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211: On my 36th birthday

Regular review is essential to thriving in any business. Each year on my birthday I review what I’ve learned over the past year. Learn more about all the lessons I learned this year at TaraSwiger.com/podcast211

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It's my birthday month, and that means it's time to review my year and share the lessons I learned from another year on the earth.

Links I mentioned:

Past Birthday posts:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

The magical power of celebration and review

I just celebrated a birthday! As I do each year, I looked back on the last year and, well, my whole life. Today I share what that review looks like, all of the other ways I build review and celebration into my business, and how you can review your last month. Listen to the episode at TaraSwiger.com/podcast110/

Play

I just celebrated a birthday! As I do each year, I looked back on the last year and, well, my whole life. Today I share what that review looks like, all of the other ways I build review and celebration into my business, and how you can review your last month.

 In this episode:

  • My Annual Birthday review
  • Weekly celebration
  • Why I start with the question “What's going well?” in the weekly Starship chat
  • Monthly review (a part of both Lift Off and Starship)


You can find the Monthly Review questions in Challenge 6 of the #monthofbizlove workbook! Get it here! 

My past birthday posts:

  • 33
  • 32
  • 31
  • 30
  • 29 (I opened the Starship!)
  • 28 (I launched this site!)
  • 27

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

What I’ve learned in 33 years

WhatIveLearnedin33Years

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Today's my birthday! In today's episode, I look back at all the awesomeness of the last year and share what I've learned about my business (and life).

Past birthday posts:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).
  • Get all the blog posts, email lessons + podcast episodes in your inbox, subscribe via email.

Find all the podcast episodes here.

On my 32nd birthday

Rocking the bangs & the pink sweaters & the flyaway hair way back in...86? I think I'm 4ish. #tbt

It's my birthday! Yay!

It's become a kind of tradition that I reflect back on the last year + share what I've learned (and accomplished) each year on my birthday.
Finally cold enough for tights, sweater, shawl. #yayfall
Of course, I always do this on my own, for myself (I talk about that more in tomorrow's episode)…but I also share it here for two reasons:

  1. It takes time.
    I think that, when you're looking at anyone's life and business from the outside, it's easy to miss just how long it took them. (More on that here). By sharing the last year (and a quick brief on the years before), I hope that it helps you see that everyone's growth goes slowly, piece by piece.
  2. Celebration is important.
    It's more socially acceptable (and comfortable!) to be modest, humble and self-effacing…to the point where we skip over acknowledging our accomplishments and move on to the next thing. (Claudine and I chatted about just this!) But celebration is important – it keeps you going, it reminds you of your awesomeness, and it builds your confidence so you try the next thing. Since I build my work around encouraging others to celebrate, I have to do it myself in order to have integrity. It's my hope that, as uncomfortable as this may make me, it serves as a model for your OWN celebration.

Auditioning all-over pink for Boston trip. Will it last the whole week? (This after 3 washes). #hmm

A look back…

Last year, I reflected that you never know where a tiny step is going to take you

Two years ago, I shared my secret of success. Then I started leading in-person workshops, finished two quilts, and explored my enthusiasm. I trained for (and ran!) a 5k
Three years ago, I explained why I was giving it all away and opened the Starship. The following year I got a book deal, wrote my book, and gave my first live speech. It was a sparkly year, full of firsts + traveling + feeling like a rock star.
Four years ago, I welcomed you to this site. The following year I moved from individual classes to building a community for makers, and got my first “big” client. My house was broken into (multiple times) and we moved suddenly into a 10×10 room, with all our stuff in storage, for 3 months. It was a rough year, but by my birthday I was feeling brave.
Five years ago, I was at the beach, about to quit my dayjob. That year I became self-employed, and opened a yarn shop (and quickly closed it, when I recognized that I wasn't having fun). It was a year of boldly following my enthusiasm through fear.
Six years ago, I was working full-time in an office, making yarn at nights and weekends, growing my business.
Seven years ago, I was teaching and dyeing custom colors for a local yarn store.
Eight years ago, I was managing a paint-your-own-pottery studio, beginning to dye yarn, but hadn't even dreamed of starting a yarn company.

After missing the first day and a half of the beach thanks to the flu, I'm that much more thankful to finally be in the sea air. #windy

This year, I feel like I fully let my enthusiasm become by business advisor and I doubled the Starship membership, opened the Solo Mission, and created 4 new digital workshops.
Later, Boston. See you tonight. xoxo, your new girlfriend.
I also got brave + bold with my in-person teaching: I taught at the national trade show for the knitting industry (!) in San Diego (and learned an important lesson), two workshops in Boston, at community colleges and arts councils around North Carolina, and signed a contract to teach with CreativeLIVE. I dedicated myself to helping you explore your Enthusiasm, by hosting the Exploration Party in July and by starting a podcast (Explore Your Enthusiasm) last month. Oh, and I totally redesigned by whole website.

Moms new Christmas quilt, on top of last year's Christmas quilt. #nofilter #pennypatchqal

I found a good balance between work and play- I finished 2 quilts (and started 2 more), I started painting and I picked knitting back up.

Emerald Isle quilt

But I definitely made less this year than others, because I spent a lot more time outdoors: I ran my first 10k, in the Redwoods (and of course, trained for it most of the winter).

Hiked 4 miles to swim at the falls (& then 4 miles back. Oof).

I went to the Outer Banks with my extended family, took a roadtrip with a college roommate, watched the sun set on my brother's boat, visited my dad twice, celebrated a friend's wedding, and met a whole host of students, friends and fellow biz explorers during my travels. Jay and I spent endless evenings snuggled in with great food and our favorite TV shows.

More from my goodbye to the Oceanside Pier yesterday, because pretty. (& running though CLT requires pretty).
There were, of course, less-than-awesome moments. Beau had a weird growth on his mouth, that required several hundreds of dollars in vet visits (and one surgery)…to discover it's just an bacterial overgrowth of skin and nothing to be worried about. There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and one friend-break-up (Jay's). There was hope and possibility, disappointment and impatience.
The rain is busy pelting the petals off the trees, so I wanna remember this moment in last week's run. #yayspring #foundwhilerunning

But really, when I look back, I can't remember much about the bad, sad, or exhausting. I remember the beautiful spring runs, the seabreeze, the hugs, conversation, smiles, and gigglefits. I remember the moments when I felt loved or understood. I remember that this was a year full of love and opportunities.

And that's all I can hope for the coming year.

The Adventures

Every week is an adventure. I share my adventures via images + notes, and you're invited to join in.
You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

Pro-tip: put a cookie sheet under your cobbler so when it (inevitably) boils over, you don't scorch strawberry juice in your oven. #oops #yum #vegan
This is happening! Strawberry rhubarb pie!Driving little bro to the airport, knitting @ttldesigns Stacatto. #carknitting #brothersisteradventureIntrovert Recovery Day a rousing, lazy success: painting, reading, cleaning, chili-cooking, pie-making, and now there's a kitten on my belly and a dog at my feet.

Adventure Notes

  • This pie was delicious. I didn't have a pie crust made, so I left it crustless…and it was delightful.
  • I just started knitting Staccato, and several knitters have commented they want to join me. Let's have an impromptu knit-along! Just weet/Instagram with the hashtag #staccatoKAL to share your pictures + progress. You can see the yarns I'm using on Ravelry.
    • MONDAY is my birthday! Yay!

Some very generous friends wanted to send gifts…only to realize that my address isn't anywhere. If you want it, just ask.

 

Happy Birthday, Dyl!

The brothersDarling Pickle,

On this moment (just a minute after midnight), 9 years ago, you came into this world.

I was 350 miles away, in my dorm room, just 2 months into my freshman year.
But I knew you were coming and I couldn't sleep. My (new) friends gathered in the floor of my (tiny) room.

The phone range – you arrived! I hung up the phone, trembling, tears streaming down my face. The room erupted in squeals, hugs, laughing, crying! We were celebrating you, my Dyl, your birth into my life and into our family.

I'm still friends with those girls and we all recall that night with fondness. They can't believe you're as big as you are.

Dylan in chair

But I can. I'm so proud of what you've grown into.
Hardworking. Silly. Smart.  A great snuggler. Awesomesauce.

(and lest you think I'm just here to embarrass you – I'm sitting in Starbucks with tears streaming down my face as I write this!)

To celebrate our friendship, I'm giving away free shipping in my yarn shop, because I don't know how else to include everyone in our celebration. And I really do want EVERY one (in the whole world!) to know how happy I am to have you as my brother.

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But since I know you don't give a snot about yarn, we'll celebrate today in a way befitting your 9 years: pancakes (with choclate chips + M&Ms), a double feature, video games, making our own pizzas.

So let's get this party started!

All my love,

Sis

PS. If you're not the birthday boy but you want to party in a yarn-y way, snag some yarn and put “Pickle” in the Message to Seller and get free shipping, all weekend.