Milestones – Big and Small

For many years, I have wanted to set aside time, and more importantly energy, for making doll clothing. Since 2020 seems to be a year of change, I thought I would add positive change to the sea of crazy changes this year has brought.

Inspired by a group of costumers on YouTube and Instagram (#historicalhalloween2020) but not wanting to make a costume for myself, I decided to use this inspiration to make a doll costume.

All of this was well and good, but then I decided to take the big plunge and actually talk on video.

Anyone who understands how anxiety complicates regular daily life will understand what a huge challenge I undertook. A keyboard is my friend, but a camera causes all kinds of stress.

Years ago, actually two decades ago this year, I began to understand why I shied away from the idea of being photographed. I had not had issues with the process while in my youth, but things began to change for me as I neared my 30th birthday. Aging was not what concerned me – pain, or more to the point, the photographic record of my pain, concerned me. Despite reassurances from my family, by the time I reached my 40th birthday, I really struggled with sharing any photographs taken of me.

Now as I move past the mid-century mark of my life, I want to do more than just hide the pain. I want to push back against what pain can steal away. I have been doing much better managing life and pain these last 10 years. Management is the important concept since I can manage my health, but I cannot regain the health of my youth (a youth where I was unaware that my pain was not a common thing).

So with my goal of regaining what can be regained, I took the plunge and made a video with me speaking to the camera.

Anxiety was a thick cloud as I filmed myself and then worked with the footage. Even as I regained steady ground, the underlying energy that anxiety causes me would not dissipate. Fortunately the learning curve of video editing with voice-over commentary was steep and I had many, many, hours of work to keep my mind busy. When I was able to finally take to my bed, I was able to sleep.

With fresh eyes, and a bit of rest, I have now uploaded my first “talkie”*

As I was reviewing this before posting it, I was rendered speechless when I comprehended that September is now upon us. In just a few days time, I will pass the 20 year mark on the spine injury that derailed me from the life I thought I would have, and set me on the course to the life I would come to appreciate as being the better one. I did not set out to mark this milestone with a video about making doll clothing, but as I reflect on the last 20 years, it seems rather fitting.

Life gives us challenges, it is up to use to make them into milestones rather than barriers.

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*In the days when silent films reigned supreme, the first talking films were known as talkies.

Rainy Day Diversion

I decided to shift gears a bit this week and try something new. After posting my video updating the progress made on my Christmas Countdown Collection spin, I decided to finally try making my own stitch/row markers for my knitting/crochet projects.

A rainy day project, followed by a backyard stroll was just what I needed to refresh my emotional state of being.

When plans get derailed, it is good to find a replacement, and video blogging has really helped 2020 seem less glum. Every week I learn new things with the video editing. It has been a wonderful way to beat back feelings of stagnation.

If you haven’t kept up with my current spinning project, this is the latest video.

Saith Me… Exhaustion

First I laughed so hard it hurt,

Then later I cried the tears of healing,

Finally, I slept.

Saith Me… Lumps and Bumps and Even Patches

Handspun yarn is much like life. The beauty is found in the lumps and bumps as well as in the smooth sections.

 

Spinning and knitting in small scale can be a fun way to try out new ideas. Working with small gauge needles when the hands no longer cooperate all the time can be a challenge, but I am learning to embrace that challenge. The speed and dexterity of my youth may be long gone, but patience and determination have become my companions.

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Doll Sweaters 02

Life With Fibromyalgia: Finding a Reason to Smile

Living with a disability like fibromyalgia is a never ending lesson in adjusting and making the best out of a tough situation. Take this morning for example. I woke up feeling rather good, a bit of shoulder stiffness, but otherwise bright-eyed and chipper. I prepared for church and found that the fatigue that often hits just prior to leaving the house at 9:15 AM was absent. I was really quite pleased because last week the fatigue hit just as church was starting. I find hiding a bout of pain is relatively easy compared to hiding a bout of fatigue. While it may be acceptable for small children and old men to doze during the congregational meeting, it is usually frowned upon for middle-aged ladies to do the same. So by comparison, shoulder-joint pain was manageable and I was looking forward to enjoying the meeting.

Alas, to my great dismay, I found myself becoming queasy and lightheaded not more than 10 minutes into the meeting. Sure I had arrived 10 minutes early to get a good seat, but 20 minutes sitting in a pew should not have been enough to have cause discomfort-induced nausea, regardless of the fact that my shoulder pain had been joined by a stiff neck and sore back. By the time the sacrament had been passed and the bishop was thanking the deacons for their efforts, I knew that I had to leave. I asked my husband to carry my overly large purse as a precaution, and I proceeded to leave the chapel. Upon reaching the foyer, I discovered I was struggling to breath much like I was having an asthma attack, but upon stepping outside, my breathing began to ease. Oh and the gooey eyes that I had been doing my best to ignore, cleared almost immediately.

It would appear that I was having an allergy attack. Since I am not terribly susceptible to airborne allergies and perfumes usually only give me headaches, today’s strange reaction left me flustered and a bit frustrated. It is when the unusual, unanticipated, and odd physical symptoms hit that I find myself most severely struggling emotionally with my health issues. It during those moments that I want to weep. It is during those moments that I do my best to find a reason to smile. Today’s reason to smile – fresh baked cookies.

I am now sore and tired, but I am not frustrated or emotionally weary. If I do get weepy by the end of the day, at least I now can dry my eyes with one hand while I eat a cookie with the other.

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Stumbling

In our pursuit for excellence, let’s never forget that we are already excellent. We are not starting from a place of failure, but rather from the exulted place from which our diligence and charitable natures has brought us thus far. Yes, we may stumble, and that stumble may make us feel low, but a stumble in itself does not make us lose ground. Rather the stumble reminds us of where we are on our journey. A stumble reminds us to take in our surroundings and reaffirm where we want to be and where we want to go.

During our journey, well-meaning people may only focus on where we need to go and minimize the importance of from where we have come. They will tell us not to dwell on the past and will tell us that we are weak for weeping. We should not wallow in frustration, disappointment, or pain, but we should always remember the struggle of our journey. It is when we remember from whence we came that we can truly celebrate where we are and where we are going.

Stumbling

 

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.

 

 

The Parable of the Old House

There was an old house that had once been beautiful and grand. It sat on a road with many other beautiful, grand homes, but over time it began to fall into disrepair until one day its windows were boarded up and it was abandoned. In order to hide its sad state from the others, the boards on the windows had been painted to look like windows; dark panes of painted wood trimmed in white had replaced the clear glass. To the many who drove past the old house barely sparing it a glance, the evidence of its downfall was easier to ignore once those painted boards had covered broken windows.

Eventually, the decay and disrepair reached a level that the city decided the house was an eyesore and a danger. It was decided that the once beautiful and grand house would need to go, to be torn down. Yet, just as all looked lost for the house, someone took a closer look and saw past the overgrown yard, the damaged roof, and the boarded up windows. With dedicated care and work the house was restored.

We are all in danger of becoming the house. Without maintenance and care, we can go from a place of beauty and love to a place where we board up our windows and fall into decay. The Lord’s mercy and love, His atonement for our sins can help save us. It is important that we remember this when we feel as if the storms of life are ripping at our exteriors and the wind and rain begins to seep into our souls.

The Lord admonishes us to learn of Him and to take His yoke upon us. He teaches us to be mindful of our brothers and sisters. He admonishes us to be mindful of those who have boarded up windows, those who may be falling into deep disrepair. We should be careful when driving through our communities to avoid condemning the houses we see that have been storm damaged or neglected.

by Jessie A. Hagen

The Parable of the Old House - sm

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.