Monday, September 21, 2015

A Little Stress is Good for You

  A little bit of stress once in a while is a good way to exercise your strengths, stretch your limitations, and build your patience. A lot of stress all of the time is a great way to test your strength and stretch you to the limits of your patience. I usually turn to crochet in times of trouble, but lately I'm finding crochet to be the source of my anxiety.

  Hit the brakes! Screech! What? Wait, no. Crochet is not the source of the added tension; the things stopping me from crocheting are the problem. I just want to finish this scarf. And, you know, move on to another one. A while back, my kids set me back on a project. My dog set me back on another. More recently, Microsoft held back everything for a whole week. A cat has repeatedly stolen pieces of the project I'm working on now. To top it off, I'm having trouble focusing on my tasks the few times they go uninterrupted. I ask the Other Half for some help around the house/my office. He tells me "You've got this; it'll be okay"...

crochet, stress, Scarf of the Month

  NO. No, honey, I don't "have this". That's why I'm asking for your assistance. Like, go walk the dog when he interrupts me as I'm trying to count to 120 in multiples of four. Or maybe, move the TV into the bedroom if you're going to start snoring and leave it blaring for two hours while you get a nice nap. Try learning how to use the microwave/TV remote//toaster oven/phone/computer without my assistance. At least, help me out with everyone else who doesn't respect that my house is also my work space.

  Does that sound selfish? Maybe so. But I feel that my opinions can be justified. Is it so much to ask someone to warm up their own leftovers, just once in a while? I've cooked everything from scratch for the past TEN YEARS! You don't find taco seasoning, gravy mix, refrigerator biscuits, or canned anything in my house. It all came from scratch for the past TEN YEARS. Get a pizza already and give me a break! I haven't gone out to dinner in... Omg, I don't know when the last time I went out to dinner was. I know it was at least a year before I bought my car, so... Over four years? And does horrible service, cold food and burnt coffee at a midnight diner even count as "going out to dinner"?

  Do I still sound selfish? What does everybody else do with their 15 minute break at work? I vacuum my floor. Or scrub the toilets. Or do dishes. My lunch break is often spent paying bills or answering emails, instead of eating lunch. And then I get back to work. Work is spent trying to figure out how to space multiples of five evenly over 238 stitches to make a border with a scallop/picot edge that a customer wants added to Granny's afghan by the end of the week. And then in the middle of counting, a tornado bursts in the door, scattering concrete dust on my freshly vacuumed floor and hollering about how the sixth truck on a 250-yard job showed up with a two-inch slump when it was supposed to be seven, so they had to send ten yards back... And all I do is I calmly say "That sucks, honey, I'm sorry" and start over with my counting, so hopefully I can get some time to work on the delayed Scarf of the Month.

crochet, Scarf of the Month

 There was one time when I totally lost it... I told the Other Half's friend to shut up. Yup - lost it and hollered "SHUT UP!" at him. They came in the door while I was typing up an article and the Other Half walked off, leaving his friend sitting behind me. "What's up?" the friend asks. "Writing an article" I tell him, and continue typing. A moment of silence, then...


"Hold on..."

"Hey, Jenny!"

"Give me a minute to finish this paragraph."

"Hey, Jenny!"

"I'm working, hold on please..."

"Hey, Jenny!"

"Dude, are you high?"

"Hey, Jenny, it's important!"


"Did you hear that new song by..."

"Omg, SHUT UP!"

 And then there's more... I stayed awake for about 36 hours when we had an "emergency" house guest. The hurry-up-come-get-me-and-bring-the-cops kind of house guest. I dropped work to clean out the spare room and piled everything in my office space. Then the guest added some more stuff to my space. I made food. I did laundry. I answered questions. I offered advice. I tracked down links. And work waited.

crochet, yarn stash

  Through all the stress, I forgot to eat for an entire day. Rheumatoid arthritis started to flare up again. Still, I pour coffee and pack a lunch for someone else, then put on my rubber boots at 5 a.m. and walk the dog in my mosquito-infested swamp of a yard. I take the trash out in the rain. I feed the outside cats in the rain. I chase the neighbor's dogs out of the yard and go close the gate because somebody forgot to latch it - in the rain. I come in and dry off to get a cup of coffee of my own, then sit down to work on the project I'm making for charity. And the cat throws up at my feet.

  So you see, a little stress is good for you. It teaches you to be tougher. A lot of stress will have you wondering if you should just launch a canoe and float on down the newly made river that used to be your neighborhood... Start a new life somewhere on dry land... A new land where yarn flows freely, crochet hooks are never lost, and everybody leaves you alone when you're counting...

crochet, flooding

Happy Crocheting!

On the bright side (pun intended), the rain is letting up and the sun has come out for a few days now. The water is receding, I found fish under my house, and we're back to complaining about how hot it is. 

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