Saturday, May 29, 2010

Requiem...

...for my Aunt Joan, who died today. I never had much of a relationship with my grandmother, but thanks to Aunt Joan, I never felt as though I was missing out. She was strong, kind, loving, and tolerant. A Christian in the best sense (she believed, but never forced her views on anyone). The keeper of my family history, teller of the stories I would never have heard without her. The anchor that gave me a sense of history, of permanence, and the comfort of knowing about my family's past.

Today, the world lost a wonderful woman. Today, I lost a part of my heart. Today, I am trying to celebrate the woman she was, rather than mourning my loss of her. But I am not having much luck, and while I am celebrating her life, I find I can't stop mourning her passing. Today, I realized she will never dance at my wedding, meet my children, or watch me graduate college.

I realized, with a certain amount of horror, that I don't have very many specific stories about my aunt. She has been a part of my life, but I have more of a general sense of comfort, love, strength, and humor, than I do a stock of anecdotes. I'm not sure how to feel about that, but I am holding that sense of her close, and remembering her.

"And if you were with me tonight,
I'd sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
god wouldn't let it live.
May angels lead you in."

--Jimmy Eat World

Rest in peace, Aunt Joan. You are loved, and missed, and will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Off...

I have recently discovered several facts about myself. To help make things coherent (and a little quicker, since I'm still not blogging from my computer), I have organized them into helpful bullet points.

Discovery 1. I have a very had time telling people no when a)I am asked to help on a project, whether it be at work or outside the office b) a friend or family member asks if I would like to hang out/go somewhere/do something/etc. no matter how busy I am or how much else is going on or c) volunteers are needed for something.

Discovery 2. I am very, very good at managing my time when I am outside the office, to the point where most of my weeknights, and all of my weekends are so segmented it feels a little bit like I'm back in school, what with all the switching off and the segmenting of days.

Discovery 3. It is supremely difficult for me to balance work, sleep, feeding myself and others, training, softball (i joined a sport, go figure), keeping my house from becoming a health hazard, and my hobbies.

Discovery 4. Failing to balance these things correctly results in me curled up in a ball in my shower sobbing because the laundry needs to get done, the house is a wreck, I am exhausted, and there hasn't been a day off in weeks.

And there, my friends, lies the problem. I have been trying to be everything to everyone and to do everything all the time for months now. That has resulted in me needing to be 'on' all the time. You know, having to be awake and motivated and productive and functioning and whatnot. There hasn't been a weekend, much less a week, where my schedule has not looked like I was on some sort of twisted media tour from hell. What little time I've spent at home has mostly been used for cleaning, catching up on laundry, and playing 'what's that smell?'.

I'm not sure quite why I feel compelled to let myself be this busy. I know what my limits are pretty well by now, and I know what happens when I push them. I think a large part of it is that I'm compensating for last summer, when I didn't go anywhere or do anything and was barely conscious for two months or so. I don't want to feel like a lump sitting on the couch for days on end. However, I don't want to end up feel exhausted and overwhelmed all the time, so I think it's time for a break.

Yup. I'm going to start standing up for myself. I'm committed to some things, like my 3-day training and softball (they needed another girl to play, and i am a sucker), but I don't need to book my weekends or my off nights quite so frantically. I need to make sure I have time to do things like nap, and read, and stare off into space, and weed my garden, and spin and knit and generally just relax. I'm not setting rules for what I will and won't do, and where I will and won't go, but I am going to make sure that I have at least a day to catch up on the housework and relax.

Even as insane as things have been lately, I've managed to finish two long-standing works in progress. They're both scarves, so I feel particularly accomplished. And now, I'm allowed to start my lace shawl for me. I also started a plain sock over the weekend. I'm going to be daring, and see if I can finish a whole pair of socks before the end of the year. Since I have six more months, and no other small projects that I can travel with, this just might work. I wouldn't recommend placing bets on it, though. Especially because I just dyed my first batch of roving this week, and I have another neglected craft I'd like to start working with. Now that there's light, and I have space in the house, I'd like to start doing some lace work. And, since I am nowhere near my camera, I'll have to leave you with a picture of the antique materials I inherited a while back.

In review:

--Less insanity, more relaxing, probably more blogging. Total win. All coming soon.
--I actually finished two projects, but they are both one-row scarves, so they're not very exciting.
--I actually hit the ball and made it to first base in our most recent softball game. I am impressed with myself, as that's been my only real goal, aside from not getting hit with the ball.
--I dyed some fiber, but it hasn't been washed or dried yet, so we'll see how it turned out later this week. It's mostly sort of pinkish.
--Someone asked for a link to donate to my 3-day fund, so I am including one here. http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2010/PhiladelphiaEvent2010?px=4909297&pg=personal&fr_id=1468