This expands upon my last post a bit. Having babies really limits one's time and often the first things I cut out are self care. A and I have been talking about this. We've prioritized time with each other since the beginning (since if we are not connected life just goes to crap), but personal time to pursue our own interests and relaxation has been sorely lacking in the last few years purely due to lack of time. I got to the point where I didn't even crave personal time, and when I had it I didn't know what to do with myself. If A was out late I was restless and usually ended up doing extra chores or put in extra time at work (not healthy!). It was strange since I have always been quite introverted and before kids I loved my time alone to read, write, exercise, and create. And somehow that naturalness in free time left after we had L (even before in some ways due to the craziness of planning a wedding and having a baby at the same time).
A felt the lack of personal time we gave ourselves far more acutely and we tried to build some in for him (he often encouraged me to take some for myself, but I had a much harder time taking it). Finally this past summer I did two things to cultivate my personal time. I joined the gym and started working out, and I found an amazing yarn store and started a crocheting project.
The last six months have been a time of huge growth for us, and I know a large part of what has enabed me to grow like this is having my time to be creative, take care of myself, and just unwind by myself. Additionally prioritizing this for myself has helped me to see how much A needs it as well, and I have helped him make time to work out, play video games, play guitar, and write (his relaxing activities). We have had some amazing talks in the last several months and have been done quite a bit of spiritual searching, and the time we have taken to develop as individuals and just unwind, has played a significant role in this growth.
Most acutely I have missed knitting and crocheting. There is just something so calming for me about working with yarn. I have always made things. When I was a little kid I made a crazy amount of those friendship bracelets made with embroidery floss. I made beaded belts, sewed dolls and doll clothes, spun string, made hemp and wire jewelry, learned to throw pots, and knit and crocheted scarves, hats and even a couple of sweaters in my teens. I did projects here and there in college (mostly scarves and hats) but after graduating and finding out I was pregnant I didn't make a whole lot since we were trying to figure out things like how to make money, when to get married, and how to have a baby.
In taking up the crafts again I have been reminded why I love them so much. There is something so meditative about watching my needles create careful stitches, and to see it slowly transform into an item of beauty and use (hopefully :) ). It is similar in feeling to working out for me. I slowly fall into a zone of focus where it is just me and the stitches and I feel so alive. I love the earthy feel of my wooden knitting needles (metal is just not the same) and the different textiles I can work with be it wool, cotton, bamboo, alpaca or any number of blends. When I started knitting again in the summer I decided I was never again going to buy cheap, crappy yarn. It is just not worth putting so much time into a hand-knitted item if I am going to use horrible acrylic yarn. Plus I just prefer natural fibers (loving alpaca at the moment).
Mentally I have felt much more stable since taking time to knit, and I am actually telling A that we should knit and play video games some nights rather than avoiding time to myself. Right now I have two sweaters on my docket (one for A and one for me), and I'm hoping to start on A's this weekend.