Hello Sisters and Brethren!
*Warning – I curse sometimes*
This weekend I have finally gotten some knitting done! For those who know me well, it would come as a surprise to find that I have gotten very little knitting in during the last two weeks. My normal modus operandi is to knit for a couple of hours every day, but truthfully for the last few months I have been struggling to get time in for my beloved hobby.
I do have a part time job that I started in May, which has significantly cut in to my creative life. This frustrates me, but sadly income is necessary for all of us, and I have not yet made my knitting and yarny joy into a day job (still trying, tho!). Honestly, the job shouldn’t deter my knitting terribly, but because my time is now limited differently, I find I am creating my own knitting anxiety.
True confession, I have some general anxiety and depression issues (self-diagnosed as I am too embarrassed to bring it up to a doctor as of yet). So it’s not entirely unusual for me to over think and over stress even the simplest of things. Where my knitting, yarn dyeing, designing and even blogging is concerned, I have a bad habit of giving myself arbitrary and unreasonable deadlines for completing projects. When I do not meet those deadlines or complete ‘enough’ projects, posts or new products in a given time period, I begin to feel very lazy, useless and bitterly bummed out.
I can’t quite say why I do this. I did grow up in small town (population 1,100 small) South Dakota in a stereo-typical hard work ethic valuing environment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe hard work can be a good thing and having goals and ambition can be beneficial. However, where I come from, creative endeavors are often meant for retirees or people considered to be hapless and burdensome. Practicality was always king and the idea of even having an artistic dream, let alone following one, was an aberration.
While how I grew up may be a factor in why I create stress in a hobby that should be a stress reliever, I’m not sure its the whole story. I am 31, and I feel somewhat that I need to take accountability for…well, for my own bullshit. My rational mind is aware that I am my own enemy when it comes to my anxiety. I choose what my self worth is measured by, so I do not need to measure myself by how much of my hobby I complete. Yet, continuously, I get angry with myself for not getting more done.
I don’t have a happy ending answer for why I stress myself out. I am still working through why I become so anxious about things that should only be happy, and how to stop myself from doing it. But I wrote this blog post as I believe I cannot be the only knitter or crafter out there who struggles with this. Maybe we’re just struggling with anxiety in general, maybe life is a bit overwhelming sometimes and it just permeates every part of us and all that we do.
Whatever the case, I think we all need to remember to forgive ourselves for what we perceive to be our short comings or failings. Knitting is meant to be my joy, my me time, my creative outlet and in some ways my self love. I am still working on just getting out of my own way and letting go of the need to measure my accomplishments or success as though it makes up who I am. It does not. So if you’re anxious about the things that are supposed to make you happy, you are not alone. And at least that’s something.
Thanks for getting real with me for a while. Next time, I may have a happier post, or I may not. But I’m going to try and just be proud of myself that I did post, and not tell myself that I have a deadline for the next one.
May your knitting and hobbies feel magical and cure you of your ills! And when they don’t, forgive yourself. It’s ok.
Until next time Sisters and Brethren in yarn!