When I think about the different aspects of my life, I keep coming back to this list of goal types Gretchen Rubin collected for her book Better than Before:
- Eating healthfully
- Exercising regularly
- Spending wisely
- Enjoying rest
- Simplifying one’s environment
- Deepening relationships
I’ve been astonished how much this pandemic has disrupted every one of these areas in my life: “exercising regularly” has gone from a gym routine I was proud of to trying to go on a five-minute walk once a day. “Deepening relationships” has become a roulette wheel of Zoom check-ins. “Accomplishment” has turned into “I know my work sucks but I’m trying to set reasonable expectations right now.” All of which, in turn, makes it hard to enjoy rest, since I’m finding my body feeling restless and my mind feeling flattened. (And this is speaking as someone who is fortunate in many ways: I still have a job! I can work from home! I and my immediate family are safe for now! The situation is so much worse for so many.)
So in addition to the daily walk, I’ve been trying to do a few other things every day (read: most days) that help my mood and give me back some of the mental energy that’s lacking right now. I play the piano, if only for a few minutes; I try to read from a book for fun (though my enjoyment and stamina are way down); and I try to work a little bit on my knitting. Here are some of the knitted items I’ve finished since… this all started.
1. These gorgeous honey-colored fingerless mitts. Most of the knitting took place around Christmas (the original date I intended to give them to Clara), or else I think I wouldn’t have been able to take on something so complex (though the pattern was really well-written).
2. A baby blanket for my soon-to-be (-1)st cousin once-removed, due this July. A simple lace pattern made by repeating the same few rows over and over.
3. Another pair of fingerless mitts, for a friend who saw me working on the Beeswax ones back when we were still getting together with people in person. These are much simpler: a basic knit-and-purl grid pattern.
At this point I’m not sure what to start now. To keep with the trend towards less and less complexity, I might have to do a garter stitch washcloth next. We’ll see what I’m up for.
How about you? Are there things you’ve been able to do to help keep your mental state afloat? Other parts of your life that you find have been crashing into each other? I’d be interested to hear from you in the comments.