On Christmas Eve I sewed in the last ends on my Beekeeper’s Quilt
. I started that way back in summer 2011; at some point I pinned the arbitrary deadline of December 2018 onto it. Which gave me the permission I needed to actually call it done, rather than just carry on making hexipuffs until it was “big enough”, whatever that might have been. It’s a lot smaller than I once wanted it to be, but honestly, that’s okay. It’s for my kid, and she loves it. It’s a cozy lap blanket. It’s fine.
There’s actually a lot about this blanket that is “fine” rather than quite the way I’d like it. Having worked on it over seven years (with apparently widely varying tension), the hexis vary in size quite astonishingly. Some of them are kinda messy. And although I worked with a very specific palette, I don’t feel like the end result is aesthetically coherent. But it’s still fine.
This seems like a very useful, maybe annoyingly widely applicable, analogy – for life. For parenting. For whatever. Right now it just mostly feels like a good image to sum up my 2018. It was… a lot. Exhausting. Messy. Resistant to planning efforts. And I’m still not completely happy with where I’ve ended up. But basically, I can be proud of what I’ve done. And it’s all fine.
At this time of year we’re all supposed to be fired up with ambition, aren’t we? Raring to go with big goals and good intentions. But January is frankly a bit rubbish. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s hard. And I can already tell you my year isn’t off to a great start. (Thanks a lot, stomach virus.) I started 2018 with big plans and was quickly overtaken by actual life – the year got way busier than expected, and while that forward movement was extremely welcome, it has not left me much energy for 2019. It also gave me rather too many opportunities to give myself a hard time. (Thanks a lot, overly critical self.)
So my main aim this year is simply to be kinder to myself. Not in the bubble-bath and pedicures “self-care” way, but in the more genuine self-care
way of honouring my limits, and shutting down negative self-talk. (Ok. TRYING to shut it down. Stoopid brain, no off switch.
) I’ve set myself modest goals, backed up with a careful plan (plus a lot of slack to accommodate sudden twists of fate), and the ultimate aim: just keep going. One stitch at a time always adds up to something. Oh, and I’m starting a new scrap blanket… because I do after all have a second kid. And because mindless knitting is the best self-care I know.