Anthropology of the Self; A Year in Review

Being present in the moment sometimes requires a review of the past. Not a dwelling in the past, but a quick look back over your shoulder to check your progress and bid farewell. That’s what I’ve been doing recently anyway, and it seems to be helping. I’ve stalled and screwed up and learned a lot, made huge progress on my goals, and have many more lessons waiting to be learned.

Butterfly action photo by Michele Steward Odd Tonic

It’s been just over a year since I started this blog and a lot has happened. Revolution, disaster, climate weirdness all of a global scale. Some incredible technological and scientific advancements. Crafting, DIY and thriftiness are continuing to grow in popularity for obvious economic reasons… but, I think, also in the spirit of taking charge and being a force of change, creativity in one’s own personal world. My world is about to change fundamentally as we prepare for a small, wiggly, helpless new person to join us. Only a month and a half of “non-parent” life left and it seems like a good time for a review.

I am excited though. I don’t mind leaving the past behind. I grow, change and learn during challenges. I have surprised myself before and I know I am a strong, fairly well-reasoned person. I expect to screw up a lot, problem-solve, breakdown-in-tears-asking-for-help, try unconventional solutions, and be continually amazed at the projectile range of the human baby. I think having realistic expectations (nothing’s perfect) has been the best philosophy for my life so far and enables me to be prepared for and adapt to less-than-ideal circumstances!

Happiness depends on ourselves - Aristotle

Me at the beginning of the 3rd trimester, self-shot with remote. DIY wall decal and quote by Aristotle. Clothes are thrifted!

My first posts were about crochet, and science automatically got in the mix. The post Science, Inspiration and Crochet had some ideas I’d forgotten about and a great video on embryo formation and its relation to evolution. I have been doing a lot of crochet recently, especially in March which is the time I was interested in crochet last year. Great to see those patterns emerging. Data I can analyze and really try to look at myself from an anthropological point of view. Why am I doing this? What does it mean? What purpose does it fulfill? Is it inherited? …You get the idea.

The next post is titled Music as Medicine and Art as Life. It has a postsecret postcard at the top that reads “My greatest desire is to love my life as I’m living it.” I had just gotten through the depressing winter here in Portland, Oregon and was dealing with near constant rain. Much like I am now! As I mention in the post, it’s common for this time of year and suicides spike. Then I linked to some incredible, inspiration talks and music and wrote some positive focus notes for myself to cheer me up. (Also a shot of me as a non-pregnant superhero if you want to see how big I’ve gotten!)

Just as my urge to crochet comes back every winter, my seasonal “irrational emotional confusion” comes back every Spring. I am thankful that I get better at dealing with it every year, that I have an incredibly supportive and understanding partner (he has it too) and that I have a healthy baby boy getting himself ready to be born in around 6 weeks! I have been walking a lot since my car broke down this Summer and using art and craft as medicine and I think that has done A LOT in making this winter easier than last.

pink blue purple white paper beads

Some crafts I made to keep my sanity / stock the store

I am still not where I want to be ideally, but I’m giving myself time to learn that. Life is a work-in-progress and I’m better off paying attention to the projects and problems at hand. As I look to the next year, a lot of my goals are vague. I don’t know what to expect entirely of having a new baby, continuing to focus on craft and art forms of income, becoming a parent and how the world’s shake-up might affect our family. I will continue to be thrifty, experiment with food, practice my crafts (which will most likely be baby-centric for a while, nerd-baby toys ftw) and LEARN!

My nephew Conner product testing stuffed, crocheted Amanita Muscaria mushroom toy and realistic crocheted squid toy

Well this is a long, rambling post but I thought I should write something for the Odd Tonic Blog anniversary! And please, don’t call it a “blog-iversary” because it just doesn’t mean what you want it to mean. “Anni-” means year and “vers” means turning. It’s the turning of a year, not the turning of a blog! 😉

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