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This RingSurf Site is owned by The Patchwork Butterfly

I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Sunday, January 28, 2007  

Is it already Sunday night again? I am NOT ready for another week of work. BUT, my birthday is this week, and I'm taking that day off AND I get presents. So, as work weeks go, it won't be so bad. I'm a big fan of reasons for a fresh start. Some people are not fans of New Years Eve/New Year's resolutions, and I see their point. If something is good enough to resolve to do, why wait for some arbitrary date? But I like fresh starts, I like to have a timeline. It works for me. But so far, this year had not been the greatest. From my first world, middle class point of view, it has really sucked. Of course, on the global scale I still have an incredibly blessed life that many cannot even dream of living. But, from my perspective it's been rough. So, now I'm all about my birthday being the start of my new year. It's all uphill from here! I hope. I'm going to wax philosophical on this in a bit, but for anyone who doesn't feel like reading the blah, blah, blah, I'll get right to the fiber stuff and you can skip the rest if you choose.

This week was a good one fiber-wise. I had set a little goal for myself on the BFL and I met it, in spite of a bump in the road. I wanted to finish the first ply in a month, and since I started on Christmas, I was aiming to finish by Thursday. I was on track to do it, and probably would have finished last weekend if not for the video games. But then, the bump. Oh, the bump. On Sundays, Mark and I go to my parents' house for dinner and to spend some time with them and I sometimes take my wheel with me. I took it with me last Sunday and all was fine. On Monday, I was setting up to spin and brought out the wheel in its carry bag. When the wheel is in its carry bag it is not at its most stable. When I was turned around, arranging the cushions on my chair into spinning formation, the wheel fell onto its back, still in the carry bag. Since it was in the carry bag, I figured it was fine, set it up and went off spinning. Soon into spinning I was feeling... something through the treadles. After an hour or so, I noticed a movement that shouldn't have been there. On closer inspection, I found out that the fall had knocked a part out of its position (I'd explain it more thouroughly, but I'm sure I'd confuse you all with my highly technical jargon such as "thingamajig" and "doohickey") Not only was the part in question out of position, but was also grinding other parts (again, very technical here) so I didn't think I should continue spinning. Please see: having a crappy year. I tried to get the doohickey back into the thingamajig (oops, sorry, if I lost you ask your local rocket surgeon) but it wouldn't stay there. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, etc, but long story... uh, not so short, my dad was able to fix it for me later that week AND I still met my own little goal. Yea! And for your viewing pleasure, I've included the very out-of-focus (and exciting) picture of the finished bobbin. Sorry for the lousy pictures, last week I was taking pictures of myself for Project 365 and dropped my lovely, wonderful digital camera and made it go kablooey. Please see: having a crappy year. So, I am now borrowing my original digital camera (read: quite old) from my parents, who inherited it when I got my newer (wonderful, now kablooey) one.

In order that the BFL doesn't become a chore, I'm taking a break before I start the second ply. In my charming anal perfectionistic way, I made a list of all the things I wanted to knit and spin and narrowed it down to one of each (knitting and spinning). I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and I'm making a Swallowtail shawl. The pattern is absolutely gorgeous and a very quick and easy knit. I've just finished the twelth (out of fourteen) repeat of the second chart, and I only started on Friday. I'm using some truly luxurious Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply yarn and I am in heaven (in heaven with slightly blue fingertips).

Again, please excuse the lack of decent photography (like this blog EVER had that). I'm also back to spinning the variegated wool/silk sample I talked about here. And that's about it for fiber this week. So, prepare yourself for Deep Thoughts with Jenni.

Lately, I've been really thinking about my life and what I want it to be, and what I want to be. Since I graduated from college, my biggest struggle has been finding employment that didn't make me want to cry. Every day. And that has been the main focus of the angst I've felt. Now, I've never exactly been a happy-go-lucky person. I was an only child with a well-above-genius IQ. Guess how well I fit in. But, at least I had the support of adults. I lived my whole life being told how special I was and what a difference I'd make in the world and how wonderful I was. And then I was an adult. And I was no longer special. And I still didn't fit in. And all of that was there, but so much of my unhappiness was focused on the "work" part of my life, because it was the biggest part of my day. But now, I've found a wonderful job that has a lot to do with what I'm passionate about. And I really can't imagine finding a better job that will actually pay me. So, it's time to focus on the other parts of my life. Because, even though I've found this wonderful job, and have a wonderful partner and (very few but totally fabulous) friends, I'm still not happy. I'm A LOT less unhappy (this job, after three months has not ever made me cry, not even once. You do not know how amazing this is to me), but I'm not happy. Rachel wrote the most amazing post about happiness and it may seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but it struck such a note with me. Oh. I need to go after happiness. Well, that makes sense. So, I'm trying to come up with 27 things to do while I'm 27 (or, uh celebrating the second anniversary of my 25th birthday). And this list is mostly (but not totally) centered around opening up my life and trying new things and finding some happiness. I know I'm not going to be happy all of the time, and I don't actually want that (otherwise I would have started taking happy pills a LONG time ago). I just want to find more peace, contentment, and joy in everyday life. Since I was SO UTTERLY MISERABLE for so long in so many craptastic jobs, I just kind of hunkered down and tried to claw through each day. Now I have a little breathing room to stretch and grow and explore my world, because I'm no longer using all my energy just to make it through another day at work. So, I'm spilling all this out on the internet for everyone to see because I need help. I only have 11 things to do while I'm 27. Help me out here people! Here's what I have so far:

1. Buy a house

2. (private, relates to money. boring, I promise. but important)

3. Try 6 new restaurants

4. Cook from 6 new recipes

5. Read 6 classic works of literature (suggestions anyone? I mostly took advanced classes, so I missed out on all the classics. Tell me your favorites)

6. Read 3 non-fiction books for learning purposes (I'm thinking astronomy? Something cool)

7. Take 3 fiber-related classes

8. Take 1 non-fiber-related class

9. Start a muscle-related training program (yoga, pilates, nautilus, whatever. I need me some muscles. Osteoporosis runs in my family. I'm protecting myself now)

10. Take at least one photo a day to document what my life is really like

11. Journal at least 1 paragraph every day

I know I can count on all the people in the internet to help me out here. Thank you!

Birthdays always make me very introspective, too. Good luck with your changes, big and small! If you're still looking for suggestions for stuff to do this year, how about choosing some interesting places to visit? Doesn't have to be international--could be somewhere close by, if you prefer.
How about take at least one hour a week just to pamper yourself? I try to take a bubble bath every Friday.
What a great post! I had a realization like that a few weeks ago. I had one of those things happen that made me see that I've spent the last few years since I finished college just floating along, assuming that things would fall into place "someday". So I made a similar list and am trying to actively pursue happiness.

Good luck to you, I'll be here to encourage you along the way!
Happy birthday! It's good (imo - tho hubster would disagree) to start planning life goals while you are still in your 20s. It gives you a lot of time.

You didn't show point #2 about money, but I hope it includes something about a long-term savings plan (401k or 403b from your employer). Even $100 a month adds up when you give it 30 years to collect interest. I couldn't start a retirement acct until very recently (student salary, and then we bought a home), and I didn't insist that Matt start one when we were younger, so we didn't initiate any kind of long-term savings until we were in our 30s (young 30s, but still).
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