Monday, March 6, 2017

A slower pace...

The last couple of years I've been 'listening' to the almost daily conversation two of my daughters have about babies, husbands, health, home and the future. Living more than 2,000 kilometres apart our little 'messenger' group keeps the three of us in touch with what's happening in our day to day lives. 

Our chats can run from teething and nappy rash to losing the car keys at the supermarket and choosing to stay calm with two toddlers who just want to go home now, or offering recipe advice and cleaning ideas, a sounding board for future plans, or a safe place to collapse into armfuls of loving encouragement when life is a tad overwhelming and only a mum or sister can understand. 

My girls inspire me with the women they have grown into, indeed the women, wives and mothers they are still becoming. I love that they ask my advice, but I also appreciate that they are there when I need it too. This giving and taking, sharing of what we have learned and what we still would like to know is such a gift and the fruit of it is mutual respect for each other, a trust and honesty which has been built over time. 

Though their lives are somewhat hectic with little ones to care for, there's also a slow simplicity and 'joy in the moment' which resonates through both of their personalities. The delight they have in their family, their husbands, their homes, is beautiful...and last week it reminded me that I may have begun to rush again, not intentionally, but enough that I'm not taking time to enjoy my ordinary moments as often as I should. 

This needed pondering.
Working backwards I discovered my return to rush and busyness coincided with the increase in migraines the past couple of months. My neurologist has me keeping a migraine diary now and it's quite clear three weeks along that I try to do twice as much work on my good days to make up for my bad days.
No wonder the sense of bustle and hurry follows me.

This weekend I decided not to sew. Now believe me I thoroughly enjoy stitching, but it's work and I rarely sew anything that's not work due to the many hours my designs take (from drawing board to the end process of pattern writing) I made the choice not to do any Elefantz work until Monday morning. 

Instead I baked, read, did a little housework, went for a wonderfully long and relaxing drive in the country with my husband, and I knitted.

It's been a long time since I knitted anything, and it was only going to be a plain garter stitch dishcloth at first, but you know, that's because I didn't think I had much time for anything else.

So now, valuing the slowing of weekend time, I decided to play with a stitch design from long ago (Old Shale), one all my children have worn in little cardigans when they were babes. 
It will be a pretty woolen polishing cloth when I'm done, and my fingers are sore because they're being used in a different way, but my it was a delight to be knitting again.

And the baking. 
Rosie Heather came for a visit on Friday and I played around with a recipe in my head which turned our beautifully (blueberry & lemon ricotta muffins).
Sunday afternoon I baked for Mr E, a moist apple chocolate cake, also delicious. In fact it's a recipe you make in a food processor and my beloved husband had bought me a new processor for my birthday last month but I've been 'too busy' to use it. Isn't that sad?

Returning to a slower pace is good for my soul, it's a blessing to my family and it's better for my health and state of mind.

I knew that as soon as the decision was made to separate work and the though I needed to give myself permission to have two days off and enjoy other things. 
I know it's great to work from home and I'm blessed to do so given that with migraines as prevalent as mine working outside the home is not a possibility, but it also has it's drawbacks because work is always there right in front of you and there's truly always something to be done.

I'm so very grateful for the insights into my own life which God brings about through the conversations with, and between, my dear daughters, and this insight especially because it has given me what was needed to step off the busy-go-round and choose the slower path once more.

Are you needing to slow down or step back a little?



Suze said...

Today I sailed into Airlie Beach and late this afternoon I discovered I could use my phone internet. I am madly reading and trying to do things before it goes.

When boarded the boat mum had this list of stuff she had forgotten to tell me about. So I madly rushed off the Queen Mary 2 and found out there was a big W there. I raced in and bought some yarn, a pattern book and needles. The great granny to be is knitting a baby singlet and I have to finish the socks I started in England and Europe.

I do not know how people survive the humidity here. Brisbane is bad enough. Today was savage.

God bless you and keep you always.

Little Quiltsong said...

Your baking looks delicious!! So glad you enjoyed a relaxed weekend! It was needed! Love your new Kitchen Aid!

kallii said...

Oh lessons learned. Working from home also, you tend to "be on" 24/7 learning to take "my time" is essential for not just you but your family also. Set an alarm for 4pm on Fridays and 8 am on Mondays...those in between hours are yours!! Setting the alarms really works to get you used to it :)

JES said...

A lovely post dear Jenny... This have been my focus too :)

Desideri Chic said...

ciao cara ti seguo con piacere hai un blog molto raffinato come le tue creazioni!!
A presto! baci baci ♥♥♥♥

Tricia T said...

Your knitting is beautiful, Jenny! I am so glad that you took some time off this weekend. I love Kallii's comment about setting an alarm for the weekend, too! I pray that you will have a migraine free week this week and that you will be able to find time to rest and enjoy the days. Hugs!

Jeannie B. said...

I enjoy reading your blog and relate to much of it. I often will tell myself (I work at home sewing too), I am going to work on________(this will be some NOT WORK related sewing I want to do) for only 30 minutes today. I love my work related sewing but also find I don't have "time" for other sewing I want to do. I seem to have to trick myself into allowing myself to just sew what ever I want to. Have a fine sunny day today!

Allie-oops Designs said...

I have two speeds - flat out or coma. I think I need to adjust my throttle, lol. I don't get migraines, but the arthritis and fibro are deceiving, making me think I can do more than I can, then I pay for it. Good post, Jenny, and a very timely reminder. I think you should take every weekend off, dear girl.

Lace Faerie said...

I think it is wonderful that you and your daughters have daily contact with each other. In this way, I count electronic advancements a huge blessing. I was recently out of state for a month and I loved using FaceTime to chat with my daughter almost daily. Two of my sisters and I have an open, ongoing three way message on our iPhones/iPads. It such a blessing to know they are only a moment away by text even though we all live in different states! And connecting with my hubby while we are away from each other is a huge blessing!

I can vouch for Allie-oops comment on how fibro and arthritis is deceiving! Deceiving us, as we do always think we can do more than we can, in twice the time we allot, and deceiving to others when being still and resting can look like laziness.

May we all be blessed with peace of spirit and restorative quiet time this week.

Phil Poggeaux said...

I love how you keep all your kitchen utensils in the big biscuit can - I just spied that in the background :-) very clever.

Julie said...

A timely post Jenny my friend. I have experienced both working outside the Home AND working from Home & I can definately say I work far harder & longer hours working from home. I liked that ladies suggestion of setting alarms 4 pm Friday to 8 am Monday ... that idea appeals to me. We have a little "ritual" whereby I don't cook tea on a Friday night ... my hubby picks up fish & chips or even a cooked chicken & salad/buns. I find I really look forward to this night off each week & it kind of signals the start of the weekend. I also enjoy a glass of wine sometimes on a Friday night!! Hope those migraines ease for you Jenny x x x

Águeda said...

Nowadays, my life is a fast bicycle that goes downhill and without brakes ...=)
God bless You.

A Joyful Cottage said...

Your weekend sounds heavenly, Jenny. I did slow down this afternoon. I picked up a friend and we drove to a nearby town to do some thrift shopping and have lunch. It was wonderful to spend time with her. Such a blessing. Enjoy the rest of your week. xo

Jude said...

Hi Jenny, hope your routine helps with the migraines, keeping a record a great idea and hope you and Mr E can enjoy many lovely weekend drives, enjoy and with benefits of recharging for the following week. Your knitting is beautiful and will be good to have a finished project, one you can use and admire at same time and remember those precious baby times. Guess the bonus of your beautiful work is being able to create beautiful items for your home and hopefully gifts for family and those gorgeous grandies, would be a shame if work didn't allow time left for that. I enjoy my crafting at my own pace when I am inspired and for gifts (have a long list currently) and realise the work and effort a business would require. Hope you can settle into the more balanced routine and enjoy the health benefits. Judithann :-)x

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read that you are giving yourself weekends off, Jenny! There's a reason we thrive when we have a break! Yes, sometimes I go at breakneck speed, but every once in a while, I come to a complete halt. When I do, I have been known to sleep late, then spend the day in bed in my pjs reading the books that have piled up!

Ondrea said...

You are not alone girl! Most people who have ill health or disabilities tend to overdo things when they have a good day. I find myself doing all the things I have put off or shall need to be done soon, only to find myself having to rest up longer anyway. We need to prioritise and pace ourselves. Sometimes I am really good at pacing, other times I just get frustrated. We all love your beautiful designs and appreciate the time and energy you put into them but I would hate to think that it was to the detriment of your health and wellbeing. Angel hugs.

Baa. xxx said...

Wonderful post Jenny. This working 30 hours a week now is making me re-think my free time. I know that in a couple more weeks I won't be so tired and will be able to manage time better but it was oh so lovely on the weekend to happily sew 100 5'squares together to make a low volumn quilt top - my happy place!! chatting to Hannah while I sewed. Wonderful!

Janice said...

Thank you for always having so many things to make us think about our own lives. It makes me think more about how lucky I am and how I need to enjoy things more. We do get busy and think about everything that needs to be done but we need to enjoy our lives. I always get this wonderful calming when I read your blogs and certain enjoy using your patterns also.

Createology said...

Jenny Dear you always have such a calming way of posting exactly what we all need to hear. Tine spent with family...even if only via FB such precious time. Slowing down to actually be in the moment and enjoy the present is precious time. So thankful you took time "off" this weekend and honored your health and your husband. Knitting Bliss...<3