When I applied for my job, the person interviewing me asked me if I was good at running a program, from soup to nuts. I remember she gave the example that while I'd be working with artists at a creative and personal level, I'd also be shlepping the seltzer and wine (and cups and napkins) and making the online room booking reservations. I said I was good at that, and that I in fact preferred it to sitting at a desk all day long. And I wasn't lying.
I'm in the middle of my social justice Jewish performance festival, which means I'm in production mode, which means there's a lot of working with artists at a creative and personal level at the same time as I'm shlepping seltzer (literally -- from Trader Joe's because the online order didn't arrive on time) and much has been going beautifully, and also there has been a truly funny comedy of errors. So when the office printer jammed for the 8th time in 5 days, and I needed to make color copies for that evening, I decided to just take them out to Kinko's. Which is one of the good things about doing everything in my job -- because it was beautiful outside, and I wouldn't have necessarily otherwise gone out in the middle of the day.
I had a lot on my plate, but I was also going to be working very late, and I realized that this was my moment to take some Happy time for myself. I didn't know what or where, but I knew when -- it had to be then. So I cast my eye about for opportunities, and started thinking about how when you're looking for joy, your observation takes on a different sheen -- almost like an addict looking for a fix, or to put it more positively, an optimist looking for something good to happen. And then it happened. I walked past Knitty City, and I got that little feeling I've been getting lately when I know I found my time, and I walked in.
At first I just looked at yarn, without a goal other than to enjoy the yarns. I felt the Angoras, I squeezed the silks, I got a sense of how the store is laid out, I shook the buttons, and eventually I wandered over to the patterns. For me, the patterns are the like the warning track: watch out ... you might get involved in a project here. The yarns are all so beautiful and overwhelming that I can just look at them and take in their mass splendor, but the patterns are Things To Make, and get my mind clicking. I haven't been knitting lately, but I used to be a wonderful knitter. I used to make sweaters and ponchos and skirts and all sorts of things. I've never been a mitten or sock maker, but rather big things with cool patterns. But I don't have time to do big things with cool patterns right now -- unless I want to shlep them on the subway, and I don't. So I homed in on fingerless gloves, and then I zoomed out on fingerless gloves slash arm warmers. And I found some with lace patterns and I found some with intricate cables and I found some with all the things that used to attract me as a knitter, but then I found a simple ribbed design, two colors, cuffed over the elbow. Love at first sight.
And THEN I got to go back to the yarns and look at them with purpose. And I do love looking at yarns with purpose. I wanted soft soft soft. Angora soft. But Angora wasn't right for these, so I went to the Alpaca, and chose a dark smoky blue and dark smoky gray in a sport weight. (A project! A project! I have a new project!)
All that in the middle of a production day! (It's good to take breaks in the middle of the work day. It's good to take breaks in the middle of the work day. It's good to take breaks in the middle of the work day.) Sustains you for what's to come! And it DID come later, and I was ready for it with equanimity and humor.