4

In All Seriousness….

I am depressed.

There, I said it.  Or rather, typed it. At this moment I am also looking over my shoulder, afraid someone will see what I wrote, afraid someone I know will read this and gasp with shock. They will point their fingers at me and cover their mouths in horror as if I have just contracted some horrific jungle disease. I am more frightened to publish this than I would be to bungee jump from the Empire State Building in a saran wrap thong. Actually, yes, let’s do that thong thing instead.

This post was supposed to be about knitting, or how much I am looking forward to the upcoming year, or how great my holidays were. I wanted to be able to tell you those things. But I wouldn’t be keepin’ it real and, as many of you know, I’m kind of a fan of keepin’ it real. So – Confession time: All I want to do right now is stuff my face with chocolate and roll up burrito-style in a big down comforter and cry myself to sleep in a dark room. But I can’t do that. I have a husband and a 6 (almost 7) year old son who depend on me to function like an adult. I cannot afford to be selfish and wallow in my self-destructive pity. Trust me. I’d love to. I’d really love to.  But it’s just not possible.  And actually, that’s a good thing.  How can I expect to move forward if I don’t force myself to get up every day and do all the things I need to do to keep everyone else healthy and happy?

dont-stay-where-you-are-quote-image

However, I am determined that there must be a way to get myself out of this d-word situation (I can’t even type “depression” without breaking out in a cold sweat). Shouldn’t I be happy and healthy too? I have tried medication and therapy (my insides are on puree mode as I confess this). They work. They really do. But I want to try it on my own this time. And I think this year should be about me. It sounds selfish to write that, but if I am barely functioning on this planet, what kind of life is that? What kind of mother and wife would I be if I was just going through the motions every day? That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s getting pretty old.

I know you’re asking me, “So, smart ass. Just how are you going to do that?” I don’t really know yet. I do know that many doctors and scientists have been touting exercise as a natural anti-depressant, sometimes going so far as to say it works better than medication. I know I feel better when I exercise. So step 1: get some exercise.

I’ve heard good things about meditation too. This one makes me roll my eyes a bit, but I have an incredibly skeptical, cynical, male friend who has actually tried it and claims it works. If he says it works than I’m guessing it’s the friggin’ holy grail I’ve been looking for. I also know that clutter, unfinished projects, disorganization in the home, can all contribute to stress and anxiety. This is a problem I feel I’ve discussed often here at the blog. I’ve been working steadily over this past year to let go, let go, let go. It’s hard, but I’m getting better at it.  I read everything I find on the subject and am constantly re-homing or donating things.  There is always more to do and I plan to keep going.  Just this morning I got on my new iPad I received for Christmas and downloaded several podcasts.  A couple of them were just for fun, but I found a few that I thought might at least give me something to think about as a way to reinforce the habits I’m trying to establish this year as I make my way to a better existence. If any of you have listened to “Good Life Project”, “The Minimalists Podcast” or “The Hilarious World of Depression” I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

This will be a long process I fear, this road to well-being. I hope I will not become some annoying evangelist or exercise freak, that you will continue to come here for more than just my boring discussions on mental health (because I now dye yarn – squeee!). But I cannot promise I won’t sneak in a progress report here or there. This summer I found out that a woman I’ve known since college as a fierce, intensely self-sufficient, strong, intelligent woman whom I admired very much, has been battling depression for a very long time. I was shocked yes, but not because I was horrified or felt she was a pariah with a frightening contagious disease. I was shocked because I would never have guessed that someone as amazing as her could have been reduced to the hopelessness and helplessness I feel every day. For her to announce this, on Facebook, to remove the stigma for others gave me the strength to allow me to admit it to myself. And maybe if I can admit it to you, I can give you the strength you need to face it if you are struggling too.

So Happy New Year to you! Because, yes, 2017 will be happy. It better be, or there’ll be no one to blame but myself.

5

Welcome 2013!

Wow, a whole new year.  And we are already three days into it?!  If that’s any indication of how fast this year is going to go, I’d better buckle up and strap on my big girl boots for this crazy ride.
 

A New Year's Kiss

A New Year’s Kiss


 
I haven’t been one for New Year’s resolutions for quite some time now.  I always save that kind of life-changing stuff for my birthday in September.  But I do usually get sort of a contact high from all the brand spankin’ new resolutions other people are making and huff off those feel-good fumes for a while when the New Year starts.  For some reason this year feels different.  I don’t feel as optimistic as usual.  Maybe it’s that “13” hanging out at the end of the date getting me down with its ominous presence, or maybe I’m just worn out.  We’ll go with worn out.  Who wants to feel down on a year that’s barely started, just because there’s a 13 at the end?
 
I’ve been thinking a lot though, about what I’d like to do with this new year.  And I’ve got some plans.  Here’s a few (and you’ll just have to wait for the rest!):
 

  1. Knit from stash.  I know I know.  I say this EVERY year.  But for some reason I feel abnormally committed this year.  I knit a ton of Christmas gifts this year from stash and it felt good.  I’ve got more than enough and there’s no money in the yarn budget to speak of for the upcoming year.  So it’s time.  I have a ticker down in my sidebar that will keep track for me how long it’s been since I purchased yarn.  Specifically, I haven’t purchased anything since November 23, 2012.  That doesn’t seem like long, but for me that’s EPIC.  I am instantly deleting yarn ads I get via e-mail and avoiding all the yarn websites I usually stalk.  I can’t purchase or lust for what I don’t even know exists!
  2. Challenge my knitting skills. This year I’d like this complacent knitter to learn a few new tricks.  I want to tackle Brioche Stitch, Entrelac, and knit myself a sock using the Judy’s Magic Heel technique I learned at Sock Summit 2011.  I’m sure there’s more, but those are just a couple to start with.
  3. Be more present. Some days I find myself so caught up in the everyday chores, childcare, and household management stuff that I forget to take a breath and stop to enjoy the special moments each day that would reveal themselves to me if I only took the time.  I need to learn to recognize those moments for what they are and let the other stuff go so I can experience them fully.  Easier said than done, but a worthy goal just the same.  If you’ve got suggestions, I’ll take ’em!
  4. Be a better person. There is always room for improvement :)

 
Hope your New Year is off to a fantastic & optimistic start!  Wishing you all the best for 2013!

13

On Resolutions

Ah, 2008, you’re finally here!  The time which signifies a fresh start for so many:  Resolution Time.  I don’t usually make resolutions, figuring someone like me could pretty much use year round improvement.  So why only think about it once a year?  But when I do take the time to list out specific goals for myself it’s usually on my birthday.  What better time than your own personal new year for reflecting on your life, renewing your fire for the things that are important to you and moving forward into your new year with a refreshed outlook?  But this year, along with the rest of the New Year’s Resolution folks, I’ve got a few of my own.

Finding a good resolution is like finding a good man.  You want one that inspires you to become the best version of yourself that you can be, without controlling you or issuing ultimatums.  I mean, we want success and happiness here, not miserable heartbreak and tear-filled freakouts!  My resolution buzz words this year are, coincidentally, also “re” words.  Interesting how that worked out…..

 

Reduction:  My waistline, my thighs, my clutter, my stress, my extraneous obligations, my worry, my debt, my expenditures (especially on stash-enhancing ventures), my guilt over practically everything, the junk in my trunk…..

Renewal:  My fitness goals, my hopes and dreams, my charity knitting, interest in old UFO’s, my focus on the good things in my life that I’m thankful for, my happiness….

 

Have you ever noticed that 80% of “resolution” is “solution”?  The key to your resolve is finding the right solution.  You might not see it at first, but it’s there. 

 

Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to finding your own solutions!!