Who am I kidding. Not only am I not back in the saddle, I am unclear on where the horse I am supposed to put the saddle on might have got to. I try really hard not to be the kind of person who wallows, who feels bad for too long, who gets in the deep end and swims loads of laps in the self-pity pool. While I’m not sure that I’m super successful at it every time, I try hard to be someone who only sits on the edge of that thing and swishes my feet around for a bit, and then towels off and goes to work, so a few days ago I dried some of my tears, put on clothes slightly less stretchy than the ones I’ve been wearing (I almost put on a bra but that seemed like overkill, considering our positions) and I thought “Right Stephanie, let’s get to work.”
That’s about how far I got – see above comment re: missing horse. In my life, like in a lot of yours, a whole bunch of stuff disappeared at the same time. I admit, the grandchild was a a very big deal and really what I had intended to keep me busy in the next little bit (along with being Elliot’s best friend so he wouldn’t mind the presence of the usurper) but besides that all the work I had booked for the next bit (read – this whole year until June) also evaporated, leaving me wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do with myself. I’ve only been unemployed once before (ironically, it was the last time there was a pandemic) and it is possible that I’m terrible at it. I love to be busy and have a lot on the go, so usually if I find myself in a lull for work I throw that time into the family – but I can’t be with them either, and similarly it’s not like I can go find a friend to amuse myself with. No, it’s me and Joe – here in the house 23.5/7 and amidst my grief and anxiety over all that’s going on, I have made rather unending attempts to be… busy.
My house has never been cleaner – the drawers more organized, the laundry more up to date… and I even lost my *&$%#$%ing mind and bought shelf paper on Amazon. I’m not even totally sure what the hell I’m supposed to do with it, but in the moment it seemed important and like it was going to be helpful. I have been cleaning like mad, and if you are right now feeling bad that you haven’t been tidying your way through quarantine and feeling like maybe you should be, rest assured… it’s not nearly as satisfying as I’d hoped and I can wholeheartedly assure you that you shouldn’t bother unless you’re absolutely possessed of an urge to do so. I did repaint the kitchen door that’s been a mess for 17 years, and that felt pretty good but only took two hours. I’ve also been meal planning and cooking a lot- and that’s at least managed to keep us out of the grocery store except for the once a week per family we’re to keep to, so there’s that. (I admit that I’m finding it a little challenging to plan a week or ten days of meals based on how long salad lasts but I’m getting the hang now. One word. Slaw.)
In the end though, as my ability to manage comes creeping back, as I get some footing on all that’s happened, It is my same old friend that’s here for me. The one that’s always there no matter what.
When my mum died, my urge to knit went with her, and so it was with Charlotte as well. I think now as I did then, that for me knitting is so positive, so constructive, such a powerful way to move onward that it is a terrible match for my first intense wave of grief. For days Meg and I both held our knitting, moved it from room to room, looked at it and thought about it, but very little knitting happened. Then all of a sudden as the fog started to lift, as we started to feel the possibility that the world was going to keep on turning, both of us picked up steam and now we’re unstoppable. (Joe had to drop off more yarn when he took Meg and Alex their groceries, so she’s making great time.) I knit a sweater for Elliot over the last 10 days of so – I’ll show it to you tomorrow I think, but now I’m onto a proper full-size man sweater for Ken, and it’s all I can think about. (Not totally true, still trying to figure out the shelf paper thing.)
It’s Rift, which has lots of plain knitting but just enough details to amuse a knitter, and begins with a fabulous tubular cast on that’s just the bees knees.
I’ve spent ages patting it and stretching it and admiring it, and I’m pretty sure that Joe’s tired of talking about it. (While he feigns knitting interest pretty well, his ability apparently falls off sharply when I ask him to enjoy cast-on minutia.)
Thank goodness then that in all that it feels like I’ve lost over that last few weeks, I’ve still got you, my blog – and I can ask you and know that you’re there to answer with honesty and sincerity…
Isn’t that a really great cast on?
(PS there is also a sock.)