Friday, 3 January 2014

Thoughts on 2014

I have this feeling that 2014 is going to be a great year. I'm not sure why. I've moved seamlessly into writing the date ending with a 4 rather than ending with a 3. Usually that takes me a few days to get used to, but not this year! I think that it's the 4. I just like years that end in 4, they feel good.

Looking back on 2013, I'm still not really able to wrap my mind around all that has happened. I became a mother. Enough said. How much bigger a life change can you really make? Having a baby required me to make lots of work changes as well, tough decisions, but I know that they were the right decisions. There were lots of moments in the first few months when I wondered if I could do it all. My work needed me, my baby needed me, I felt like I was failing at everything. But bit by bit, 9 months later, I think that it's all working out. I've spread myself thinner than I'm used to, but y'know what? I like it that way! Rowan has made me stop trying to always multitask and rather work harder when I'm working and play harder when I'm playing. He's given my life the balance that I wasn't able to find on my own. The past 9 months have been very empowering in that way.
at 6 weeks - learning to make it work.
Having Rowan has changed everything. I used to try so hard to find balance in my work and my life. My work is my life and my hobby is my work. It used to be confusing, but now it's all starting to make sense. I had a moment after Rowan was born where I was complaining to my sister about how overwhelmed I was. I didn't take a day off - the second I would put Rowan down I would run into my office to try and get some work done. I was bemoaning my lack of "me time". My sister Lilia, in her ever wise if not so tactful way, reminded me that frankly, I love my work. That if I had all the "me time" in the world I would likely spend it knitting, Ravelling, blogging, playing with yarn... what exactly was I complaining about? I'm not sure she realizes what a huge impact that conversation had on me. She was totally right and it was just the kick in the pants I needed. Any time I feel overwhelmed now I just think of my brilliant sister and her words of wisdom. "Get over yourself Tanis. Your baby is adorable and you work a job that you love, what's your problem?" Gotta love sisters. 
at 2 months - inspires in his own special way.
I don't have any big New Years resolutions to share. I've never been big on resolutions, though I do like the idea of a clean slate, the beginning of the school year has always felt more like "New Year" to me than January 1st ever has. This year, my only real mission is to live slowly, savour every minute and be spontaneous. I've frequently shared my desire to find more balance in life on this blog, and I think that I'm actually getting closer to achieving that for myself. Funny, you'd think that adding a baby to the mix would throw us all for a major loop, but Rowan has actually helped me (probably more like forced me) to slow down, take breaks and let my mind wander. 

I feel that what is right for me this year is to do whatever feels right "right now".  I find that I really don't work as well with too many fixed deadline and long term goals. Of course I have an idea of what I'd like to accomplish and how I plan to go about it, but find that I work best when I allow myself to just ride the waves of inspiration as they come to me. So this year, rather than setting up too many official goals, my plan is to just live in the moment, both personally and professionally, and do what feels right.

I want to maintain the creative passion that got me started in this business in the first place. I am so fortunate to still get extremely excited every time we hit on a great new colourway. You should have seen me when Chris came in from the studio with the first batch of Lotus; I actually squealed! My enthusiasm for colours, fibers and designing has gained momentum throughout the years. The 2013 Boxing Day Etsy update was an excellent reminder that I am still as excited as ever about colour, and sharing it with people (like you!) who appreciate it makes me so excited I can hardly stand it. Making gorgeous colours and then hoarding them really would not have the same effect. It's the sharing that makes it all so rewarding.

So my plans for 2014? Play, teach and learn with my baby boy as much as possible. Talk, walk, cook and be with my husband as much as possible. Dream, draw, colour and knit for my work as much as possible. A little bit of everything, not too little of any, the perfect life/work cocktail. I think I can do it!
Rowan photo bomb!
Oh, and I'll make 1 official goal for 2014, finish up the collection of baby boy knits that I've been working on forever!


  1. My favorite passage: "find that I work best when I allow myself to just ride the waves of inspiration as they come to me. So this year, rather than setting up too many official goals, my plan is to just live in the moment, both personally and professionally, and do what feels right."

    Looking forward to benefiting from your 2014 inspiration, and to your collection of baby knit patterns! Happy New Year!

  2. I love you. I love your yarn. I love your blog. I *love* your wonderful photography and I *especially love* photos of that adorable baby!

    'Nuff said. :) You're doing it all right. Keep up the good work!

  3. Happy New Year, Tanis! It *is* easy to forget about what we love when we pursue it as our livelihood. Nevertheless, you seem to be doing just fine, and I'm certain 2014 is going to be another banner year for you and your family.

  4. What an inspiring thought about the way you see life these days - I'm almost out of massage school myself and will be working again. I imagine I will feel similarly about my change of schedule and will make sure to keep your outlook in mind. It's so great do be doing everything you love. Can't wait so see what this year holds.

  5. Happy New Year Tanis! I think it is going to be a great year too!

  6. You got it together girl! Love your priorities and I know this will be a fun year for the Tanis Fiber Arts Gang..Enjoy every day with Rowan - they grow up so fast :(.. You guys are my go to yarn for colour, softness and success with a project..thank you!

  7. I just LOVE Rowan's Hudson's Bay sleeper. So very adorable. Happy New Year, and yes, it sounds like you've achieved just the right balance.

  8. I can remember when you first had Rowan how a few of your blog posts described your struggle with adapting to your life with Rowan. Reading your blog since those early days certainly showed you working through to balancing your life and discovering the joys of being a Mom and rediscovering the joys of your work and art. You're very lucky to have a wise and supportive sister (I live that experience and count my blessings), loving husband and beautiful baby boy. Thank you for sharing all of this with all of us.. :-)

  9. I cannot tell you how much I love that photo of you and Rowan at the computer. :) Your goals for this year are spot on -- I have yet to do a proper ponder and write up of my own, but getting/maintaining balance is right up there. Thank you so much for writing about your process as well as your (amazing!) yarns -- your love for your family and your work just shines right through. Bright blessings to you and your family (and Stella!) in the coming year.

  10. So much to say! Iain has the same sleeper and I love how it inspired you! I am also learning (trying to, anyway) to be present in the moment. He is changing so quickly, if I'm not present, I'll lose it and it won't come again. I hope you achieve all you are seeking and I thank you for your openness and willingness to share it with us. Since I'm right behind you (6 weeks or so), I'll be interested to see how this journey goes for you. xx, Kate

  11. p.s. I love Rowan's smile in the photo bomb. And I can't wait for all the boy patterns --- I find what is there now, woefully uninspiring.

  12. Loved this post Tanis. We all struggle with these things. I hope to do the same this year. And I'm always around to email when you need vent or chat :)


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