February 21, 2018

A Study in Contrasts

Yesterday was a day that neared perfection, if you leave out the part where Clover tried to dig up my yard and flowerbeds. We were the beneficiaries of a beautiful, sunny, breezy 70 degree day. I spent most of the day outside swinging, knitting, playing, gardening and walking the pup. I wore flip flops and not so much as a sweater all day. Walking through the green space directly behind our house, puppy hopping around chasing leaves blowing in the wind, I lifted my face to the sun shining down through the bare trees, closed my eyes and soaked up the unexpected joy of feeling that warmth on my skin, the rain swollen river rushing by, the birds singing as loudly as they could. It was one of those perfect moments in time that you hope you can etch into your memory for always. I went home, opened the windows, stripped the damp bedding from the porch day bed, dressed it with a fresh quilt, threw open the curtains and read a few pages of a magazine. Glorious. Dinner was eaten on the front porch with my sweetie, visiting with neighbors and trying to make the day last as long as possible because I knew today would bring a day of rain and temperatures in the 30's.

Before I fell asleep, in a house that was slightly too warm to be comfortable but refusing to turn on air conditioning in February, I felt slightly antagonistic about the day to come. It seemed unfair to get that little tease of spring and then get plunged back to reality the next day. The truth is that without the contrasts we can't really appreciate either day and there is beauty to be found in both extremes.

This morning I woke up early to the sound of heavy rain. I curled up in bed and read and cuddled my kitty for a little while before getting up to start the day. I decided it was a good morning to make the carpool run in pajamas since there was no dog walking in my immediate future. Now I sit in the studio having just finished my tea and chocolate croissant and having just knitted a few rows on my large, cozy shawl that was too warm to knit on yesterday. I have Sam Cooke playing in the background, Emma's cat who is trying desperately to become my lap cat after almost 7 years of disdain for me, warming my legs, candles burning, fairy lights on as I alternate preparing for my next knitting project, putting fabrics together for a sewing project and reading. A slow, quiet day that can be savored and lived intentionally.

It is then that the truth occurs to me. I like this day every bit as much as I liked yesterday. Sometimes we need to lift our face up to the rain as much as the sun.

February 08, 2018

All the News that's Fit to Print

Let me start by saying that life with a puppy is hilarious, frustrating, exhausting, adorable and exhausting. Wait, did I mention exhausting twice? Our life pretty much revolves around Clover right now and we were stunned to realize that potty training would be the easy part. Golden puppies are notoriously challenging. And notoriously worth it in the end. So we muster our  strength, walk her several times a day, play with her for endless hours, buy her endless amounts of hard chewing toys, say Clover DOWN a lot, give up on keeping her off the sectional, take her to training and practice at home, go to bed and begin fresh the next day. Just thought I'd lay that out there for any of you romanticizing puppy life...like we did. But then look at this sweetie! We are seeing very clear signs of progress and the future good doggy citizen she will be.

So while life revolves around the golden one, I am soldiering on here, trying to get life to resemble something like normal. Or more specifically like the normal I'm wanting it to resemble. Since being shoved into menopause, I find myself getting overwhelmed easier, among other charming things like clumsiness, loss of ability to use my brain, hot flashes and a little extra padding around the middle. Lately part of what's overwhelming me is just...excess. Too much clutter, too much social media, too many notifications, too many books waiting to be read, too many shows on the DVR, too many things on my calendar, too many things on my to do lists, TOO MANY TO DO LISTS! I feel like I'm suffocating under layers of excess.

I'm working to reel it all in- to make it manageable. Who wants their life to feel overwhelming? Personally when I'm overwhelmed I just shut down. I find myself unable to make the simplest of decisions. It's not a feeling I like.

I'm not one of those people that glorifies busy. I crave small, quiet, peaceful, still, organized, calm and creative. Those things can't exist for me where chaos and overwhelm are living.

Happily, even with all of the time invested in the puppy, I'm still finding time to knit a little here and there. Sometimes, who am I kidding, often, I long for the occasional long lazy day of tea drinking, netflix watching and knitting. I know those days are not lost to me forever. Some days it just feels like forever!

Until then, I've been making it a point to wake up an hour early each morning and cuddle up in bed with my knitting and my cat who isn't overly fond of coming downstairs with a crazed pup.

I've also been meditating (almost) daily after having it recommended to me 3 separate times in one week, including by 2 of my medical team. While I have long considered knitting to be my mediation, I found a great app called Insight Timer that is free and I would really recommend it to you.

While I'm enjoying some of the changes I've implemented this year, I'm in very real mourning for my Sacred Day and am trying to figure out how to carve some Sacred time out for myself. Like for everyone else, it can be a struggle to find time for everything. Even while being more intentional with my time, by the time I make my way into the studio I'm often too exhausted to do more than sit and knit a few rows of a simple project or do some reading. This too shall pass. I repeat these words to myself often.

 I have a bit of a plan I'm trying- to chose something to focus on each week both creatively and around the house to help combat the overwhelm. I'm also working on a bit of a daily schedule that will help me focus my time and energy more effectively. And while I have enjoyed beautiful snowy walks in the woods with Clover every day, I am more than a little excited about spring and the rebirth that accompanies it.