A Problem and a Solution

April 17th, 2008 | View Comments

It’s sort of been a grumpy week so far. Well, it’s sort of been a grumpy month or two, but this week has been no good. Yesterday was a good day but Monday nearly made me cry and today started out good and rapidly went downhill. I was such a frowny mess when I got home that I ate potato chips and ice cream for dinner (don’t do that, your tummy won’t like it).

I’ve been seeking out happiness where I can find it this week so, in addition to giving the froggy some arms and a new mouth, I made these:

Some more Wave of Babies Booties

If you remember, I originally designed these booties to alleviate some work-related grumpiness. I don’t know if it’s just coincidence that I always choose to knit these booties when I’ve been having a rough time, or if I’ve somehow invented baby booties with sanity-restoring properties.

In which case, I should totally market them to harried mothers and become filthy rich in the process.

But I’m hoping that today will be the end of the grumpiness, or at least the worst thereof. I had a breakthrough moment on my walk home today: I am grumpy because I am overwhelmed.

You see, I had been blaming myself for my grumpiness. I’ve been massively unproductive on all fronts for the last month and some part of me believed that I was just being lazy. But today I realized that I am not just being lazy. I am motivated to finish all the stuff that’s hanging over my head. But I haven’t been able to do it because I have been under so much stress that my brain went into self-preservation mode and refused to do anything more intense than browsing Ravelry.

My dad has a very deadly form of cancer and we’ve been on quite the rollercoaster since December. He was continually in and out of the hospital for a couple months with potentially-fatal blood clots. And then they put him on oxygen and the oncologist suggested hospice. My parents brought on a new oncologist who started a new treatment that seemed to do wonders. And then we learned the cancer was progressing anyways. And then we learned…never mind! My dad is improving after all! It’s just that the doctors were comparing the wrong CAT scans the first time. Wanting to cheer and curse at the same time is a very bizarre feeling.

And then there’s this. A very happy thing, but also stressful.

And somewhere in this I’m supposed to propose my dissertation, revise a paper for publication, prepare submissions for two conferences, develop all the instructional materials for my dissertation project, and pack everything up and get ready to move this summer.

And that’s not even the end of it.

I am overwhelmed.

Paradoxically, this realization was uplifting. When I thought I was just being lazy and beating up on myself for it…this is not a problem I really know how to fix. Having too much to do in too little time: this is a problem I know how to fix. I am a master at breaking down monstrous tasks into a ton of little trivial bits that add up. I can chug amazing amounts of coffee. I can do this.

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CogKnition posted this on April 17th, 2008 @ 1:52am in Knitwear Design, Life as a Knitter, Unfinished Objects | Permalink to "A Problem and a Solution"

1 Comment

  1. Natalie says:

    I hope things get better and you relax. Your dad being sick and planning a wedding are both stressful on their own but with both they can be a bit much. I hope you get some time for yourself.

    Wishing you some relax time.