“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
- Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Wow! Where have I been?
The short answer to that is, "Absolutely nowhere." I've been busy, but I also have been doing nothing, which makes absolutely no sense.
Perhaps a more accurate explanation would be that I've been busy doing things that no one else would consider important. I'm not working and I'm not working out (yet - looking forward to going back to powerlifting next month!), but my daughter has started school, and I'm still trying to figure out what I want out of this new life, and that takes time and energy. Even though I have decided to take this giant pause in my life, the world is still spinning around me, and I have to make sure that I don't allow myself to spin off into nothingness.
As I've said previously, I feel a little aimless right now. I am someone who NEEDS to keep busy, even if it stresses me out to the max, because without all the routines and time schedules and responsibilities, I feel absolutely adrift. And I'm a little isolated here - I have Portland-area friends, but in truth, I'm not ready to be social yet. (I haven't even worn makeup in the last three weeks, if that gives you an idea of how not-myself I've been lately.) I've left the house mostly just to run errands, and otherwise, I'm just inside all the time. I know, it's not healthy, but my inertia has completely changed.
But like I said, I'm "busy" too - just, not busy doing anything of consequence. I'm trying to take advantage of this opportunity I've been blessed with to finally get to the things I've always wished I had more time to do.
Here's a peek at the busy nothings I've been sharing on my Instagram:
I've started a Bullet Journal, first of all. I was using a Happy Planner for the last few months, and I loved it, but it's huge, and I love how Bullet Journals are fully customizable and can be done in any notebook, so I gave it a shot, and even though I have very few events to actually put into my calendar, I'm working on staying organized, for my sake and for my family's. This also has the added bonus of being a great forum for artistic expression - how lovely it is to write in cursive! How lovely it is to fill my pages with color and stickers! When I was first researching Bullet Journals, I saw the MANY beautiful, perfect BuJo examples on Instagram, and not only was I intimidated by the artistic talent that I very obviously do NOT possess, but I was also scared about the amount of work it would take. Well, I'm happy to report that it doesn't feel like work at all - it's therapeutic. Putting pen to paper is satisfying in a way that typing into my phone never could be.
I'm reading, obviously - I've hit a record high with the number of books I've read this year on Goodreads. (Granted, a large number of them are romance novels, which are very quick reads.) But it's really nice to have, well, some extra space in my head :)
Here I am at Powell's, meeting author Sabaa Tahir:
I've actually started knitting again. It's not that I've ever stopped completely, but in the last two years, I've finished maybe a half-dozen projects? when normally, I finish at LEAST that many every year. That was something that definitely fell to the wayside, and it's nice to be able to make room in my life for crafting again. I've actually started my Christmas knitting! I won't be able to budget for as many (or as expensive) gifts for loved ones this year, but I certainly have the time, the skills, and the supplies to make some things. I'm trying my damndest to use yarn that I already have - essentially, I'm on a "stashdown" mission.
I can't share any of those gifts here (yet, anyway - don't want to ruin surprises), but here's a super-bulky shawl that I finished this week. I was also recently given my dad's old (but still awesome) DSLR, so I've been playing around with it and trying to learn how to use it. I will probably have to look up some Photography 101 guides in the near future.
Finished yesterday. Haven't shared knitting projects for a long time because lately I've only been knitting gifts, which are secret, and then I forget to share them after I give them to their recipients. This one was just for me :) Pattern: "Forest Stroll." Yarn: Cascade Magnum. #knitting #crafts #likeiceiscold #cascadeyarns #ravelry
And basically, I'm learning how to take care of this house and focus on home life. I've been cooking full meals for dinner almost every night (whereas before, we relied heavily on takeout), and moreover, I've been planning those meals regularly in my Bullet Journal. I'm trying to be a more attentive parent and to be involved in my kid's education, and I'm taking the time to help her find hobbies that she enjoys so that she feels fulfilled as well. Jimmy and I have plans to organize/level up our home, and we're probably also going to rewatch a bunch of Star Trek and old movies together, as well as work on getting and staying healthy. (In the past, whenever the death plague hit our house, it was miserable for every single person.)
So yeah, this sounds like a LOT. These activities are nothing that will change the world, but hey, the small stuff is what you build a life with, so that's what I've been doing lately - building my life. And so far, it looks good.