Thursday, April 29, 2010

Strange thought yesterday....

I know, I know, it's not knitting, but....

I had a realization yesterday. I keep saying, "I'm trying to work as a freelance writer" or "I'm thinking about starting up as a freelance writer", but I realized yesterday-I've already sold some of my writing. Granted, I haven't made a ton of green on it, but...technically, that means I am a freelance writer. And technical is what counts, yes? So, while I may not be doing it this week (doing some set up and finishing up related research before I launch the 'working at it as close to full time as I can stomach' bit), I still am a freelance writer. I have done it, I will do it again, ergo, I am one.

Ye Gods, what else am I that I've missed or dismissed? What other terms apply to me that I've hesitated to use because I tend to put my own accomplishments down? How many flies have I swatted for which I take no credit? I'm going to have to take some serious stock of myself, I can see.

That, and work a bit on my wishy-washy verb structure. "Trying to"? "Thinking about getting started"? How pathetically apathetic! I'm distancing myself from my verbs!

As a writer, you think I'd be more careful about that, wouldn't you. I mean, what are you without your verbs? A sentence fragment, that's what!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lost my knitting mojo

I swear, I've completely lost it. I mean, two weeks ago, I was all gung-ho on my projects, getting back into an older lace project I'd abandoned. Now, I'm just too tired or allergically rhinited or whatever to even contemplate picking up my needles. And I'm sad. I enjoy knitting. Oh, it's not my life, no, but I love the yarn, the feeling of 'I made that', the craftiness of it all. And for whatever reason, the knitting goddesses have abandoned me! I'm a bit bereft.

I'm pretty sure it's the exhaustion of the mold season and the new freelance gig and all, but...I'd like to get back into my swing, you know? But there are times in everyone's life when new stuff comes in and crowds you a bit, because everyone knows that new stuff is always a bit bigger when it's new. And then you settle in, the new stuff wears down around the edges a bit, and you can jigger your time into shape again.

I'm still walking daily, I still brush my teeth twice daily (true fact: my mental health and dental hygiene are intimately linked--the more often I brush them, the more in balance I am; it's a handy little indicator for me rather like the plastic pop-up on a frozen turkey. When I stop brushing completely for more than one day, I know to get me to a therapist, stat!), my cat and dog are still getting their meds on time. Mostly. I'm moving to a more regular sleep schedule (so far I've mastered getting up 15 minutes earlier, although if I actually get out of bed is another breed of chicken entirely), so I'm trying to be up and moving before my most productive time of day (9am-12-ish). I guess I'm trending in the right direction, I just have to be patient with myself.

And maybe take a little cat nap. Not a long one (I've been dreaming wild technicolor lately, even when, or perhaps especially when I nap, which is NOT restful), just enough to blunt the tired. Drink more water, maybe. I could be dehydrated, too.

Meh. Maybe I'll knit later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That horoscope lady better get out of my head....

First, the knitting news. Then I will explain my title. Promise.

I went back to the stole I'm working on with my Great American Yarns Superfine Merino/Silk (and the name really ought to just stop with the "Superfine", only perhaps spelled "Supahfiiine!") I got to a full 10 pattern repeats when I realized I'd screwed up my maths. Oh, nothing fatal, really, I was just off by two stitches on the one border. It was visible and (if you're OCD) obvious, and it had messed up my pattern stitches on the edges in spots--slightly. To be honest, most muggles wouldn't be able to spot it, but I would always know I'd screwed up. I spent about ten minutes debating the issue, got up, had some dinner, came back...and then took the 10 pattern repeat section off my needles (this is why the Goddess of Knitting invented rescue lines) and cast on again with the next skein of yarn and the proper number of stitches.

The logic of this runs: If I prefer it in the proper number of stitches, I can just frog the first section and use that yarn at the end. If I find the proper number of stitches looks funny (the proper number being a smaller number of border stitches), then I can just go back and start knitting on the original block, fixing the issue as I go. Smart of me, yes?

Well, no. I mean, it was smart, but now I've got two segments of stole that I'm not sure I'm thrilled with at all! The first one is definitely lopsided and sloppy, but the other is almost too narrow. That might even out with blocking, but I can't guess (without blocking my uber-swatch, which would maybe do horrible things to the yarn itself as I'm not a pro at blocking.) I'm not sure what to do, and now I have options. I hate options. They make life so complicated.

I tend to work on my other, mindless pattern scarf when I'm at knitcoven, so at least it proceeds apace. I begin to think I'm using the wrong stitches for the amount of yarn I've got--I think I'll end up with either a ten foot scarf or a scarf and a half a ball of yarn. Bleh. The knitting is not going so good this week!

Now, as to my title, I may have mentioned I read my horoscope in our local paper because the woman gives excellent advice. Typically, my horoscope is something along the lines of "Be brave, there's no sense in being otherwise!" or "Your heart's true desire is attainable!" She's more a fortune cookie writer than horoscope writer*, although two weeks ago, she got a bit more...timely with her good advice.

The Saturday before Easter, my horoscope was "Make a decision before a loved one makes the decision for you." I remember the wording exactly, because I thought, oh, that's funny! What decision will my loved ones make for me that I have not made myself? Well. I should not have scoffed. Long story short, my family (ok, ok, just my sisters) tried to make an important decision about my life. I understand their reasoning, don't like their methods (the one was all tearful, the second yelled at me for a quarter of an hour), but I can't blame anyone but me for the whole incident. I mean, the one who yelled at me kept saying I was 'waiting for something to happen' and that's not how to live, etc, and kept telling me I had to do something nowrightnow about this situation.

I don't really talk about my plans or ideas or desires with my family, as these would not reassure them. They're all a completely different generation than I am, which means there are lots of generational differences that crop up all the time, and since I don't think like they do, act like they do or share the exact same values that they do, they tend to treat me as if I'm foolish. So I save my breath and keep my plans safe and secure, tucked up tight behind my breastbone where they can't get to them to tear them apart like harpies. Therefore, why should I be upset that they have no faith in me to figure out life for myself? Of course they think I'm just waiting for something to happen--I've never told them otherwise.

I've digressed, haven't I? Anyway...all the steam and dust and feathers just prodded me to do what I'd been intended to do (but feared doing). I finally, finally, submitted my first article to the freelance writer's clearinghouse to which I belong. It was scary, it was harder than I thought, but I've done it. I was going to try a second this week, but I don't know. I'd like to find out if I did my first one right before I take a second and maybe screw it up to ReWriteLandia. Then again, as I'm being brave, maybe I won't wait.

I wish I felt stronger for having done this, I wish I was more comfortable with insecurity, because, hoo-doggie, what's less secure than trying to be a freelance writer? If anything, I feel a bit drained. And like I'm trying to start for a migraine. Or maybe it's just the megrims. I don't know, but I've started it up now, and I've nothing to lose by starting, so.... *Gallic shrug* Whatever happens, happens. I'll just deal with it when it does!

*I would like to point out, I don't believe in linear time. This makes the issue of telling the future moot--as I don't think the future really *is* yet, if you know what I mean, so how can you see it, and it isn't set in stone if it does exist, so knowing would be impossible anyway. You might be able to guess a trend, but that's not the same. Anyway, I don't read my horoscope or my tarot because I think it's going to tell me what's coming next; I use both as tools for meditation and personal reflection, for the good advice tendered by the horoscope writer and to admire the pretty pictures on the cards.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Class and aplomb

I am in complete awe. Just absolute, jaw-dropping awe, at the courage in the face of hatred this young woman has displayed. Not to mention self-awareness and just general...making lemons out of lemonade thinking. I want to be like her when I grow up.

She can teach us all something about class under fire!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Procrastination (sung to the tune of that Carly Simon song)

I am slowly coming to peace with myself, and this week, I had to learn to accept my tendency toward procrastination.

Now, I know I promised not to babble on about my inner dramas and keep this a knit blog, but hear me out. I have a terrible procrastination problem. I'm not as bad as some people I know, but it's bad enough. Perfectionism is a terrible cross to bear, and I tend to exhibit it as an unwillingness to actually do something until I know I've planned it out to the most distant and implausible exigency. Which is foolishness; life is so incredibly vast and unpredictable as to make that level of planning impossible. Heck, just about any level of planning other than, "I want to get there, and this seems like it might be a good first step" is pretty silly, on the whole. I know this, have always done so, and accept it--therefore, the net effect of the whole bother is that I just don't do anything, because I can't plan it out to allow for every possible situation that might present itself and therefore cannot guarantee the thing will be perfect. I'm not lazy, I'm just...a perfectionist.

How is this about knitting? Well. As the rest of my life goes, so goes the knitting. I have beautiful yarn. Gorgeous yarn. Elegant, indulgent, incredible yarn. And I don't want to...waste it on the imperfect project. More than that, I don't want to waste my time on the imperfect project, the frogging of the yarn and the further seeking of the perfect project.

Honestly, I don't know how I managed to function as a reasonably well-adjusted member of society under this burden! How much time have I wasted waiting for the time to be 'perfect'? How many opportunities have I given up because the indicators/time/situation wasn't 'perfect'?

There is no perfect, there only is. All I have is time, who is to say that what I choose to do with it is wasteful just because it does not produce a perfect, ideal project? I am so sensitive to criticism (implied or openly offered) that I sit frozen, unable to actually do anything with my only asset, my time, that I actually do manage to waste it. Completely and utterly, as I will never have it back. This. Is. Stupidity.

If I choose to use my $32 a skein yarn for a simple, garter stitch triangle shawl, whose business is it but my own? If I choose to use my holiday yarn for an experimental pattern I'm doing that might just end up looking the dog's breakfast*, whose business is it but my own? And if, just by chance, I choose to take a low-stress, simple, low-paying gig as a receptionist while I work on my other, more personal projects, that make my life happy and give me (personal) meaning, whose business is it but my own? Who else can have say in what I choose to do with my time, unless my time usage directly impacts their well being?

So why am I waiting for perfect? It does not exist. I need to accept my flaws, accept my imperfect nature and do something already, for crying out loud. No, the timing is not perfect, it's not ideal, heck, it's not even good, but I need to do something. Maybe that will teach me that perfect, in addition to not being possible, is also unnecessary.

See? It had to do with knitting. :-)

*Ironically, my dog's breakfast looks pretty darn tasty, as I make it myself. Yes, Dog is spoiled. No, I don't care if you think so.