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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random Wednesday

Some of you may have noticed that the blog has been a little "off" lately and I wanted to apologize. For the past three summers, I have hosted the Mystery Stole knitalong and the first two I affectionately referred to as "Summer Eaters." This last one though, due to the sheer size of it, which I was not expecting and did not plan on, really was a Summer Eating Monster and that took a lot out of me, both timewise and emotionally, that I wasn't prepared to give when I started it this year. (I'm not saying this to get sympathy, I'm just explaining what has happened.) As of the first part of September, it had calmed way down and was taking much less time, but I think I needed some time away from the computer to re-balance myself. I have been spending as little time as possible online and there have been some evenings that I haven't knit at all. I've got some things I definitely want to do, but the motivation hasn't been there. I think part of it also has to do with the unseasonably warm weather we've had around here this Fall - it's hard to convince yourself you need a warm wool cardigan when you're wearing shorts to walk your kid to school early in the morning and by afternoon, you've gotten out the flip flops again.

Slowly but surely I have felt myself getting back to where I want to be and I have learned some things about myself and what I am willing and able to give. I have learned to say no to some opportunities that have come along because while they might be good things, I've learned to look at the other parts of my life, the parts more important than knitting and give myself an honest answer as to whether I'm willing to commit the time and effort needed to incorporate these opportunities into the rest of my life right now. I hope that I have got a better idea of what I need to do to balance my life and keep my priorities and sanity in order, and if I have learned this, I can only thank MS3.

Like I said at the first of this post, I'm not writing this for sympathy, but I know that the blog has been the one to suffer lately and I felt like those of you who have kept reading through all of this deserved an explanation for the blah posts.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie, you set a good example for all of us to prioritize our lives! As your child's favorite aunt, I can totally appreciate that your family has not been neglected for the blog. : ] Mindy

9:12 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

A great time for all of us to reevaluate what is important in our lives. I love my family and they come first always, knitting is what keeps me sane - so no on complains about that - but I also only knit when everything and everyone else has been taken care of. Knitting is time for me to reflect and meditate on all the good I have in my life and keeping that balance. Not easy for sure -
Thanks

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learning to set priorities is important for us all. This is something I learned through my work as a critical care nurse. Sometimes at work, I feel overwhelmed with all the tasks I must accomplish for my patients. When overwhelmed, I can't THINK! At these times I step back and ask myself the important questions we all learn with basic CPR:
Does the patient have an airway?
Is the patient breathing?
Does the patient have a pulse?
If the answer to all is yes, it is time to take a break and reorganize my thoughts and goals for the day. I return to the front so refreshed. It doesn't matter if it is 10 minutes or 30. The point is I make an effort to reduce the background noise and focus on what is important while weeding out what I can safely let go.

I think the CPR questions are a metaphor for all aspects of my life now. When swamped with whatever and finding I can't THINK and as long the house isn't falling down around me, I take a break to repriortize my goals and tasks.

Even when you don't check in on your blog, I do when able. I'll be here snooping the archives as part of my "break"--you go ahead and take as much time as you need.

Ruth

9:45 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I think we all tend to feel obligated with our blogs, but sometimes it's best to just put it down and walk away for a bit. Thanks for the explanation, but it really was fine. There was no way you couldn't have been a bit burned out after MS3. Just know, we'll be here checking in with you, too.

10:16 AM  
Blogger knittingnurse said...

You are so sweet and considerate but don't feel guilty at all. You write what you want and when you want. We appreciate all you do and love to 'hear' from you whenever you can.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Suna said...

Learning to say "no" is a skill so many of us need to develop. Sometimes it takes something big to really send that message home. Glad you have that "learning experience" down at a relatively young age. Though you will backslide. We all do.

I read this really good post on blogging without obligation that I like to pass on to burned out bloggers, to assuage any un-needed guilt:
http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

11:15 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I totally understand! I made a post on my blog recently about setting boundaries and learning to say no. It's hard sometimes, but everyone needs their sanity too.

MS3 was huge and awesome - I totally can see why you would need some down time! Enjoy!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Sherie said...

Melanie, take however long you need to recharge your batteries. After MS3 I'm sure your charge was just about gone! You are such a sweet and giving person and we appreciate you so much. Priorities are so important in life. Isn't it funny how those we love the most can sometimes be pushed aside for other things? You take your time, love and be with your family, and we'll be here when you have the opportunity to post!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Ronni said...

MS3 must have been a huge drain on your energy. Particularly since it got bigger than you expected/budgeted for. I for one think your blog entries have been excellent since they've been both more enlightening and more frequent than my own. No apologies needed. I hope your enjoyment of knitting and so on return swiftly to normal levels for you, whatever they may be. Because, after all, it's supposed to be fun in the final analysis.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Sorry we burnt you out!! I know for a fact I would never have been able to handle even a fraction of the challenge of designing and organizing a project of that scale. I really had a lot of fun knitting it- it also took up my whole summer :) I've been burnt out on knitting before too, after large projects. Usually I do a project or two in a different craft before I feel recovered enough to take up a small knitting project again. Thanks again, for sacrificing your summer, and enjoy your recovery.. <3

7:10 PM  
Blogger manic knitter said...

Blah posts! Blah, my foot. I've gazed with undisguised envy and admiration at your spinning, being a fairly new spinner myself. Everyone deserves a break at times. No need to apologize for that, especially when there's been such beautiful results from your efforts. Enjoy your time and use it as you'd like. After all, some of us are STILL knitting MS3.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Madeline said...

It's all completely understandable -- dealing with MS3 drained you. First were the creative aspects, then the weekly patterns (which were perfect), dealing with people, questions, problems, errant behavior, all the kudos and appreciation (while lovely, still one more thing to handle), summer, and your dear family and home. But where in all that was/is time for Melanie? Knitting and writing about it become one more thing to deal with. Take a breather doing whatever makes you happy. You'll feel renewed. Best wishes to you.

9:36 PM  
Blogger rabbitIng said...

oh my, compared to me you are a paragon. thing is, unless you are running your blog for specific needs which will mean people are suffering without it, it has to fit in your life, not you in it. as someone recently wrote to me, i love to read your stuff when you have the time - and i have the time! - and it brightens my life. but i perfectly understand that life with a capital F has to take preference, so just keep doing what you have to do/have time to do. :) very best wishes and thanks too ;)

7:23 AM  
Blogger vlb5757 said...

Stopping to find time to balance out is a break everyone should have time to do. Whether is applies to knitting or our personal lives, we all need some time to breathe. No one should have to explain or apologize. Just take time to be content. Like what has been stated before, the word no is a wonderfully freeing thing. Use it at will!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Gammy aka Peggy said...

This was a great "random" post. Balance is the word. Glad you survived MS3. You managed far better than I ever could have.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Sereknitty said...

When you feel like there is more "going out than coming in" to your energy stores....and requests/demands for your time continue to bombard you, take the time to address each one by first asking yourself "at what cost?" What will it cost you to meet the request? Sleep, time with your family, time for yourself? When you know the cost of the request you are better able to decide if you can afford it.
I learned to do this after totally running myself into the ground "doing what I had to" for everyone but me. I had a career, children, husband, extended family and took time for everyone but me. It nearly cost me my life. Initially I had to actually ask the question "At what cost?" out loud to make sure I did. Later it was a little internal voice. After much practice, if I find myself hesitating I know it's time to "just say no". I'm almost finished the MS3, working on the last chart now.
Be good to yourself...

10:33 AM  

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