Getting Through It
2021 was a difficult year. Somewhere along the way I lost my energy to create. It felt difficult to admit and the cause felt impossible to share. After a step back I finally managed to post a little about what was going on behind the scenes (here).
I've been finding my way back, one step at a time and wanted to share a little bit about that journey in case it might bring hope to anyone else who has experienced or is currently going through something similar. I know I'm not the first to feel this way and I certainly won't be the last. But if we share with each other, even when it's difficult, we might just make it easier for the next person. Whether it's due to stress, burnout, illness, injury, mental health, mourning a loved one, financial hardship, a bad break up (or ugly divorce!) or even just a serious lack of free time — whatever your struggle may be, this post is for you ♥
At some point I realized that our struggles, ongoing as they were, had defined our new normal and if I wanted to get through it I would eventually need to find a way back to creating (if only for my mental health). I didn't have the energy to work on anything but decided to pull out every work in progress I had from my shelves. My goal wasn't to become re-inspired or to tackle any unfinished business, it was simply to take stock, visualize what was there, evaluate what was left to do, then put it all back. But what surprised me was that many of the projects had just a few rows to complete! I also uncovered several easy mending projects as well as things I'd completed but required simple modification. Overall, the time investment needed was small, and yet these projects were holding so much space on my shelf and in my mind on the never ending to-do list.
And so instead of returning everything to it's place immediately, I made a list of projects that would take no time (or energy) to complete. Everything else got tucked away and all of the projects on the list were deliberately left out where they wouldn't be forgotten (and where they'd bug me enough to eventually take action!).
The first project I picked up was an Arika Cowl that I'd cast on back in 2016!!! It would be an easy win as it only required two more rows of knitting to complete. Since picking it up, it has taken me since July to bind off and block it. But I'm moving at my own pace, and completion of each step makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.
I'm finding inspiration and motivation in small wins like this. They've turned into little bursts of creative energy. And once the ball started (slowly) rolling I found energy for other things like finishing a design that was hibernating, and casting on a new pair of socks, I even caught myself swatching just for the sake of having knitting in my hands ♥
It's truly taken baby steps, but I'm getting there. I am grateful to everyone who has shown me grace and an endless supply of patience. I hope very much that this post has been helpful to anyone needing to hear it. If you have tips or tricks that helped you through a difficult time or creative drought, I'd love to hear them.
Happy knitting my friends ♥