Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Simple Yarn Along

Last night, I stayed up late and finished reading The 100 Thing Challenge.  (As a side note, I bought the Kindle edition of this book rather than bring another item into my house, but it was a dilemma as the Kindle version cost more than the actual book). I think about simplicity a lot, but lately, I've been thinking about what
simplicity is not. I've realized that no matter how much I try to simplify my life that my life will never be simple. Do I really want that anyway?  Deep down, do I like the gritty challenges that every day brings me? Probably, most days, the answer is yes.  Elizabeth had a very thoughtful post today on this very subject. (I find it interesting that some of my blogger friends are pondering the same things at the same time.)

The 100 Thing Challenge is largely about breaking free from consumerism and living more fully with less stuff. It's true. Our stuff weighs us down and sometimes
incapacitates us to deal with it.  Less is more is a constant theme here on my blog.  I work hard to make sure that what we have is useful and beautiful. I work hard to unload myself of unwanted things quickly, but somehow I got it in my head that owning fewer things would make my life more simple.  I haven't found this to be the case. Yes, I don't have to spend nearly as much of my life dealing with stuff, but I found that what I need is to simplify what's going on in my mind. Remember, my word for the new year is calm. Simplicity has more to do with calming my mind.  My mind could use some de-cluttering and that might make all the difference. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe a calm environment will have calming effects on us physically.  It's just that I seem to focus more on my surroundings than my what's going on in my mind.
No wonder I still feel the anxiety of my non-simple life.  My life will always have challenges, but it's how I react to them that will make all the difference.

Knitting has become one of the most calming activities in my life. For some reason, I can literally feel stress falling off of me when I sit down to knit. Knitting is like a drug. I can actually feel my mind slow down and
I begin to feel less panicky about all the things I didn't/couldn't get to during the day. Sometimes, I am sad
that I didn't learn to knit much earlier, but perhaps I didn't need it as much as I do now. Last night, after finishing The 100 Thing Challenge, I cast on a simple sweater for my little girl.  I started listening to this on my MP3 and joyfully knit until my eyes started to close. I turned off the light and fell asleep quickly and peacefully. This is where Ginny comes in.  Ginny posted some similar thoughts as well. Go read her post. I think she articulates what I'm thinking  better than I can.  Simplicity isn't just our de-cluttered homes, but accepting that life is complex, but choosing to face life with a sense of calm.

So, I've mentioned what I've been pondering and reading, but here's what I've been knitting.  I admit, it's not that great a photo.  I was trying to take the photo quickly because little T wanted me to peel a banana for her.  Life isn't simple, but life is good.  Here's the sweater I started last night and two hanks of Chickadee
from Quince & Co.  I love those vibrant colors and I couldn't resist the navy color because it's name is Pea Coat.  I love Navy pea coats. 

Please join Ginny for more knitting and books.


Kathryn said...

Love, love, love your yarn and I would probably enjoy your read as well!

Sarah said...

The yarn is wonderful! And that book looks interesting. I am inspired by all the posts about simplicity lately. It is interesting to ponder how less stuff doesn't necessarily equal a simpler life. And how to declutter the mind ... Very good thoughts to ponder.

Meredith said...

I love navy pea coats too! And yes I wish we could knit together friend!! Hug those babies and can't wait to see how the sweater comes along, the colors are just gorgeous.

Jenny said...

My sister keeps telling me, "Keep knitting, you will get the hang of it and you will feel calmer." Because right now I am not a calm knitter.

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