January 28, 2011

Surprising Diagnosis

I've joked a lot of times about how contracting the occasional case of Startitis wouldn't be such a problem if I ever contracted its awesome sister-disease of Finishitupitis.  I frequently get the urge to launch madly into a thousand projects or tasks, but that's usually where it stops.  A bunch of stuff gets started, then the feeling passes, and the UFO (UnFinished Object) pile sits there- everything I began waiting for it's turn in the queue to come up again. 

Now, since I really don't feel like having a limited number of knitting projects on the go is a moral victory, or that I'm a better person if I say no to starting another hat... I have to say that this doesn't bother me a lot.  I'm occasionally motivated to try and tidy a few things up if the basket gets too full, or if I really want one of the things in the basket, but that's really more of a question of space or practicality.   Overall, I'm totally fine with having a lot on the go.

Note: This is just a random picture of the January Socks in progress- almost finished.  I put it up because I thought this post needed a picture and I haven't unpacked the suitcase with my camera cord in it yet... and Yes,  I was knitting in the car and trying it on to see if it was long enough.  No, I'm not the driver. Put your pitchforks away.

Imagine my shock this morning then, when I woke up, had a cup of coffee and then thought about how much I wanted to finish all my knitting projects.  All. Of. Them.  It was the strangest feeling.  I started thinking about all of them, and even began looking around the house for what was on the go and started putting it all in one place, assessing what needed to be done on them and imagined the order in which they would be accomplished. 

There's a pair of mittens that only need thumbs, another pair of mittens that have likely only a few hours work on them,  a sweater that I'm knitting in a little game with Andrea - that's got both sleeves done.  How long could the body take? There's socks that just need to have one of the toes done, that cashmere pair... upstairs there's a third of the Wild Apples bohus....

I surveyed all that I have on it's way to being finished, and for one perfect, clear moment, I imagined it all finished. I imagined myself standing in front of an empty workbasket, and in this vision - I was so incredibly happy.

This feeling is bizarre.  I stood there, trying to figure out what the hell it was.  I'm well acquainted with the urge to start new things, and I really want to finish single things all the time, but to have no urge to start something new and want only for things to be tidy, finished and put away?  That's like getting the urge to clean out your closet- not because you're afraid of ending up as an episode of Hoarders, but because it would be fulfilling.  I was stunned. Still sort of am.

I think, my friends, since suddenly developing a split personality overnight would be unlikely,  that I have contracted - as mythical as I've believed it to be until now... Finishitupitis.  (Now that I think about it, developing a split personality where one of the personalities wanted to start things, and the other on cared about finishing would be a pretty lucky thing. Especially if the finishing personality also liked cleaning- which is probably too much to hope for.) Getting my knitting done is all I can think about. Even while I was up in the little stash room this morning, a place that usually triggers some pretty serious feelings about starting about eighty-nine things... I was -  GET THIS - completely unaffected.  No urge. None. Nothing.  I went in to get a book, I got it.  I looked at all the pretty yarn and fabulous patterns and I thought something I've never thought before.  I thought "Isn't that nice" and then I walked away- headed for the unfinished mittens in the living room. It was like the stash had no power over me, and yes, I've checked myself for a fever. I appear to be fine. 

I think maybe, as I sit here at my desk telling you about it, that there might be some hints about how I finally contracted the disease.  I have a to-do list that is so long that it makes virtually no difference to spend a twelve hour work day on it. Sock Summit is such a mountain of work, that even busting a serious move in its direction seems like only a small step on a long road (which it sort of is, or at least that's 50% accurate, and I say that because Tina has a similar Sock Summit pile on her desk that I try not to think about.)  and I have a new manuscript on my desktop that is in its infancy, a very long way from done. I have about thirty-five letters that need writing, contracts to send, bills to pay and I'm really, really far behind on the laundry and I think that I just wish so desperately that some of those things were finished so I could feel like I was winning this game, that much like I always do, I'm using knitting to feel great about it.

With so much on my plate that is so far from finished, I think my brain looked at the stuff on my desk, then the stuff in my knitting basket and said "Dude.  I'd go for the mittens.  You stand a better chance."

Expect a flurry of finished things shortly- and also? Don't expect that one of them will be the laundry. I've got Finishitupitis.  Not a complete shift of my priorities.

Posted by Stephanie at January 28, 2011 12:11 PM