I don't really know what an addict to drugs or alcohol feels like, and maybe to compare my addiction to quilting is like a fluffy way of thinking. However, its almost hard to maintain my sanity against the pull to let it come back into my day. I assume this is similar to what drug or alcohol addicts feel about their chemicals.
I got an email update about the Charm Square Table Runner swap. Seems my partner is ok with adding creams and greens to the purples, so my Charm Pack will work. That got me inspired to look for a pattern again, so I started going through some 50-60 or more quilting magazines I have on the shelf. Going through these magazines is an entirely different project not related to quilting as much as it is getting the ones I don't need off the shelf and out of my life. I pulled out patterns that I want to save and tossed most of the magazines, saving about 10.
This was part of what it takes to quilt. The agenda to clear them out was different. It is extremely difficult to separate the work of clearing unneeded items from what I do as a quilter. I got up from it, and walked away. The pull to take the next step in quilting was unbelievable.
The wooden file cabinet that was under the table and against the wall is emptied and moved into another room. I used my quilting work station to look through both the magazines and files. I sorted them to see what needed to be tossed or saved. It surprised me to see how empty the vertical file cabinet is now. There had been no 'Note-to-Self' letting me know why these papers were saved, so all I can assume is that last year when I did this, what was left were things I thought were important. My sorting filled the wastebasket three times, and then I filed what remained. Some things need to be done in stages.
There are three main topics left to put into the vertical filing cabinet: 1) Health / Legal papers; 2) Research for the Befana book; 3) Spiritual Research.
I don't always make the connection about the psychological issues in my life now that I am not teaching. However, grief and loss show up in the strangest ways. Just because I made the choice to retire doesn't mean it wasn't a loss. In fact, it was a huge change in my life and of course came with a certain amount of grief. And then there was the loss of my Niece. I have not forgotten her and all the losses her passing left us with.
There is no timeline for grief.
As I went through the quilting magazines, I realized that my goal for quilting in the next few years is to first of all, finish what has been started & stored in bins; and then to use up the scrap squares by joining them in a sort of random order for quilts. I don't need nor do I want to make the more complex patterns. Going forward with all parts of my life is that I mean to travel lightly.
So here I am, finding new strengths, creating new patterns (not just the quilting kind) and trying to pull myself out of the deep dip. A day or so ago, I wondered where I was and where I was going, and this chart helps me see that the walls of grief are slick and steep, so if I tumble back down, and start feeling the disorientation, panic and guilt, I know I need to find a way to climb up and out. There is no shame in being where I am about feeling grief and loss. It is what is is and at least I got to a place where I could see it and see how it was affecting my work. And yet, guilt is a stage of it.
This has been a good few days of not-quilting.