I might be one of the few to be looking back on 2013 with great fondness and waving a reluctant farewell. As years go, it was one of the best.
Since my life is so wrapped up in how the magazine/business does, the unprecedented growth happening here has been the base from which every other good thing flowed. After slogging along for 12 years, suddenly we had strong support, amazing surprises, and totally unexpected shoves into the limelight. There were several instances of being blind-sided by good fortune.
One of the biggest lessons learned was that when things got stale or frustrating, taking a single step or action to make it better set all kinds of other things into action. It should be noted that years of setting the stage helped make that happen, but since I really tend to drag my feet when it comes to changing things that have been *okay* it was a good lesson to learn.
2013 started out different. I had to rearrange almost everything to accommodate the shift. It meant putting my nose to the grindstone in a way that was pleasant but a little foreign. No more thinking that tomorrow was soon enough around here! There is still a little frustration over the fact that people seem to think either the blog, Yahoo group (that may be ending this year) or the facebook page ARE the magazine, not knowing that it is a printed, tangible product, but we're working on that...
We shared nearly 10,000 miniature magazines with herb folks all over the country. Wherever herbies gathered, we were there.
We (along with Susan Hess) put together the first Roots & Wings Herb Festival, and found that our area is rich and full of exactly the sort of things we all want to learn about. We met great people, enjoyed ourselves immensely, and look forward to a Spring Fest.
I accepted an invitation from a publisher to write a book on herbs. That is on the front burner now and will be completed in '14, but it was a '13 blessing, to be sure!
My sister finally took the leap of faith to participate in one of the large wholesale gift shows here on the East coast. Something that we'd always been intimidated by turned out to be just another fun and interesting thing to do, and we're all set to head out in a few days to do it again.
It's hard to say what happened. Did we reach a tipping point? Did my years of blathering all over the internet finally reach critical mass? Was it the mini-magazine? I have no idea, really. All I know each year there is a secret unspoken goal that I don't think will ever happen, and this year it did.
On the home front, everyone is relatively happy and healthy. The kids are making their way in the world. Lots of exciting things are happening for them both, and we are enjoying being able to watch and breathe a sigh of relief after the years of parenting. The hill is in the process of being re-planted with trees because the farm did too well :-) and is bare.
So I am standing here with open arms welcoming 2014, challenging this new year to be as good as the last. I've always felt that odd years were exciting and full of change while even years are the spacers that let us grow into that change. At my age though, I don't have time for spacers. They all need to count fully.
My wish is for everyone to experience positive growth in the coming year. Learn, accept, grow, change - whatever it takes to find that sweet spot! Happy New Year everyone!