Mine has in some ways improved enormously: I don’t have to go to work for nearly 3 weeks and 2 of those will be spent at Walt Disney World in Florida with all of my family, children and parents.
On the one hand this is obviously incredible. Finally some sun plus, hopefully, some pretty amazing memories to balance out the inevitable tantrums (ours and the children’s!)
On the other hand, I’ve found myself feeling increasingly anxious about spending 2 weeks with absolutely no chance of any sewing time whatsoever. I’m really feeling quite unhappy and nervous about this which has kind of taken me by surprise.
And it’s got me thinking a little more carefully than usual about sewing and why I do it.
The fastest answer is, I love new clothes. Always have, always will. I’ve found myself increasingly unhappy with the quality and style of things in high street shops for some time and, whilst I really can’t for see a time when I don’t shop for clothes, I certainly feel good wearing something I’ve made and getting compliments.
I’m not the world’s most confident person by a long stretch and have always struggled with how I look so the crutch of clothes I feel good in is invaluable.
But I’ve just spent the last few weeks in a proper sewing frenzy,resulting in a suitcase more heavily laden with handmade clothes than bought ones (let’s not discuss shoes!) So I am definitely not in need of anything for the next fortnight which I don’t already have, even though there are things on the to do list which just didn’t get done in time.
So that’s not the reason behind my anxiety then, is it?
I think it’s fair to say that over the last year or so, I’ve been finding life harder to cope with. There have been many changes, many crises large and small and many things going wrong all at once. Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the many good things I have and the support I’m fortunate to get from family. There are many worse off than I. But between one child’s behaviour issues, repetitive illness leading up to another surgery,settling into school for the first time, car crashes, severe migraines followed by severe mental side effects of the migraine medication, a very timetabled life, the general chaos of 2 small girls and declining health elsewhere in the family, I have been struggling.
Sewing has become my escape.
I’ve read quite widely about this recently. There’s a general acceptance that activities like sewing which focus the mind and hands leads to a calmer state of mind.
I can relate. I’m writing this several thousand feet up in the air on the aeroplane and even here,where there is nothing else useful I could be doing, I can’t just sit and watch a film. Somewhere over the years of motherhood, I have lost the ability to just. Sit. Down.
And so I sew. And the worse my day, the stronger my need to sew.
I may be addicted?
Thankfully I have an understanding husband who recognises how hard I’m trying to keep everything together and bears with me most of the time.
When I sew,my mind slowly turns off. I stop turning things over and over in my head, finding the points in the day where I said the wrong thing, did the wrong thing, upset someone, upset myself, committed to something I don’t know whether I can deliver, scarred my children for life in some way, offended my parents, didn’t get in touch with a friend….. it all drifts away and I can rest.
There’s also the social / instant ego boost side of things from the online community. I love Instagram. I love commenting, discussing, gathering likes, collecting followers. I’m blown away that this week I topped 1,000 followers. I mean, seriously? How? The feeling of there being people who are even a little bit interested in what I’m posting is slightly surreal, if in a good way.
So. How will I cope with 2 weeks away from my mental crutch? And will it be good for me to take a break from the constant, self imposed pressure to sew more, finish faster, get to the next project, use the pretty fabric, make it fit better….?
See you on the other side.