For most of us, going back to bed – no matter how desirable – just isn't an option. We all have lives and demands and tasks that we need and want to complete. But sometimes it can feel as though the world is out to get you and that the safest place – perhaps for everyone's sake – is under your duvet! But that's not how you get your children to school. Oh no: You become a dab hand at re-inflating said tyre, always carry your RAC card around with you and start saving your pennies for a military-style tank (or at least an alternative vehicle that doesn't have run-on-flat tyres; except they're not – and there's no room in the boot for a spare.) You accept that you're going to get covered in mud while you give the necessary cuddles to comfort. And you run despite the lack of music and take pleasure from the bird song and the rhythmic sound of your feet pounding the ground. You try to be positive and to remain positive.
But that can take a lot of resolve, sometimes needing us to dig deep and find core strength to face yet another challenge. And sometimes we can't do it. Sometimes we utter those four letter words, melt-down in such a manner so as to put any stroppy toddler to shame and raid the chocolate tin. Surprisingly, today doesn't yet seem one of those days. And I find myself wondering if there are any predictable factors that cause us to swing from one direction to another. Sleep would be up there at the top, but life is never that simple and I suspect some kind of response pattern as set by recent and distant events will contribute.....
Take, for instance, this weekend. I was away in Aberdeen teaching a sock knitting workshop at "Wool for Ewe" and it was brilliant. Met some really wonderful people and discovered a whole new yarn shop that is honestly worth driving all those miles to reach. It is packed with a gloriously large selection of yarn and a very distracting array of accessories. I didn't buy any yarn. This is a double-edged truth as yes, it's good in terms of staying on-track with The Plan but then, I didn't buy any yarn. And there were some lovely options. And I don't have any socks on the go – and it would have been so easy, so justifiable, to get just one of those brightly coloured 100g balls and cast on a pair (so portable, so satisfying, so relevant to the day's teaching) but I didn't. Others did – and whilst that is the whole point of running a yarn shop - I will admit to feeling a little envious. I left the store feeling happy, pleased with the day's workshop and relieved that I had not succumbed to any yarn. (If the owners of "Wool for Ewe" could refrain from divulging the details of any purchases I may or may not have made, I would be most grateful: Husband does occasionally visit me here.)
Less than 24 hours later and the sense of euphoria had left me. I was bored by my current knitting project and I wanted something new. In my mind's eye, I could see the beautifully arranged shelves and feel the bulging bags of yarn rub against my back as I circled the table in the workshop / stock room and I started to regret that none of it had made it into my hands. Classic yarn envy. This was unhelped by photos and messages from D excitedly sharing her recent scrummy yarn purchases, pattern links and invitations to join a lace KAL and, although I stuck to my knitting guns, I felt flat and uninspired by the offerings on my needles.
I suspect that I'm not alone in such feelings and this certainly isn't the first time for me – and probably explains the large number of projects that I have on the go. Or rather, had on the go. It's at such moments that I would make a hollow promise to myself not to forget the current project and then greedily cast on something new. But not this time. No. I am going to finish "Svala" before I lift any new needles for any new (non-work) related knitting. And last night, I did just that. I ignored the call of new yarn from the studio and I carried on knitting - despite the predicted lack of main colour yarn (this was why we first completed the body of the jumper). And despite having to adapt the colour pattern "on the hoof" so that I can have a matching pair of sleeves (they may not match the original pattern but it'll be a step too far not to have identical sleeves!). And what did I find? By bedtime I had completed 16 of the required 30 cm – and all of a sudden, I'm re-inspired! There is a dim light at the end of the tunnel and by golly I'm going for it.
So what have I learnt? That, somewhat surprisingly, there is a determination inside of me to see projects through to the end – sometimes even in a timely manner. That I can, sometimes, force the cry of new projects to quieten to almost non-discernable whisper. That that thought of casting on my next project is oh-so-much-sweeter since I know it'll only happen once Oldest Son's jumper is complete. That these small changes are actually making me happy.
Wish me luck!