Sunday, 10 May 2015

Family Patterns

It’s good to have a break from the usual work pattern and enjoy the extra day off that a Bank Holiday Monday brings. An extra hour in bed is a welcome rest. It’s nice to relax and make the most of some uninterrupted thinking time to ponder options. Stress kills, someone reminded me recently. I didn’t need reminding. I’d been winding myself into a tightly coiled spring for a long time. Something had to give, and it did. My ‘work-life balance’ fell short of balance and weighed heavily towards the misery that work had become. A pattern had formed. Each week was spent waiting for the weekend, then the weekend was spent dreading the following week. The long winter and a lack of daylight made my feelings worse. Now spring is here, I wake up to the sun filtering through the bedroom window blinds. I can think clearly about making changes in the future, look forward to an addition in the family and gain some mental strength from my background. 

I was brought up in a close, resourceful family where the women were homemakers. From an early age I was taught sewing and knitting by my mother and both grandmothers. I’ve usually got a project on the go and an idea of what will be next.  It’s currently the non-stop manufacture of baby clothes. The other night, my pregnant daughter sent me a Facebook message asking if I would knit something. She included a photo of a child’s jacket with teddy-bear ears on the hood. It was knitted in something soft and fluffy.  My collection of patterns dates back decades but I had nothing like that. The ones I’ve inherited are priced in ‘old money’ and instantly recognised as my childhood clothing. I tried to have a ruthless sort-out once, but I couldn’t bear to part with any of them. With some guesswork and the benefit of my own experience, I found a pattern and the fluffy wool online, and ordered it straight away. I can’t wait to make it for my grandchild. 

My daughter hasn’t followed the family pattern of needlework experts, despite my best efforts. We spent many hours, side by side on the sofa as I patiently taught her to knit. We were aiming for a small blanket of assorted coloured squares. I rescued her dropped stitches and decreased the additional stitches she managed to include until a reasonable square was produced, but the blanket never materialised. Her talents are in other areas. She can make a great cake, for one thing and she’s far more interested in developing culinary skills than I ever was. Her DNA leads her towards practical skills and anything creative is a world away from needlework, but she carries the pattern of the family in her upbringing, all the same. 

There are big changes ahead which will include improvements to my work-life balance. I would love to return to being the homemaker I used to be when the children were young and when the time is right, I will. For now, re-evaluating my current situation will be a step in the right direction.
Thanks for reading, Pam.