Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yarn Along

I type this riding on a writing high.

After receiving an email about it from a dear friend, I have decided to jump in with both feet and participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

Two days ago I wrote. And I hated it. And it made me so depressed. Like, incredibly melodramatically depressed. I won't even go into it. So I turned around, jumped ahead in the story, and inflicted those feelings upon my main character. End Day 1 of writing.

Yesterday I continued from that point in the story rather than the beginning. And while I would tremble to go back and look at that writing, it left me feeling excited, and happy. I guess tormenting your characters can lead to good things? ;)

And all of these things are just emotions, dangerous things to ride without caution. But after two days of writing and meeting the daily word goals (although I'm still one day behind), I feel like I am legitimately "doing" NaNoWriMo for the first time in years, and that makes me very happy. It seems that naptime is usually just enough time to pound out 1500-1600 words. So we'll see.


Right now I am working on a test knit for Little Woolens. It's worked up in chunky yarn and thus flies by very quickly! Malabrigo Mecha is delicious, and I find myself calculating how expensive it would be to knit a sweater for myself out of it ...

If it weren't for a knit-by-Christmas list as long as my arm I'd immediately cast on for all of Annie and Ashley's other designs, because seriously, how cute are those little knits?? Especially the Winter Hoodie and Trane Vest.

I set aside Possession for a bit to read a Catholic book about a teenage vampire for Halloween. (Yes. Maybe a review forthcoming?) So I'm still not that far in, but I'm enjoying it and stayed up far too late to read it last night.

Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Refreshment

The other day, I had a day that was ... not bad. But halfway through I realized: I really needed to get out of the house. Without kids. Everything I confronted--not just bad or difficult things!--filled me with a sense of, "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."

(I realized later that I'd had way too much caffeine that day. I'm pretty sure that helped fuel my angst.)

So I texted a friend to ask if she wanted to get together that evening. (The exact text was something like "Margaritas tonight????") We crashed a Mexican place and ate wonderful food and reveled in being ourselves together, just the two of us--even if most of what we talked about was still our children. ;)

Then we hung out in the car for an hour and just talked. (And saw a pair of stormtroopers ride past on bikes. For real. Pretty sure that was not the margaritas.)


The next morning, my mom came down and I took Michael out to breakfast while she watched the twins. I've been meaning to do something one-on-one with him for a while. I think it did a lot to lift up both of us.


Coloring is serious business. 

I've come to realize that I'm not very good at self-care. It took me a while to discover, because the typical picture of lack of self-care is a mom who spends all her time pouring herself out for others: caring for the children to the extent that she doesn't eat, take a shower, make any sort of space for herself, until finally she burns out. 

That isn't me.

I possibly make too much space for myself. Often in little bits throughout the day. But I also have about an hour to myself each day for naptime, and plenty of time after the kids go to bed. Throughout the day I hide in the bathroom and read. Or, more likely, I check my phone, since bathroom breaks don't last long enough to sink into a book. I follow rabbit trails on the internet, catch up on Instagram. I indulge far too often in treats while the kids are napping.

In short, I spend a fair amount of time on myself, but much of it isn't on things that fill me up. That takes a little more work. A little more intentionality. It's easy to pull up Facebook for a few minutes--a few minutes that extend into a longer period of time until a child interrupts you and you get grumpy because sheesh, they interrupted my me time. 

I do knit, and that fills me up. I think blogging more regularly would too. Or actually calling someone or writing a letter during naptime, rather than spending the whole time scrolling through Facebook groups filled with too many women to make real connections with. (Wonderful women, mind you. People I probably could connect with if I invested beyond the scrolling.) Or setting aside a little more time each day for prayer, conversation with God over a cup of tea.

But unless you have some solid routines, it takes work to do something healthy that refreshes and renews your spirit rather than just consuming an empty spot in your day. I am not good at working up that mental energy, and I really stink at routine maintenance. (I don't blame this on motherhood. I've always stunk at routine maintenance.)

So I'm trying to give those things that really feed my soul their proper place. The Instagram and Netflix (or their equivalent) will always be there to fill in the cracks, I'm sure; but I'm making an effort to use naptime, bedtime, the times when I'm actually free, on things that ask a little more of me, but give back in return. And I'm trying to be willing to make time for myself for things that matter. For prayer, for connecting with friends.

Every day's a new opportunity to try.

:)