Friday, December 19, 2014

Off-Kilter

I feel a little unbalanced these days.

I decided to take today off work. It was the last day before we closed up for the holidays, and I was just out of steam. I put the "pro" in "unproductive" this week. I decided I was better off staying away from my desk.

So, I woke up this morning, and for the first time in a long time, I stayed in bed. I didn't hop up and go to the gym/for a swim/for a run. I didn't jump into the shower and zoom off to work. I just... stayed there. That was strange.

We're leaving on Sunday to go to my family's house for the holidays. I'm normally crashing through the last few days of work before we go anywhere, and so my packing method is usually of the oh-whatever-I-can-buy-more-underwear-if-I-need it style.

This morning, apart from my toothbrush and some extra toiletries, I finished packing. That's two days earlier. That's strange.

I have a little poinsettia plant that I rescued from work last year. It was sitting in an arrangement that none of us realized was actually a living plant until the leaves started to fall off. I took it home and put it in a pot and figured it would do what most poinsettias do after the holidays: turn green and busy and never resemble anything Christmas-y ever again.

I looked over at it a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time in my life, a poinsettia is turning red again. Around Christmas time, even.

Strange.


And... for all my protestations and disgust over the whole "ugly Christmas sweater" trend right now, I have a feeling that my latest knitting project is just going to join the theme. I'm not so sure about this one:


I dunno. Maybe I just need some proper time off, totally switched off from work, with enough sleep and nothing pressing to do. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the merriment of the holidays more than I am. Here's hoping it all evens out somehow.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Knitting Towards Contentment

Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it. --Boethius
This week, I threw myself into work. I worked, and I worked, and I worked. I rose in the morning, I went to the gym, I ate food, drank coffee, and then I kept working.

When I went home, I knitted. I wanted to finish my Mehndi to wear to the company Christmas party on Friday, and I knew I had a bunch of work to get done on it if I wanted that. I pulled a couple of marathon knitting sessions, and by Thursday evening, I was stretching it onto my blocking boards. On Friday afternoon, I yanked it off the boards, sent the pins flying everywhere, sewed the final ends in while I stood in the living room with my coat on, and slung it around my neck as I walked out the door.

It is a beautiful finished object: so much loveliness, so many intricate stitches, every single one placed with a purpose. The yarn, Cascade Heritage Silk, is smooth and warm and showed off every single stitch. I marvel at their engineering, and how the twisted stitches create the scrolled effect that attracted me the moment I laid eyes on the pattern. It is exactly as I wanted.



I wanted to wear it with this dress, which I purchased back in September. This is an approximation of what it looked like on Friday, minus the heels and the two hours of wrestling with my hair into something of an elegant updo. I'm surprised any of my hair is left after that tortuous session. Next year, I'm wearing a friggin' hat.






And now, I've reached the weekend, and I've finally let myself rest. All of the work was just a distraction, as you probably have guessed. My brain doesn't seem to want to believe that Rascal is gone. I feel sad, and sometimes I feel silly thinking about it. "He is just a dog, after all," my brain says.

But he was my family.

I had a two-hour nap yesterday afternoon, and when I woke, the hubby opened a card we'd received in the mail. We thought it was one of the obligatory family Christmas cards that appear each year.

This one was from the staff at the vet's office.



After a week of work, I broke down and cried again.

After that, I got up, took out my swift and ball winder and wound a few skeins of yarn to start working on my next project. I knitted a swatch, made some calculations, did a bit of research, and I'm going to start on it later today.

Because what more can I do? I can only keep knitting. This is all I know how to do. And perhaps someday, it won't be so sharp, and I will feel content.