Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The English I Speak

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

25% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

Knitting Thoughts
It was brought to my attention on Monday evening that I have put myself in a situation where I have time management issues due to my beloved hobbies. This Person (TP), who shall be nameless, said I now begrudgingly participate in activities that I used to enjoy because I would rather spend the time either knitting, blogging or working on photos. I will spare you the details of how this discussion even came up. My focus right now is to think about the following: (1) is This Person right? (2) what can I do about this?

Is This Person Right About My Time Management?
As much as I don't want to admit it, I think so. I have been spending an incredible amount of time on my new hobbies this year. Knitting and photography have never before overlapped with each other or anything else I was interested in. Blogging, on the other hand, has not only brought the two together but has made them and blogging itself important aspects of my life at present. I cannot go a week without researching a new knitting technique or checking out yarn. I can't look at anything or be somewhere without wondering if I should take a picture. And I am continuously thinking of what to write in this blog - a title, the first sentence, how to make it interesting. Does this mean I don't enjoy the other hobbies? No. But I am the kind of person who concentrates on something until I am satisfied I am good at it. This means whatever thing I am into gets my full attention. Everything I've ever done has been this way and it's not fair for TP to call out knitting, blogging or photography as being any different in that respect from running, golf, skiing, cycling, cooking or hiking. The biggest difference, however, is that my new hobbies are not the kind that TP can share. Ah.

What Can I Do About This?
The conundrum. After the discussion on Monday evening, I have been too disheartened to actually knit, blog or work on photos. After a few days of this, though, it has become clear that depriving myself of what I enjoy isn't the answer. Yet, those days without my new hobbies have also been a little liberating. I don't have to knit or blog every day, nor must I take a photo of the sunset each night to become good at any of those activities...I just need to be consistent and flexible. I realized that I have set some high expectations and overscheduled myself, to the point that sometimes knitting was kind of a pain, or that blogging was an obligation. I don't want to feel that way about things I love to do! So what's the fix? Well, I will start by reminding myself that this is all for enjoyment. That it isn't a competition. That there are no deadlines, no matter what I try to impose. And then secondly I will make sure that knitting and blogging and photography each have their own time, in their own place. (I will have to experiment to figure out what means, but I think it's telling that the first thing I decide to do after the hiatus is blog.) Third, I need to know that it is OK for all of my hobbies, past and present, to co-exist in my life because without them I would be bored as well as boring. Last but not least, I wouldn't have hobbies if I didn't enjoy whatever I do, I should love to do it (or at least make the best of it) and share as much as I can so that a certain someone, This Person, will not feel left out of the fun.

I will end my ruminations with a sappy picture. This was taken earlier in the year when we had continued, freaky wet weather in the Sacramento area. It's a view from my side yard. The landscape isn't so great but what was amazing was how often I saw rainbows appear in the distance.

Until the next day in the life...


Agnes said...

Maybe you can propose knitting "This Person" a little something, involve TP into the process of choosing the pattern, colour and yarns ... but remember to make it small, otherwise, the time management problem would come back.
My "This Person" has his own interests which don't always involve me ... but when it comes to time when we do things together, I will definitely put down my needles ... just for him. ;)

Stephanie said...

I agree with Agnes. I too am the kind of person who gets obsessed with hobbies (and I'm really trying to convince myself to get obsessed about running - any ideas?) and dedicate a lot of my time to them. I am, above all else, a home body. I'd rather be home than just about anywhere and that's why knitting and decorating appeal to me. I think all things in life have a way of balancing themselves and you should realize that it will all work out. Keep your chin up.

LoriO said...

I think you nailed it. Try to remember that you are doing these things for fun and have no obligation to do them a certain way, or any more often than you feel like it.

Ruth said...

i agree - i think you nailed it too. don't let TP's comments discourage you in your interests/hobbies! but yes, there is a time and place for everything. i'm actually sorting out my own time management thing as well (hubby feels a little left out when i'm in my "knitting zone") so i've been adjusting my commitments/priorities. hugs! =)

Ruth said...

p.s. (replying to your last comment on my blog) - i think i WILL try to switch to continental, once i'm finished with my current project. the only worry i have is that if i switch, my gauge will be screwy for awhile and i have to relearn everything all over again... =P

caitlyn said...

I agree with you about flexibility -- I think being flexible could help the situation a lot. I know that when I throw myself into something (like I have done with knitting), I put a lot of time into it. And I set goals for myself, like I want to knit X number of repeats or inches in one night so I can finish something by Y date. But honestly, even though I love knitting, sometimes I don't feel like it. And when I push myself to knit when I don't feel like it, it's not particularly enjoyable. A better option would be to say to myself, "yes, I did plan to knit tonight, but I don't want to and I'm going to let it go because this is supposed to be fun and relaxing." Sometimes it's easier said than done!
I used to be in a reverse situation (sort of). DH has a couple of hobbies that I don't participate in. Before I found knitting, I didn't really have my own hobby. So I was always bugging him to cut his activities short so that he would hang out with me. =) Now that I'm a knitter, I knit while DH does his thing. (As you can imagine, DH is thrilled that I have my own hobby now.) I think couples should share activities, but it's OK to do separate things too. Maybe there is a hobby that "This Person" is interested in developing on his own?

Cyndi said...

I think it is all about balance - making time for all of the important things in your life, including TP. Understanding that is fairly easy, putting it into practice is something altogether different! Sounds like you are on the right track though.

Birdsong said...

I think it is fair to remember that our species used to live more holistic, less compartmentalized lives, doing many things throughout the season for both survival and pleasure. Now, we all have certain kinds of jobs that leave big holes of undeveloped parts of ourselves in our lives, which is why hobbies can become so compelling in the first place... they provide fulfillment that we can't get in other parts of our lives... do you think this is the thing that TP is really afraid of? I love all the pictures you share of your forays and adventures and appreciate blogging for the contact it gives me with like-minded souls I might never otherwise get to meet. You will find your own balance because you are seeking it.