Photo and story by Tina Bury
Recently, while on a ship (sofa) in the ocean (living room) with my wee fella, on our way to Mackinac Island (still in our living room), I was mending the knees of his pants.
He "fished" while I mended. He wasn't sure that we were both "working".
In fact...he proclaimed "How come we're not both working?!"
Hmm...we may need to have a talk about what "work" is.
It's sort of disconcerting that perhaps my son, MY son, doesn't value "women's" work. Is it in his DNA? What on earth?!
Or perhaps it's the age-old quandary of your work/effort doesn't LOOK exactly like mine, so therefore I can't see it's value.
That great divide between Me and You and the struggle of overvaluing our own efforts and undervaluing the efforts of others. Interesting to ponder, but I digress.
What I really want to talk about is making and "finding" time for making.
Honestly, nearly all of my making is in the tiny bits of time that I (gently..now) force it into.
I'm guessing you can relate.
And yes, I'm claiming mending as making time.
Gah, making - it's the one space in my weekly tracking that often remains empty, okay, that and moving my body. Sadly. (If you've been here a while, you probably are not surprised at my nerdiness! Weekly tracking...ha ha ha)
So, I'll claim mending, because it makes me feel good. And peaceful. And connected. And that assuredly counts.
But sometimes I have no energy for it and those little pants with ripped out knees snuffle and cry and pile on all the guilt...until in a moment of overwhelm, I cut them into rags, ha - the power!, and begin again!
And then one gets through. And I'm just sitting on a ship in the ocean after all, doing nothing...sure, maybe I should have been "fishing", but how many fishermen does one ship need? Someone has to do the tending.
It's like that, right, life moves along at its swift pace and if we don't make the time and space to do what fills us up, we won't just have the time.
Sure, you can argue that perhaps while on the ship at sea I did just have the time, but I would argue that, I had to intentionally choose to make with my hands while engaging with my wee boy with my imagination and self.
I plan at least one making outing every week, generally a knitting circle in my town...because I KNOW that making with my hands enhances my life and fills me up.
I know it soothes my, very active, mind and allows me to be a better human. And bonus...making and friends are both values of mine, so it's a twofer!
I've been thinking a lot lately about making for the pure joy of it and scheduling bullet-proof time in my week for it, beyond the weekly knitting night.
I find that living mindfully and making space for self-care requires constant recalibration at any given moment.
I make a plan, I follow my passion, diving into what's pressing at the moment and eventually I feel off.
Feeling off is my indication that I need to reconnect to my core values - family, engaging work, friends, play, making, tending home, moving my body - and re-balance.
Add a little more of this in my week and a little less of that.
We have more control than we think. There are times when we mindlessly choose to engage in something that is not enhancing our lives and we have the power to choose instead to fill that time with what does take care of our needs. And those little moments add up, they do!
And I think that knowledge is exciting...it means I can do this, regardless of how "busy" I am. I can sew a seam here and there, I can cut out a pattern in the evening or knit while watching a show. I can.
So, here's to choosing mindfully and making space for what matters to us and letting go of what does not.