A long time ago, I read that in order to achieve your goals, you need to first set them.
As simple as it sounds, how many times is the list of things we wish to accomplish undefined and ‘blurry’? How many times are we flying by the seat of our collective pants and not really sure exactly what we intend to accomplish?
When this happens to me, I must admit that not only do I not achieve as much as I would like, but I feel a higher level of stress as well.
About a year and a half ago (around November of 2015, I believe) I purchased a book from Lynne Andrews called Christmas Blessings. (You can find the book here: Christmas Blessings Book) When I received the book, I knew that I HAD to make this adorable set of “12 Days of Christmas” ornaments. In fact, I needed to make several sets so I could give them to my close family members and friends. But being that late in the season, along with the fact that they are incredibly detailed meant that realistically I wouldn’t be able to complete them by that Christmas.
But then I had an idea . . .
What if I gave the first day as a gift for 2015 Christmas and then painted one each month so that by the NEXT year the set would be complete? That way, I would only need to create six ornaments each month and I would be able to send extra little things along with the ornaments to the families that lived afar (my daughter, my son’s family, my dear friend’s family). It would be a gift that would be received all year long and “keep Christmas in their hearts.” It seemed like a great plan and a great goal that was truly attainable.
When I blogged about this idea way back then, I noticed that there were many others who had this book or who wanted to join in and create along with me. I set up a Facebook Support Group which I called “12 Days of Christmas Ornaments by Lynne Andrews - We are Making Them!” and the response was amazing. So many others wanted to join me in this venture.
While I loved the beautiful porcelain ornaments that Lynne used to make her samples, they were just not practical for me to use them for my purpose. After all – many of them needed to be mailed and the chance of them getting broken in the process was high. Besides – they were a bit costly considering that I would need a total of 72 of them to complete the six sets. But being a designer and a woodworker, that wasn’t a problem. I drew up a design that I thought looked nice and would accommodate the designs as beautifully as the porcelain ornaments. After posting my finished “Day 1” ornaments on my blog here I began receiving requests for the ornaments, so I put them on my site here: SLDPK129 Elegant Bevel-Cut Ornaments Wood Kit. They really became popular quickly and I have been making them ever since.
The rest, as they say, is history …
I did pretty well with keeping things 'on schedule’ until we found a house to move into last summer. I had kept on the 'one a month’ timeline pretty much and was mailing them out regularly on time. But when we moved, it kind of blew things out of the water. The two plus months of moving, settling and organizing took its toll and I found it impossible to keep up. Things fell behind.
Normally, this would have bothered me tremendously. But knowing that those who were receiving the ornament sets fully understood that it wasn’t just that I was “lazy” or “slacking” helped a great deal. After all – these were the people that I love most and they love me too and all of them assured me that they were patient. This is why I wanted to gift them with such a nice thing in the first place.
During the autumn, I nearly caught up. I was working on my “Day 10” ornaments early in December and had thoughts of actually finishing by the holidays. But then I lost my little kitty friend Pancakes and my other kitty Richard became gravely ill and it took all the wind out of my sails. I just couldn’t do it.
By setting goals, it doesn’t mean that something 'bad’ happens if you don’t reach them exactly when you intend to do so. I think that if you hold yourself fast to your goals and don’t allow for deviation, they can be stressful and detrimental. As I get older, I realize that 'life happens’ and that everything doesn’t always turn out just as we want. We may have the best of intentions, but we also need to allow for other factors to enter into things. We need to be kind to ourselves and realize that sometimes there are other priorities that take precedence.
It took a while for me to figure this out. As I grow older, I realize more and more that certain things are more important than others. I think it is part of growing.
In any case, I am finally to the point where I can say that I FINISHED with all 12 Days! What a huge milestone that is for me!
I don’t believe I showed the “Day 11” ornaments, so I will show them here now, too…
Eleven Pipers Piping:
As with the others, all have sparkles on the center parts:
… and the back:
… both sides:
… times six:
And FINALLY – DAY 12!!!!!!
… with sparkles:
… and the backs …
Day 12 front and back:
… time SIX! …
As I mentioned, I don’t have all six full sets here. Most of the ornaments are sent to their homes. I am sure that seeing all 72 of them at once would be pretty impressive. But that was not meant to be.
Still, they look pretty amazing as even a single set:
To say I am proud is an understatement!
I still have another thing planned for this set. I also want everyone to know that the Facebook group will still be kept up with. I will be there as will Lynne Andrews, Lynn Barbadora, Vera Souther, and all the members to keep on cheering everyone on and helping them through this amazing project. Lynne still has books available and I will always be selling the ornament pieces. I even have a cute set of charms that you can get to hang on each of the ornaments. They are available on my site here: EMB06 - 12 Days of Christmas Metal Charms.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing this project come to life. I know I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful friends – old and new – that cheered me on throughout this past year and a half. I think that having these groups in Facebook really is a wonderful thing. As with anything, it is what we make it.
Remember, too that your goals may not always be reached in the timeframe you initially intended them, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of having goals or trying to follow a path that you set for yourself. Sometimes life just slows things down a bit.
I wish you all a wonderful day!
Happy Monday to you all!
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