I went to bed last night with a stress headache and no surprise I woke up with a stress headache. Why? Knitting.
I work some crazy hours. Early mornings and late nights. I work weekends when I know I shouldn't. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do, but sometimes I can't stop myself.
My knitting is sitting patiently waiting for me to come back to it. I keep telling my projects that I'm just going to finish this one thing and then I'll sit down and knit. But working from home, it's just too easy to find myself wandering back to one of my work spaces and "just do a few things".
Life gets in the way. Groceries! You'd think my family needs to eat EVERY day the way they carry on! All I can say is I'm glad that the PB&J exists. My dishes are piled up in the sink and my kitchen is messy. My laundry is clean but stacked in so many baskets I could build another wing of my house. As far as I'm concerned, as long as it is clean that's a solid win.
So with those things all swirling around how did knitting stress me out? I have some items I really want to work on that just need a little time to figure out, calculations of gauge and whatnot. I have some items that I want to knit and need to knit that my kids have requested. How can I say "no" to knitting my son mittens when he was so excited about the season turning colder that he drew me a picture of what he wants his mittens to look like this year? My daughter was in tears about a fur lined hat. I can't do everything right as a mom, but I saw that as an easy hero mom moment. Of course I want to knit these things.
But then I decided I would challenge myself to knit something in October. Why? Because I feel my knitting slipping away. I have told myself for days that I'm going to sit and knit on something and then I work myself so tired, all I can do is hold it in my lap as I stare blankly at old episodes of Dr. Who. I'm so tired I can't even watch something I have to follow a story line for.
I worked a very fast paced day yesterday but got all of my work done early and decided I was going to sit down to knit last night. But then I started thinking about my knitting challenge. The guidelines were not strict but didn't include the things I wanted to make for my kids so it is a project in addition to these projects.
I spent the whole night searching for a pattern to challenge myself to knit and when I had finally decided that this was the pattern for me using stash yarn, it was time for bed. I missed my opportunity to do the thing I had taken all night to plan. I felt so upset and discouraged. Then I got angry. Why did I think I needed to challenge myself to knit? I don't just get time to knit, I have to schedule time to knit and then fight for that time. Isn't that challenge enough right now? Why did I do this to myself? And then I started to resent the project that I picked out because it was just another demand rather than a fun thing to do in the moment with a great accessory at the end.
How do I recover? I remember that I am a big baby. I am pouting about a pattern that I wanted to make anyway and now I'm just being contrary because I challenged myself to knit it by a certain date. Maybe what I need is easy going projects with no challenge and no deadlines, but maybe, just maybe if I readjust my perspective, I can see how this is perfect for me (if I can get over myself for just one second). If I am working so much that I can't find knitting time, this could be my ticket! It is my excuse to knit, my requirement to take some time for myself.
Recently I decided to start running again. I have taken a long break (cough, a year) away from running and I kept making every excuse that I was too busy and it just wasn't the right time. When my 60+ dad came to visit a few weeks ago and had me struggling to catch up with him on a walk, it was a wakeup call. "Danie, we have GOT to get serious about taking care of us!" (I often talk about myself as though there were many of me. Get on board with that or get off the train. Ha!) So I added running to my morning schedule even though adding another item stressed me out at the time and I resisted it every time I went out. I have to remember how to take care of myself. Right now, I am building a habit of running. Two weeks in, I don't see it as a stress anymore. I have shown myself that I'm better at all my other responsibilities when I do things that take care of me. In fact, the busier I get, the more important it is for me to do the things that will keep me healthy.
This knitting challenge I have set for myself is a great opportunity to make a habit out of knitting. It is a great excuse to stop working late at night and recharge my soul. Sure, on the outside it just looks like Danie binge watching Netflix in her frumpy pajamas on the couch with her knitting, a muffin, and a cup of tea late at night, but let me assure you that's what soul recharging looks like.