Maybe it's because I have been watching through My So-Called Life recently (I didn't watch it as a teenager) but for the past while I keep thinking of Really Deep Thoughts that I want to blog about...but then getting to my blog and completely forgetting about them. It's pretty lame. I don't know if I'm going to be able to get to them today either, but I'm sort of hoping that acknowledging the problem might help in some way. Of course, there is a good chance that none of my thoughts are in any way deep, but prolonged time in which to think them has convinced me that they're really meaningful. Oh dear, I'm babbling now!
I've recently taken some time off from work and, in a sense, from my normal life. I've found the past year to be very difficult, and I'm not sure why. Having some time to think and to figure out why I find some things hard is really helpful. It's also good to not be at work right now, because that has definitely been part of the problem for me. I did a bit of reading about stress and anxiety and found a checklist of things that might be likely to make a person feel unduly stressed. I could see lots of things I had experienced in this list - long work hours, long commute, uncertainty at work, family conflicts, bereavement, breakdown of friendships, change. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that what I have experienced is in any way unusual. It hasn't been. Lots of people experience the things that I have experienced, and they've lived to tell the tale so I know I will too. However, it's only in recent weeks that I have come to understand the toll it has taken on me, and having some time to come to terms with that is really important. I don't want to get all serious here, but it's important for me to acknowledge that things haven't been all right, if that makes sense.
What is good is that I'm starting to feel like I can see some end to it. I know that the next few months are going to be as difficult as before - my workplace is closing, and Nic's course is finishing so both of us are looking at a changing situation. But unlike a few months, or even a few weeks ago, I think that I'll be able to find a way to handle it. That feels like progress to me.
All of the above feels a bit self-indulgent but acknowledging how I feel and asking for help has made such a difference, and it feels good to be able to talk about it here too. In truth, I have been humbled by the way in which my friends and loved ones have reached out to help me up. I've been equally humbled by the help and love that has come from unexpected and unlooked for places. I'll be okay, and it feels good to be able to say that!
Regular readers may have noticed that there has been more of a focus on sewing round here recently. The funny thing is that sewing has been really good for me - maybe it's my equivalent of basket weaving or something! When I have been feeling low, sitting down and concentrating on making something has made me feel good. I think it's the fact that I can concentrate on working out how the dress goes together, and then have the satisfaction of the finished object at the end of it. Also, of course, having some new dresses always helps as well! I did make another dress this week - it's another version of the Colette Rooibos dress
I really love this pattern. It comes together very easily and the shape of the dress makes it really comfortable and flattering to wear. I made this red version a size smaller than the turquoise one I made a few weeks ago, and it is definitely a better fit. I bought some red cotton twill from Royal Fabrics and it was a dream to sew with. It's fairly heavy so I think this dress will be autumn appropriate with some opaque tights and a cardigan. I'm currently weighing up in my mind whether to add some buttons to the neckline, or whether this will make this too similar to the turquoise one. I'll wear it a few more times and decide. Oh, and I decided to keep my Smurfette dress that delightful shade of blue. Why not - it makes me stand out! But thank you to all of my lovely readers who advised me to keep it that way.
I don't know if I'm going to get up to much blogging next week because Nic and I are off to Northern Ireland to celebrate my birthday in the bosom of my family. I'm really looking forward to it - obviously seeing my folks is going to be brilliant, and hopefully Nic and I will get up to some adventures that I can share with you when we get back! Also tomorrow night I'll be celebrating with my wonderful friends, by eating some tasty mexican food and perhaps drinking some wine.
I'm running out of things to write, but I'm going to leave you with an extract from a brilliant comic which arrived at our house this morning:
You can buy this from the Gareth J Brookes's website. And you should, it's been making me laugh all day!