My dog is sick. I’m up with him to keep him calm. He is thirteen years old and has multiple issues (I’ll spare you the details). If I sit by him and pat his head he won’t bark and wake everyone else up. So here I am at 4:38 am. All I can think about is how if he could just make it through a few more months I won’t have to break the news to Jake that his beloved dog is gone during the same time he is transitioning into a new school.
His name is Jackson and just for the record, he is the best dog EVER. When Jake was about four I found them playing in his room. The boy had tied a superhero cape around the dog’s neck and the dog was sitting patiently in the middle of the boy’s room while the boy planned out their next mission. He has always been that dog.
Today I attended a funeral. Niall’s cousin Sandy lost her husband Chris this week. Sandy is pregnant with their seventh child and Chris was thirty-seven years old. Sandy lost her mother, Niall’s Aunt Beth, when she was about the age that her eldest child is now and she lost her father earlier this year.
A multitude of cliches have been bouncing around my head since I heard the news. I don’t want to let go of my children. I want to take back every petty argument I’ve ever had with my husband. I think and rethink my religious beliefs and try to understand how such things can happen.
I’ve made Chris’ death all about my life, and how to live it to it’s fullest. Every time I confront such sadness I am reborn to these thoughts and slowly, over time, annoyance creeps back in. I feel grumpy. There isn’t any time for smelling flowers. Perhaps Sandy’s unspeakable loss can be my gain. Maybe I can learn—this time—to keep the fleeting nature of our days in my heart and go to sleep each night with no regrets. I don’t imagine that to be fully achievable, but it seems a worthy goal for today.
When I first started reading (okay, lurking around) blogs it was all knitting all the time. After the knitting blog obsession, I moved quickly into a quilting- and sewing-blog phase. Next came a hefty dose of graphics and design-blogs. When I finally put pen to paper, as it were, to start my own blog I felt I needed to define it. I felt that I had to ‘fit in’ somewhere. What would the category be? Was I a quilter, knitter, general crafty gal? I thought this blog should be a place where I could discuss my obsession with changing knitting patterns and brag about my special superhuman ability to identify a yarn’s fiber content by touch (it’s a gift). It would be a virtual knitting group or quilting bee. I chose the name because of a lifelong interest in patchwo4k as a metaphor for, well, everything.
At first I felt something reminiscent of high school. I was caught up on a sort of popularity contest in my mind. I though too much about what would ‘drive traffic’ and how many comments I received. I was planning posts based on what I thought people would want to read and not about what I wanted to write. I felt apologetic if my content wasn’t crafty enough. It was becoming increasingly clear to me that my vision for this space was changing.
As I wrote more, I discovered that what I found most rewarding wasn’t necessarily craft-related at all but rather, exploring my daily life from with a different focus. The blogs I became most drawn to inspired me to create, certainly, but they helped me to look at how and why creating enhances my days. Thinking about my life in these terms has been helpful in finding joy in small daily moments.
It’s not a glamorous life. I cook and clean (although less of the latter). I mother and partner. I strive to express myself through crafting and writing and work. I push towards becoming the person in my ideal and I take many backwards steps along the way. I have good days and less-good days.
It is in the spirit of all that I introduce to you now my ‘new’ blog: commonplace :: scenes from a life. It’s a celebration of my everyday—what I do and who I try to be. So, less pressure from myself to write about what I think people may want to read. More room to express what’s actually on my mind. Of course, I knit and sew and cook and there will be plenty of all that. If it’s not the blog you are looking for, I’ll be okay with that. And if it is, then I hope we can learn from each other and find some inspiration.
And oh yes, I’m back from Martha’s Vineyard and will post photos of our time there—including The Agricultural Fair (read: cute fiber-related animals) soon.