2021 Retrospective and 2022 Goals
It's time again for a yearly retrospective! 2021 was better than 2020, but in the second year of the pandemic (or panacotta, to keep it morbidly light), life still proved to be messy, confusing, and sometimes scary. If you see me joking about the pandemic, it's not because I think it's fun, funny, cool, or exciting. It's because we each process grief our own way, and I do it through bad (very bad) jokes.
So, what’s a retrospective? You may be wondering, silently to yourself. A retrospective is a list of questions that help you think through what’s happened.
- What went well
- What could have gone better, or what’s not working
- What you can fix for a better result
What I said I wanted to do in the year of our panacotta, 2021
- Help people imagine a better relationship with nature
- Create a community that intersects research, design, and nature
- Continue making, exploring, and playing
Overall, I said I wanted to focus on adding meaning to my life, and I really feel that I've done that.
Helping people imagine a better relationship with nature
I started my Design and Nature Reimagined Newsletter (sign up here!)at the beginning of 2021, as a way to achieve this goal. I ended up writing more this year than I have since college! All told I wrote 23 different posts as email sequences for my newsletter. I wanted to get 52 posts and consistently write one post every week, but I think 23 is pretty good considering I didn't write that much last year.
I don't have many subscribers (yet) but being consistent will help. The absolute payoff for this is the interaction and response I get from subscribers. They send me ideas, thoughts, and thanks, which has led right into my second goal...
Create a community that intersects research, design, and nature
I've started having more conversations about these topics, and have even made some friends that work across these interests.
This year I started volunteering again at 350PDX; a local subsidiary of a worldwide climate group called 350.org. It's been great to connect with people who are interested in climate mitigation and adaptation like I am.
The only thing I didn't do more of this year was connect with more design focused groups, so that likely needs to be something I focus on next year.
Continue making, exploring, and playing
For the first time I started selling my ceramic pieces in my online shop, mm.gifts! It's been so much more fun than I thought it would be! I'm not a production potter (yet), so am very slow to turnaround pieces, but I do love it and will continue to do this for the foreseeable future. Making and selling my pieces is a creative endeavour that just keeps on giving because there's always something new to learn.
I also really filled out my garden this year, and started taking pictures of it each month to see how it's evolving. I experimented with some new feeders, and have finally got some regulars in the yard including bushtits, black-capped chickadees, black-eyed juncos, goldfinches, house finches, downy woodpeckers, crows, California scrub jays, and Anna's hummingbirds. At the beginning of last year I only had two types of birds, so it's been so fun to get more!
On top of that I have 3 regular squirrels who regularly go to war with me by stealing bird seed, but they seemed to have figured out a good way of following the bushtits around and gathering up discarded seeds that way. I love having my tea in the morning and watching them all come and eat together.
For 2022, I want to focus on _having an impact. _I spent most of 2021 diving deeper into the things I knew I loved, and exploring new ways to share those things with others. So next year I want to be better at sharing what I'm doing by being more consistent.