Friday, January 27, 2017

Snowed in, Digging out

Digging out can seem overwhelming.
It snowed 13 inches on Saturday. My husband was under the weather, so Youngest spent most of his day shoveling and salting the main part of our sidewalk and around our cars. Oldest came home from work and cleared his grandparents' driveway. That's how winter is in snowy places, a cycle of snowfall and digging back out. No one stays snowed in very long.

Except when you're snowed in metaphorically.
This is how my brain looks.

I've been away from work for eleven months now--essentially "on vacation," free to read and knit full time. But I've never been able to relax. The urgency I felt when I had papers to grade and lessons to prepare has never left me. My brain is very driven, but now has a hard time focusing.

 It doesn't help that the real world seems to be falling apart shortly after my personal world collapsed. My husband is legitimately worried that I won't survive this presidential term without a nervous breakdown.

And of course my body has also resisted any attempt to move on with my life--until this week. I started a new medication Saturday and I'm starting to think I might be digging out.

Last week I announced plans to focus on self-improvement. Earlier this week, I thought about changing that because just surviving was all I could do. But today I swam at the gym for the first time in months. Today I feel hopeful.

My favorite self-improvement scripture, Luke 2:52, is a short verse, easily overlooked at the end of accounts of the Savior's birth and childhood:

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

It first came to my attention as the guiding scripture for a youth leadership camp I attended through 4-H when I was in high school. They pointed out that each way Jesus developed, we should develop as well:

Wisdom = Mental
Stature = Physical
Favor with God = Spiritual
Favor with man = Social

My main mental focus is my writing--this blog and a novel I am trying to struggle through. I need to develop the discipline both physically and mentally to write as a full-time job.

Physically, there is so much, but the main thing I will do is stay as active as possible and try to eat more fruits and vegetables. It is too easy to stress eat.

Spiritual development is hard because it seems to be thrown off so easily by my physical state. But church reached me strongly this Sunday. Prayers and scripture reading feel a little more effective.

I've been most consumed socially, not with being social, though I am trying to to spend more time with friends, but with my political involvement.

It's hard to stay focused when new controversies and fears are released daily, but I have chosen my battles. I am going to focus on health care and education. I call, email, Tweet, and Facebook message my representatives regularly and try to follow information on those issues.

I have to stay focused financially as well. I am on the mailing list of every liberal and progressive group in the country. Each one asks for just a dollar, or five, or ten. I don't even want to make the effort to research each of these groups.

Picture from LDS Humanitarian Aid site
I do want my limited funds to genuinely help people, so this is my resolution--whenever I am tempted to make a donation or buy a t-shirt, tempted enough to find my purse, I am going to donate to LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund instead. Humanitarian Aid feeds, clothes, and shelters people affected by war, famine, and natural disasters world-wide. I can use my money to help people my president wants to turn away.

Active LDS people simply donate the same way as they pay tithing, but you can also donate by following this link: That website also shows how and where money is currently being used.

Of course, this is available at my shop.


This elegant wrap reflects the colors I see from my window right now--snow, bare trees, blue sky, birds at my feeder. 

Worn long and straight it is about knee length, or it can be draped in a variety of ways. The wool is soft and comfortable next to skin.

The materials I used are one-of-a-kind. The cream stripes are a super-soft blend of lambs wool and Angora rabbit fur from Lisa, the shop's owner, recycles luxury yarns so they can be knit anew. 

The colored stripes are made from yarn I spun myself from a combination of wool from and 

I also made a quick, lightweight scarf from samples and leftovers. Almost every color is represented, so it should match with everything.
This fun scarf is also available in my shop.