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Every year I ponder this little exercise as I think about the year that's ending and the one that's beginning: What's the worst thing that happened to you last year? What's the best thing? What is your hope for the new year?

Feel free, dear reader, to add your own list in the comments.

The worst thing that happened in 2005: Having to put my dog down in March was the hardest thing I've ever done. Even though I know it was the right and humane thing to do, I miss her every day. She was an excellent dog, loved by all who knew her.

The best thing that happened in 2005: I know I said last year (and most of this year) that I wasn't going to do the DIY Trunk Show again because I was just too busy and exhausted and all that. But Cinnamon and I did it again. And it was fucking awesome. And this year -- with all the press that we got, and the 200 applications for 80 slots, and the craftivism panel that Cinnamon was on, and the fact that three of our vendors started their own alternative craft shows in their hometowns, and the fact that people in other cities who have never even been to DIY Trunk Show want to start their own shows because of us -- it really felt like we had created something bigger than ourselves. And, yes, we're both too busy and too tired to do it again in 2006. But I think we will anyway.

My hope for 2006: I want so many things for this year: less stress, more exercise, a down payment for our own home. (To make the latter happen a little faster, I'm hereby swearing to buy no books or DVDs in 2006 and to stop taking cabs and eating out so much so that I can put even more money away in savings.)

I also want the Democrats to get their shit together (I say this every year). I want them to kick ass in the midterm elections, end the war, institute national health care, send all the Bushies to the Hague for their war crimes trial, plant pretty flowers along the highways, and find homes for all the shelter animals.

I want to find something to write my master's project on so I can finally be done with grad school next December.

I want to see my friends. We used to have people over for dinner about once a week before I started school, and now I'm lucky to see my pals a few times a year. This has to change. But ever since my winter break started a couple weeks ago, all I want to do with my free time is watch TV and sleep.

I want to make time for creativity again. I haven't made any jewelry in a year. Churning through my life with no creative outlet (producing the DIY Trunk Show doesn't really count) is making me insane, I can tell. Last year, Jim and I got so bogged down with work and other projects that we noticed we barely had time for each other. So we started Date Night, one night every week just for the two of us -- no homework, no ukulele, no e-mail. Sometimes we do something romantic or naked, and sometimes we just play Boggle. But Date Night is our night, and we've held that night sacred since we started it. So this year, my hope is to make a creativity night for myself at least every other week. Even if I'm not inspired to make something that night, I can read about new crafts to make, or take a workshop, or wander around a craft store for a couple hours and kick the artistic morsels of my brain back into life.

Oh, and I also want to volunteer more. I'm sure I'll be back out on street corners registering voters come summer, and of course there's the Trunk Show in the fall, but I'd like to do more for the theater and maybe find an AIDS care organization or a women's shelter that can use my time and energy.

So, let's see -- more time with friends, more time for creative stuff, more volunteering, plus work and school and my master's project and love and the rest of my life, plus more exercise and reduced stress....Nope, I'm not setting myself up for a meltdown or anything. Good!

I'll get started right after a nap and a three-hour "Gilmore Girls" marathon.

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