My husband recently encouraged me to listen to the Tim Ferris Show podcast. I love listening to podcasts while I knit, and was especially intrigued by an exercise Tim talks about in his Best of 2016 segment. In a nutshell, he reviewed his calendar for 2016 and wrote down his 80/20 analysis: “20 percent of activities, experiences, or people who produced 80 percent or more of my most positive emotions and outcomes.” The same is true of negative emotions and outcomes…20 percent of activities, experiences, or people produce 80% of the negatives.

I hauled out my calendar from 2016 to remind myself of events and people throughout the year. It helped me to face some realities on the negative side…the kinds of things I tend to use “magical thinking” on. I have a tendency to be blind to the truth of situations that I would like to sweep under the rug.

Happily, the positives far outweighed the negatives. I didn’t realize how many wonderful friends I have. True to the rule-of-thumb, about 20% of the people I hang out with bring me about 80% of the positive emotions that come from friendship. A common theme was that my favorite bonding activities are taking walks and (no surprise) knitting.

Designing is a therapeutic positive for me, even when parts of the process leave me filled with insecurities and frustration. In the end, the results are worth the effort.

Another thing that was consistently a positive was going to Stitches events. I love the energy of being around other knitters, I love taking classes, and I love seeing friends. The takeaway? When I look at the calendar of events coming up, I should say “YES” to Stitches and other learning events.

I also love book signings and teaching workshops. So, note to self…plan more of those in 2017.

Vacationing with my husband is great, and so is hiking our old favorite trails in California’s Central Coast.

San Simeon

The upshot of my 80/20 analysis is that I was reminded that my life is really great. It also shows me areas that I can improve upon as we close out this year.


I’m grateful to all those who read my blog and knit my patterns, and to my great family and friends.

Happy New Year!