Life handed him a lemon,
As Life sometimes will do.
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through.
They came upon him later,
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment, drinking
A glass of lemonade.
— The Optimist, 1940
My world is spinning right now. It has been easy to merely hope for survival. Even when I push myself beyond that I have been turning to work for distraction. It’s high time I choose something that will help me to find rest and refreshment.
The value of a creative outlet
I am a creative. I have never outgrown my childhood compulsion to create and from the age of 12 I have found ways to monetize that creativity. Even so I am realizing that when I make a creative endeavor “work”—even if it has not quite become drudgery—it doesn’t have the same rejuvenating effect as it once did.
Working with my hands on a low-pressure project breathes life into me like nothing else. The temptation is always to find a way to at least break even when it comes to money and hobbies, but I am learning to break free from that perceived obligation.
Choosing to be a good example
Last night I finally began what I have been imagining for some time: I turned the lights low an hour before bedtime, set my 7-month-old daughter beside me, and brought out my fiber arts.
She sat mesmerized by the spinning spindle suspended by rustic rose-colored thread. The scene was exactly as I had imagined it: peaceful, in stark contrast to the usual evening activities.
Most nights I have a glowing screen in front of me. Often I am scrambling to finish the day’s work. When work is done I simply crave the numbing comfort of mindless scrolling. It hurts to admit that.
I hate that this is the example I have been setting for my child and I purpose to put a stop to it. Last night was too beautiful to choose regression to the old ways.
Why spinning wool into yarn?
Ever since finding a mending kit and fabric scraps in one of the drawers of random craft supplies my mom kept in the “school room,” I have been in love with anything textile-related.
I choose spinning over any other fiber art partially because I find it is easier for me to maintain good posture. I don’t feel the usual stiffness that I do when I get up from knitting or sewing. The act is physically relaxing.
From designing knitted lace to crafting museum-quality gowns my perfectionism follows me into every type of art I pursue. Yet for some reason when I am spinning wool into yarn I feel its pressure less. My spindle brings me rest.
Why spinning wool into yarn? It is simply the most refreshing creative outlet I have found, so it is my first choice for winding down at the end of the day. Perhaps next week a novel will replace the spindle in my hands, or maybe a journal. I care little about what I use to unwind so long as it is truly rejuvenating.