Friday, July 11, 2014

Knitting, avoidance and healing

   Some days, all I want to do is knit.  I crave the calm, meditative, mind managing peace that comes with the repetitive motions.  I love the way the yarn pulls through my fingers.  I love the colors, the softness and the gentle click of my wooden needles.
   This last year, I found that life had thrown some big rough things in my way.  I picked them up, carried them along and as also happens, I broke down a bit from the load.  But this is a story of goodness, peace, the gift of clarity and fresh starts that come only after carrying the biggest of rough loads.  The kind of goodness where  you learn that you actually get to make a  choice as  how you deal with the loads.  I had spent much too long  being really pissed off and sad and seeing the world through a whole lot of struggle. Clearly not the best approach at all.
    Summer got here right after I did a big vintage show which I did right after I had barely begun to shake off my pissedoffness and I would say that I just hadn't gotten my feet under me in many many months.  I came to understand   be told in no uncertain terms by my children that I needed to slow it down and when I say "it", I mean everything. They wanted me to pay attention to them and NOW, not when I get the next project finished.
    My youngest sons are both in high school, the oldest is a senior, halfway out the door and they both simply asked if I could just not always be in the middle of rushing or attending to my projects and business.  They asked to not have my business take over our home and every moment I was awake.  They were asking me  to be present and interested in them.  At first I had loads of reasons why I filled my days and mind with everything else; I vigorously defended my parenting style, my intentions and time management.  I proclaimed that I was doing "my best"; that was proven the fact that I attended and participated in everything for their football and events.  But, I can admit it  now,  I wasn't fully present in heart and mind when we were at home.  I was avoiding the mess I had made in our house, the mess I had made of managing my time with them and the fact that I missed knowing more of who they are.  They were more upfront and honest than I was in saying that they just wanted me around, really around. I was hiding behind my "business" as if that was a good reason to be so distracted from life. I was failing in the finding of balance. 
     So.... for the first time in as long as I can remember, I  put away the sewing machine, started moving fabrics out of every nook and cranny of our small home, put things into the shelves in the garage and stopped spending every moment either at the computer or the sewing machine. I just stopped it all.  I started hanging out, working with them to clean bathrooms, clear up piles of outgrown clothes and toss out what we don't need that is cluttering our living space.  We are doing this together.  I am working to give them back our home and give them back my attention. I will be ready soon  to check back in to my business, the sewing machine is calling my name and I've missed it but I've learned a great deal by getting a bit more present.   
   I call it Summer Girl Life, my slow quiet summer way of being.  Taking back the notion that life even quiet and noneventful at times is of value. It's not a flashy "look at me" life that I see on Instagram, (its hard to not compare, I admit I am competitive)  its more about small moments, time to listen to Jack tell a ridiculous joke, or watch World Cup Soccer with Hank because he wants me to be there with him.  I've read a book and watched movies in the cool  house instead of finding something more "important" to do.  We were gifted a sweet pool; we have floated, talked and ran in circles to make a whirlpool that sweeps us around the edge of the water like a carnival ride. There have been days when nothing much happens at all except hanging out and making big bowls of macaroni and cheese.  And I've been knitting and immersing myself in the calm meditative, mind managing peace found in the knits and purls of many hats. .  I needed to forget the big rough loads that came into the path and how heavy they were to haul around.  They needed me to just be here now.   There has been no greater gift  than a summer spent  just having a summer. And knitting hats. Lots and lots of hats.  

<3 Barbara


  1. It takes courage to admit that things have gone from enjoyable chaos to out of control. It's a balance we all struggle with. If you find the secret ~ please share!

    PS ~ LOVE THE NEW BACKGROUND! So Wildflower-ish!

  2. Oh Celicia Thank you. I have been trying to figure out how to make it all look better and less empty! as for enjoyable chaos, what a perfect term. It's a fine line isn't it...The secret is, know when your wheels are about to fall off and slow down...easier said than done though!

  3. You will for sure never regret taking this time out, and neither will your boys. Too bad most of us have Superwoman Syndrome ... makes it hard to scale back, but it's vital, as you've so wonderfully expressed.