Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Keep Calm and Garter On...

Today is #BellLetsTalk day... where Bell donates 5cents for every tweet etc. to mental health initiatives across the country. The irony is that exactly one year ago today, I went on medical stress leave for a month. Lots have happened since then... I've come a long way since that major anxiety attack that brought me to uncontrollable tears and down to my knees. I still have a ways to go but I do recognize my growth.

It wasn't a rosy year but knowing today that I'm not where I was last this time last year has given me strength. I've re-learned to notice the anxiety moments and manage them a whole lot sooner. How? Breathing is cliché but that is a part of it. Closing my office door when I need time to myself or even just saying 'no' when I just can't deal with crowds.

And then there is knitting... surprise! I have come to enjoy the simple garter stitch. You know the one... the basic back and forth knitting. What I call my 'stupid knitting'... when I don't have to think about following a chart or counting stitches or remembering if this was the cable row or not. Simple, "I don't have to look" kinda knitting. It is these moments where can just focus on the movement of my fingers and watch the growth of the project... my Zen. There is something very pleasing about that.

When I need to quiet the mind... I've come to learn that the garter stitch is my friend... the one that is always there for you no matter what happens in your life. The one that will hold your hand and just say 'there, there' with no expectations other than knowing that that is enuff.

I'm almost finished my wee Baktus Scarf... maybe it's time to do another Doctor Who scarf... the ultimate in Zen knitting... or a test of my resolve. Either way, sometimes it really is just about the journey.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Sweet 16...?

I'm hoping 2016 will be sweet since 2015 was a year I'm more than happy to say goodbye to. Between the ex-boss that resulted in stress leave from work, managing the returned panic attacks, holding my father's hand while he was in palliative care... and so much more... 2015, well, it wasn't nice knowing you. 

Without my father to talk to, a lot of things built up far more that it normally would have. Strange how that happens. When I'd return from a work trip, he'd be the first person I'd call to tell him all about it. My last week long work trip in December was very stressful and I missed my father even more. He would have talked me down, tell me "all is ok, dear" and then would ask what I was knitting while sitting in those "swanky hotel rooms us government folk got"... oh, he was a funny guy!

My biggest cheerleader is no longer there for me and my un-balanced core needs to hear "all is ok, dear" even more. So this year will be a year of looking to hear those words in different ways. A year of simplifying things in order the clear the clutter... oh, don't worry... I'm not going all granola or anything. While I research and learn and write... it's all to find my centre again.

Of course, knitting will be involved. I believe that art, in all it's many forms, is healing. Knitting has been my healer and carried me in the past and it will again. The simplifying begins with knitting projects that only my stash will support (unless I'm travelling cuz souvenir yarn doesn't count). Good thing I have a large stash. 

Another step... chopped off my hair to a spunky pixie cut! It has always been long since high school. Good thing there's knitting for in-spite of having my own internal solar flares (that's another story), the neck gets a tad cold but oh, the amount of shampoo I'm saving!

While I go through 2016... I will go through it remembering my father's big Irish heart and twinkly blue eyes. While he may no longer be here... my new tat is as my reminder that he is always with me. The k
nit blue celtic-knot heart with a sprig of Irish Heather is on my right arm so that when I knit, or do anything else, I see it... my reminder that all will be ok.

Last year was a year of heartbreaking tears... this year? Healing tears of joy... and when I begin to doubt, all I need to do is touch my Blue Heart... breathe deep and say to myself, all will be ok.

Oh, and it was yet another shawl I was knitting in that 'swanky' hotel... yup... one healing tear at a time.