Monday, May 5, 2014
A to Z Reflections Post
As with most years Challenge finish, I've been on hiatus for a few days recouping and catching up with life. I've managed to clean the house from head to toe, work on my regular stitches, spend quality time with the pups, and even get back on the diet track (after a rather wild Lab Week binge, as my adjusted weight loss ticker shows...shame on me). But how I wanted to approach the Reflections post has never been far from my mind, and I think I've decided to approach it how I do most years, with getting the whining out of the way first.
I know I moan on and on about this every year, but it still really irks me how much we are asked to beg for new followers. I know I've said it a million times, but I don't do the challenge to gain followers and I pretty much steer clear of those that do. Can't we just participate in the challenge for the mere purpose of being "challenged" to complete a goal? Must we constantly "pimp" ourselves out? I tried to not read the actual Challenge blog too much for this very reason. I'm not sure why it walks all over me, must be repressed memories of a fat little girl begging the older, cooler church kids to be my friend or something, but needless to say, I don't appreciate it and it bothers me WAY more than it probably should, but bothers me it does, so I need to bitch about it.
Soapbox dismount (for now), but speaking of completing a goal, I think more people managed to finish the challenge this year than previous years and I've found more amazing blogs than ever before! I have so few loves in life and I was pleasantly surprised to see most of them were blogged about this challenge (although, the lack of Disney themes didn't escape my attention).
Just to mention a few, of course my friend Kate's blog was as thought provoking and interesting as ever. Her 101 Room theme brought me out of my shell more than once and had me reminiscing and sharing stories about myself that I never have before. She's always had a way of getting me to talk about things I never would otherwise. I just hope I didn't offend her with my brutally honest comments!
Another favorite, Leanne Ross Read Faced blog tackled my favorite author, Jane Austen. Although Pride and Prejudice isn't my favorite (that honor is reserved for Persuasion), I enjoyed her views of not only P&P, but of Regency literature as well.
Charity's Writing Journey did an A to Z of Doctor Who and waxying poetic about my favorite TV show with someone other than myself was rather enjoyable.
Pensuasion took on fairy tales, and, although I didn't agree with some of her choices, her views and opinions were thoughtful and passionate, traits which I think make for the most interesting of postings.
There were dozens of other blogs that I ended up looking forward to looking at daily, but here are just a few highlights...Lexa Cain and her hauntings, SaylingAway's renaissance artists, Martha Reynolds Writes and her cheese posts (I never knew there were so many different cheeses!), and Bob's Home For Writing and his beautiful puppy pics, just to mention a few.
Lastly, on to me. This was the hardest challenge I've ever done. I tried to stay ahead like I've always done, but some early setbacks (aka starting over after week one), design problems (that had nothing to do with CloudsFactory, but rather me and my indecisiveness), and even my Needle Club, kept me from staying caught up like I wanted to. At least I managed to keep up daily goals, even if I had to stay up well past bedtime.
On the bright side, I hit my 500th post during this challenge. Thanks to Amazon Prime, I managed to watch all eight seasons of 24 (for free) while stitching, a show I've always wanted to watch. I got to spend the month of April working toward a goal on a theme that is closest to my heart (Disney), and I got to spend every day doing something that I absolutely love to do (cross stitch). My OCD is strong, so working toward a goal does really make me happy, but my Aspergers is stronger, so actually finishing a goal is a pretty huge accomplishment, but finish it I did...a completed cross stitch project in 30 days! Here it is again in its entirety:
Granted, it's not the most complicated or even prettiest stitch I've ever done, but every single time I look at it, thanks to the challenge, I'll remember the entire process, from its birth to completion, something I don't do with most stitches. It will give me a lifetime of memories (however short that may be) and that is what stitching should be about! Even if one more Disney-themed artifact in my house might be enough to literally tip it over, this particular one holds the special place of being hung right beside my chair for years to come!
So, despite my aggravation at being asked constantly to gain new followers (I really can't let that go), I'm grateful to the Challenge for giving me a sense of much needed pride in myself for completing a goal and I'm really looking forward to what I can come up with for next year!! Thanks to everyone for your kind comments (I really don't deserve them) and I can't wait to see what direction we all go in post-challenge!!