Friday, March 14, 2008

on being guilt free

in response to my last post, georgie commented about the pleasures of guilt free knitting in a post-pensky world. i have been thinking about this ever since, because it is really the strangest feeling. i was bought up to be a guilt-driven person. almost everything i was told about behaviour revolved around 'what other people thought' and how other people would judge. anything even remotely self-indulgent was a no-no. for a parent with children, this might be one way to get along in the world, but for the actual child, it was a strange lesson to be taught so young. so whenever i did attempt to be self-indulgent, guilt reared its ugly head, ruining my enjoyment of most things.

the pensky has been my mother-stand-in for the last five years, but it was helped along by a very real and justified sense of the fact that other people were supporting my 'self-indulgence' and that i did owe it to them to get it finished. at the end, when i cared not about myself in it anymore, that was the driving force. it was guilt really that got me over the line. many times, if i'd had my way, i would have walked away from it (but i knew i would just feel guilty for that too, so i didnt!).

now its finished the motives dont matter. its done, and eventually there will be rewards in the form of a real full time well paid job (i applied for another one today). and there is the reward of being done, in and of itself the best reward really.

but is there really the reward of being guilt free? i did knit while i was penskying, and it was knitting that kept me sane, but it was high cost knitting. it came with guilt attached. for every stitch, every row, every sock, there were words, paragraphs, chapters not finished.

and now, when i am done with teaching, or prep for teaching, or walking dogs, or hanging out washing, or vacuuming, i have free knitting time. i am not really up to being around people, so i just want to sit down to knit, but i felt bad even typing that. i still feel the need to make sure everything else is done (except for yesterday afternoon when there were things that could be done but SOMEONE was working from home and i didnt want to disturb him. in a strange moment in which the spirit of my mother hovered before me, i got in trouble for NOT disturbing him! but anyway....).

see, i could be working stuff up into a paper, or i could be working on a book proposal, but i really feel the need to just NOT THINK for a while. to just be a normal person who works a bit and tends house a bit and knits a bit, guilt free. just for a little while, before i get that real full time well paid job and, as someone put it so eloquently in an email congratulating me on my submission, "Now, of course, you get to travel from one circle of hell to another. . .".

so im just going to loiter here in purgatory for a while and work really hard on being guilt free!

in support of this project, a parcel delivery man arrived this morning. this is what he brought me:

a surprise submission present from the stash-enabling queen, none other than george herself. i thought it was my southern summer of socks prize (me and my peeps thank you for all your votes) and was surprised to find it was not one but two skeins of gorgeous knittery yarn, one slim socks in merlot, one cashmerino in midnight (i am thinking the merino lace socks from 25 favourites in the merlot, and a nice rib in the midnight). and a beautiful card. hello! big hugs and kisses to george and bertie and pj xxx

it was like the knitting-goddess decided today was my day, because at the same time was delivered this:

i only wanted it for one pattern:

but it only cost $14 on amazon and given we're nearly dollar for dollar........

there are some other really nice wraps in here but the shetland triangle is definitely my favourite. i am going to do it in an 8ply (DK) - we are headed to nundle in may and i am thinking a deep red/wine colour might be the go.

i also brought someone a surprise and it has arrived as well but i cant show it to you till he gets home.

meanwhile, progress on the guilt free sock knitting is quite good - the lichen rib is easy and the wool smooth as anything:

and the fancys are coming up loverly:

i am feeling some guilt at my lack of blog-commenting. now that i am trying not to sit at the computer for days on end, i dont have hours to procrastinate with, but i am reading and send everyone lots of hugs and kisses from my day bed on the beach (see my meez up there in the corner). those autumn trees were a bit of wishful thinking on my part.

k xxx


Georgie said...

That guilt is such a strong driver, I totally and completely sympathise! And you pointed out, sometimes youre dammed both ways - guilty if you do and guilty if you dont!

It took me longer than I care to think about (months and months) to be able to just sit in front of the telly and not do *anything* after I finished studying. (Then I went and did another degree!) And I still struggle with kintting outside of "quiet time" ie. after PJ is in bed, tidying up is done etc.

Interesting post, kms, Im with you all the way.

Bells said...

you don't need that guilt Kylie. I think you know that. What you need is down time and I don't blame you for just wanting some solitude. You deserve it.

Now, your SSoS prize is coming but I have had a hellishly busy week and so have not sent it. I feel guilty about that. Tomorrow, I hope.

Now, that book was only $14? I think I might have to head over to Amazon....

Rose Red said...

When I first saw that book, I only really liked that shawl too - but now so many other things appeal to me as well - it will be lovely in a wine red!

Ah guilt. I think I suffer from a total lack of it. Perhaps you need to give some of yours to me! But really, I hope you can feel not guilty, because, as Bells said, you totally deserve some down time. And in any event, I don't think you should ever feel guilty when knitting - it is a totally productive activity, doubly so if it is a stress-reliever as well! So knit on!

kms said...

seriously, $14US plus shipping. i nearly brought lace style and best of IK which are on sale too. get thee to an amazon :)