"We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose."
There is a certain sameness to my days. I get up around 8:00, perform my morning ablutions, head straight to the coffeemaker, check my email, then settle in for several hours of knitting.
I come up for air (and a bagel with cream cheese) around 11:00 and read the morning paper (And you thought the dinosaurs were extinct!) before returning to my work, usually design or clerical work on the laptop. Oh, the joys of being self-employed...
Next time I look up. the clock says 2:00 and I begin to wonder...
Where did the day go?
I once complained to my friend Greg that there were not enough hours in the day. I was spread too thin. I couldn't manage my life. There just wasn't enough me to go around.
Instead of providing suggestions as to how I could accomplish more, he instead gave me some of the best advice I've ever gotten.
"Have you ever considered, Susan, that there are exactly the right amount of hours in each day? Twenty-four today. Twenty-four yesterday. Twenty-four tomorrow and the day after. Maybe you should try adjusting your expectations, instead of the clock. I think you might stand a better chance of success with that."
Now the only time I really feel the pressure of time is when I am hung up on a design difficulty. Finding exactly what the yarn wants to be can be an exhausting and time consuming process.
Knit. Look. Frown. Rip out. Search for inspiration.
Cast on. Knit. Shake head. Frog. Eat chocolate.
Knit. Modify. Consider. Try to accept. Groan. Unravel.
You get the drill...
But eventually, it always (or almost always) comes round right. I just have to keep turning until it does.
I picked up some Blue Sky alpaca at my LYS on Friday. I had some vague idea of an Oatmeal Scarf. I tried nubby texture stitches; I tried cables; I tried lace. I messed all day Saturday with that yarn, to no avail. I set it aside with a sigh of frustration and worked on something else for a while.
And Monday morning I knew what to do with it.
I combined a deeply defined rib with a smocking technique. Twisting the stitches on the rib gives added depth to the pattern and three lines of smocking on each end add a little pizazz. I tipped it with a little brown alpaca for interest.
I have enough to do at least a hat and matching scarf. I may even do a little fingerless glove to go along. I am calling it Cafe au Lait.
It meets all the criteria for my aperitifs collection. Easily memorized pattern with quick results. Simple.
And just like that, time marches on.
My days unspool before me, each one much the same as the last; same as the next as well.
Baby Boy queries me, "What's up Mom?"
The answer seldom varies, "Working."
I presume he (in his youth and inexperience) finds the sameness of my days boring and uneventful. I remember feeling much the same in my younger days. I once dreamed of a life full of surprises, action, sophistication, and success.
But I have learned the toll that an overly busy life takes on my psyche. I have felt the distance between heart and mind. I have run with the rats and found the destination less than promised. I have reshaped my life, bringing what was once a scattered soul home again.
Baudelaire posits two ways of escaping time: work and pleasure. My work is my pleasure.
And my great blessing.
Timing is everything...
Of course, some of us simply sleep it off...