Can I just confess something to you? I’m exhausted.
And I don’t just mean that I need a nap. I am mentally fatigued and weary, and I need something in my life to change. But here’s what I’m mulling over lately: how do I do that? And what exactly needs to change?
They say to slow down, take time for yourself, and avoid over-scheduling.
Whoa nelly, do I ever need to embrace those pithy bits of advice. It’s really, really hard not to get caught up in the “How-are-you/Good-but-soooo-busy” game that our culture likes to play. Being frantically full to the brim with every last minute scheduled and full is practically a badge of honor.
But people are getting burnt out. We as a culture cannot sustain this pace, and so the conversation has started to shift. A few lone voices are shouting loud about the value of rest. The buzzword for this is margin. It’s the idea that there should be a bit of empty space around the busy centers of our lives. White margins, fresh and unmarked.
I recently discovered that I cannot remember the last waking moment where I did not feel the crushing weight of something urgent to do. And you know what the catalyst was? Surprisingly, it wasn’t becoming a part-time WAHM with this site. It wasn’t even having 3 kids in less than 4 years. It was before that. I don’t remember exactly when… probably when I became a grown-up with a job and a husband and a car… and I just slipped into this cultural norm, this way of being.
I’m an introvert which means that I’m an internal processor, and it takes me a good long time of chewing on something before I have anything of value to say, which is why I suck at commenting on current affairs. I have a flash of insight about things… three months later.
So I started thinking about this stuff months ago, and I am going to now officially commit that 2015 is going to be my Year of Margin.
Basically, I will create margin in my life so that I don’t go insane. (Ok, yes more insane. You’re right, I’m already pretty crazy… but it’s of the charming variety, right? *wink-wink*)
What’s the plan?
So how do I plan to do this margin-creating thing? Well, one thing I don’t plan to do is quit, run away, or move to Australia to reinvent myself. I don’t believe that becoming less frantically busy will magically happen just by removing select obligations or quitting my current life.
It takes conscious intentionality, and it means making different choices with your time. It’s actually much harder work to assess your priorities and carefully make appropriate use of your time based on your values.
That’s why I’m taking crochet classes. Instead of simply quitting one of my obligations and letting my time be mindlessly filled with something else, I’m choosing to make space for a hobby that I love. It relaxes me, it nourishes my creative spirit, and at the beginner rate I’m going it is entirely unproductive (take that, Busy-Obsessed Culture!)
I’m learning to crochet from an online class, and I am in serious love with it. It’s called Crochet: Basics and Beyond, and it is fabulous. (Check out the bottom of this post for a chance to win a free enrolment to the class, valued at $24.99!)
I could rave all day about the class itself – the instructor (Kim Werker) is incredible. No word of a lie – after the first lesson, I went and Googled her website and promptly signed up for her email newsletter.
I actually already had a wee bit of crochet knowledge (I’ve crocheted a few scarves using the only stitch I know [single crochet], but I have no clue how to follow a pattern), but she covers every last detail from the very beginning and taught me that I was doing almost everything wrong (womp womp), and making it way more difficult for myself.
She also addressed head on the idea of failure and making ugly things. She encourages us that if our first creations aren’t ugly, then we’re doing something wrong, because it means we’re not challenging ourselves enough. Cha-ching! Nailed that lesson. Ugly creations? Check.
This is the fourth class from Craftsy that I have been fortunate enough to check out, and I wish we could be sitting across from one another right now so that I could look you in the eyes and you could see my crazy gesturing and dramatic proclamations of love and adoration for them. I review lots of cool stuff for this blog, and I only agree to review things I think are a good fit for me and my readers, but I’ll tell you right now – Craftsy is one of my all-time faves, and I’ll be using it long after I stop gushing about it to the interweb.
The yarn and the margin
So in those quiet evenings hours when I’m staying up way too late yet again and can’t seem to motivate myself to get my butt to bed (a quiet house is positively intoxicating when your days are punctuated by the beautiful noisy clamour of three kids age six and under), I’ll open a new browser tab and watch a lesson or two on granny squares or how to follow a pattern.
The to-do’s and busyness of my work and home life will melt back into their rightful position as I take up my yarn and hook, work the stitches, and slowly create something lovely: margin.
I invite you to join me in this quest for margin in 2015, and if you’d like to jump on the crochet lesson bandwagon with me and the rest of the cool kids, you can enter the giveaway for a free class enrolment!
Lessons include: (1) Getting Started, (2) The Basic Stitches, (3) Working in Rows, (4) Troubleshooting Row Work, (5) Working in the Round, (6) How to Read a Pattern, (7) The Granny Square, and (8) Rounding Out Your Knowledge.
Click here to enter
Giveaway ends 12/17/2014 at 11:59pm MST.
Disclosure: Craftsy sponsored this post, because they are the coolest kids on the crafty-video-tutorial block. All of the rambling thoughts and opinions are mine and cannot be bought. Not even for a bajillion dollars. Ok, I’d consider it for a bajillion dollars, but not a penny less. If you’re still reading this you should know that disclosures are not usually this ridiculous and rambling. You’re welcome.