In October of 2019, I saw it – a photo of a beautiful piece of art by @threesixfivestitches on Instagram. It was my first time seeing an 365 project and I couldn’t look away. Sam’s embroidery skills were absolutely masterful. At this moment, I knew that I wanted to create my own version of their 365 day journal. Even today, I am still in awe of this piece of art. I invite you to go and peruse Sam’s account.
At this moment in 2019, I had already expected 2020 to be a year to remember as I was going to be a Housekeeping and Front Desk Manager in Training with a start date of January 4th.
Nearly a month into 2020 and things were looking good!
I started out simple with my journal. The photos could have been a bit better at the start, but everything is a work in progress, right? I was documenting things like the finale of The Good Place, booking trips for the Summer, and starting a new job.
The job was going quite well. Occupancy at out hotel was doing well and I was learning a lot as a Housekeeping Manager in Training.
A third of the way into 2020 and I was finally starting to find my groove amongst the start of the pandemic, which surely wouldn’t last long.
Then the pandemic hit and things changed.
My coworkers and I didn’t think the pandemic would last very long, but then we were furloughed. While there aren’t many stitches in my journal obviously relating to the pandemic, there are stitches relating to how I was feeling at the time. Chill vibes was an inside joke between a coworker and I on the day we were found out that we were being furloughed. HAGS represents the phrase “have a great summer!” which was the phrase my coworkers were saying to each other on our last days at work. We figured we would take a month or so of rest, then come back to a busy as ever hotel.
Six months into 2020 and three months into quarantine life.
My family and I stayed indoors often throughout the beginning of the pandemic. There truly wasn’t much happening in April – June. I did a bit of cleaning, my car broke down, my car was fixed, I did some cooking, and I quietly celebrated my 25th birthday with a walk at the park. I truly did nothing throughout this time besides doing a tone of embroidery.
Though, when doing nothing your mind starts to run. I spent a lot of time thinking about a few years ago when we had visited my family in England and I had planned a detour trip up to Scotland. God I loved Scotland. It was the write type of chilly weather and I couldn’t get over the history and the culture. I had always wanted to move to the UK to be near family. But the idea of living in London didn’t sit well with me. Thinking back to Scotland, it seemed perfect. Glasgow was an up and coming tourist destination in the UK pre-COVID which would be perfect for me. So it was decided, I was going to move to Scotland after the pandemic had settled. I haven’t moved quite yet, but the process has begun!
Nine months in and a bone infection down.
I had accepted a temporary security job at a resort hotel, two and a half hours away from home, that somehow involved even more walking than when I had been working as a housekeeping manager. A few weeks into this five week job, I noticed that one of my toes was looking a bit off and painful. I found a nearby podiatrist who ended up telling me that somehow, without breaking the skin, I had formed an infection. One thing led to another, and I ended up back home with a PICC line in my arm getting IV antibiotics pumped into my system three times a day, every eight hours. Honestly, a lot of August through September is filled with stitches relating to all of my medical experiences.
Finished at last.
Shortly after my recovery, I was back at work as a Housekeeping and Front Desk Manager in Training. We had slim teams, but we made it work with what we had available. We experienced multiple wildfires in the area, interesting guests, and a lot of learning experiences. Outside of work, I voted Trump out of office, spent time with family, celebrated the holidays, and ate a lot of tasty food.
Personally, 2020 was a tough year for me, but I learned a lot and I grew as a person. And all the while, my embroidery journal reflected what I was experiencing. If you are considering picking one up.
2022 Update: Since writing this post I have created an in-depth embroidery journal guide which is available on Etsy. It touches on how to set up your journal, how to design your own icons, and so much more.