Mic Check

Hi! I mean, assuming anyone is still out there reading this. 😉

I started this draft back in January; in the meantime a lot has happened. The world has exploded into something out of a pandemic movie, minus zombies and widespread looting (except for corporations and the rich, that is. #zing). COVID-19 has affected everyday life for us, just like pretty much everyone else in the US. We’re both working from home (at once both relieved to have income/health insurance and bemused at the strange determination of our companies to focus on business right now) and making the best of it; frankly this isn’t hard, apart from my superhuman need for solitude and the constant occupation of our living space by both humans in this family making true solitude utterly impossible. But I can still pick up takeout, and have largely been able to get everything we’ve needed at the grocery thus far, so we’re doing quite well. *shrug* To up the shenanigans ante, in mid-March I accidentally ate cauliflower, which I am allergic to (not because I am fool enough to eat it, but because a pizza place used the wrong crust and I had no idea what I was eating until it was too late), and promptly followed that up with a kidney infection. (Spoiler alert: I am not old, young, or pregnant enough to be socially forgiven for pissing myself, so thank fuck I was already working from home when that happened.)

All of the above was surpassed–at least in terms of my own personal bubble and emotions–by the death of my dad on March 30. This was both expected (he was old and had been dealing with a health issue for a few years) and totally shocking (we didn’t know how bad his condition really was because of him refusing treatment and our parents being unreliable narrators, plus he went downhill very rapidly–over the course of one day, really). On top of all this, I couldn’t travel to Texas to be with my family: my preexisting lung condition means flying during this particular pandemic would be incredibly fucking stupid, and at any rate the hospital was not allowing any non-patients in anyway. I said goodbye to him over a telephone, held to his comatose ear by a (very kind and sympathetic) nurse, which even for a dysfunctional family like ours is hardly closure. I’m not close with my parents; I won’t go into that so much here, aside from saying that complicated relationships make for complicated grief, and while I anticipated this I could not have prepared for the reality. My own struggle is compounded by the expectation that I should help manage my remaining parent’s emotions; not to air too much dirty laundry, but knowing what I know about their toxic “relationship” (if it may be so called) and having had difficult relationships with both of them makes this expectation really, really, unpalatable. At the same time, I want to help my siblings and do what they ask because they’re important to me. Rock, meet hard place.

TL;DR version: aside from getting pizza, it’s been shit, y’all. 


Tycho side-eyeing his vet *and* this entire year so far.


Your palate cleanser: my dog eating an apple.

Below is the draft as it was before the Ides n’ Ends of March whooped my boney ass. I still want to put it out there (I have serious regret over not just hitting “Publish” in February!) and hopefully re-engage here more regularly soon. Thanks for reading. ❤

Maybe others are noticing this also, but blogs seem to be in decline these days. I get it: Instagram makes it easy to immediately connect and interact. Even I use IG much more regularly than I blog (albeit at what I suspect is a lower-than-average frequency) so I’m part of that trend myself. But speaking only for myself, I still love blogs! Maybe it’s a temperament thing (I like reading long-form things AND writing long-form things) but I do enjoy reading posts on blogs I follow when I have the time and energy. Perhaps I’m just in the minority there, and am a dinosaur. 🙂

Obviously my own blog has suffered from neglect in recent months. I’ve been in a dark mental space for the past couple of years and am still struggling to emerge from that; between personal things, seemingly the entire world reverting to the baser human instincts of cruelty, hatred, and selfishness in the name of perpetuating white supremacy and late-stage capitalism, and my work life taking a demoralizing turn (plus having to write the company blog), I just haven’t had the mental energy to keep this space up the way I’d like to. Even my sewing and knitting practices have suffered: I made fewer things last year than in previous years, and so many stitches felt like work rather than a hobby I engage in for fun. This year isn’t exactly off to a running start either, which is sad; on one hand, I need an outlet to help me feel better, but on the other I struggle to participate in my hobbies when I’m feeling low–it’s a lose-lose situation. I don’t really have a point here, just trying to put into words why this blog has fallen by the wayside. 😉

There’s so much I didn’t share on the blog last year that I wanted to: home remodeling projects from 2018! Shit I made for our vacation! Our vacation!! A truly hilarious FAIL of a project from Halloween! The outfit I made–for Tom–for my office holiday party! There’s more I’m forgetting.

Normally for my first post of the year, I’d be excitedly fucking around with pie charts in Excel to break down what I sewed, choosing favorites among my successes and flops alike, and thinking ahead to the next year of creating. This year I’m not doing any 2019 Top 5 posts at all. 😦 (It’s funny, but having no blog posts for a lot of the stuff I made last year makes it really fucking hard to remember and count up the stuff I made!) Not because I quit sewing or anything–no way!–but because I just can’t find the energy to do it. That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about 2020 though!

This year, I am committed to lightweighting my stash and only sewing/knitting from what I have. People, I have so much stash–for knitting and sewing alike. It’s appalling. I am not a minimalist (if my entire wardrobe fit–by choice–on one ugly-ass, not-in-a-closet-where-it-belongs rack I would weep bitter tears) but I’ve reached a point where I am overwhelmed by what I own and am finally prepared to do something about it. I want to lessen my consumption because I believe it’s the right thing to do for myself, for my family, and for the planet. I want to look at my fabric (and yarn) and see limitless creative potential instead of a cringe-inducing hoard. To that end, I have unsubscribed from all fabric and yarn emails and have also unfollowed any shops I followed on Instagram. I have also started the tedious, shame-vomit-inducing process of going through my stash and purging things. Because the yarn world has Ravelry, I am listing yarn for destash over there. I still need to purge more yarn, but for now I’ve done the first wave and it felt awesome. As for fabric outcasts, I dropped the first wave of those off at Goodwill already, and still hope to get rid of more. (Yes, I know: Goodwill donations usually end up foisted on the developing world and/or in the trash. My mental health and the planet are at odds on this item, and if I wait for a perfect solution to come along I will still be here waiting when EarthDeath occurs; I won’t have my sanity anymore, but I’ll have tons of fabric I won’t sew. O_o A compromise must be made. Don’t @ me.) I’m hoping that removing this roadblock of STUFF will help me dream up future projects, and generally get more joy out of my hobbies.

Fingers crossed, but my 2020 is improving in terms of my hobbies. I need more socks so I plan to focus my 2020 knitting efforts on my sock drawer, but I do want to cast on another sweater very soon too. Sewing-wise I have made 4 pairs of bottoms AND 3 knit tops in 2020, plus I’m still making that ridiculous quilt every month. O_o On balance, that’s a commendable start! There’s also a pile of mending for me to do, which while not creatively fulfilling is at least helpful and counts as sewing! Tom and I are also committed to eliminating as much single-use plastic from our house as we can, so I will be making reusable produce bags and cloth napkins, plus knitting dishcloths at some point. (Let me point out that it’s not individual people but corporations and industry that are chiefly responsible for the appalling state of our planet, and that the onus is being wrongfully placed on consumers to change instead of the biggest contributors to climate destruction. However, we still want to do the best we can to limit our own household’s contribution to waste and pollution and are in a position–economically, medically, and otherwise–to take these steps. I fully appreciate that this is not the case for everyone and do not intend my personal declarations to apply universally. <3)

I did buy yarn earlier this year because mohair is having A Moment and I didn’t have any for the 2 patterns I wanted to make (because who stashes a random sweater quantity of mohair, anyway?!?), and of course it turns out I AM ALLERGIC TO MOHAIR. :’-( WHYYYYYY?!? So all the mohair I bought was gifted to a friend–I hope she can see past my appalling taste in colors! In my mourning period I bought 4 skeins of sock yarn but now I swear I’m done! I did buy some fabric also, but a very kind friend gave me a gift card to a fabric store local to them and that was my motivation. I only got 2 fabrics, so it was a very modest haul.

In closing, I hope anyone still reading this is safe and able to find ways to care for themselves mentally and physically during this completely surreal time.

Speaking of surreal, here’s a .gif from a music video my band made several years ago; maybe it will cheer someone out there up. 😀 (And yes, the song is about Easter Peeps.)


Easter Peeps

10 thoughts on “Mic Check

  1. I still like the long-format myself and find myself compulsively checking Bloglovin’ daily in search of someone – anyone! – who has added reading material. It’s been a shitshow of a year and there’s no way of knowing when/if we’ll have any return to any sort of normal; this having the function of making already difficult situations and relationships even more fraught. I saw something on social media that really resonated – to the effect of, “currently life is balancing the feeling of completely overreacting and completely underreacting simultaneously – very surreal” I’m so glad you posted – I’ve never commented on your blog but I’ve appreciated your writing.

  2. Hang in there! You’re doing a good job and it’s OK to not be 100%… or even 50%. I’m sorry to hear about your father and I hope you can find some peace with it all. ❤ You'll make it through!

    I've had issues the past couple of years, too – which is why I haven't been posting nearly as much. That coupled with my sewing machine sometimes working and sometimes not really kills the sew-jo (I blame international shipping for messing up my poor baby!). Then I have this huge guilt complex about not being where I used to be with my sewing and blogging game, but I have to remind myself it's OK to not keep that past momentum up all the time.

    We all need to be a little easier on ourselves and just do what we can, when we can… and celebrate the small victories! Keep on swimming ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Thanks, Red–truly. I am sorry for all the upheaval and changes of plans you’ve dealt with lately too, I can only imagine how all of that has weighed on you. (And the insult-to-injury of your machine not being its old self after the move!) Somehow I managed to not feel *too* guilty about not getting back to the blog yet, or posting on Instagram since April. I do miss it though, and am hoping that I’ll be ready again soon. (Just in time for it to be impossible to do outdoor photos, I’m sure. 😉 )

  3. This post was the (loving, and much-needed) kick in the pants I’ve needed to stop lurking and start commenting again. Like Amy Clark, I check my feed reader every day to see if one of the 75 or so blogs I’m still subscribed to have an update, and I devour any new content greedily. I used to comment as often as possible to show my appreciation and enthusiasm for long-form content. But as blog posting has dwindled in favor of Instagram (a platform I’ve chosen not to use) and more posts are just billboards directing people to that site, it’s been a struggle to find anything more to say than “nice dress,” which often feels like I’m saying, “thanks for throwing us a bone once in a while.” Ouch.
    You’ve reminded me that if I want to continue to enjoy this kind of content, I need to also put in the work to make it worthwhile for creators by engaging, providing feedback, and being openly supportive. You may be right that long-form content lovers are the minority, but if so, then let’s make it a cool club for creative dinosaurs. 🙂
    The thing I love most about blog posts is hearing someone’s voice so clearly through their writing. Many of your reflections here resonate with me, particularly being unable to recall much of what you accomplished last year, feeling stifled by your stash, and struggling with how to balance personal action against the need for corporate responsibility. You’ve put into words things that I often think about, but equally often have no idea how to start writing about myself. As you said, making the “right” choice is fraught with pitfalls, and I admire you for openly saying, “It may not be the best choice, but it’s the best *I* can do.”
    I couldn’t agree more with RED when she said it’s okay not to be at 100% or even 50%. The fact that you’re still trying to do your best—even if you only have the strength to try some of the time—is a sign of how resilient you are. You’re not just *going* to make it through, you ARE making it through, right now. And we’re here for you.

    • Caitlyn, thank you so much for your kind comment. I apologize for just now getting around to a reply, but please know that I appreciate you taking the time and sharing your thoughts! I too am prone to reading but never–or rarely–commenting, and while I don’t expect that most people blog or Instagram just for comments, it is something I would like to do more of, especially after reading your thoughts above. As you said so well, it’s about interacting with the people behind the content and using commenting as a way to experience our hobbies (or other shared interests!) in a meaningful way with people we want to engage with.

Leave a Reply to RED Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.