Things I learned in 2016
I would like to do this yearly or have reflections every six months or so. We’ll see.
1) Having a personal crisis will show you who your friends are. You’ll never know how many people will stab you in the back until push comes to shove, or how many people will adamantly stay by your side in a jam no matter what. I’ve been incredibly thankful for everyone who stood by me this year. I remain cautious about trusting after being burned by so many people who I thought would at least ask my side of the situation, but instead jumped on the hate bandwagon. So sad for them that hating on someone is second nature.
2)Despite all that, it’s awesome to be Mimi. Tatum and Poots keep me going. Watching Tatum grow up this past year from tiny baby to independent one year old has been a treat. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Poots continues to thrive and become more independent. We babied her a little too much and she’s outgrown that, but she’s still very much in need of cuddle time sitting beside me and just hugging.
3) I learned that while I can’t live without coffee, I’m meh about alcohol. The last booze I bought was to make aftershave with. Not even joking.
4) I learned that soapmakers fall into two categories: those of us who are anti palm products and who generally use lard and tallow (and other animal based products like honey, beeswax, and lanolin), and anti-animal products users who will use palm and palm kernel oils, and their by products. There’s a tiny subset which eschews it all and only uses oils and I’m still learning how to make soap like they do for my vegan friends. Hot process seems to be the answer, but it’s a skill I’m still learning.
5) I learned that creating your own successful skin care or make up line is about as hard as breaking into Hollywood. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the idea yet. I’m just being more realistic.
6) I learned easy stuff this year. How to make cold process soap. How to make hot process soap. How to make CPOP soap. How to make liquid soap. How to make a coconut free recipe. How to make a lotion, a cream, a body butter, a lotion bar, a pain relief stick, a muscle cramp roll on, an anti acne roll on, a migraine essential oil roll on, a calm balm, beard balms, beard oils, shaving oil, aftershave, deoderant, and of course, body and face wash. I’m sure there’s more.
7) I learned -am learning – to write tutorials. I kind of suck at it, but I hope to get better.
8) I learned that you don’t have to see someone daily, weekly, or even monthly to feel like they are an integral part of your life. Even if you only see them a few times a year, for a few days at a time, that’s enough to have a solid connection with them. How many people do we just say hi to online all winter long and then see semi regularly from May-Sept? It’s a goodish amount. It works for us. The winter months are long, but we survive.
9) I learned I can survive a month at a time without my husband. I don’t like it, and after a few days I stop sleeping well, but the house stays together, animals get fed, kids stay together, and I can even handle a crisis without him (gotta give my ex credit and thanks for muscle power, though).
10) I really wanted to get to ten, although I am having trouble thinking of a tenth item that is positive. Oh, I know. This year I donated several bags of clothes I wasn’t wearing and scaled my wardrobe way back. If I hadn’t worn it more then once the past year it got tossed. A lot of clothing went into three large garden trashbags. I learned over the course of the year I didnt miss any of it, and I even was able to add items to the bag that was left. It was a great experience and I plan to continue to downsize, although probably less dramatically from here on out, and also donate a lot of my costume pieces to the clothes swaps at the events I go to. I don’t dress up often anymore and would like to see someone else get some use out of these pieces (mostly corsets and tutus, a few neat hats).