Thursday, September 21, 2006

Itchy in my Skin

One of the things I hated about my various forays into graduate school (see "slow learner" in the dictionary) was the omnipresent, nagging feeling that I should always be doing something other than what I was, at that moment, doing. The world of knowlege was so huge, and the people I was with knew so much, and the standards were so high. . . let's just say that when I made an executive decision to run far, far away from any doctoral degree, I heaved enormous sighs of relief.

So now I find myself marginally employed, gifted with four wonderful children, deeply engaged in numerous interesting avocations, and I'm feeling. . . like there's always something else I should be doing.

Whether I'm nursing a baby, reading to the kids (okay, not so much with this -- I'm sort of Zen about that, thank goodness), vacuuming, knitting, working online, I'm fighting the monkey voice in my head. Nonstop chattering, offering not very supportive analyses of what I am doing or accomplishing, pushing me to hurry, hurry hurry. I am so tired of this.

Perhaps it's because I am tired. Perhaps it's because I set ridiculously high standards for myself. Perhaps it's because I have to make a choice every stupid second of every day about what to do next, what to prioritize, how to accomplish what must be done to keep body and soul together versus what makes keeping it together worthwhile. And the stakes feel unaccountably high. I don't think parents are responsible for their children's outcomes, but I do feel like I'm responsible for the kind of parent I am. I don't think I'm up to it. At least not recently.

Well, lying on the couch and weeping isn't a workable possibility. So, instead of finishing the fix on the lace throw or working more on the cabled scarf for the ISE3 (which I've decided to alter for more drapiness but NOT rip out -- trying to make the monkey quiet), I did some other things yesterday.

Did you know that "ciabatta" is Italian for "slipper"? Apparently Italians like their slippers flat:

And I took a nice lambswool/angora/nylon Gap sweater

and made it into something worth running away with.

Here's a quieter shot.

I'm probably going to undo the bottom and turn it 90 degrees, so the handles face the other way. I also decided to only use thrift store sweaters for diaper covers. The monkey and I agree: I don't knit fast enough to knit bum bags anymore.


amy said...

I could not be more *there* with you lately. You might like Peace Is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh, if you don't already know it. It's good for shutting down my monkey mind for a while.

The recycled sweater creations are great. I love my butt sweaters. Unfortunately, part of my feeling overwhelmed is that I used the simplest possible diapering plan short of disposables, and that does not involve wool.

So, thank goodness your blog comments are supposed to be all about me.

amy said...

ok, they aren't MY butt sweaters - they are the babies' butt sweaters

sewingsuzee said...

You sound like you're in a growth spurt. Allow for some growing pains...and remember when you stop growing, you die.

If we never show our faults and deficiencies to our children, they will grow up thinking we have none, and that sets a pretty high bar for them. One of the best parenting moments I've had in years came recently, when I completely fell apart in a sobbing puddle because I just couldn't take the never-ending ceaseless guilt I felt for being so damned inadequate.

They loved it.

Anyhoo, the sweater into bag trick is miraculous! The ciabatta and its bearer are a marvel, and the blur is growing up mighty fast. So cut yourself some SLACK. Evidence suggests you're doing fine, even in your down time.

jen said...

I can't fathom doing all that you do and feeling like it's not enough. For what it's worth, you're a marvel to me!

The bread looks lovely, as does the bag. Great idea about the thrift store bum covers!

Rain said...

I agree with the wee one that the bag is well worth running away with. It looks lovely.

I think that chattering monkey needs to be quiet as you do so much as it is.

Brittany said...

You're so productive! I agree - you need to cut yourself some slack. The bag looks great and the bread looks yummy.

Charity said...

I started reading your post this morning with my tea, and then saved it to come back to once the baby was sleeping. My heart goes out to you - I can SO identify with what you are saying and feeling.... and while on one hand I tell myself that there is time to accomplish and experience all that I so long to, I feel the press and the push, too. I feel that this is one of the biggest "costs" incurred by becoming a mother - this constant balancing act between the needs and wants, the pulls from all different directions. I wish I had sage wisdom to offer you. I do have understanding, if that helps at all. :0)