Sunday, January 24, 2021

Possibly the Worst

When it comes to coping with stress, with facing seemingly insurmountable tasks, or simply managing the day to day alloted to my life, I have possibly the worst instincts, impulses, and obsessions. At the moment only two obsessions are occupying my brain, but it's not just that I think about them... it's the research, the longing, the imagining, planning, and small panics when I dive deeper and imagine it's time to act! What could these be, these preoccupations, you may be wondering. When the house is well lived in (busy-cluttered-in disarry), we need to launch and finish several home improvement projects, I have been mentally and physically fixed in place waiting for the case to close, we have been keeping our home on lockdown since last March, and all I can think about is getting a dog, and moving to Corvalis, Madison, or Hamakua (at least I am narrowing it down!) There are four puppies at the shelter now. There is a Vilas house in Madison, now. Would any therapist, or wise counselor, care to (gently) explain why or how I can imagine, be consumed by, actually, adding another pet, another mouth to feed and personality to address? How in the world can I imagine that cleaning, staging, selling, packing and moving from this house to any other house will make life better, or easier, or make me better, easier? How? Please, don't ask me to be reasonable, and there's no need to point out obvious obstacles, because I have thought of them, too. I have thought of the challenges, the cons, the losses, the strains, and for a moment, it resets my train of thought, and I shake my head at how wrong I am, at my worst impulses. But not for long. There's a place in Corvalis with a vineyard, shops, a barn, a house and room for more... I can see all of us there, with room for friends, and space to grow. My dog would love it. I named her Eureka. All I have to do is fill out the application.
This cross-stitch kit is a gift from Ruth. She did that magical thing where she knows me, knows me so well she found the gift I would like, would delight in, but not get for myself. Well, after ridding my computer of the digital puzzles and games, I thought I would treat myself to a healthier hobby, and so I have launched into reaquainting myself with counted cross-stitch. And I began with a very purposeful, mindful approach. First of all, I decided not to use one needle and be always changing thread colors. I ordered needles, and have a needle threaded for each color in the project. Secondly, I knew it would help to watch a couple of YouTube videos to refresh my memory on all of this... I think I was in my twenties the last time I dabbled in this craft. Watching the videos was helpful. The best thing I learned was a new way of threading the needle, explained by Phil. Go to about 4 minutes in, if you'd like to see.
So, yay, me, is what I was feeling, when I had my head full of knowledge, and my kit all set up, orderly and cute. Yay, me I chimed merrily, as I pulled up the first threaded needle, and in a span of time so infintesimally small, without so much as whisper to interfere... this happened:
Order and grace, to chaos and disaster in no time at all. I have a knack. It took you more time to scroll from one picture to the next than it took the six threads and needles to become one. It is inexplicable.
Do you know I have the patience and comfort with mindless tasks to untangle things? I've become proficient. It took forever, and let's not ponder the cost benefit analysis of spending an hour unraveling 5 cents worth of thread. It had to be done, on principle. Sadly, there are not nearly enough other onerous, more necessary, jobs I feel compelled to do on principle. If you need paper work done, or mail sorted, if it's about reading the directions for installing electronics or software, do not count on me. If your hair is snarled, or you have rope in knots, string in a tangle, or threads crossed, I will not fail you!
So. Apparently, the first tangle would not be the last, and that's no surprise to me, but what has been humbling is how badly I follow directions, and I cannot figure out why, because I have been doubly-doubly intent on following directions. I read, and re-read. I count, and re-count. I check, and re-check. I think you understand. It has not helped, all of my yay, me, preparedness. Either I cannot see well, or I cannot count well, or it's both. Then, I remembered that everyone warned me, "In your 40s you'll need reading glasses," and ages ago I bought a pair, in case. They have been stashed away for 14 years, and miraculously, somehow, I knew where to find them. They help... I can see where to poke the needle, but with the glasses on I see a distinct hole, rather than just a spot. That's helpful, a bit. But. Honestly, please never look at my cross-stitch next to the pattern, and ask, "What happened here?" I will never be able to explain why I have not been able to follow the directions.
There's a log cabin for sale, just off the Mamalahoa Highway, with lots of bedrooms, a workshop, and at a cool elevation... Oh! Oh no. It sold. And my dog would have loved it there, the goats, too.

I'm going back upstairs to cross-stitch.

You guys! The Madison house is walking distance to Vilas Zoo and Trader Joes! Five bedrooms and a massive attic, with a four car garage.

Make it stop.


Teresa Kasner said...

Having dreams give you something to look forward to! We only have one life to live, why not have variety in it? My biggest regret is not having lived more wonderful places. And that dog needs you. I did some counted cross-stitch a while back it and it really challenged me. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Teresa, thank you so much for helping me see all of this from a kinder point of view. All the puppies were adopted, so I feel thankful and happy for them, because they got the homes they need. And having dreams is good... and maybe I just need to settle on new ones, make plans, have some more good projects in my sights.