Staying home. Yarn shop closed. Friends and family afar. A looming fear of illness. So much uncertainty. But rather than see dark clouds, I choose to see rays of sunshine. And am grateful for those I discover each day.
I've been inundated with emails from every corner of life, all commenting on these hard times, and the need to stay strong, stick together, and offering various ways to make it through this very scary time. It's so easy to be overwhelmed. I myself have found myself taking deep breaths, to be sure that I can washing my hands more in an hour than I ever have in a whole day, and weaving my way through out-of-the-way displays at the grocery store in an effort to avoid passing someone in the aisle. And the news is a double edged sword - you want to watch so as to stay informed, but it can be so scary and depressing. Had I been asked a month ago if this could happen, I'd have scoffed and declared "No way! This is America." That sense of safety I've taken for granted all my life has suddenly been seriously challenged. Given that, I'm choosing to take a different approach.
A very dear friend and fellow maker shared her strategy to maintain sanity through all of this - a coping method I myself have put to use when times are troubled. She focuses on the things that she's grateful for, listing five each day. I myself have a wonderful tool titled "The Five-Minute Journal." Bought it several years ago after loosing my dad (I beleive its still available on Amazon). The journal has you start the day by listing 3 things you're grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great, and a daily affirmation - "I am . . .". At the end of each day, you again check in by reflecting on 3 amazing things that happened, and how you could have made the day better. My challenge with each entry is to find the less obvious things in my life that make each day wonderful. You know, the little nuggets that are there, but need to be ferreted out. I thought I'd share one of my days' entries. Here goes!
(March 31, 2020)
Three things I'm grateful for today.
1. My hands. There are a lot of obvious parts of me that it would be hard to live without. But my hands bring me constant ways to feel joyful. Most obviously, to ply my craft. Without the use of my hands, how would I knit socks?! Or touch yarn. Or pet my puppies, dip a chip in salsa and guacamole, type out this blog entry. Or hold my husband's hand. I am most grateful for my hands.
2. My three dogs. I can't imagine my days without my oh-so-loyal little buddies by my side. Yes, my Westie Petunia is incredibly bothersome when she barks at the dog on TV. And if Lily asks me one more time to go out . . . honestly, a 45 pound Labradoodle should not need to pee every 30 minutes. But what loyal friends. They love me regardless. Whether I'm in a bad or good mood. No judgement for not wearing make-up and spending the day in my jammies. They curl up next to me on the couch as I knit, and fight over who gets the closest spot by my side (Tatonka, my 12 year old Cairn Terrier usually wins as he's the elder statesman of the bunch). And man, are they the best greeters. Whether you've left the room for a few minutes, or are returning home after a long day gone, I never feel more welcomed and wanted. Yup, I am most grateful for my furry friends Lily, Petunia and Tatonka!
3. Nice soap. As mentioned already, I am washing my hands A LOT! My daughter, the RN, told me that it didn't matter if the soap says 'anti-bacterial', so long as there's warm water and you wash for a minimum of 20 seconds. Whether that's true or not (I'm not an expert on the science of disinfecting), its what I have. A couple months ago, I stocked up on fragrant and moisturizing soaps for around the house. French Lavender, Gardenia, Lemon, Peony, . . . I'm actually enjoying each hand wash, basking in the lovely scents as I sing "Happy Birthday" to my self. And if over the next month at home, I run out of the floral and citrus scents, I have an abundance of holiday scented hand soap that I can dust off and enjoy. Merry Christmas in April!
What would make today great?
1. A great sandwich. Going to order and pick up a delicious sandwich from a the Beaverton Sub Station. One of my favorites. Good eats and supporting a struggling local small business / restaurant at the same time. Score!
2. A list. I naturally get stressed when my things-to-do cue begins to grow. So a list would definitely make today more enjoyable and manageable. From the many things involved in running For Yarn's Sake (including writing this blog entry), to planning multiple days of meals so as not to go to the store as often, to just taking a shower. I love ticking off things as I get 'er done. Accomplishment is a powerful drug.
3. Knitting. I think this will be a recurring entry. The newly released 2020 Shetland Wool Week hat pattern, "Katie's Kep" is calling me. The quandary? Which of the four colorways to tackle first.
'I am . . .'
A home body. Yes, I miss going out to eat, or to grab a beer at the local tap room. But for the most part, I prefer to stay home. With my husband and kids (currently 2 at home), my dogs, my favorite TV shows, and a whole lot of yarn. A good attribute to have as I look ahead to a month of staying in.
There it is - the first half of my entry for the day. And I feel hopeful and happy, looking forward to my day. And actually excited about the end of the day reflection, as I enjoy that glass of vino whilst knitting my Katie's Kep. Hope this inspires you all to find your way through this chapter of life.