Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Turn of the Season

It's finally feeling like fall around here. This morning I walked with my neighbors to school and had to wear a beanie and some gloves! How exciting!

As usual during this time, I'm plenty busy with photoshoots and editing. I'm also officially working a part-time job now. I do work from home for XRX, the company that produces all the knitting expos I've taught at for years. In the past year, I've transitioned from teaching knitting to photographing the shows, so I still travel  4-6 times a year for that, as well as occasionally writing for their flagship magazine and helping with social media. It's fun and different. I've had to throw myself into learning new skills and they say that's good--to feel like a novice again. It keeps the mind sharp and helps ease the aging process. I am all about the easy aging.

Being alone again, I'm learning to live with only my own company for most of the hours of the day. Sometimes it's glorious, sometimes lonely, but it's all good.
Wherever you go, there you are. 
Yep, my circumstances have changed, and I'm still me. Life is calmer, but not magical. The house is clean, but still cluttered with too many things. It's extremely difficult for me to be habitual and regular on my own, so it's been an especial challenge, ever since my kids all left, to create a new routine for myself. Then, any sort of personal routine kind of blew up again as I hosted Lisa and the boys, and now that they are gone, I'm still in that period of transition, trying to figure out what works for me to have consistently productive days.

I've tried to help myself by asking others for help. I met with a nutrition and fitness coach yesterday. In a couple of weeks I'm meeting with a photography business mentor. I made an appointment to get help from a friend machine quilting a t-shirt quilt so I'll be motivated to actually get something done. It helps me to have accountability, or, as it went in the last case, to reconsider whether or not making t-shirt quilts is something I actually want to do. I still have the appointment, but I may need to just let that one go. It just feels like a lot right now.

Another thing I'm trying really hard to do is not look at my days through the lens of what they should be as compared to social media, assumed expectations, or made up notions. What I'm finding is that if I do something each day toward the things I value, I keep moving. If I get caught up in thinking I have to do EVERYTHING each day, or have all my efforts be perfect, that's when I get stuck.

The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit. 

Right? Yes? Does that resonate for anyone else? It certainly does for me. If, for example, I say I value updating my money management skills to prepare for retirement, then fretting and doing nothing (because the thought of overhauling everything actually makes my whole body twitch) is much worse than doing something, however stupid and imperfect I think it will seem to someone for whom finances seem easy. And that's what I do. I think, "If I were so-and-so, this would not be so hard. It would all be done, all neatly wrapped up in a spreadsheet." And I close my computer and go make a cup of hot chocolate.

What I'm learning and really, really trying to do is, in that moment, I take a deep breath (or actually do some meditation), and do some little thing that matters to me. In the financial example, I might make a list. Rejigger one file folder. Study one set of bills for patterns and possible changes. Then, I stop if I want. Or, if I get in the groove because I got over the hump of inertia, I keep going. Sometimes, the imperfection of it drives me so crazy that the next day I don't want to do it again because it seems so hopeless. But I've had some success lately in doing it anyway. That is pretty much the theme of my life.

And so, that's what I'm up to. Photo editing, social media, a little gardening, knitting, piano practicing, working out. The struggle to change out of my pajama pants is real, unless I have something really awesome to entice me to do so. Fortunately I do, so there have been plenty of outings, walks, chances for service, etc. And those little things form the fabric of my days.

Here are the photos from the last few weeks:
I visited the IRC Resettlement Center to drop off some
winter clothes for refugees. I love this Mural. 

I got right up next to the White House on the fall garden tour.
It was so fun to spend a day with Alysa. 

That same day, Eric and I tried valiantly to go to Six Flags and actually
ride a roller coaster, but we were rained out.
We got to celebrate a birthday with a couple of our favorite

I spun a whole bunch of yarn. Yep, I made this. 

I visited Valley Forge with my pal Kim. 

And a glorious cathedral a few miles away.
We had so much fun together!

More of the cathedral. 

The inside of the castle. 

Me and my Pennsylvania Pal. 

I found a mantis in the parking lot at church.
The missionaries were brave enough to
pick it up for photography. 

My garden is going to sleep, but there was a little color left. 

I got to spend a glorious day with this darling. 

And 5 glorious days with this one. 

She made it into the NHS! 

Fall came with a gust of chilly wind. Just hours before this pic was taken,
it was in the high 80s and humid. Here, it's dropped to the low 60s. 

And yes, Sundays in the hammock are still happening.
Have blanket, will nap. 


  1. Your mental state resembles mine. I am working on realizing that doing some imperfect progress is better than none. Reading this is like reading a map of my mind! At least you aren't alone. There are many of us in the same boat.


Thank you for sharing your insights!