Knit knit knit. Unravel. Cast on, frog. I can't seem to commit to a pattern, to a yarn, to anything these days. Two days ago I frogged a sweater that I had knit to the split for arms. I just wasn't feeling it. The yarn that makes up the half knitted sock in my purse has already been frogged from two other projects. I can't seem to settle in and just move forward.
This summer has felt like that. A lot of false starts. A lot of back tracking. A lot of second guessing. I haven't had much to say, as evidenced by a summer of sparse posts in this space. Our family has changed so much in the years that I've had this little blog that sometimes I barely recognize myself in the archived posts.
Truthfully, there is a shift in a family as the kids get older - even if you still have little ones at home. It becomes less and less easy for me to pursue my own interests and I find more and more of my time being spent working out the details of everyone else's life. You'd think, coming from a large family, I would have remembered this, but being the Mama is very different than being one of the kids. I simply wasn't aware of how my mother's life changed over the years. I was too busy focusing on myself.
These days, relationships have my attention. Boundaries. The balance between protecting and preparing. When my bigs were littles, the biggest struggles were getting people to brush their teeth and trying to get as much sleep as possible. Those were intense days, don't get me wrong, but they were certainly simpler in so many ways. Now that I am in the business of helping my older kids navigate the world out there, I find myself wrestling with my desire to stay inside this little bubble of family. I need to step outside, look around, and point my kids down the right path. It is - exhausting. It makes everything else exhausting, yes, even deciding on a knitting pattern.
So, things change a bit. I knit less. I read more. I soak in my littles as much as I can and I try to connect more and more with the big kids. 7 kids 7 different ages have 7 very different needs from a Mom, and figuring out who needs what can feel like a full time job. A wonderful job, a job that requires me to grow up in a lot of ways I never knew I needed to, a job that is refining me day by day, but a job nonetheless.
My go-to coping mechanism of choice has switched to physical activity. I try to move every day and believe that has helped me focus, has kept post partum depression and anxiety (mostly) at bay. I'm not the strongest I've ever been (as a former ballet dancer that would take a lot to accomplish) but I am stronger than I've been in at least 6 years. Possibly more. When I move, my brain calms down. I can take a mental break from the stresses of our daily life. It has been so very good for me.
So while I don't have any idea if the sweater I started last night will truly become what I intend it to be today, I know I'm slowly finding my way, unraveling what doesn't work to forge ahead with new ideas. In a new season of life, with new goals, frustrations, concerns and joys, that seems just about right.
"Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom."
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