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June 22, 2008

The issue of worth

Pashmina Cowl (Ravelry link) from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, 2006
Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight - 3 Skeins Eggplant

I knew I would think about the issue while I was on my trip -- the fact that each one of my sisters is pursuing a successful career and earning income of her own. While my job working part-time at the yarn shop is rewarding and carries with it opportunities to see my friends and commune with knitters (and crocheters), it's pretty safe to say that my net earnings each year are canceled out by my purchases. And I'm proud of my sisters. They each have an incredible sense of duty and work ethic. I know that my sisters are also proud of me and they constantly tell me so -- and point to my parenting, my relationships and my skills as evidence. Whenever I've been given the opportunity for more (in the way of a career and a larger paycheck) in the past decade, I've respectfully declined.

So when I see things that I've knit being passed around the room and worn -- or I spy them in suitcases, it provides a little more clarity for me. The issue of worth begins to be resolved when I see proof of how I've invested my time and energy and how lucky I am to be able to do what I enjoy nearly every single day.

June 16, 2008

No longer in pieces

Coffee at Lola Restaurant in Seattle

For the last several weeks, my sisters and I had been making plans for a trip to Seattle to see our mom, who recently suffered a really bad fall and month-long recovery and rehabilitation. In the midst of the phone calls and updates and last-minute travel (for my youngest sister), we realized that we've not spent enough time together -- that is, just us sisters, free of emergency visits and drama. And while being with sisters is always good for a no-holds-barred reality check, it's also valuable to get the insight that only a sister can provide.

And for me, it was timely. I celebrated my 44th birthday almost 2 weeks ago and I did it quietly because it's the first birthday I've struggled with a little bit. It's not the numbers that bother me, it's the fact that the last few years have been difficult. I'm so grateful for all of you for reading the non-knitting bits here on my blog as I've used it to work through some of my thoughts. It's your comments and emails that have kept me going as I uncover old photos and history. As I dealt with some of the missing pieces, I realized that I was a little bit in pieces myself and that's not like me. I would rather have a long-term vision and a plan in place. My daily path doesn't have to be linear, but the vision is what keeps me anchored. And for the last few years, I've not had that. Or . . . perhaps have had too many. That is, I've been listening to what others have told me my vision should be and I've been distracted by too many choices and opportunities. No more.

This weekend gave me what I needed. The effort in getting to Seattle was monumental but I'm glad we all made it happen. Once or twice I was confronted with the internal question of what I'm here to do -- in the existential sense. I've always known that I've got the potential to do any number of things and I have so many wonderful people to encourage me no matter what path I'm on, but I didn't have that growing up. I had to rely on books and a lot of reading to help me choose the right attitude, how to make goals and how to achieve them. And you know what? I don't need to read any more books about those things. It's time for me to write one.