Since my memory isn't what it used to be, I decided to begin blogging this year as a way to journal my sewing projects. I also began a written sewing notebook this year, as a spot to write down measurements, alterations I did - the minutiae that I want to be able to consult at a later date. The notebook also helps me with my blog entries, especially if I blog later rather than sooner after completing a project.
I enjoy the sense of community that the online sewing blogs and websites offers. None of my wonderful, 'real-life' friends sew (but I still love them!), so having online friends who do is just peachy. For the sewists/bloggers who read my blog thank you! I hope that you find it as enjoyable as I find reading others' blogs. You are all a source of inspiration to me.
Many bloggers have taken the opportunity to review their year, write about the ups and downs of their sewing in the past year. There are also lots of bloggers who enter sewing contests or participate in 6 packs, etc. I won't be joining any 6 packs, garment-a-month contests, or any of the like. But I love watching the progress of those who do. I have great admiration for the prolific sewists out there.
In general, I don't sew with a plan. I respond more to what moves me, or what I want/need at the moment. Or what someone I love wants or needs. (I jump for joy on the inside when my 16 year old asks me if I can make something for her!) Or sometimes just because I want to try a technique, or because I have fallen in love with a piece of fabric.
I realize that my blogging has been inconsistent. In some cases, it has just been the stuff of life that has kept me out of the sewing room. I've mentioned the older family members that have had lots of issues in the past year who have needed lots of our time and attention. But that is only part of the equation.
I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been beaten up or run over, or maybe both. I thought to myself as I hobbled to the bathroom that it was a hell of a way to end the year. So I dragged my sorry a$$ downstairs and put on a pot of coffee, took a few meds, and snuggled up on the sofa under a warm blanket, with the heating pad on my knees. Eventually my family got up and moving, and my husband gave me an injection of a strong anti-inflammatory medicine in my hip that allowed me to have a better day, and to join my family in the cooking and festivities of the day.
While lying on the sofa in the quiet house early on this last morning of 2011, I decided that instead of making excuses about my inconsistent sewing and blogging, I would 'come clean'. So here it is. I have a form of Inflammatory Arthritis. Terms such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Psoriatic Arthritis may be familiar. The arthritis that I have affects my spine as well as the peripheral joints. Essentially, no joints are spared. There are some very cutting edge medications to treat Inflammatory Arthritis these days that have given many people back their lives. Unfortunately, more than a couple of those medications have led to severe 'side-effects' for me, so they are all off the table for me. As a result, there are times that I just need to lay low and let things run their course. Hence the sewing and blogging lapses.
I decided to share this about myself because it is part of the package, part of my life experience, my journey. I am not trying to have a pity party. We all have our ups and downs, right? My tendency is to be private about my 'downs', so sharing this is a leap for me. I am a fairly pragmatic person, so the rough patches don't get me mentally down, so to speak. I just adjust and spend time doing quieter, less taxing activities. It just is what it is.
Having this disease necessitated giving up my career several years ago, which was hard, but I adjusted. It is also why I have people who come to clean my house regularly, and our handyman is on speed dial. When it comes to decorating for Christmas (and undecorating), I have a company come in that sets up the artificial trees. My husband puts up the real tree, and we put all the ornaments on, which is the best part anyway. Even though I love to cook and bake, that can't always happen either. Thankfully my daughter and husband are both good cooks and can fend for themselves. I am thankful we have people that we can trust to fill in the gaps. I am thankful for my supportive husband. He has truly always been there for the good and the bad, and the really, really bad.
Despite the challenges, we enjoy life and each other, and generally laugh a lot. That is the best medicine, right?
If you've read this far, thank you for sticking with this lengthy soliloquy! I truly wish you a happy, healthy 2012. Good health is a gift, as are family and friends. Cherish them all.