Saturday, December 8, 2007

Is It Time to Panic Yet?

Every day this week I wanted to sit down and write something here. I wrote a bunch of posts in my head. But I never did sit down and write, because all week I was constantly seized with the feeling that I had to be doing something to prepare for Christmas. So much to be done, so much to be done!

It finally occurred to me yesterday that I was stressing way too much for the the first week of December. Especially given that I've already got most of my shopping done, which for me is the hardest part (that and the wrapping--I'm much too left-handed to wrap presents).

The primary source of my stress is the sweater I'm knitting for my brother. I can knit just about anything, but the finishing kills me, particularly necklines and sleeves (shoulder and side seams aren't a problem). It's a v-neck sweater, and I'm having a bit of a problem with the V in the neck. First, the instructions, badly translated from the German (it's a Lang pattern) are useless. I followed them to a tee and did not get a V. So now I'm having to make it up as I go along. This could take years.

Yesterday morning I started to despair as I knit and watched "The Waltons" (a favorite show of my youth). This sweater is eating up all my available time with its infinite do-overs. I felt the need for a cigarette, a sure sign that the stress was taking over (especially given that I haven't smoked in ten years). I turned off the TV and thought. What if I don't finish this sweater? What if I don't get the Christmas cards out? What if I don't get all the out-of-town packages mailed on Monday, per my plan?

Well, the world would fall apart, naturally. Christmas would come to a dead halt. History would collapse upon itself and the baby Jesus would never get born in the first place.

Clearly, I needed a little perspective.

And then, in a flash, I had an idea. I could take a picture of my brother's almost-finished sweater, and if I don't finish the sweater in time to mail it with the rest of the gifts I'm sending, then I will put the picture in a nice box and wrap the box and put a pretty bow on top, and I will send the picture in the sweater's stead.

I like this idea so much, I may not finish my brother's sweater on purpose. Because a picture in the box will make him laugh. And it will make me laugh to send it.

On top of that, I did finish the quilt for my sister-in-law (which I will take a picture of before I send it and post the picture here) and it looks grand, despite the fact that there are no right angles or straight lines anywhere, and its general shape is more that of a rhombus than a rectangle. But still, it's really cool and will make her happy, and that will make my brother happy. Happiness all around! Christmas is saved!

So today I don't feel so stressed out. I have some other things I want to write about, and maybe I will write some more later today or tomorrow. I want to write about how I've been looking for light every day and how cool that's been, how when you're driving and keeping an eye out for light--the sun breaking through the clouds, a tree that has held onto its outrageously bright yellow leaves, etc.--the world becomes amazingly beautiful in the most ordinary places. So, more later. I'm off to chill out some more.

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