Being absolutely buried in work makes me want to knit and read more than ever. That’s a problem for obvious reasons. I do what I can. Sometimes, I even carry my knitting from room to room, just in case there’s an open moment for a row or two. That happened when I had to wait half an hour for my proctored online Anatomy final to start.
I connected at the appointed time and then sat there waiting for the proctor to do her thing. Definitely not the smoothest test taking experience I’ve ever had. It meant progress on the Crystal Palace yarn sweater, though.
It’s coming along nicely even though I’ve just been able to work on it in fits and starts.
I went to a doctor’s appointment with my dad earlier this week and got to knit in the waiting room. I wore Gramps, by the way, and LOVED it!
And there’s been brain dead, end-of-the-day, knit-and-snuggle knitting.
On the reading front, I’ve just finished a short book called How To Stay Sane by Philippa Perry. I can definitely recommend it. It’s written in the style of a self help book without any of the hype or gimmicks. It’s a psychotherapist’s straightforward recommendations on the best way to live without either letting the world drive you crazy or shutting down in order to shut the world out. It has a plenty detailed but refreshingly informal presentation style that makes reading it enjoyable, like talking with a smart friend.
My favorite section is the one on self-observation. Perry says, “Even after our left brains have developed to give us the powers of language and logic, reasoning and mathematics, we continue to be ruled by the mammalian right brain. It turns out that we are unable to make any decision without emotions. . . .” She cites research to support this and makes the fascinating statement that while
We live in a so-called ‘age of reason’ . . . many of our ideas, feelings and actions come from the right brain, while the left brain makes up reasons for those ideas, feelings and actions retrospectively. Every war might only be the playing out of an old dispute that happened in the nursery, for which the leader concerned is still trying to find a resolution.
Perry’s point is that self-observation gives us the leverage we need to have some choice in the matter, to actually take responsibility for our actions. The book is only about 150 pages long, but it is well documented if you want to know more about any of Perry’s research, and it includes exercises to help you implement the strategies she describes. And guess what. The section on the importance of learning for combatting stress includes an illustration of a man knitting.
Illustration by Marcia Mihotich (How to Stay Sane, page 77)
Coincidence? I think not.
I’ll sign off today with a picture of our ridiculously cute house guest. She’ll be with us through the weekend. Happy Friday, knitting friends!