A Little Time

The weekend went at breakneck pace, with Joe setting me up with internet access,  power and his laptop in the car, so that even though we were off to North Bay to get Sam set up for camp, I didn’t need to miss a single moment of work. This was both completely thoughtful and entirely demoralizing, since I was hoping to have no choice but to take a few hours off and knit in the car.

We trucked up to North Bay (I’m going to tell you about the shad flies sometime. It’s nuts.) sorted our girl, stayed in a hotel (I worked while Joe and Sam went to the movies) then mobile officed all the way back to Toronto again, where I packed, slept and then made my way yesterday from Toronto to Portland for what should be the last critical meetings for Sock Summit.

As I was waiting to get on the plane, I was flipping out a bit.  (That’s an understatement. If I was flipping out a bit then let’s say I’m also only "a bit" concerned for Charlie Sheen’s grip.) Here was 5 hours of a workday coming, and I had no internet, and therefore no database or email and…

As I sat there, I wondered what would happen if I just didn’t worry about it. There was nothing I could do.  I could feel totally crappy and anxious about it, but it wasn’t going to make it possible to work on the plane.  It was just going to make me more neurotic, and that’s- well, this close to Sock Summit, that’s saying something.  They called the flight, and I snapped my laptop shut, and I made a decision.  I was going to take that time, and I was going to enjoy it. 

I got on the plane, I took out my sock and I watched a movie, and had a snack, and looked out the window at the amazing landscape below me – and I didn’t work at all, and I don’t feel bad about it, and now I’m even looking forward to the flight home next week. 

If nothing else, it means I might someday finish the June socks.

78 thoughts on “A Little Time

  1. Good for you! That’s wonderful. I still sometimes forget that not worrying about something that I can’t change is the only way to stay sane.

  2. Why would anyone worry about Charlie Sheen even a little bit? (Except maybe his mother). Glad you made a mature decision to enjoy the plane ride. You probably added years to your life:)

  3. *checks*
    Well, we didn’t sucked into a black hole. Sock Summit still appears to be on. I am assuming that you are not posting from beyond the grave, so the plane didn’t crash and wasn’t struck by lightening.
    I guess that means that you’re cleared to take a few hours to yourself to recharge and relax!

  4. Your socks are past the 3/4 mark!
    Aren’t you a tad bit worried about running out of knitting for the flight home ;)?

  5. I hope your last meetings go amazingly well, and that you enjoy your flight home as well! I so wish we were making it out for Sock Summit – we’re going to aim for next time! 🙂

  6. Taking time off on occasion can allow you to retain just enough sanity to let you finish the work when the break is over. I’m busier today than I would have been had I not taken off part (not all) of Sunday — and I did work Saturday and Monday, despite the holiday here in the U.S. — but that short break is possibly the only reason today’s workload hasn’t plowed me under. No guilt! As a freelancer, I’m grateful to have work and for the people who trust me to do it, but no one can work seven days a week without an occasional break!

  7. It is good that you made that sanity saving decision. I also think you might want another assistant if (when) you do this again to help save you from the summit!

  8. Good for you. No-one can work all the time. I’m soooo envious that you’re allowed to knit on planes over there – not so on flights from the UK. Sigh….

  9. Sanity, thy name is knitting, I truly believe it. We had a laptop failure here also., so mine is doing double duty, school for my son and sanity for me.

  10. Every interaction I have had with the Sock Summit team has been amazing. I had my fan moments when I got email signed by you. A credit card payment SNAFU was handled in a friendly and caring way. I love dealing with what feels like a team of real people ( not a mechanistic army from a foreign land who know nothing about knitting). You and your team are great. You deserved a few hours of rest.

  11. Hooray for a few hours of knitting time, regardless of how you snatched them from the jaws of work! And good job on “sharpening the saw”. (there really needs to be a knitting metaphor there…)

  12. Glad you were able to make a conscious decision to stop worrying and just enjoy the situation. It sounds like you are working way too much anyway.
    Thank you for making me appreciate the luxury of being disconnected from the Internet sometimes. Not too often, but sometimes…

  13. I am so glad that you took a break, you deserve it! I had a weekend away from the computer, and I am not afraid to admit that it was nice. I was able to get some knitting done and visit with friends. Hope you enjoy your break 🙂

  14. I’m thinking maybe the worry-free plane ride was courtesy of all the hours you worked in the car? My only other words of wisdom are, “This too shall pass.”

  15. I will have thoughts on the ‘completely thoughtful and entirely demoralising’, but at least some bits of the day worked out, which is great.

  16. What’s the old adage? All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. Glad you got some fun time in.

  17. I grew up in North Bay. Whenever I get homesick, the universe gently reminds me of the shad flies, and the pangs of nostalgia disappear. Crunch, crunch, crunch! {shudder}

  18. Breathing is always a good option when the stress of life gives you no other option but to….breathe!

  19. I think it is good for us to all take a step back sometimes and really look and see if not doing x,y, or z is going to make a critical difference. And taking the time to do something purely for your mental health means you will be better able to come back and finish a,b and c that are required! The june socks look great!

  20. That’s the only attitude to take in a situation like yours. That’s what I told myself on the 17 hour flight to Australia the time we went to the airport without my suitcase, and not enough time to go home to retrieve it. ” Well, Barbara…. You can be miserable and ruin the 3 week vacation, or you can relax, enjoy the flight, and shop as soon as you arrive in Sydney!” So I bought souvenir T-shirts for all my kids and wore them for 3 week, laundered them when we got home and thanked them sweetly for the loan. The worst was having to buy underwear, a winter coat, and a swim suit all at the same time!
    But it was a great trip, and I’ll never forget my suitcase again!

  21. LOL!! I lived in North Bay for 6 years back in the 80’s and I’d forgotten about the shad flies!! Thanks for the pungent reminder.

  22. This is meant in a concerned, kindly way: you work too much. Just sayin’.

  23. Uh-oh. As one of the Very Lucky Sock Summitters (HOW many?!!!), should I feel guilty about all of this work we are causing you? Each one of us is a small fraction, but the work that you and Tina and Team 2 put in is, well, rather scary. Then add a sheep-shearing, spinning, knitting to a sock(s) contest; charity knitting/Ravelry meet-up qua baby shower; extra lectures at the last minute; plus a flash mob dance of our love-of-skein in case we (participants) weren’t already going to be on sensory overload… Well, it’s enough to curl even MY hair, which would be a feat in itself. So relax and remember that whatever gets “left out” we probably won’t know. There will be PLENTY going on – just keep track of the !@#$%^&*!@# walkie-talkie! Thanks for your energy and your humour, as always.
    Irene in MI, but not for long.

  24. I copped that attitude some years ago on a return flight from Gatwick to Minneapolis. I was at the airport on time, I was in line on time, and half an hour before flight time, I was nowhere near the front of the check-in line. I took a deep breath and decided either I get on the plane or they give me a room for the night but either way, I was on vacation until I stepped in my fron t door. Well, an hour and a half later, it was finally my turn. The plane had not left but there were no more seats. I was carrying my suitcase, a carry-on loaded with books and – really – a lavatory aka in the US as a sink for a very small bathroom in the house. Did I say there were no more seats? There were no more seats in COACH. I got bumped up to First Class and did not have to sit with the sink under my feet all the way home. This was back when First Class was cavier and toast followed by Filet Mignon and champagne, etc. Lovely. And worth the deep breath.

  25. Steph—I’m so glad that you took some time to yourself! It’s always nice to look up and see the landscape and realize that life indeed goes on even if you’re not working for a few hours.
    Kudos to you!!
    Can’t wait to see you in just a few weeks now!

  26. Amended adage: all work and no play makes Jane a CRANKY girl! (Took me at least 50 years to finally figure that out)

  27. SHAD FLIES? Oh horrors. I haven’t dealt with those in years but suddenly at the mere mention of their name the nightmares return of camp and lamp posts and screen doors so covered in shad flies that at first you don’t even see them.
    But your post really wasn’t about Shad flies was it. Sadly it’s where I got stuck and I just hope I can sleep tonight.

  28. If your brain doesn’t get to be in neutral (which is what it does during a movie) once in a while, you just blow all the circuits and can’t be organized, efficient and fabulous. So do a little neutral once in a while without guilt. Sock knitting helps, too. Round and round and round you go, and it is a little like yoga. A connection to the universe.

  29. Hurray for you! I make it a point not to work on airplanes (for my regular job) unless it’s a dire emergency, which seldom happens. That’s definitely MY time, even if I’m traveling for business. It’s so nice to knit and stay relaxed when so many others on the plane are tense and on their computers.
    SS 2 will go swimmingly no matter what!!

  30. Sweetie, for the next Sock summit, you really should hire some help and delegate!

  31. New skills are good – and important to learn. And practice. Make sure to practice!! LOL.

  32. Good for you! I hope your chill out time helped you to recharge and make ready for the SS meetings and stress.

  33. Breathing and knitting en route are just as important as working. Just saying…

  34. “Worry works! Most of the things I worry about never happen.” Mark Twain, exclamation point added by me

  35. I was afraid your punchline was going to be that the plane had internet access and power for your laptop just like the car, but your ending was much better.

  36. Yes, I’m also worried about Charlie Sheen’s “grip.” I wonder if he’s been quietly killing people since his last big splash in the headlines… In any case, Happy Knitting!

  37. I’m glad you got some knitting in! Flying is so awful these days, knitting is really the only way to make it tolerable. That, and beer. 🙂

  38. Balance is so important. The result: socks. Very nice June sock yarn.
    That Joe is a darling.

  39. In French, the name for ‘shad fly’ is Éphemère. They do get clouds of them in Montreal (but we don’t see them here in the Eastern Townships, being so far from the St-Lawrence I guess). I always thought that the brief annoyance was kind of worth the arrival of summer…

  40. Just came from North Bay myself today and the shads are absolutely gross! Even though I grew up in northern Ontario I still can’t get used to them. Yuck.

  41. I’m so happy you took a break. It was the smart thing to do. Now you can look ahead to feeling refreshed on the plane ride home.

  42. You remember what Tom Cruise’s dad said in “Risky Business” don’t you? “Sometimes you just gotta say, ‘what the heck’.”
    And the only person on this earth who should be worrying about Charlie Sheen’s grip is Charlie Sheen. An adult who always has someone else worrying after them (in his case, many someone elses) has someone else to blame and clean the mess when the poo hits the fan.

  43. You did the most important work you could have done Steph, you took care of yourself. That is an important task that we all seem to forget to do. However doing it means you have the strength and sanity to do all the other stuff that seems to always take priority but if you fail to take care of you it is not possible to do the rest

  44. So glad you got a break; and the socks are just beautiful. I love the yarn.

  45. There is much in the world we can’t control – like computers frying their brains right in the middle of something crucial. All we can control is our reaction to it. Well done!

  46. Wow, the word ‘snapped’ jumped right off the screen – I could feel that lid snapping shut! I’ll remember this next time I think ‘more more more’ ‘faster faster faster’. Bravo you. Sending best energy the meetings are fabulous.

  47. My husband’s boss the judge used to say, “You can do 13 months’ work in 11 months if you have to–but you can’t do 12 months’ work in 12.”
    Applies to shorter breaks too. Glad you took one!

  48. Boy, isn’t it great when you can achieve such a state of peace of mind?? If only I could get my husband reason like that when we’re stuck in traffic and he’s on and on about the waste of petrol, the waste of time, the waste of this and that…
    Anyway, good for you and your June socks!!!

  49. <3 As usual, I loved the post. Growing up along the Mississippi River, I can identify with the shad fly thing. Don’t miss it at all. You all make us feel like slackers Steph, you work so hard.

  50. Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. you needed some down time. Love the blog!

  51. Well you should be okay in the computer department as the bug was passed on. I was reading your post about the computer and bike problems when suddenly my monitor picture started to shrink and then a loud pop and a blank screen. The monitor is dead. The poor thing was like your washing machine, it had seen years of use and countless hours of viewing so it will be given its proper burial and the flat screen will take its place as soon as DH finds where he put it when daughter returned from college three years ago.

  52. I managed to take crochet on a flight for the first time from the UK this year but knitting is a no-no. As for this mobile working in the car malarky – put that to bed Harlot – driving time should = knitting time, unless you are the driver of course!

  53. I’ll take shad flies over black flies any day! When I lived in Parry Sound, I remember the dash from the house to the truck, wearing a bug shirt to work in the garden and the gritty feeling of scratching bug bits on your scalp……. It was like being the guest of honour at a blood donor drive 24/7!

  54. What a good decision. And the reality is that you’ll have been so much more productive from just unplugging for a while.

  55. On NPR,Talk of the Nation, July 4,2011, I heard Jim Axelrod talk about his book “In the Long Run”.
    Among other things, he said”I had introduced this simple but fundamentally important idea of doing something reliable and dependable that I could control, designed to bring me a sense of well being. For me it was running…but for other people it may be knitting, or it may be biking. It could be golf. It could be reading poetry…basically you need an anchor.”
    But you already knew that.

  56. Stephanie, so glad you were able to unwind on a plane. I can do that on a leisurely Amtrak ride too. The stress, anxiety just drops away as the train pulls out of station….I need to do that sometime with a knitting project in hand.

  57. So very pleased with your oh-so mature decision making skills. If you really can’t do anything about it, well, you can’t do anything about it. Hope everything smooths itself out the way it’s supposed to.
    And as to the shad flies, in southern New England we have mosquitos, ticks, and the occasional voracious ant, but still. Lucky us. (oh, yeah. The occasional tornado. Since when!!)

  58. You got it, Steph. Fretting over something you can’t do anything about for 5 hours is not going to get you anywhere. It will all work out in the end.

  59. Happy you finally took the leap. The only thing in life that we are in control of is ourselves, personally. Easy, wasn’t it!! Have a blessed day. Teri. 😉

  60. Good for you! I’m glad you got control of yourself and had some quality knit time. I’d much rather keep reading your blog posts than hear about you on the evening news. 🙂

  61. This has nothing to do with the current blog, but
    you might want to have the mayor of Portland fix the mistake in his proclamation from “crotcheters” to “crocheters.” I don’t think anyone will be working on crotches.

  62. Welcome to the best weather of the year around here! Take a deep breath, relax for a few minutes, and envision crowds of happy knitters enjoying the fruits of all your hard work!

  63. Personally I like the wifi on the airplane, it lets me play Words with Friends like a demon…

  64. Yay!! Shad Fly season in North Bay! Nothing in the world like it!!! My family moved there when I was 12 and I thought they were exaggerating when they told me about it but…well if you saw then you know!!!

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