After the UnWrapping is Done

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IMG_0835Happy post-Christmas haze, everyone! I hope your day was merry and bright. Mine? A little crazy, enough so that not one, but two Christmas-themed blog posts which were supposed to go up last week are lingering three-quarters finished on my hard drive. (I’m not late; I’m just getting a head start on the 2016 Holiday season. At least, that’s my story.)

We’re in that strange week between Christmas and New Year’s, where it seems like we’ve done so much already, but there’s still so much to do. Many folk who are working this week are involved in year-end activities, AKA “Chasing down things that should have been done earlier this year but we now have to get resolved before end of day on the 31st.” That’s where much of my time is being devoted, the day job temporarily overshadowing almost everything else. It doesn’t leave much time for writing at the moment, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No, it isn’t an oncoming train, though there are moments when I’m convinced it’s a handcar of rabid ferrets.

So I try to carve out time for myself in bits in pieces. Walking is a big one, getting out while the world is quiet and no one is demanding my attention. I put the current playlist on, make my circuit and feel good for having done something for myself to start the day. Pictures from those moments show up on Instagram or Facebook and Twitter, my attempts to capture that still and quiet.

I think I found another piece of time I want to carve out for myself, though, aside from the walking. Christmas Eve, I was sitting in church before the service, knitting away on the Advent Shawl (which I was behind on), saying hello to folks I knew, participating lightly in the general chatter — especially with the other knitters, who wanted to see what I was working on. Then the prelude before the service began and everyone grew quiet.

We had a string quartet as part of the music program for the service and the air was filled with Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor, Op. 3, No. 11. And I knitted. I let the music wash over me and I knitted. The selection wasn’t that long, probably no more than ten minutes, but between it and the simple movement of the needles, I…relaxed. Out of a day that had been fairly insane and more than a little frustrating (see: Activities, Year-End), just those few minutes helped. And the Advent Shawl was finished on Boxing Day, with a photo session on Sunday after services using some of the bits and bobs our vicar decorated the patio area with.

So, resolution for the New Year, which I’m not waiting until New Year’s to begin: In the evening, I need ten minutes — fifteen if I can get it, but at least ten — where I sit down away from the rest of the household, put on some instrumental music and just knit and be. Even if the rest of the day is devoted to everyone and everything else, I think those two things will help with the balance.

Making certain time is carved out for writing? That, my friend, is another on-going battle…