Friday, September 21, 2007

Change Is In the Air

I haven't blogged in a while. As Travis would say, I'm stating the obvious. I love to do that. But I feel like I just need to get it out there, you know? Honestly, I have been fairly blue the last couple of weeks, and I've been using all of my energy to fight off my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or "depression that hits me when Fall starts.") We had a week or so here that was actually a little chilly, and although I absolutely love Fall, my chemicals seem to feel otherwise. This pretty much happens every year, around the same time, and I have had a couple of days when I really wanted to give up, and just collapse into the depression. But, I'm not going to allow that to happen. I feel more prepared than ever this year to fend it off, and have been taking the appropriate steps in my action plan to stay well. I know this all sounds a little weird, but it works, believe me, and I have to do what works.

One huge step I took today was that I resigned from my job as a social worker at the hospital. I know that work has been playing a huge part in affecting my mood. Things just weren't getting any easier; they were getting harder and more stressful, and I felt like I had no support from either my supervisor or my boss. I really believe you can only push yourself so far before you break. I am not willing to break, as I have in the past. I do not want to allow myself to stay in a situation that eventually leads to me crying on the floor in my apartment without being able to pick myself up. My job helps me live my life, but it does not have to become it. And I've been on the floor in my apartment crying before. I remember what it feels like. I remember how painful it is to get out of bed, to take a shower, or to make myself eat a meal. I am not willing to go there again, and I think leaving my job will help to prevent it. This is me taking the steps to stay healthy!

Now for a little bit of panic (naturally.) I don't actually know what I want to do with my life at this point. Maybe I need a break from social work; I've been doing it for 11 years. It definitely wears on sometimes. However, I love what I do. (Yes, this is me talking out of both sides of my head. I tend to do that, too.) So, I've been searching online and applying for various jobs, some social work related, some not. Ironically, I called Cindy (my sister) yesterday to tell her I was leaving my job, and as it turns out, she needs a two year old teacher at her day care. She asked if I could start Monday! How fantastic is that?! No, it's not going to pay anywhere close to what I was making at the hospital. But it is a job, which means money coming in, and I am so thankful. Was that divine intervention or what?!

I have also been destashing over the last few weeks. I am feeling a need to clean out my home, my life. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have a problem with being materialistic. I have a tendency to shop when I feel down, in an attempt to make myself feel better. (This is actually a symptom of Bipolar Disorder that many people experience. Lucky me, huh?) I am making a serious effort to stop shopping and stashing. Of course, I went through my yarn first, and have sold a fairly large amount of it on EBay and Ravelry. This will obviously help a lot right now with paying my bills. I also cleaned out my closet, and have two bags for Goodwill. I offered my clothes that are too small to Mindy. Tonight, I scrubbed down my kitchen. It really feels good to cleanse my life.

I just have to keep reminding myself that all this change is good. My friend Lynn from work gave me a beautiful card today, and in it she put this quote:

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."

Yes, it is.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Goodness

As promised, here's Orangina.
Pattern: Orangina by Glampyre Knits

Yarn: 1.5 skeins Circulo Anne in Orange

Needles: Size 3 24 inch Knit Picks Circular

Started: 7/07

Finished: 9/4/07

I loved knitting this pattern. The lace makes it look so intricate and detailed, but the truth is, it was so easy to memorize. Plus, the yarn I used was super-cheap and yet feels great. I received a lot of compliments on this last night at Knit Nite. Kara took this picture of me modeling it while we were at Knitorious. I was terrified to wear something I knit out in public. However, not only did I wear it to Knitorious, but I also still had it on when we went to The Kind & I for Thai food! I have to admit, I'm still a little self-conscious about the weight I have gained over the past year or so, and at first I felt like Orangina made me look huge. I just have to get used to the new me, and to keep reminding myself that it's better to be a size 10 or 12 and be happy than to be a size 4 or 6 and miserable (which I once was.)

In other news, I received some absolutely gorgeous handspun yarn from Funky Carolina.

Bronze Goddess

Apple Blossom

This is my first handspun. Carrie makes such beautiful yarn and roving. She was even recently featured on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum (although I'd like to put it in the record that I ordered it before I knew she was going to be so famous!) So now I have to figure out what to knit with each skein. I honestly just keep holding them, unsure if I will ever have the nerve to knit them at all!

Now for Stitches Midwest. Here are a couple of pictures of the wonderful people I spent time with there. (Better late than never, right?)

This is Sarah (of The Plucky Knitter fame) and I the first night we met, with all our yarn purchases from the day. Unfortunately, I'm concentrating so much on being cheesy that I forgot to hold up my yarn.

This is myself, Shannon (Sarah's sister-in-law and truly awesome blogless knitter,) and Sarah the day we were leaving Chicago. I had so much fun hanging out with the two of them. We sat in the little bar in our hotel Saturday night and talked for hours, like we had all known each other forever. I think knitting does that to people; it connects them. Too bad my picture is so blurry. And of course, once again, I am so excited that I look cheesy.

Finally, this is my sister Cindy and I. She is 6 years younger than me, and I consider her my best friend. We had so much fun that weekend together, from the late night car ride there to trying to figure out where to park at the hotel to Cindy sleeping for 11 hours Saturday night. (I think she was overwhelmed by all the knitting.) Obviously, I was such a happy camper that weekend, you couldn't have slapped that smile off my face. I never dreamed I'd be so lucky as to have such wonderful people in my life.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Can You Believe It?

So, at Sunday knitting, I brought up the fact that I haven't had an FO since May. That's pretty sad, really. It's especially sad because my last FO was a garter stitch scarf. Hmm. However, as of tonight, Orangina is done. Can you believe it? I have another FO! Finally, I am proving I really can (and do) knit. I'm planning to wear it tomorrow to Knit Nite at Knitorious, where I will have Kara take a pic or two so I can show you this awesome project. It was a fun and fairly quick knit, and it turned out great. I'm so excited that it is my first adult-size knitted article of clothing that actually fits, and looks pretty good! I mean, I'm actually going to wear it in public, in front of other people; in front of other knitters, even. Woo Hoo!

You know what the best thing was about finishing this project? I got to call Kara and tell her it was done. I can't tell you enough how fantastic it is to have good knitting friends. Usually, I stand in front of the mirror in my craft room, and tell Muffin and Sam how exciting it is to have completed a knitting project. They are generally less than enthused. But Kara? She was thrilled, and so was I...