The Beginning at the End

December is a bittersweet month. It heralds the coming of days filled with anticipation and fun and festivity. Back in the Philippines, it meant Midnight Masses, hot chocolate (the thick kind!), suman and all other types of native delicacies made from sticky rice or yams, ensaimada (a kind of brioche that’s topped with butter and grated cheese), ham, and queso de bola. It also meant seeing cousins and family friends who come over at least once a year to pay respects to the family matriarch.

At the same time, December and the same festivities are reminders of loved ones who are no longer with us–at least not physically. I also miss the times when my boys were little and December meant plotting creative ways to get Santa in without them seeing. I remember the dilemma of having gifts too big for the Christmas stockings and later on, having decided to just put the large presents under the tree, forgetting to fill the stockings! We solved the problem by stuffing them with fruits that were meant to be part of the dining table decor and every year after that, the stockings held apples and oranges and little boxes of raisins. Thank goodness we were never into plastic fruit!

December is also the month to look back at the year that is about to end. 2013 has been a year of discovery for me. 2013 was a year of learning new things about myself (I may never give up chocolates and chips in spite of my diabetes and my quest to be healthy), about what I do (which I find I can never fully describe in three words or less), and what I want to do (make more art and be a doting granny even if Sophie is on the other side of the globe). 

This year, I learned more about surface design, picture book writing, writing services, and what direction to take with my art. I learned that there are so many people willing to help and all you have to do is ask. I learned, yet again, that html stumps me and WordPress continues to befuddle me.

I also learned that I have to put aside certain things that I had been holding onto but were keeping me from moving forward. There is always a part of me that says, “Oooh, that looks like fun, I want to do it!” And usually, I do. It harks back to the time when I was a little girl and I just had to take things apart to see how they worked–looks like I was deconstructing before I even knew the word! Of course to my parents, it was just plain old destruction because I couldn’t put them back together. Nowadays, it’s not so much the putting back together as it is having the time to do them, and more importantly, to do them well.

So this December, even before the whole New Year’s Resolution thing becomes a subject line that fills my inbox, I’ve made my Focus On list. I’m not going to write the whole list here but let me announce that while I enjoyed the newsletter experiment, I realized blogs were more to my liking. If you happened to get the newsletter and liked the freebies at the end of each, not to worry. I’ll just post them here or on the handmade crafting page of The Pink Net site that I’m building.

There are other projects in the works too. I mentioned the Sophie Cinnamon line on FB and with twin grandnephews finally in the arms of their grandmother, I’m thinking of doing a line for twins as well! 

Much to do, much to look forward to. I’m starting my Focus On list with choosing to do the letting go part with as much gratitude and as little regret as possible. If I can do that, then I know my December will have less bitter and more sweet. And as cliche as it sounds, the endings I have to face can only lead me to new beginnings.

A Made With Paper app doodle

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