One of my favorite Instagram discoveries of 2017 was Emily Felix's Unraveling Club, an affordable online course which breaks down the steps necessary to unravel old sweaters into fresh, recycled, knittable yarn.
Recently a friend told me that she thought I handled stress better than she did. I was surprised, and not at all sure that was true, but it got me thinking about the ins and outs of how I handle challenges; about which things are working and which habits have room for improvement.
Since I never pictured myself as a mother until I was actually pregnant the first time, I also never took notice prior to that moment of some of the daily tricks of motherhood. Getting dressed is one of those tricks, which might sound a little silly. But think of it this way: you're you, and then you're you feeling like crap every day for several months (at least), and then you're you with an extra forty extra pounds (give or take), but all the while still taking care of things at home and going to work and maybe exercising and probably experiencing change of seasons. During this part, you are probably still at least occasionally (or for some, often) physically uncomfortable. Also your breasts have changed size, maybe more than once, and even your feet have maybe changed size, either permanently, or just temporarily. Every day you're trying to get dressed for all of that, probably without an unlimited budget and probably without a lot of extra free time to figure it out.
My husband and I have been trying to find our happy place with regard to the holiday season, and it has been a bit of a struggle.
His family seems to under-celebrate, while my family shifts into over-the-top mode. I've seen him look physically pained during the chaos of my family's present-unwrapping free-for-all, while I have been nearly apoplectic at the idea that there is no Christmas Eve champagne-and-appetizer tradition on his side of the aisle.
I agree with him that financial hardship is no way to start the new year, and I am bad at moderation, so I vowed this year I would try harder. Instead of too many expensive presents, and fancy holiday cards, I tried to focus on the helpful and handmade. I did have a little bit of success, in the form of homemade cookies to share, and special but inexpensive gifts for my parents, but even so, the holiday sparkle I sought remained elusive.
Something I find difficult about parenting a young child is the waste that accumulates. Granted, I could work harder to look for second-hand options, but I admit to being easily seduced by the cuteness that abounds on many websites and in the boutiques I occasionally visit. So I work for a balance: cute and well-made items, but not a million of them. And, now that we are settled and my studio is back in action, I plan to make some items and alter others, in order to extend the life of both garments and scraps.