Stop. Wait. Breathe. (January Check-In)

Ok.  So I hate the fact that it sort of feels to me as if this January is going much like 2017 went for me…far too quickly, with very little actually being accomplished.

I have to admit that a monthly zine, monthly knitting pattern, weekly fiction and non-fiction and poetry–on top of trying to take a House and make it as Home-like as if possible, while teaching the small fry how to read and write, while dealing with chronic health issues that no one else seems to worry about…I am sort of venty today; I apologize ahead of time.  It’s not easy.

Also, I apologize for talking again about things I have already talked about here…I am working through things.

I still feel as if I am catching up from December.  We went to the East Coast to visit my family on a fast week-end before Christmas…we left on a Friday and were back by Sunday.  A thirteen-hour trip…with the five-year-old.  The trip itself wasn’t so bad, which I had worried about for me especially, with the pain issues I have.  But once home again, we had to get ready for Christmas…and no, we still haven’t found all the Christmas decor and decorations…I basically boxed up a whole bunch of stuff…toys and other stuff that was waiting to be sorted and organized and placed–which included some stuff we brought back from my family…a lot of books, yarn, and toys…oh the toys that can be here…even though I go through them and purge them frequently…but downstairs in crates and boxes, waiting, because we needed room upstairs to put the tree and all sorts of other things.  Then, the holidays over, and the cat tree back in front of the window, so the cats are happy and the gerbil is…exposed again (her cage, not the rodent herself–her biggest threat is the Saluki mix who will nose the tubes out of alignment…because the 70 pound dog does not understand that the tiny little mere ounces rat is not really a good playmate for her to have…)

We dismantled an old desk that I had been using for art storage–found a TON of stuff on it that I have been looking for or had totally forgotten about.  The desk was replaced by shelves, which are already working SO much better, even though I am not even halfway done sorting, purging and organizing…but already….I can find things when I want them…there is more light in the room…I’ll be speaking more of this process later on in relation to a different topic…but…I have to go through everything…and I have brought up all the boxes and crates from Christmas-time–well, actually not all of them…there are still crates of books and toys waiting…I couldn’t bring all of them up at once…it would have been overwhelming … and would have created more chaos than I could handle.  I am already at the end of my rope…so I don’t need to make it worse on myself.

So.  I am sorting, as much as I am able every day.  I have been stalled waiting to get storage containers that I need for various projects because this is not all about just the dining room/office and art space (which are indeed the same room).  I am also circling out and around to work on the living room, and the boys’ room…because one goal is to make sure there is room for the youngest in his own bed…which means removing several large sharks (thank you, Ikea), large catfish, and large alligators (three gators, three–we have an entire CLAN of gators around here). Yes, these are stuffed animals, not live creatures.

Am I rambling?  I am explaining to myself more than anything because I have been working … every day …and although I definitely see changes and results…I also see just how much more work there is…and that alone can be debilitating for me.

Add onto all of this organizing and purging…I have a household to take care of.  There is laundry.  Every day there is laundry.  The oldest is not allowed to use the washer on her own because she tends to overload the thing and I don’t want to have to replace it every year or so because of her … uhm … lack of attention to things, shall we say.  There are dishes to be done.  Trash and recycling to get out.  Meals to prepare.  A small boy to chase around and spend time with and try to teach something other than plants and zombies. Plants versus Zombies (one and two) are his current loves because he is no longer permitted on Youtube or Kids Youtube.  As he cycles out of the need for the iPad and into other activities…he is blooming…it’s a process.  The results, however, are a much nicer boy…

And on top of that, it’s been too cold outside for me to take walks…especially since I have the lazy git of a 5 yo who prefers to ride in the stroller while I shove it up and down the road…and the sidewalks here … I often say I might be better walking in the woods with the stroller, because the sidewalks are tilted, hilled, broken, and cranky…in my experience of trying to get a stroller that in most other circumstances is easy to push and move around.  I have to do some stretching every single day.  If I don’t, muscles shrink and contract, which encourages pinched nerves and exacerbates the “normal” pain that I have.  I found myself doing simple stretches and seeing some lovely results, only to learn that yes, stretching helps, but a great deal more is needed and necessary.  No matter how I stretch or twist, no matter how I work to get my breathwork back up to speed (while having apparently undiagnosable breathing issues, mind you), the pain is not going away.  No, thank you, OTC painkillers do nothing.  No, thank you, I do not want prescription painkillers.  I am far too aware of their long-term effects.  I do what I can.  I pray about everything.  End of statement.

That is a daily list of what I do.  Daily.  On top of trying to write, of trying to read, of trying to knit, of trying to keep up with Lifebook 2018. I haven’t even tried to keep up with my own art yet this year.  Although I have notes.   Lots and lots of notes.

Now, to the genesis of this post…I will be posting the free zines, the free knitting patterns, when I am able.

My great planner project–which is a lot like bullet journalling, only different…it is not working.  I made my list of priority projects for January, both work and home.  I made a daily to-do list as well, as there is space to make a to-do list on one page…and then track everything that happened on the other.  At the end of the day, I check in, mark things off, transfer things to the next day if need be…and … I have accomplished exactly none of my goals this month…with a week of January left.  So, this planner system isn’t working for me…because I can’t see the deadlines ahead of time…and if I transfer the monthly and the daily lists over every day…I am going to hate myself because I keep track of things to show myself I am doing something — and copying everything over every day…it would break my heart…because that’s what I have been doing with the daily to-do lists and it has made me cry more than once. My planner, like so many other things in my life, is meant to support me and nourish me…to give me hope and show me I am accomplishing my goals, slowly or otherwise…and right now, that planner is a big bully, rubbing in my face that I am unwell, unhealthy, and unable to keep up with even simple things that “everyone” should be able to keep up with…

On top of this, it is difficult for me to remember that January does not have to be a high action/activity month as this is still Winter.  Technically, this is an incubation time.  A time to hibernate, to ruminate.  To pop up when it warms up a bit, like the thin little squirrels bustling around today, and then to go quietly back into the den when things turn icy once again.

I am not saying I will not do these things (zine, knitting, etc)…I am saying…I won’t be forcing myself to rush to do these things.  Look, I have been trying to get my hair cut since January 1…I haven’t made it there yet.  It will happen.  Hopefully before February.

Maybe the zine will be quarterly.

The January knitting pattern…I have the test knit about a third of a way completed.  I had several things come up this month that I needed to finish before the test knit…gifts and other things.  It happens.

So–everything will happen.  In its own time.  And I have to be ok with that…because the guilt of not being able to do it all right this minute … it’s killing me.

Until next time…and thanks for sticking around…




Published by

Tabitha Low

Writer, Artist, Journey Creatrix