Thursday, August 30, 2012

No pressure, really

Hey, you. Yes, you. The one with the knitted sweater that has sat 75% finished for the past four months. I give you permission to leave it (maybe for now and maybe for good) and start something new, perhaps something quick and easy and, ahem, fun. You know you want to. Here's your official green card.

Maybe you're like me--a bit compulsive, filled with self-imposed rules that help the world go round. No? Lucky duck. If you are, I get it. How you force yourself to finish projects--especially LEISURE projects--before you start new ones. You punish yourself to finish a boring book because, you know, that's the rule. There Can Be No Half-Finished Books. And we know where this leads us: no knitting, no reading, no fun.

In a conversation with my mom about a particularly stagnant book (The Lost City of Z, if you must know), we laughed when she gave me permission--using that word specifically--to quit the book and start a new, lighter one. It was just what I needed. It's sad that that permission had to come from outside, but I'll take it. How freeing!

Oh, I place pressure on myself in all areas of my life, but I've been noticing eroding pleasure in leisure and hobby time in particular. Knitting, reading, running, cooking, sewing, pilates have a sheen of "should" on them. And I want my fun back.

So this week, I started a new, easier knitting project (shocker: while my unfinished sweater project is still on the needles!). And I've put yet another serious book aside (it was about decluttering--how dreadful is that during downtime?). And I'm considering taking a few weeks off from running, since doing that has crossed over into "have to" instead of "get to" lately. I'm trying to make leisure gentle again.

The new knitting project. Happy sigh.

I'd love to know: Do you have internal rules that dampen your joy? How do you move beyond them?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful: August

  • The wonderful week spent at our La Conner cabin with my parents, such wonderful grandparents. Great food thanks to my mom, sleeping in, playing in the ocean, chores completed thanks to my dad, general silliness and fun times. So relaxing that I forgot what day it was. Grateful that we all get along like old college chums. And a fun-filled day (escaping Seattle heat) with my sister and her twin babies and toddler. So much little boy love! 

  • A cabin day with my dear special-needs mom friends (no kids!), filled with talking and listening like no one else can. And wine. And wine. And promises of doing this quarterly.

  • The summer that finally came to Seattle (okay, for two weeks). Warm enough to dry our clothes outside.
  • Blackberries. That is all.
  • Erik's purchase of a kayak. Finally, we can go together (and I can get over my irrational fear of orca whales swimming under my solo kayak and eating me).
  • An upcoming blogging course, Blogging from the Heart. Really feels like back-to-school!
I'm hoping your August was filled with little blessings, too. What are you thankful for this month?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer at the cabin

Summertime means weekends at our cabin near La Conner, Washington. It's usually a 1.5-hour trip from Seattle, and once we arrive, everyone--even Gary the dog-- is a little calmer and happier. Here's a little tour of what we've been up to.

No, that's not an Instagram filter. The water really was that green. Guess who was first in?

Blackberries ripening!

We still need to work on technique at the track.

Waiting for dinner. Can't beat this view!

Brats for the boys.

I must have taken a similar shot hundreds of times. Sunset at the cabin never gets old.

New play equipment means work for Daddy, fun for Soren.

Quiet morning with (barely visible) cranes in the water.

Here's hoping that you had a beautiful weekend in your corner, too!


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