Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants On November - 18 - 2006   ShareThis



I started this blog because I enjoy writing and was excited about knitting. And by doing these two things in combination, I somehow stumbled upon an amazing community, great friends and of all things, a book deal. Call it passion, call it harmonic convergence, call it dumb luck, call it whatever you want, it really is a dream come true. So why do I feel like I’ve hit a wall? Repeatedly. Without a helmet.

How is it that because of my writing and knitting, I never have time to write or knit anymore? It’s like some twisted version of the Gift of the Magi. The whole process of not only writing, but supporting a book has become all-consuming. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you how long I’ve been at it. I feel like the last two years have been a big blur, like I’ve been on a merry-go-round turned up to eleven. Even the fiberglass horses are looking a little queasy. And when I try to leap off, I land on a roller coaster full of shrieking Girl Scouts with Pink Eye. Basically, my life lately can be summed up by one sentence: “What, are you freaking kidding me?”

I have no problem working hard. In fact, I love it. I get a sick sense of satisfaction from working an insane amount of hours and exhausting myself. Working in the software industry and starting with a company from the ground up has conditioned me to accept an occasional (and sometimes not-so-occasional) 16-hour workday as par for the course. It feels really good to work your ass off and actually reap the rewards.

Of course, when you expend that much gusto on two things work and book it starts to wear a little quicker. I find myself wishing there were an extra day in the week, a secret one that no one else knows about where I can knit and write and correspond with friends, maintain relationships, change litterboxes, sit still for more than 10 minutes without feeling like I should be staring at a computer or worrying about what I should be doing but am not. I seem to have gotten myself onto a human-sized hamster wheel. And what’s worse, I think the wheel has come free of it’s cage because I feel really far away from my life. Everything feels very automated and rushed. Even leisurely activities have a time slot in my head. And rather than enjoying them, I find myself thinking about what I need to do one the rest period is over.

And what’s even worse is that I’m really starting to annoy myself. The constant second-guessing of myself, the worries about who I am and just who the hell do I think I am (two very different things, I assure you). Worries about book sales and publicity and future projects are just swirling around and I can barely see past them. If I could see past them, I’d realize just how lucky I am that I have a job that allows me the freedom to take off for signings and events. And that my friends and family are really understanding with my even shorter-than-before-term-memory issues and lack of even the most rudimentary social skills. And that my husband is the most patient man on earth, because anyone else would have packed up and left by now, but instead, he does the laundry.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that hot damn, I’m tired and frustrated and freaking out just the tiniest bit and thanks for hanging in there. I blog regularly throughout the day in my head, it just never seems to get to the screen. I think I need to allow, no, demand a chunk of time every day for some quiet time. When I don’t think about work or the book or all the trappings that go along with it. This isn’t a promise to blog more because let’s face it, I’ve never been prolific. But it is a promise to remember to stop and enjoy my life, and a big part of that is writing and knitting.


30 Responses

  1. ErickaJo says:

    The true meaning of life (after 42) is to find balance. When you don’t have balance you end up yelling at loved ones and finding yourself in places like the kitchen with a stack of freshly folded bath towels (when you actually have freshly folded bath towels) wondering what the hell you’re doing. Take time for you, or there simply won’t be any you left. Everyone will just have to understand.

  2. Devorah says:

    Hang in there — there are plenty of us who are rooting for you to regain a semblance of a life. It is hard when there is too much to do and too little time. Take a few deep breaths, eat some chocolate and don’t sweat the small things.

  3. Diane says:

    The notion that you should drop your life and family for a chunk of computer hardware or software is something that I have never tolerated very well. Along with that went the notion that you should do that for “free” (no overtime).

    Like others have said better, tend to you and your family first, the job should take a distant 3rd or 4th!

  4. minnie says:

    sounds like it’s time to stop and smell the roses (or the wool, lol), eh?

  5. pippi says:

    I’m hearin you loud and clear..
    In fact, some of the exact same thoughts were going thru my head not 3 minutes ago, as I was standing outside, in the unseasonably warm weather, trying to think about how many hours I logged this week, on ‘work’ (yes, it is work that I love and am grateful to be doing, but nonetheless, busting some serious tookas.)
    Today my body broke down & demanded I sit and knit and stay away from the ‘puter & yada…
    When you find the key to a good balance, let me know.
    & If you have a stack of MOCS post cards you wanna send my way, please do. I have been packing them with orders since I swiped a stack from you at Rhinebeck & they are all long gone.


  6. pippi says:

    oh gawd, and excuse my error, calling MOKS, MOCS.
    That may just clue you in on where my brain is these days.

  7. inky says:

    some tips I found immeasurably helpful:

    1. stop wearing a watch. somebody else will have the time when you need it, and it prevents you from constantly checking the time and seeing how little is left.

    2. spend an extra 5-10 minutes in the bathroom. don’t laugh! If you have some pretty soap and a soft rug, that sensory feeling can calm you a bit. and nobody (hopefully) bothers you when you’re in the bathroom.

    3. every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Hey, it’s writing, isn’t it?

    4. take time to smell the turkey.

  8. sulicat says:

    oh stichy, you’re so swell,
    you’re so swell you ring my bell,
    hey stichy! hey stichy!

    sometimes when i’m feeling harried i imagine i have backup singers chorusing me through my day. you have your own backup group; we’re just spread across this internets.

    try not to sweat it, and hopefully things will slow down enough for you to catch your breath.

  9. Laura Y. says:

    Wow. I posted almost exactly the same thing yesterday, only, you know, not so eloquent. Something must be going around. I actually stopped by to share this anecdote with you:

    I went to Rhinebeck with my husband, and he, because he is a wonderful man (and also because the idea of Blogger Bingo was freaking him out just a little), said, “I’ll take the baby, you just go shop and have a good time.” So I did, and he did. At one of our meetups during the day, he said, “Hey, did you know there’s a person in that building named Stitchy McYarnpants?” To which I answered, “Of course — she’s the one who put the whole Bingo thing together. I said hi to her a little while ago.”

    Fast forward a week. We’re at a party and I mention that I knit, and one of the other women there (not a knitter) says, “Hey, there’s this really cool website you have to check out by this person Stitchy McYarnpants. Have you heard of it?” My husband jumps in and says proudly, “Heard of it? We’ve actually MET Stitchy!”

    So just know that it’s not just us knitters that think you’re cool.

  10. maryse says:

    dude…can i just say that even though in your head you’re going a little nuts, as expressed in your post, that in real life, with the people in your life, your friends, your peeps, like me (if i may be so bold) you look like you’re keeping it together.

    i won’t do your laundry (i mean let’s be serious) but i’m good for listening if you need to let off some steam.

  11. Jackie says:

    I’m with Maryse. From what I can see, you’re doing a great job :)

    Sometimes we’re our own hardest critics.

  12. mamacate says:

    We love you babe. Hang in there.

  13. Ellen-Mary says:

    Just a little note to let you know you are loved and you are doing fine.

    I have five children and I have felt exactly how you feel. When they were little there were days I felt so used up and overwhelmed that we all stayed in our pajamas all day and watched movies because that was the best I could manage that day. We called them “pajama days” not very clever, I know, but the kids thought it was a treat. I was taking a break.
    Sometimes you just have to throttle back and coast for a while. It’s perfectly okay to do that now and then.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Inky about gratitude. It really changes your perspective and eases things up when you focus on what you are grateful for. Hang in there.

  14. liprap says:

    Hey, I knew from the moment I saw your book in an adult toy store and clothing shop here in New Orleans that you came up with one of the world’s greatest stress-busters for knitters and non-knitters alike. For that alone, you deserve a two week long knitting break on the subtropical island of your choice.

    Take care of you and yours, please!

  15. Daphne says:

    Isn’t it funny the way everything sneaks up on you and whammo! it’s too much? Maybe not “funny” but startling, surprising and weird. I am definitely with you on this one.

  16. Kim says:

    I totally, totally know what you mean. The good news: it’ll get better. Somehow, it always does.

  17. melanie says:

    I’m tempted to say that a large part of the book thing can be delegated to your fabulous publisher, but really I know that the other half of the book stress is your constant flow of ideas. I continue to be amazed at all of the creative shit that comes out of your mouth seemingly without effort, like your head is just totally full of them and they’re spilling out for want of breathing room. Is there something that you can do that allows you to completely space out? I know knitting does that for me, but it may just be a reminder for you these days. Want to come to my house and play with babies??

    PS – GO JON! Way to step up to the plate with the laundry doin.

  18. elisa says:

    I think ErickaJo nailed it – it’s all about seeking balance. Relationships are give and take – maybe you can’t give as much as you’d like to right now, but we’re all cool with it. We love you, y’know?

  19. Lyssa says:

    you’ll be okay.
    no worries.

    it’s hard to seek balance (coming from someone working/schooling full time). but it’ll work it’s way out…
    even if you have to force it a little. :)
    and boy have there been FABULOUS laughs with your book!

  20. Martha says:

    I have two sort-of conflicting credos about life: the first is that I agree with Hobbes, that life is nasty, brutish and short (only I would add: with glimmers of joy.) The second is that life is too short to put up long with situations that suck. Can you afford to not worry about book sales? Maybe you can start to wind down the promotion a bit. And if the blog is causing you stress, just put up a post saying “be back later.” We’ll all understand, and look forward to your return. Let me know if I can help!

  21. You are not kidding. Not by half!

  22. Dorothy B says:

    Take a break from it all for a week. We are all quite charmed by you and won’t mind waiting for you to catch a long nap and a bit of knitting time.

    On a different note, I was watching What not to Wear the other day and there was a woman who had a cute bag made out of beer cans. I thought of you right away.

  23. Lolly says:

    Take care, girl. Nothing wrong with stepping back for a bit. In the meantime, relax over the holiday. I hope it helps! Best wishes~

  24. Jen says:

    Take care, Stitchy. Even work you love can eat you alive…actually even more so, because you never stop. You’re always thinking about it, and if you don’t watch out days and days can go by and you completely forgot to just do nothing for a few minutes. Just do nothing for a bunch of chunks of few minutes. And feel better. Like the first commenter said–balance.

  25. Vicki says:

    Take the time you need — 5 extra minutes in the bathroom, a half-hour of alone time when you get home from work… whatever you can carve out… a little window… and do NOT let other things press in on that bit for you, if you can help it.

  26. Heather says:

    Wow, it sounds like people expect so much from you-way too much! Come back to blogland-we’re much less demanding!

  27. Dude, I bet the posts in your head are hilarious! 😉 It’s okay to keep them there.

  28. Lee Ann says:

    Wow, we get to be your backup group?

    Shoup shoup shwadawada…

    Hang in, babe. Breathing’s good.

  29. Erin says:

    You’ve just summed up perfectly how I’ve been feeling the past few months… Like Lee Ann said… breathing is good.

  30. jenifleur says:

    You don’t need to give us explanations or excuses. Your friends and readers understand and we’ll be here. I’ll even promise not to make you feel pressured come new years day! Heh. You go find some time to decompress while we’re all rushing around pretending it’s fun for the holidaze.

Leave a Reply