• whatpennymade

Hindsight... 2020

At the end of every year, I like to do a bit of reflecting. I find it a helpful way to gain perspective in both my art practice and my life in general. It's also a great way to re-set and think about my intentions for the new year.


Resolutions? Maybe. I'm not a huge fan of setting resolutions.

But setting GOALS? Yes!

Envisioning where I want to go, what I want to try, things I want to explore...


In years past, I've written a letter to myself each New Year's Eve, to be opened the next year. I fill it with all my wishes for my future self and questions about the year ahead. And then, on New Year's Day, I open the letter I'd written the previous year. It's quite an experience to read that letter.


Inevitably, I've forgotten what I wrote, and yet, I seem to magically spend my year working to make all the wishes I'd made come true. The perspective I can bring to that letter one year later is a testament to how much we can grow in such a short time.


Sometimes, I choose a word for the year. This word acts as a mantra, a guiding theme for the things I want to explore and work toward. It can be something I want to explore in my artwork, or something I want to work on in my personal life. Usually both. Throughout the year, I take moments to reflect, and think about how I'm embodying that theme (or not).


It goes without saying the 2020 has been an... exceptional year.

We've been presented challenges in our personal, professional, and creative lives that not a one of us had anticipated. I don't think anyone will come out of this year and not be transformed somehow.

My wish for all of us, is that we reflect on this monster of a year and emerge from the crucible stronger, more resilient, and determined to show up in our lives in new ways.



In this spirit of retrospection, I wanted to share with you some printable worksheets I made to reflect on my own experiences this year.

I call them the "Happies and the Crappies."


Download your own pages and reflect on your own Happies and Crappies this year.


What are the Little Things that we missed out on? The trappings of everyday life that have been missed- and perhaps will be welcomed with a new appreciation someday?


What are the silver linings of our year filled with so much loss and sadness? Have you made discoveries that you hope to carry with you? Developed new interests? New relationships?


There's a lot of talk in the interwebs about creating a "New Normal." About how things are changed for good after this year.

I hope so.

I can't imagine trying to go back to the way things were, no matter how much we wish we could.

But I don't think this "new normal" is something that has to happen to us. We can create it. Curate it. Cultivate it. Save all the good parts and snip off the bad ones.


So here's to a shiny new year and all the challenges and adventures ahead!



How do you mark the new year? Any fun traditions to share?

What are your Happies and Crappies from this year?

How will you be creating your New Normal?

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