sad about this. I guess it can be difficult to go through uncomfortable changes but when I look back over the (many, often disastrous) big changes I’ve been through, I think I can say that most taught me valuable lessons that I value now.

      I also hope that 2020 is a fruitful and empowering and wonderful year for you Jacquie!

  2. Happy new year to you! 2019 was a complete bin fire, so let’s hope that 2020 is better. Or at least not worse. I’d settle for that right now. You bag looks good. I have a sewing machine that is about half as old as I am and a stash of beautiful fabric that is 10 years or so old, back from when I had time and energy to make things. I hope to crib a couple of ideas from you on sewing projects for when that time and energy come back around agian.

    1. I am jealous of anyone with stashes of fabrics as I’m trying to build mine up right now! I inherited a biiiiig bundle from my Mum but most were an oddly complete selection of coloured denims and then a HUGE bag of satin-style scraps. Ofc I am lusting over all the organic fabrics from Europe 😭 I’m sure your time and energy will revisit sometime soon. Studying is hard work and I found that hobbies always took a back seat!

  3. I like that you consciously chose three words and even though they describe something that’s tough and difficult to get through, you seem kind of “at peace” with it? Like that’s how it is right now, but you’re slowly working through it.
    I really like this post – very introspective.

    And thank you so much for recommending Hellier – it’s addictive in a really weird way 😉

    I hope you all the best for 2020. Excited to read more from you.

    1. Thank you Ditte! Haha, yes, it feels to me like older age means becoming more at peace with how much I DON’T know and how much I haven’t achieved! I’ve learned not to panic about it too much as whatever will be will be. Surrendering in this way can be oddly freeing at times.

      I hope that 2020 is a wonderful year for you also 🙂

      1. I’ve always thought that those older than me lied when they said that, but now I’m also beginning to (very slowly) to just be at peace with how things in my life are if I can’t change them. It’s pretty crazy to experience – can’t wait to be able to surrender most of the time 🙂

        Thank you so much!

  4. We’re close to the same age and I think I have similar feelings. For me, the 2010s had a lot of bad stuff, but toward the end I started to get a better grip on how to take care of myself, and it helped. And now I characterize my goals as surrounding these themes:
    1. Take better care of me (i.e., keep up with cleaning things better, try to actually decorate my home rather than staying somewhere that feels like a warehouse, feed myself good food, etc.)
    2. Jostle myself out of ruts (do fun things on purpose, try new foods, etc.)

    Here’s to you in the new year. I hope it turns out great for you.

    1. I think those are excellent goals for any year, definitely, and they can be strangely difficult if you’re not accustomed to setting goals/intentions and then trying to hold yourself accountable! They should teach this stuff in schools 😬

  5. I love sewing. I think it is a great skill that everyone should know how to do. Even if it is just to do basic repairs on clothes, I find it so sad when people throw away clothes because a button comes off, or pay someone $10 to sew it back on. (I actually have no idea how much it costs for a tailor to put a button on) Anyways, just heads up on your quilting journey! IT IS VERY EXACT! I strongly suggest getting a clear quilting ruler, which I find great in many other application in crafting and baking since you can see through it.

    1. Thank you! I have two quilting rulers already 🙂 And I just ordered a rotary cutter and cutting mat which is even more exciting given that I have been soldiering on with my fabric scissors so far. I began with a 5″ square cut out of cardboard which was…..okay, but the ruler is so much better! I doubt my first project will be entirely exact but I think that will add to the charm 😁

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