Monday double takes

It’s the sort of a funny start of the week where the unexpectedness of the day put me into a ‘just go with the flow’ kind of mood. Usually I plan my week with detailed to-do lists and goals that need to be met by a specific hour of a specific day. Yet despite writing these plans all out, it wasn’t a typical kind of Monday. And I was totally fine with it.

The photo is a good summary of the kind of day I had. On my commute to work I was looking into my camera because I had something in my eye (I don’t own a mirror – tend to borrow them when needed) and lo and behold I noticed the bone graphic behind me. It turns out it was a skeleton bone but, well, you get the picture.

Total double take.

Get to work and do the email double take (e.g. ‘did I just read, yes, yes I did’). Then went to a marking meeting what was all about double takes (e.g. our marks don’t quite agree but they’re in the ball park, sort of. More or less. Sure). Then afternoon slump – need – sugar – hit- now moment as I walk past the entrance of my favourite cafe, then turn around and walk back in to order a double chocolate brownie and large latte.

Lots of going-with-the-flow kind of moments.

Also went to the pub after work this evening. Rarely head to the pub nowadays, let alone a Monday night, but was returning home after an evening seminar and couldn’t be bothered to cook. So, to the pub we go…only to find out (after we had ordered a round) that it doesn’t serve food on Mondays. This is more of a face palm than a double take but it was that kind of Monday. So pizza delivery it is. No double takes here, just double portions. Going with the (hunger) flow. All in all, an unexpected positive start to the week.

Hand made anxiety

Well the title is a bit misleading. I am using my hands to make things, just not ‘making anxiety’. I suppose ‘the act of making stuff by hand is my current way of dealing with anxiety’ isn’t that snappy a title, but it is the focus of this post.

I learned to knit this year. A friend got a bunch of us together and convinced us to try knitting. I tried it, was hooked, and haven’t looked back since. Knitting is usually associated with lonely old women, grandmothers (not the same thing) or hippy earth-mother types. At least that was my impression. Was I ever WRONG on all accounts. It’s a brilliant hobby and one that has helped me manage my stress and anxiety in surprising ways.

When I knit, I’m focused on knitting. In the now, and on the thing I’m making. It feels like a break. A long, proper break from the anxiety I feel about work and life (mostly work, but that’s another time). I’ve got several projects on the go, so the struggle for me is to slow down and take the time to enjoy the process. I tend to focus on finishing rather than taking it slow and taking it in. I should be enjoying the ‘break’ but I find old habits die hard: the need to complete things. The need to finish. The need to accomplish something. To do something useful. To have something to show – It’s not easy to untangle (heh heh) all these inadequacies, but I’m learning. Slowly. One bit of wool at a time, I suppose.

It feels good to make things with my hands. In the end, that’s what matters to me. That feeling of a proper break.

New bits and pieces

I’ve had this blog on ‘pause’ since 2017 and today is the first time I’ve actually felt like writing an update. So, hello there.

It’s been a while.

There’s nothing like the first of the month to start afresh. Even if it is a Friday. Also, it’s #NaWriMo which is always a good time to write. In the past I used this month for hard core, focussed, get-it-down-whatever-it-takes kind of writing, like my methods chapter for my PhD, or first drafts of conference papers. This time, post-PhD, I’m taking a different tack and would like to use this month for create some headspace for me.

I’d like to recreate this blog as something more me. Less work and more about, well, other things. I’m not quite sure what. It’s a strange kind of awakening. Who I am has been caught up entirely in what I do at work. Then, when work and the work environment becomes unbearable what happens to me? I’ve sort of been picking up the pieces and sorting through the mess of my anxiety, and I think this blog is going to be part of that process.

So, I think this blog – at least for this month, will be a mix of ‘pieces’. Bits of me that might have something to do with work, might have something to do with other things. I’ll see where this takes me. Come along for the ride.