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Archive for February 11th, 2008

Counting My Blessings

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I slept till 3pm Sunday. What a surprise. It didn’t start out a restful night, but when I finally opened my eyes I thought I might be Lynn again. I’m still weak, but the emotional me is beyond pleased.

Ice Queen Weather

The view from our living room Sunday was surreal. There was so much light coming in from everywhere! The sun shone, and it bounced around to the point where it seemed light came beaming in from every window at the same time, all three sides of the room. The sky was so clear and the air so cold that even when snow got into the air, the snowflakes turned into pulverized particles of ice, like fairy dust.

Saturday night at 6pm it was just barely under the freezing mark, and then it plummeted south quickly. Right now (writing this draft after 9pm Sunday) it is -5F, with a predicted -6F low tonight (-21C for my international readers). It was another good day for staying in. I am very, very happy for our Mail Carriers on foot, that it was a non-mail-delivery day.

My Incredible Support Team

Sunday the phone kept ringing. Friends who knew I had been ill spent time leaving me to heal but figured they should make sure I was on the mend by now.

Altu, April, a music friend, all made brief calls to hear my voice. That is where I really count my blessings. All week I had offers from local blogging friends, dance friends, other friends… did I need anything they could bring over? What could they do? Since Brian is so good to me I needed nothing, but it was lovely to have offers.

I have created the nicest possible community of friends I could have possibly asked for. No, it’s not just me creating it, but the space must be clear and warm for people to feel comfy joining in. Of course, nobody can join my circle if they have never met me, if I have never reached out or gone socializing in any way. That bit was on my own shoulders long before this week.

Knowing the Difference

I remember when my father died, my mom really did not have confidantes or buddies. She had co-workers. She knew people at church. We knew a group of neighborhood families. Mom had not totally isolated herself, but she also had so much to juggle in her life that she did not really have strong friendships that supported her well. With a career and an unwell husband, it left no time for nurturing personal friendships. She had our family, and when Daddy died the three of us did our best. We still feel like a powerful and loving team.

For the record, Mom is a social butterfly now, with so many friends and activities that she will never be alone. She will never want for someone who cares. Mom has done a bang-up job of becoming herself and I wish to emulate her strengths myself. At this point, Mom is one of my support folks from afar.

I, too, had a time in my life where I was quite isolated and had little time for building personal support friendships. When I lived half an hour from work and depended on my then partner to drive me to and from work, lunch hours were the only time for socializing. I could go to lunch with others who also worked downtown, mostly co-workers.

At least I had the phone, and I did use it… and I found respite in the independently-owned Fabric Gallery store, a tiny but super-high-quality sewing heaven which thankfully was walking distance from my house. I spent time there every Saturday, and it was rejuvenating. You do what you can with what you have. I discovered wool jersey fabric during those years… even when I sewed as my creative outlet, it was knit wool that made me happiest.

Counting Every Blessing

In my current life, I have the music community, dance, knitting, the East Side (Foster Center was important to me before I taught kids to knit there). All the yarn shops where I teach are full of friends, particularly the shop owners. Then there is Altu and the community centered around her restaurant and the music I coordinate for her there. Many of my students I now count also as friends. I have the blogging community which is local as well as international in scope. And now I have Ravelry on top of that.

After a week where it was just difficult to breathe, I am so happy to see what blessings (if I may call them that without sounding church-y) I have in my life. I am so happy to take a moment to make this gratitude list, not only of the things and people I am happy to have in my life, but where I stand in my life’s journey, as well. It seems appropriate to take in “the landscape” this early in the calendar year, as we proceed forward.

For the record, Brian is first on the list. I was happy single, but my life is magnified in all good ways since we joined forces. He was so helpful to me when I was so very sick the first 4 days. Unfortunately, he came down with an awful cold Friday and so now we are sort of parallel-sick trying not to pass our germs across the room. This, too, shall pass.

Permission to Knit for No Good Reason

In more frivolous pursuits, I have been afraid to try to knit anything Sunday, though it has been the first time my hands had the inclination to pick up needles in nearly a week. I do not want to make any mistakes and it seems I feel guilty doing a sock with no reason attached to it when I have pattern deadlines looming heavily at my schedule’s door.

I think I’ll shed that guilt and let myself knit a sock for the pure joy of one knit stitch after another. The value of that is in the repetitive joy of the knitting and its relaxation. Joy and relaxation might equal healing, right?

Tomorrow I will see if the knitting-editor brain has returned along with the more normal temp. It would be good if I could do some work, at least get started in a gentle way. I won’t be teaching tomorrow but perhaps I can do something useful on the computer.

Now where did I put that sock?