When Simplicity comes knocking
I imagine that when we are older and ponder our life's trajectory, this time of uncertainty and quarantine will stand out for most of us.
Where were you? How did you feel? Did you take precautions or did you think it was all an over-reaction?
Many of you know that I have an online store in the USA (www.goodloopsyarn.com - check it out, and tell your US friends!). The USA and Europe are about 2 weeks ahead of us in terms of the pandemic. Generalised closures and cancellations have caused many sudden changes to my business, and so, our place within a world in crisis has been present in my mind for longer than most South Africans.
Last week Monday, my husband and I made the difficult decision to self-isolate. This meant no school for Kieran, no visits to my parents, no RunWalk exercise or worst of all- no store opening hours and no socialising with my amazing customers.
I confess, it has been a rough year. It started with a bang- yet, my heart wasn't in it. I have been pretending that all is well for too long, and suddenly, all this pretending meant that there was no energy left for life in general, and certainly not for gorgeous little businesses.
Social Media is now awash with the emotional impact of self-isolation. Perhaps you will experience loneliness? Anxiety? Fear? Many articles explain how to cope, how to keep busy, how to pass the time and care for yourself. I'm already struggling- yikes! what is in store for my poor husband and family now?
I adapted our routines and tried to settle into a new mind-set. Imagine my surprise, that by Wednesday, as I lay down in the middle of the afternoon for a nap, all I felt was a deep sense of relief.
No fear, no loneliness, no guilt, not even anxiety. Really? Even anxiety, my constant companion, enjoyed the rest with me. I was mightily surprised, relief was the last feeling I imagined would surface. (Yes, I spend a lot of time reflecting on my life. Read: overthinking and stressing over my life choices).
It dawned on me, my battle is against a self-imposed pressure to make perfect choices. Time is limited, choices are many. Best choices as a wife. As a mother. As a daughter. As a business owner. As an employer. As a friend. Without realising it, I allowed myself and society to crush me slowly and irrevocably under the weight of expectations.
But, all of a sudden, the most important, loving and meaningful thing that I can do for my family, my community and humanity, is to NOT do anything. To not travel to Dallas, to keep my fellow South Africans safe. To not open my store, to protect that customer with a compromised immune system. To keep my son at home, to protect my parents from the people he may have had contact with at school.
Ahem. So... what does this have to do with yarn? What's Jen on about?And... what does it have to do with me?
Most of us are burning the candle on both ends. We genuinely believe this is what is required of us. Yet... as my grandfather, Oscar Lupi, always said, "There is no bad thing that happens, that does not bring a good thing".
One of the most surprising things that have occurred this week is that I started drawing again. I also made pizzas from scratch with my husband and son, and I have had long naps. Every. Single. Afternoon.
Coincidentally- I have had the energy and enthusiasm to create and share this blog post with you. I have been dreaming of doing something like this for over a year. I simply never got around to it.
So my point here is this: Why don't you take this time to try something you've been dreaming of? Learn that new stitch. Tackle that tough pattern. Sign up for Instagram and follow all your favourite designers. Create that craft group (virtual of course) you always thought would be a great idea. Teach your grandchild via Whatsapp Video Call about natural fibres and why you love working with them. Your imagination is indeed the limit!
Be that person that emerged out of isolation feeling empowered and energised- because you took it as an opportunity to care and grow yourself.
Not sure how to start? Go ahead, give me a call. Send me an email. Make that appointment. I will be glad to help where I can.
Love Jen, Yarn Boss.
This is a landscape I photographed in Burlington, VT in January 2020.
A very elusive moment of quiet in my life.
PS- I expect that I will be getting my Crojo & Knojo back (Crochet and Knitting Mojos) sometime soon as well. Whether I do or not, it won't matter, as long as if I do pick up my hook or needles, it brings me joy.