Friday, April 28, 2006

Home Grown Philosophy

I had a moment of clarity in the shower today.

I faced up to the fact that I am sick, I have been sick for a long time, and I can't keep on pretending that I'm not. In nearly sixteen years, I've learned to do that physically, but I suddenly realised that I haven't truly done it intellectually. I have to some degree - I know I couldn't put in the concentration, and possibly not even the understanding, needed for higher degree study for example. But at a more basic, at home level I have refused to do so.

Beyond the everyday, family and household things, there are the things I want to do for me, the things that make me feel personally satisfied and challenged and fulfilled.

I still buy books as if I could read them at the same rate and with the same ease as I did before I got sick (and that's ignoring the fact I didn't have a husband, a child or a household back then and my mother did all my washing and cooking). I still imagine I'll read everything that sounds interesting, and then I get stressed and frustrated because the to-be-read pile and my expectations keep piling up until I feel they're going to topple over and crush me.

I still have a heaps of embroidery designs I want to do and plan out to the distance of years ahead what I'll stitch next - that Dragon Dreams after the one I finish now, something like ten Mirabilias I want to stitch, Heaven and Earth Designs, Chatelaine and a host of others. (You notice I generally don't pick small projects to put on my to-stitch list.)

I want to do everything I ever think of for Character Creations and struggle to keep moving at a steady and sensible pace because I want to do it all now.

To top it off I went and got myself hooked on Digital Scrapbooking as well and now plan to do Marcus' journal that way.

(Let's not mention that time-sink called the Internet.)

I'm not prepared to give up these "me" things. I need them and I've been holding onto them jealously, taking time for them when I should be resting or playing with Marcus or spending time with Dave. I've lost so much I've been determined to keep all these things.

And I can't keep up with it all.

So today, I had a moment of revelation. If I want to hold on to these things, then I have to accept that doing them will take longer than I currently think it should and/or I'll get less done. But that doesn't mean I have to stop doing them, just enjoy each moment I get on one of these things and let it all take as long as it does. I need to pick out what's really important to me and accept that some of the lesser stuff will have to go by the wayside.

Practically, I'm taking that in the following ways:

Books - Stick with the things I really want to read. Accept that some things I think sound interesting just won't be read. Don't stress about that, just enjoy what I do read. Make sensible choices and don't get sidetracked from them by temptation. Be okay with it taking me to take a week to read a book I might have once (sixteen years ago!) been able to read in one or two days.

Stitching - Focus on the now. Enjoy what I'm stitching and stop imagining what I'll do next and next and next (something I'm very bad at). Go back to a weekly rotation with the projects I most want to stitch - that's Defender of the Kingdom, Dawn Star and Alpine Seasons. I'll put in a fourth slot for "free choice" which means I can do a bit extra on one of these or do something different (that is one of my current WIPs - I refuse to add more at this point as that would add to the stress). For the immediate future that slot will go to a gift for my niece- or nephew-to-be.

Scrapbooking - Do it when I feel like it and scrap what I feel like. If it takes another year to do Marcus' journal pages, that's okay. I have all my LJ entries from his first year safely saved to my home computer, I have the photos and the momentos I saved at the time. They're not going anywhere.

Character Creations - Work as steadily as I can, try not to take on too much extra and don't get stressed if things take a little longer that I first imagined.

I hope I can make it work. I hate to waste that clarity.

On a much less philosophical note, I did get some stitching done today - I worked on Alpine Seasons while watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Because it's so hard to get out to things like the movies these days, I hadn't seen it before. I was delighted with it. The kids were great - Lucy is a darling - and matched my childhood visions of them pretty well. The beavers were totally cool and Aslan was brilliantly done. I also loved the very last Narnian scene where the grown up kings and queens are hunting the white stag. They had matched up their adult actors and child actors so well it worked perfectly. I'd kind have liked it to be a bit more explicit that Digory had been to Narnia too and therefore believed them, but I can't remember know if that is actually in the book, or if I just know it because I've read The Magician's Nephew and know how it came about. I certainly hope they keep making more of them - they're clearly got the CGI and the techniques to pull it off now.

Oh and the griffins - they were the coolest. I want one.

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