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December 23, 2020


Susan Mercy

I've learned to accept myself a lot more, and to be content with the present, be in the moment.


A good lesson from this year has been to recognize one's priorities and appreciate just how little it takes to make one happy. Stay in communication with friends and family..take advantage of time for introspection...and of course...keep knitting.


I have learned that I can let things go. I have to really try.


Resiliency and grit- the ability to push through both physically and emotionally challenging situations as most times we are all stronger than we think!


I can't say I've learned it (past tense), but I'm still learning to be okay when other people disagree with my actions. It's okay if people think I'm too cautious. It's okay if other people are getting together and I opt out. This is a tough lesson for me, but I'm working on it.


Learning Tunisian crochet. A NEVER-crochet attitude has been held all those years, I'm surprised at myself for this new adventure. I have always interested in the textures of knitted fabrics, so this would open another method to achieve the "woven" aspect of texture in yarn work, sock yarn would be the best to hit the goal.

Dana Snyder

One thing I learned about myself this year is that I can do anything! It’s been a struggle at work getting lessons ready for at home learners and having class over zoom. We were in person maybe 6 weeks this fall and went back on virtual after thanksgiving. I truly am amazed at everything I did for my students this semester. I can’t say I didn’t leave crying and swore I’d never go back. I only did that once. Lol. But, I did, and have almost made it to the end of one whole semester teaching with students at home and in person. To my amazement, everything got done on time and I have awesomeness students who would tell me if they found a mistake. I made several. I told them to let me know cause I was getting lessons ready for 6 classes. I posted a quiz that wasn’t done, posted quizzes with no correct answers marked. Lol. My new motto is is what it is... our school motto... we are Wythe you! (I’m in Wythe County).


To have a thankful heart for everything because life can change in a moment! I am blessed beyond measure.

Renee Huffman

I have learned that I need to be more patient with my boys and my circumstances. Its been a long year!

Claire Sleeman

I've learned that I can spend a lot of time with my husband. Before the pandemic he was here for two weeks and in Texas for two weeks, so I had a lot of time to myself. Now he's home all the time, and it wasn't as much of an adjustment as I thought it would be


I have lost 43 lbs in 11 months. I’ve learned how to eat healthy and stay the course. Even though I love to bake, I won’t since it is unhealthy for me. More knitting time!

Hilda Clegg

I miss my friends but I've learned that I'm good company on my own and that my husband is a good partner to have shared the pandemic with.


I have learned what things I can live without and what things are essential to my happiness. Knitting is one of the essentials!


I'm not sure if I learned that much about myself, but I did learn that my family is every bit as awesome as I thought! I'm so proud of all of them -- far and near -- for endlessly being willing to make the best of things and keep people safe at the same time.


I have discovered that getting enough sleep (working from home) and getting more exercise (walking) really does make a positive difference in how I feel & work.


I’ve learned how to pretty much stay in the house and enjoy it. I’m still trying to learn not to get so upset when family goes out and says they haven’t.


I’ve learned that I can adapt and that I don’t have any problem staying home for days as long as I can go outside for at least a short time.

Jennifer Edwards

I learned that disconnecting from the news (aka the hysteria) every once in awhile (like 3 months) was good for my psyche. I read the bare minimum (okay, masks are now required in grocery stores, here is where your local tests sites are) but taking a break was good for me and I really didn't miss anything. I think that is a lesson for each year - take a break every once in awhile.

Jean Richardson

I kind of like staying at home all the time.

Donna A Briede

I have learned that I am more adaptable than I thought I was. Working at home now in a job they said you couldn't telework, but we figured it out....even with our 65 plus brains! haha. I have also learned how to be an anti-racist, in tge world around me and in myself. It helped me reexamine how I grew up.

Gaylyn B

I learned just how much I depend on walking everyday to stay calm, collected, and motivated. I knew it was important, just not how important.
I am so blessed to live next to a state park that is perfect to get that exercise accomplished.

Linda Furtaw

Iv's learned I would make a great hermit


I've learned quite a few things about myself these past nine months. First, I learned that I really don't mind being at home and that I have tons of things to keep me occupied including knitting. Second, I learned that I really do like cooking and trying different recipes. It provided a really nice outlet for me (and my family) . Third, I learned that I sort of eat a little too much being home and that I can truly be a couch potato. So, I'm going to change that one up. I noticed that I have a streak of optimism in me which has helped a lot. But I think what I learned most of all was that I am so grateful for everything I have: my family, my home, my health insurance, my friends, and my knitting.


I'm exhausted. On New Year's Day, our friend had a hit & run in front of our house (she was the victim). On January 8, my then-9-year-old son was assaulted at school, and his permanent front tooth was broken. And that was just the start of this year. I've had severe insomnia ad anxiety. I've been on the wait list for CBT since August. I finally have my first telehealth visit this afternoon with the psychologist.

I'm not totally sure what I learned about myself. I keep doing the same thing over hoping for a better result. I guess that means I'm insane? Or maybe more of an optimist than I thought?

Kathy Robbins

Sharing quiet contentment within our household with un-busyness--sharing long-forgotten childhood memories with family and cherishing this new time in life together in gratitude.


I've learned that I'm incredibly lucky, in so many ways.


Definitely Learning to be Content in all things....Life is short!!
I choose to LIVE Happy😃
& LOVE Fully❣❣

Kim T

I’ve learned to live in the moment, appreciate who and what surrounds me and that small simply things make me happy.


I learned that I really could stay home and work and get it all done, and also get things done at the house. It doesn't feel like doing two full time and house...when I can do it all at once!


I’ve learned to be content with what I have. Looking back on my pre-pandemic life, I see how often I turned to retail therapy for recreation.


I learned that I can do both more than I expected and less than others expected and still keep everybody happy.

Thanks for the opportunity!


I've learned that giving/donating, beyond what I thought we could afford) is far more rewarding than I ever imagined.


I’ve learned that I love my family dearly, but that I need time alone to give my brain time to relax and enjoy crafting and being creative.

Sabrina Snyder

I learned that my husband and I can be home 24/7 for months at a time and not kill each other. I have spent more time alone with him than any time in our 38 years of marriage.

Lynn B

I have always felt grateful. Now, I really feel grateful- family, friends, furry friends and democracy!

Renee S

I am so grateful. My brother had cancer surgery and is doing well. I am appreciative...we moved this year and our daughters helped me sort through everything. My mom died in 2019 so we had a lot of her things too. I think we are going to love the new area. Especially when I am totally unpacked. We now live closer to the younger grandkids which is fun. Thank heavens for phones and zoom so I still have contact with family and friends.

Margaret Paschal

I've learned I have no tolerance for science deniers and those who won't follow public health guidance. I have also learned whom I will do business with going forward based on their responses to the governor's directives. Sadly, that means cutting loose one of my favorite LYS and a couple of restaurants. I am thankful you are doing things the right way. I have also learned I don't need as many clothes as I thought I did.


I think I've learned to take life more slowly and take one day at a time. Preparing for the future is necessary but so is living the day 'today.' I can't believe how fast the day gets away.

Joyce Correia

In this time of isolation, I've learned how valuable my spouse is to me. I've also learned how to keep my mouth shut!

Teresa Knittingdancer

I learned that I could enjoy time by myself.

Mary Chrisman

I have learned that I can still get out of bed after suffering emergency surgery and the most devastating loss I could imagine. Life goes on; sometimes it stumbles and seems impossible, but it does go on. With time I will find purpose; for now I knit.


I learned I can stay calm for the people around me.

Kim Holbrook

In general, I like being home, but I have learned that I’m not as much of an introvert as I thought. I miss people, the small, periodic interactions with other human beings. It’s been an eye-opener for me!

Peggy P

I've learned that I am really happy not leaving the house and that not having any plans for days on end is OK ... better than OK even.


A good lesson I've learned this year is that when you say you will do something - make sure you do it. Don't just say 'call if you need anything' Call that person and ask do they need anything. Even a call to check on someone is usually appreciated. It was a good lesson to learn this year.


I have learned that I am stronger than I have thought I was. There have been things in the past --healthwise that were hard for me and this year I faced some challenges and so did family members. But I did not melt or crumble in the face of this and other issues that came up.

Carol Rice

I have learned that I have things left to do, even if there are limitations on that right now. I love being at home, spending time with my husband (whom I have spent way to much time apart from during our marriage) and taking care of things here. But, there is still a world out there and many things left to see, do and experience; family far away to reconnect with and traditions to uphold, as well as new places and experiences to discover. Until then, I wait, here happy at home. I'll add that while I understand that not everyone sees things the same way, I don't have any tolerance for dishonesty - on any level- greediness or selfishness. I have been called on in many ways to do what I don't want to do, and have managed just fine, but somehow, so many seem to think they are the exception. A little less self-centeredness and empathy goes a long way.

Diane Jespersen

I have spent many hours reflecting on friendships and relationships. This year has brought our many differences to the forefront in so many ways.... Black lives matter, political differences, mask or no mask. I have chosen to take a stand now that I am in the latter stage of my life and seek those that choose kindness, consideration and unity of all humans. I am surprised to find that some I have had conflicts with in my earlier years, do not have these same values, so I have decided to let them go on their way. It has been such a weight lifted off of me to realize this and be ok with allowing them to move out of my life. Sorry for the long post.


What I learned this year, is that staying safe is very important. No shortcuts. Having been called back to work to care for Covid patients,I have no problem telling people to do the right thing. I also learned that I kind of like staying home, watch Turner Classic Movies and knitting.


I've had time to really learn how to knit and take more time for myself.

Georgia Green

Something new that I've learned about myself this year (2020) is that I am most consistently happy when I can (and do) continually analyze whatever situation or challenge I face and either reaffirm my previous conclusion or alter it and change my behavior.

Being on the lookout for new information is a mindset that is healthy and empowering, and paying attention to reality is energizing and gives one a sense of agency and control. (It is the opposite of worry or anxious thought.)

Experiencing anticipated change is less scary than being blindsided by it ... and having a plan ready -- even if it's not used -- is an exercise in mindfulness and confidence-building in terms of focus on what matters.

Yes, I derive the very human emotion of joy from logical analysis and situational awareness ... and I now recognize and value in myself that quality.


I learned that after 35 years of marriage, during which my husband traveled about 90% of the time, when he is home 100% of the time, I STILL REALLY LIKE HIM! He's fun to be with! Not sure if he can say the same about me...

Barb B

I'm thankful for our dog, True. He has given me and my family so many opportunities to laugh this year.
I think I have learned and am still learning that I don't have to meet everyone's expectations. Its okay to just say "no" and sometimes not to say anything at all. I've gone through some rough times with friends and we're still friends, Very thankful for that. This year has been a good reminder to live, laugh and extend mercy and grace to those around us both family and strangers alike.


I have learned to relax and not be so scheduled. It's ok to not have everything planned. I try to go with the flow.


I've learned that even though I'm an introvert, I really enjoy and have missed the interactions and connections that come from being physically at my work place.

Anna Marie

I learned how much it hurts not to be able to hug your kids and grandkids. We took so much for granted before this horrible virus.

FranCesca Winfield

My entire life I claimed the motto “Dum spiro, spero” ‘ while I breathe I hope! This year, 2020 in depths of this pandemic, having faced several minor health issues earlier in Jan, Feb, a serious family personal issue beg of Mar, & then contracting “shingles” mid-April, only days apart from having my youngest sibling mentally challenged brother “die” alone in a PA nursing facility, supposedly of complications of his “Parkinson’s” he developed in past 3-5 yrs....this was all during the very height of CoVid older brother being his custodian could not visit him or even to explain to him his condition if he were even able to grasp it...only thru phone calls to staff & Drs, but not to my younger was truly heartbreaking, & my older brother is still reeling from the entirety of feeling anxious & of course guilty, for which he truly has no reason to be.....and he’s not that young himself, being an older senior.. Even, if I had not “shingles” that very week of my brothers “passing” I would not have been able to travel with quarantines in place, from CT to PA for the graveside funeral which allowed only 8 maximum attendees......there was no wake etc allowed at the time......My brother & his wife & adult kids, with 2 grandchildren... my sister & her daughter in the area.....that was 8. My neice zoomed the service to myself, my other siblings & their families! Summer was a bit of short reprieve until the surge again started mid to late Oct & now again in Dec...the worst toll of the virus, with closings, quarantines & some lockdowns, in CT c at 6% of virus level....up from the 1-3%...we had earlier....& if all of the above was not enough, two of my closest friends were recently diagnosed @ of which after testing, biopsy’s etc....having talked her only this morning on her way to spend joyful holidays with her extended family in Maine.....she tested “negative” for breast cancer. Unfortunately, the case with my other dearest friend was not so...7 Wks ago from initial Uktrasound, to the biopsy, two surgeons later & fighting MD / hospital for her ins company for coverage of surgery required, good news...her latest surgeon ‘went to bat’ for her & instead of more waiting till mid January, she will be having her surgery on Dec 30th! Her case is not in the later stages, so removal of the tumor & subsequent radiation treatments, her prognosis is extremely good! So, this holiday season in reflection, &/finally getting to spend Xmas Eve & Xmas with my son, whom I haven’t seen since April...due to CoVid & distanc8ng, and although I’m somewhat nervous of being in each other’s company, he has had more exposure to people & working, & I have been mostly housebound respecting distancing except for a bi wkly visit to food shop, dr. Visit or pick up a library I’ve truly learned within myself, the power of “hope” to never give up in the face of adversity as long as one is ‘breathing’ hence the motto! I always said those words, & maybe at times, called upon me to get me through life’s travails....but this year was the ultimate lesson of “patience” and Hope for new begging in 2021...and thanks to the brilliant scientists and funding that went into the research, we now have a vaccine to combat the CoVid scourge and “hopefully” will be available to the general public in the ver near future. With that, “hopefully” we can go forward to some as semblance of normalcy, mayb not what we 3njoyed pre CoVid, but certainly more than the un normal life this year . “hope” is as powerful as genuine prayer, & the two together we can survive! Thank you for listening and the opportunity to participate in your generous gifting. I wish you a
nd your loved ones & all at SSY, a very Happy Holidays and a safe,healthy & beautiful New Year 2021!


I learned that I have been too busy. I have loved being less busy and haven't missed much of what I thought I would.


It's okay to narrow your focus and slow down.


I've learned that I am content staying at home and slowing down. I can be happy with far less "things" than I thought I needed.


I’ve learned just how much I love my family (my daughter and her boyfriend, my husband, my Mom, brother, sisters, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law) and I look forward to giving them all a big hug.


I have learned that I don't need all of the things I thought I needed. Slowing down this year has made me realize the joy of a simpler life and to embrace the little joys of life.

Geraldine Scott

I've become more laidback, not so anal about things. I've also managed to lose 25 pounds since July 1 by eating healthier!


I’ve learned that I can actually cook and it’s not as difficult as I thought!! I’ve also grown more grateful for family and friends.


Some of the things I thought were important have become unimportant and truly what I can live without; going on vacation to a far destination, less time shopping or going out to eat. Working from home was a struggle for me even though it was only for several months. Being an extrovert at work but an introvert socially, was totally upended being isolated at home. I now know that retirement will have to have a balance of both for food mental health.
I am grateful for what I have, don't miss much that I haven't had the last 9 months. I hope the pendulum comes back to center for our country and world and we find better ways to help mankind and our prescious earth. There are no do overs. Peace and blessings to everyone.

Jody Laake

I’ve learned to make the most of the situation whether it’s at work or home.


I have learned to enjoy the good times because we never know. What is around the corner for us. Relax, life is short. Enjoy the blessings God gives us each day


I learned how much I love being a grandparent! I never used to be a “little-people” person, but I’ve been caring for my first grandchild while mama and dada work from home and I find I can’t stand to be away from her. My heart will never be the same! Joy, joy, joy! ❤️

Toni Macomb

I've learned that I'm more social than I would have thought. I've always been good by myself (divorced, 70ies) a reader, quilter and recent return to knitting but prior to this mess I volunteered. I didn't realize how much I got out of those social connections. I miss them!

Chris Goudeau

I’ve been reminded that I should be grateful for all that I have. So many people have much less.

Brenda Melahn

I learned there is an introvert side that has been hiding behind an extrovert for 68 years!!!

Heather Jackson

Who true friends are. This year has been so crazy for all of us and its been tough to realize that all those ones who professed our deep friendships are not really friends merely acquaintances. Its encouraged me to make sure those I truly care about know that I am there for them.


I always grew up thinking that I'm just not an artistic person, that it's alwasy something i've admired but couldn't do, and i would always give up before i even try. This year I've learnt that creativity comes in many form, and picking up crocheting and paint by numbers has led me to express creativity in very different ways. I tell people I'm just following patterns or instructions or the numbers at first, but now over time, I realised that I am applying my own style by adapting the paints, patterns or colours where I can. I may not be as talented as true artist, but at least I was able to try new things and learn!

Sarah S

I've learned that I enjoy being home for long periods of time (except for missing seeing family sometimes). I actually felt a bit not-normal for being ok with it, but reading some of these comments made feel better - there are others out there who feel that way too!

I've learned that when I'm not happy or not content, I can tell myself, "You have enough," and it's surprisingly effective in comforting and grounding me.

Deb Gattshall

This year I have come to realize that I am not afraid of dying. The covid is a frightening thing and I guess I accept that if that is the way I go then it was ment to be. My real fear and anxiety would be the breathing part. I’d rather just go in my sleep not being able to breath would feel horrible. This may seem like a strange thing to learn about yourself but it is what it is.


I’ve learned how much of life is out of my control. And, in parallel, I’ve learned what I can control. I’ve exercised every day since some point in June. I’ve lost weight by making better food choices. I can control how I interact with others. I can meditate. I can’t control others, nor the devastating impacts of the pandemic, but I can make many choices that make me healthier and kinder.

Lisa Viviano

I've learned that I am way stronger than I thought I was and that there is no place like home.


I have learned much of what everyone else has said in the wonderful comments. What I would add is that, with more time to knit and less yarn available or harder to get, I especially realize the value of a healthy stash! I usually beat myself up over too much yarn, but in 2020 I have truly learned to shop my stash and I have loved every minute of stash-diving! Thank you, Allison, for continuing to manage to keep sock yarn available and shipping. Merry Christmas and Happy NEW Year!

Tricia F

I learned that I don't burst into flames when I'm on video. haha. It has taken me a while, but I learned that I can shoot video and edit it for limited viewing.

Christine Gushard

I've learned I have a greater capacity for patience than I ever thought I did.
I've learned my husband is better at vacuuming
than I am.......he's got himself a new job!
Most importantly, I've learned that better days are coming.

Tracy May Adair

I am capable - of learning, doing, being more than I was yesterday — even when the world seems to be suggesting we are not capable.


I've learned that God is faithful, even when things are difficult.

Stephanie Merrill

I learned that thought I wanted to work from home. Now not so much. Lol.

Vicki Maynes

I have learned that working is very important to me. I need a job to feel like I have a purpose. I also learned that I need time to myself without anyone else around. And, I learned how important seeing friends is to me.


I have learned to do my best and then just let it go. Don't look back.


I’ve leaned how to love myself again and not let negativity bother me. I have learned that I am a great mom even when I doubt myself. I learned that depression and anxiety doesn’t define me, it’s merely part of me.

Karla Hartzell

I have learned to say no and set boundaries and to serve myself before serving the needs of others as a means of making sure I am able to give the best of myself to those in need! Self care is so important!


I have learned a lot of people are not who I thought they were. For some that was good and for others, not so good. I've learned I LOVE to stay home! I've learned I work better when I am NOT at home. I've also realized how much I miss my brothers who are much, much farther away geographically than I wish they were. I need to figure out a way to make that distance more manageable!


I like staying home. It is OK to have a little daytime nap now and then, especially since I have been swimming a mile a day since June and I just turned 67!

Diane Franklin Muska

I've learned to relax and take advantage of staying at home with the pandemic and continue to learn new things. This year I've learned to knit socks, use double pointed needles, knit cables without a needle, and to continue to improve my knitting skills by trying new things or new techniques. This year most holiday gifts were hand knit items I had time to make. It's been a good lesson to learn to get back to basics, lots of home cooking and soups and no restaurant outings unless it's outside.

Nancy Iannone

I've learned to be more kind to myself in the last year. I would read about the projects others were doing and be critical of my lack of progress (or lack of motivation). Then I realized that keeping my husband and I safe and healthy in midst of a pandemic was enough. And if it takes me two months to knit a pair of socks because I'm distracted, that's ok too)


I love being at home

Alene Sternlieb

I have learned to slow down and enjoy my own company. Knitting has helped relax and inspire me. By creating things for people who are important to me, that I am away from has helped me to feel closer.

Kate s

I am (still) learning to let things go. And be more patient with everything.

Chantal Paquette

I have learned that no matter the obstacles, if you really want and believe in something, you can achieve it.
I’ve taken advantage of the pandemic to apply to teach a kindergarten class, even though I am only an early childhood educator, not a teacher, but because of the shortage of teachers, I’ve obtained a class! This is my life long dream (I am 50 years old) !
Even with all the restraints and conditions associated to teaching this year, even if I’m earning less than I was at the daycare I’d been working at for the past 7 years, I am overly happy with my choice and achievements!

Geri Heagy

I’ve learned to look for the positive and to choose joy. I can’t control everything that is going on but I can control my reaction and attitude in the midst of it.

Leigh Ann

My divorce was final and filled right before COVID lock down last March. I have learned I can take care of myself and make good choices with investments and other decisions I was not allowed to be a part of. I am also finding the person I used to be.

Rachel Elliott

I've learned that homeschooling is something I definitely am not cut out for. We'll stay virtual for as long as necessary but I will celebrate the day the kids are back to school in person.

Donna Stupfel-Smith

I learned that I have lots of patience, more than was the usual amount of patience I relied on as an elementary school teacher--in Kindergarten. I learned that my creativity and patience can carry me through the pandemic and can keep me continually inspired and motivated. Knitting lots of socks has help me center my energy and focus for the other things I work on. Peace.


I have learned that we ( my husband and myself) have been able to adapt to the situation "C"
We are not taking risks and have plenty to do here at home. Be Well

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