Daily Archives: May 19, 2010

Treading Water

I’ve been having trouble recently trying to keep up with things and not sink under a general miasma of depression. There’s great stuff happening — the pre-approved mortgage which now allows us to act on the listings we’ve been researching for the past year, I’m writing again (baby steps, baby steps), great weather — but I’m struggling with the good old self-worth issue again. I’m dealing with a lot of general pain and achyness, my back is screwed up again, sleep is back to the waking-up-a-lot-and-not-hitting-deep-enough-cycles, and I seem to be saying, “Is [insert goal or activity here] worth it?” a lot more than usual.

Cello is currently freaking me out. Not only is there a lot of pressure at orchestra with new music that’s pushing us past our comfort zone again, but my teacher’s studio year-end recital is coming up and I’m uncomfortable with the lack of prep on the ensemble pieces. This isn’t necessarily me; a lot of people have missed the group classes for various reasons, and so our group pieces are all over the place. There’s that whole obstacle of the opening two notes of my solo piece which isn’t helping. Overall, it’s the pile of work that’s making me freeze like a deer in the headlights. It doesn’t help that when I do work on stuff, especially for orchestra, it doesn’t seem to matter or make a difference.

Most of my freelance assignments are coming back with requests for tweaks or rewrites, which isn’t helping my self-confidence at all. Monday I was ready to chuck it all and just spin yarn to sell on Etsy or something, because I obviously couldn’t handle my job, as light as it is. Rather surprisingly for me, I was proactive and wrote an e-mail to the coordinator I’ve been working with the longest and pointed out that I was getting a lot of revisions, and what could I be doing better? Her response was reassuring: I had been really strong for a couple of years, but had lately been developing a weirdness concerning one particular part of the manuscript evaluations I do, and she pinpointed it for me. I’d successfully addressed the not-positive-enough problem that had popped up in my work earlier, which was good to hear, but part of what had made me ready to give it all up on Monday was a criticism that I was being too positive now. (This has happened before; I’ve been corrected on a couple of things and applied them to the next few assignments, only to have my corrections pointed out as incorrect for a different reason. Frustrating, but all valid.) We talked about the new problematic issue and it was somewhat of a relief to hear that she didn’t know how to fix it either. A solution would have been nice, but both of us brainstormed a bit, and we’re trying a couple of different techniques to see if we can adjust things. I came away from it feeling a lot better, or at least I wasn’t writing up a resignation letter in my head any more, convinced that they were about to fire me.

I got two inches cut off my hair last week, which helped somewhat. Now when I look in the mirror I’m not cranky. I went to the salon around the corner that I’d tried just after the boy had been born; I’d felt neutral about it then, and still do, but it’s thirty dollars less than the salon that the stylist I’d been seeing for the past three or four years moved to. What she was charging at her last salon was pushing my budget; the new place made it impossible for me.

I spun two ounces of BFL in a pretty purply colourway; it’s one of the Fleece Artist braids that I picked up in Mahone Bay last summer, and reminds me very much of the colours inside a mussel shell, a couple of cooler purple shades with touches of pinky-browns and a bit of old rose-silver. It’s not quite long enough for what I’m aiming for, so I weighed out two ounces of tussah silk and started spinning that to ply with it. A handful in, I realised that the natural honey color of the tussah was lovely but was going to ruin the colour effect, so I messed about in the kitchen with my dyes and ended up with a truly gorgeous one of a kind colourway that will complement the BFL nicely:

It looks a bit muddy in the photo (silk doesn’t seem to photograph very well) but it’s got the same colours the BFL has, only sort of in reverse weight: mostly warm pinky-browns and blueish silver with the cool purple tone. I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to look like spun up and plied with the BFL, but I know it’s going to look beautiful:

I wrote 1200 words the other night, and five hundred yesterday before the boys came home and there was no hope of focusing. I think I’m going to have to draw up a schedule so I can check things like a half-hour of cello off, an hour of writing, some spinning or dyeing work, and block off time for whatever assignments come my way. Crossing things off a list make me feel much more secure regarding my time management. Last week I was attacked by naps pretty much every day, which didn’t help my productivity (but obviously rather important). So far this week I’ve avoided that, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue avoiding them if I’m not sleeping at night.