0

Birthday Philosophy

It’s that time of year again, which make me feel reflective.  I thought I would share the following navel-gazing thoughts about birthdays, my “birthday philosophy” if you will.

When I was younger, I felt awkward about my birthday because I didn’t see what was worth celebrating. Not that life was bad, just that “birthdays” seems like a really weird concept when you are shy and don’t want extra attention. After all, it was just the day I was born, I didn’t do anything special.

As an adult, many people find that the birthday is a bad reminder, but I have never been one to dread aging. I don’t spend enough time in front of mirrors to worry about looks, and other elements of senescence and mortality can come to the unlucky young, as well as the old.

But sometime in my late twenties I realized what it is about birthdays that I could really find worth celebrating. As an adult, birthdays become a milestone that mark an achievement: Each birthday represents another year in which I have kept my **** together. That’s super important as an adult. And sadly, not something everyone can say every year. Maybe it’s a low benchmark, but seriously, it is really worth celebrating every year. I am doing a passable job at being an adult.

And so here we are, another year as an adult, and I feel I am doing a passable job keeping it together. Go me! I have made my minimum benchmark and that is worth celebrating!

On top of that, my particular role and circumstance at this time means I am helping keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, keeping a small child out of trouble, maintaining a good relationship with my spouse, my friends and my family. And on top of that, I can make pretty things and delicious thing with my hands, which adds a lot to my life. I have so much to be grateful for throughout the years of my life so far, and this year feels like it has been an especially good one.

I have plenty of blessings that I cannot take credit for, and so much help along the way from friends and family also. So really, the one thing I can say I have truly achieved is keeping it together another year. Good job, me!

Aside
0

I think I’ve finally settled on a new look for my blog.  I had kept the same style and header for about 4 years, but I was feeling like the look didn’t reflect my thematic change in the last couple of years to cover all of my crafty endeavors, and not just my knitterly ones.  I wrestled with the current WordPress setup and tried different themes until I got one that resonated.  Then I used my graphic design skills to make a background and header that pulled it all in.

I’m still Unravelling the metaphorical Argyle.  I’m still untangling techniques and improving my crafting.  But my artistic life has never been just about knitting, and I think my craft blog finally reflects that complexity.

0

Sharing the journey

I went to a fiber fair today with my Mom, and on the hour long car ride our conversation covered many topics. We talked about sensitive family relationship issues. We talked about shared history. We talked about parts of our histories before our paths crossed. And of course we talked crafts, crafts, and more crafts.

This woman who has done the Mom job for me for over half my life is so like me in so many ways. As we traveled to the fiber fair together I could not help but reflect on ways she has influenced my personality for the better. I also had to reflect on the fact that we have both been a big influence on the other’s crafting personality.

In the years after we first met, the only craft that I ever saw her do was needlepoint on those plastic canvases. At the time, I’ll admit I thought it was a little lame, although I would never judge another’s craft so harshly now. I was a young teen and had dabbled with some kits, sewing, a little jewelry-making and polymer clay. As a little older teen, I got more serious about sewing.

Halfway through college, I started petitioning for a spinning wheel and she helped my Dad find me both a wheel kit and lessons. Not long after, she taught me to knit, which until that point I didn’t even realize she knew how to do.

From then on, it became a craft journey shared, although I didn’t recognize it at the time. It has helped us bond tremendously over the years. We encourage each other, share tips and processes, share equipment and stash, share laughs over the pitfalls of overcrowded craft storage. And we also seem to share a passion for dabbling, a desire to learn all the techniques, a propensity to be inspired broadly and be undaunted by the prospect of learning a new skill. Who learned that from whom?

The credit for my creative life goes to both nature and nurture. My Dad, the Mom who had the first part of my raising, and the Mom who has had the rest of my raising have all been very creative and very encouraging of my craft explorations. As an adult though, what I value most is getting to share the creative journey with the people that I love.

Until next time, keep those needle clicking…

0

Limitations…

I have discovered a recurring pattern in my knitting hiatuses. Mid-semester every term, I guess I must be too overwhelmed by all the other priorities swirling around me to knit. I have a fair bit of knitting time available to me every day on my commute to and from work (usually either my husband drives or I take the bus). And I have a little tv time most days that I could be taking advantage of as well. But lately, I just sit with idle hands.

And this happens every semester, right around the middle. I have overdue gifts to knit, and fun, easy novelty projects as well, but I guess there’s only so much activity I can handle. Sometimes people see my finished projects and ask “How do you have time to do it all?” The answer is that I really don’t, and sometimes those limitations catch up to me.