This weekend on Facebook I saw that a woman I know was preparing to do a hike for charity, up Ben Nevis. I was impressed; it’s for a good cause and a great challenge. But my feeling of admiration was tinged with disbelief – how on earth was she fitting it in? With a family, a farm, two jobs, travelling on and off the island, errands to run, a house to tidy, meals to make – where was she finding the time for this?
I’ve been thinking a lot about time this past week, having had very little of it to spare. Those few minutes you carve out for your self are so ephemeral, in the end: poor broadband meant a half hour wasted trying to connect to my exercise class, twice, and the frustration of what I could have spent that time doing instead lasted the whole day. This is time I fight my children for (and the dogs, who think that me being on the floor means it’s play time) and I don’t want to spend it not doing what I’ve planned to do.
Mid-week I was given a beautiful present: a table loom kit with a selection of lovely yarns and
instructions. It came with a note: ‘for me time with a glass of wine.’ I love me-time, I love wine, and I love any type of crafting, but I can’t actually remember the last time I did any. Me-time is usually spent making, thinking or writing about soap, drinking wine is usually while making dinner or with friends and family, and the rest of my day is my family, a farm, two jobs, travelling on and off the island, errands to run, a house to tidy, meals to make – where on earth can I fit the crafting in? My beautiful present was suddenly a chore.
If I hadn’t decided to write this blog about the loom and take some pictures, I probably wouldn’t even have opened it, and it would’ve become part of a pile on the corner of a table somewhere, eventually disappearing into the strata of debris that ‘I’ll get to later’, where it would become a heavier and heavier burden every time I looked at it, in the way that all the things you’ve not done take on the weight of black holes. Instead of turning into a diamond under the pressure you just suddenly lose your temper and then regift things.
Where does all this pressure come from? Why do I feel that I have to be and do all things? Is
‘because I enjoy it’ a genuine reason to take more and more on? I love doing the things I already do but I hate how quickly they become part of a to do list.
Then a funny thing happened. Last night the girls went to bed early and fell asleep in seconds. Feeling victorious and with half an hour to spare, I wondered through the house enjoying the quiet and the evening sun streaming through the windows. And there, where I had laid it after taking photos, was the loom.