Friday, April 02, 2010

I Am Worth It

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

In Feng Shui one can rearrange elements of a room to change the flow of chi through it. A stagnant space can suddenly become a haven of serenity by moving 27 items. Why 27? Nine is considered the number of longevity in Feng Shui, and multiplying it by three, the number of growth, will welcome in a continuous string of prosperous changes into your life.

We moved our living room around and focused on creating more flow and I am very happy with the results. I feel more relaxed now when I sit on the couch. I actually feel less sluggish and find myself getting in a dozen rows every night on the project de jour.

We’ve decided to not stop there. This summer we will have the room painted in a hue of violet or mauve. We had originally decided on a deep purple color but we think that now that we’ve opened up the space; the color should be full of serenity and light.

It is amazing what a coat of paint and a few alterations can do to bring new life into an area.

This weekend I want to get my hair cut to go with my new modifications. Last weekend I reached my original WW goal and I am in my skinny jeans again! Now I am on to the next goal which is the one the Wii has set for me. It wants me to have a good solid BMI and so do I. And I’m all good with that. I want to be a healthy weight.

Towards that end I started carrying a Pokewalker. This is part of the new Pokemon game. It is a pedometer that you carry around with you all day and you can earn things for the game by how many steps you take. I saw this and fell in love…Pokemon and getting healthy…for me what could be better then that? My sister and son are doing it too. We had to get permission from school and daycare that he could carry it and not touch it during the day. But I think it is a wonderful way for us gamers to promote good health. Yay Nintendo!

So, this week I’ve been working on something I am really bad at…honoring my time. I do a lot of things pro bono. I honestly can say that I get two or three knitting emergencies a week that I help with and ask for nothing. I truly believe that friendship is a gift in itself and hate asking for anything more.

Those near and dear to me think that I should be compensated for my time. They believe that I’m dishonoring myself and the gift that I’ve been given if I give away my services all the time; especially if it stops me from me from completing something that I was working on.

I never really thought about it that way until last week. A friend and student of mine needed help finishing a prayer shawl and in the beginning it seemed a simple task. So I added three feet on it during a movie marathon weekend of knitting and handed it back feeling it was a job well done…only to find that she wanted it to be 7 feet not 5.

So this was okay. I needed to order more yarn (which she paid for) to finish the task and thank goodness for WEBS ‘cuz they had 7 balls of the stuff. The last remaining three feet took a little longer because I didn’t have another entire weekend freed up like that for just knitting. So at the end I had worked 40 hours on the shawl and that didn’t count me actually being the one to start it all those months ago or me ordering the yarn to finish it.

When people have asked to pay me in the past I always have said, “I work for $5 an hour or barter of goods or services.” I think this is fair and I know others who charge more. Fixing a pattern is not always an easy thing to do and many times I have to rip it out and start it over. Most times I just ask that they buy me a drink at Starbucks or something small if they have to do something and it was a quick fix.

Equating my time is a very gray area for me. I found it very hard to tell my friend that it took 40 hours of work to finish her prayer shawl…and at $5 an hour…well that was a lot of money. But after talking to many friends they argued that if I keep devaluing myself I will only hurt my self esteem in the long run.

So we agreed on cash and barter and she was happy to have her shawl done to give to her friend and I felt valued as a knitter. In the end it was a win/win situation.

But it was really hard to get to that end point. I don’t know why I find it so hard to ask for services rendered like I have committed some grave sin. I know if I go into town and ask for advice I will be charged $25 for 15 minutes of instruction at one of the yarn stores. Then my $5 for an hour looks pretty okay. This is just one of those areas I will really need to work on in my personal makeover.

Some actually knitting happened this week and I am in love with the way the dark purples seem to float in the air like lavender fields and the suri adds lightness and soft hues to the deep purple. This fabric is light and different then anything I’ve ever made. Since the yarns are both from Knitpicks; the colors match and flow with each other beautifully. The suri is so unbelievably soft. I really am pleased the way that this is coming out.

To those that celebrate Easter; I hope yours is full of family and happiness.

We are bringing a home cooked meal to the Assisted Living for my Mom and Dad. We are making one of those dishes that my Mother used to make for the holidays. I’m crocking a pork shoulder with veggies so we can be healthy and celebrate at the same time. I’m still working on picking a desert that is mid-ground.

Slowly all the pieces are coming together…how to meld everything so it creates a new reality. It takes work and time but like a beautiful piece of knitting; one day you wake up and there is a flow that wasn’t there before. You realize instead of struggling with every step that there is a give and take that creates harmony when you stop struggling and start living.

May your days be blessed with happiness,
We went to the circus last weekend. This picture really makes me smile. The elephants were really amazing. :)
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