Unprecedented times, yada yada…
In case you hadn't heard, we currently live in unprecedented times. There's this annoying and awful thing called COVID-19 and it's been running rampant for 2 years now (it first started to affect me personally mid-March 2019) and it's stopping people from living normal, care-free, happy, social lives.
But in all seriousness; the entirety of 2021 was fraught with coronavirus news and reality. Despite this, life must continue.
So what has happened in the past 12 months?
Well, I like bullet points, so let's do that:
- I was coming off a major depressive episode to begin the year on.
- I was poorly handling remote-learning school for my then-6-y-o, intellectually disabled child.
- I gave stitch-alongs a go, producing my first 4 embroidery patterns
- I was diagnosed with combined-type ADHD.
- We bought our very first house! (see the 5th photo on my top 9 post in this article)
- I turned 35, which honestly doesn't sit right.
- My oldest daughter (mentioned above) was also diagnosed with combined-type ADHD.
- I had to make the hard decision to allow my two precious children to attend in-person school, despite COVID.
- We introduced a brand new puppy into our lives.
- I broke (nay, shattered) my big toe - which as of writing, is still currently healing, 2 months later.
- After 2 months, we said goodbye to our new puppy for personal reasons.
- We still haven't been able to see any family in-person for almost 3 years now.
Whoa. That's a lot.
Despite all of this, 2021 wasn't too bad. And honestly? I have social media to thank for it. Shortly after my birthday in July, I took the plunge into recording Instagram reels and… well, it wasn't as bad as I expected.
In fact, it was quite fun.
So whilst continuing to produce commissioned pieces, new patterns, trialling stitch-alongs, being a parent to a 5-yo and 7-yo, a special-needs parent and everything that entails, moving house, setting up the usual stuff after moving house (doctors, therapy specialists, etc), trials and tribulations of getting and losing a new pet, the disability of breaking my foot (and honestly; it not healing as expected)…
I decided to add researching and creating Instagram reels.
Go on; you can say it. I'm crazy 😜
What kept you making them?
The community and the feedback I received.
Amongst my Instagram friends, I'm jokingly called the "Reel Queen". I receive numerous "thank you"'s and encouraging comments on most of my reels. People tell me my content resonates with them. Or my content encouraged them to try stitching for the first time. Lately, I receive hundreds of likes on them daily and have been gaining 100+ new followers each week.
I hit 2,000 followers total on the platform, held a giveaway and have soared past that initial number in <3 weeks.
One unexpected thing it's done for me is help me move past self-depreciating feelings I have about my own physical appearance. Pushing myself to "perform" (AKA: lip-sync 😂) on such a frequent basis really helped me ignore the flaws and problems I see when I look in the mirror.
This was seriously unexpected. I do, however, try to make sure I'm having a nice hair day before recording anything. I apparently have my limits.
It's been so awesome. I'm small potatoes when compared to many on the platform but my small corner of Instagram has been such an inspiration to me.
A few days ago, before the new year ticked over, I compiled my top 8 performing reels into a new video and it was super fun to make. I wanted to attach it to this post, in case you missed it, or you don't follow me over on Instagram. It's a good taste of what you might be missing ❤️️
Whether you follow me on Instagram or not, I just wanted to say 'thank you'. This year could have been really shitty for me, personally, but the community I'm a part of - the cross-stitching community - has been so beneficial.
Here's to more good times in 2022 🥂