Last night was one of those nights when things did not go as I had expected. The internet, phone, and cable were out, so some of the things I had planned I couldn't do (post a blog, or look for a vintage embroidery pattern for a napkin special order I need to do). I felted another alpaca bag that I knitted for another special order and it came out totally different from the last one I knitted. It's expensive yarn - not the kind you want to make mistakes with. Dora has been regressing in her potty training - intentionally having "accidents" on our bed - so I had a set of sheets to wash that I hadn't planned to do. At bedtime, she got up three times before staying in bed. The third time, she wandered into the dining room naked, having removed her footed pajamas and pull-up before coming out to tell me she had to go potty.
This morning I woke up exhausted, partly from an interrupted night of sleep due to restless pets, snoring husband, and wakeful baby. As I sat up in bed to put on my glasses, I wondered just how long I can keep this up. I have all these little side projects, a full-time job, a marriage, a child, friendships to maintain, pets to care for, a house that is begging for attention, a partner for my blueberry bush patiently waiting to be planted in the backyard. All of these - for the most part - are things that I enjoy, yet I feel so much chaos and tension with all of them swirling around me that I often feel completely overwhelmed and unsettled. It's not the same kind of obsessive anxiety I have struggled with in the past, but more of an ever-present buzzing, a background noise preventing full focus on any one thing.
I accomplished one thing last night - creating a revised header for the blog, with a grass background for spring and summer. The weathered picnic table at my dad's house will return as the background this fall, because I love that as well, but it felt like time for a little modification, a little brightening up of the welcome to this space. I finished a baby gift for a friend as well, and if I get it in the mail quickly it might actually arrive before the baby does. Of course, we walked the dogs, too, and picked dandelions gone to seed to blow on, and snuggled on the bed. Those little moments felt like time well spent.
Last weekend, Mandy and I had our first market weekend. We were completely set up and ready to go by twenty after seven. Our little table, covered in burlap and decorated with little bottles of spring flowers, looked amazing. We were pleased to discover that no one else at the market had quite the same kinds of things we did. There were two others with textiles but with totally different aesthetics, and no other knitters. We had many visitors, saw old friends, met new ones, chatted with potential customers, basked in many positive and warm comments. I missed our first sale, at the other side of the market buying kale and asparagus. We each sold a few things, and got one special order. We handed out many of our business cards. Neither of us came home with our antique cigar boxes bursting with cash, but we came home wealthier just the same, feeling like we'd accomplished something, started something special that we can both be proud of and enjoy.
I didn't sell a single knitted item, even though I'm much more confident in my knitting skills than in my sewing and embroidery. Perhaps it is the season, perhaps its that my knitted items aren't as lovely as I think they are - I'm not sure. My prized white alpaca clutch was lovingly touched by many - it is very, very soft - but it didn't sell. I went into the market hoping that we each would sell one thing, so I left very happy, but surprised. It hadn't really gone the way I thought it might. That's ok, though - the way it went was still good, just different, unexpected. Perhaps this is the way I should try to feel about everything I do. Just because it isn't what I expect, just because things don't happen right when I want them to or exactly the way I imagined them doesn't mean its not still a good, positive thing. It's easy to get overburdened and distracted by the background noise and the cable being out and the naked toddler sneaking up on you when she's supposed to be in bed. The key is to let the other things - the things that do go well even if unexpected - drown out the other noise.