Monthly Archives: January 2018

How do I know?

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Step 1 of the 12 steps used in recovering communities, talks about realising that our lives had become unmanageable. At the end of my last post I was emphatic in my realisation that all was not right. The reason I know this… is because of ‘craft’.

I love to craft. I love working with the colours, textures and seeing things appear before my eyes. I love the sense of community it creates, not just with fellow crafters but also with recipients and onlookers.

I am currently recovering from some surgery a week ago and a wonderful family have opened their home to me. Rather naively, I think I viewed my time away more as a ‘holiday’ than ‘convalescence’ and was totally unrealistic as to how much I could do and how long I would need to recover… so in my innocence (or is that denial) I made sure I had plenty of craft to keep me occupied. Slash- understatement of the year…

IMG_3434compared to…everything else I need in one case…

IMG_3435I had to cover my bases for all potential eventualities, so I have with me:

  • sewing machine
  • a bag of necessary sewing machine accessories and haberdashery items
  • a bag of fabrics for sewing
  • 2 incomplete Christmas presents that I still need to finish
  • a repair of a disastrous Christmas present
  • an on-line sewing course I have purchased, as this could be a really good time to secure some of the basics a bit more
  • an arm knitting wool set
  • wool for knitting tea cosies- 2 of which are still owed Christmas presents
  • a part made tea cosy that needs some help making it fit
  • a picture felting kit to do in front of the tele- but just in case the noise annoys my friends I also have
  • colouring and all my different pens to do… but I had to make sure I had both thin and thick pens depending on the nature of the picture PLUS
  • I also ordered a giraffe decoupatch set to arrive at my friends house in case I didn’t have loads of brain space capacity… (p.s. the giraffe is 60cm tall)
  • PLUS: books: one book I really just had to finish, one just in case I feel up for some emotional stuff, 1 for the healthy living kick (that means I just have loads of books on my shelves about being healthy, but actually I’m still overweight, unfit, lethargic and poisoning myself with sugar)

therefore my friends’ entrance hall looks like this…

IMG_3436And, I haven’t even attempted ANY OF THEM (have done some colouring in bed and a bit of felting). HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I haven’t felt well enough to partake of those things I love and I have found it so frustrating!

I could have achieved so much this last week. I could have completed projects, started new ones… enjoyed it… created and experimented… and I haven’t. And the worse is, I have totally NOT coped with not doing this stuff. Something as innocent as craft has become another piece of evidence for my lack of productivity- my inertia, my laziness…

I’m not entirely sure I explaining myself properly, but I look at this pile of ‘stuff’ and just see ‘failure’. And on Friday I realised, this is not ok. I don’t want to live like this. There is nothing wrong with crafting. There is something not quite right when I am so frightened of not having enough to keep myself occupied I force my long-suffering friend to fill the boot of her car with my rubbish and I have an ache in my heart when I see all that I haven’t done this week. Thankfully, my addiction isn’t alcohol or drugs- but my driven-ness- may be socially more acceptable- but its a really hard task master and I’m not liking it at the moment- because its fine when I’m on all cylinders achieving what I need to be achieving- but when I’m not it is a horrible horrible task-master. It’s got to go.

 

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the next thing…

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I’ve got lots going on in my head… and most of it is fairly uncomfortable!

Unknown.jpegLast Friday, I finished my Master’s dissertation. I have been studying hard for the past 18 months and it’s finally finished. So what do I do… celebrate? congratulate myself on working really hard? purchase some new wool as a well done present?

 

 

No, what I do, the night before I’ve even finished is

a) start to have a melt down that the thesis isn’t good enough, I’ve done it wrong, misinterpreted the task and

b) I’m researching Doctorates and organising open day visits…

Give me strength. I find myself so exhausting sometimes.

I saw Penelope the next day and she did tell me in no uncertain times regarding point a) to get a grip and press ‘send’. I could cope with that, but what was more unpalatable was her challenge regarding doing a Doctorate.

Some background info may be useful. I had pretty much finished the thesis the week before, and I could feel panic setting in. ‘What was I going to do once it was over?” I also realised how ‘contained’ the Masters had been for me. While other madness has been going on, the Master’s was a safe space for me. And I didn’t fully realise it until I’m faced with it ending.

So of course, I did confess this to Penelope and unsurprisingly her challenge followed.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting to do a Doctorate- but the question is ‘Can I cope NOT doing a Doctorate?’ Can I sit with the lack of not ‘doing’ anything? Can I cope with just carrying on with the ‘status quo?’ Can I bear the feeling of not moving forward? Can I face the fear that I am wasting time, my life, my potential?

Actually, I think the answer is no. I can’t. I can protest and try and convince myself and others until the cows come home that I can. But I can’t. The fear of staying still, not moving forward, not having a ‘project’ terrifies me. Full stop. Society may think those values have some merits. But I know. And the reason I know is because I can’t NOT do a Doctorate. And that’s not ok. I don’t want my life to lurk from one thing to the next. I want the freedom to say yes and the freedom to say no. I don’t currently have that, but I will jolly well make sure I get it- no matter how long it takes. That’s far more precious that a Doctorate any day. But unlike a Doctorate, I have absolutely no idea how to do it.

images.pngThanks for listening.

 

Perspective

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I have not blogged for far too long… mainly because I’ve lost the publish button! I think I’ve found a way to publish from drafts, but it’s so frustrating! But whether this gets published or not, I want to write.

I LOVE the sight of Autumn trees. I think it is one of the most beautiful sights imaginable. The golden hues, abundance of colour, swathe of glorious beauty. road-1072823__340.jpgautumn-1072827__340.jpgfall-1072821__340.jpg

I was out driving with my friend Pedro, and I commented how much I loved Autumn. His response surprised me, “I don’t, it signifies the end of Summer.” And I totally got it. He loves Summer and when the trees start to turn, he knows that Summer is over.

It’s got me thinking about perspective. Seeing the same thing, differently. Neither is wrong or right, good or bad, rather just different. Equally valid, equally true but different.

In my job, I seem to spend a lot of my time talking with people who have different perspectives on things and the resulting conflict this can create. They heard me say something differently to how I thought I said it… they believed I said something that I have absolutely no recollection of ever saying… its pretty relentless sometimes. And then I saw this caption…

images.png I realised that seeing things differently isn’t the issue at all. The conflict arises when one of the party refuses to see that the other could also be ‘equally true’. The difficulty comes when one refuses to see that there could be another way/ interpretation/ understanding of the situation. I can work with conflict and people all day long, if we can both see how the other one could see this is a ‘9’ even though I see a ‘6’

I celebrate the arrival of Autumn trees, but I totally see why Pedro doesn’t.

Thanks for listening.