Cool Inertia

I’ve been fighting through inertia for quite a while now. It comes, it goes, sometimes I even feel as though I’ve conquered it – but then it returns and I feel nailed in place. Good morning, Inertia – sit down…

Is it the cold? It’s been a balmy 24F degrees (feels like 14) so I’m running around in shorts. I’m insane.

I think it’s the losses, sharp icicles of pain that take my breath away when my mind wanders over to Jan, of Gerry’s health, of my mom and my brother. I’m sure this is what is mostly behind the hovering depression that seems to be haunting me.

I was watching a special on the History Channel about Christmas in America, and I swear that they briefly showed a bit from one of our home movies. There was a redhead (me?) opening a gift, and then a brown hair boy (Jimmy?) unwrapping a Captain Kangaroo toy of some kind.

When I was kid my mom sent a bunch of our movies off some place to have them spliced together. The company went out of business and our films were lost. She never got over the disappointment of losing so many home movies, and it makes me wonder if somehow some of them ended up as stock footage somewhere. Maybe on the History Channel?

I bought the program on iTunes and grabbed two of the frames that show what I think are our home movies. I don’t recognize the carpet, but everything else looks oddly familiar to me. What a weird feeling.

It’s probably similar to the feeling my Dad would have when we’d watch a WWII program and see footage from North Africa or D-Day (he filmed and photographed lots of stuff in the Army Air Corp, that was “his” war. He also took some of the first footage of the survivors at Dachau, too).

I knit up some designs this Fall, I was happy with most of them but the whole heartbreaking episode at Jan’s passing seemed to insert itself into every aspect of my work.

I found that actually doing the maths involved in writing the patterns so far beyond me that I was confused and slow. But I needed to get done, I had short deadlines, and I pushed through. Subsequently, I’m afraid the math didn’t make much sense in some cases.

That’s the hardest part of the job for me, doing the math for the patterns. Or, rather, doing the maths ALONE.

I twitted about it this morning and got this lovely twitter back. So I’m not alone. But I am sort of still in math hell.

Unfortunately my visiting inertia seems to want a hobby, and the hobby it’s chosen is mulling over episodes in my life where I’ve fallen short or have let folks down – like my lack of pattern writing math skill. My inertia has a suite at the self-pity chalet with a nice view of the wallowing pool.

I find it practically impossible to double check my work by myself – and in my worst moments nasty little inertia whispers to me, “You know, you can think up beautiful sweaters all day, but if you can’t write the pattern then you’re useless…”

Did I mention there’s a bar at the wallowing pool?

I feel so guilty about not being a pattern writing genius that I want to go hide my head. And if I didn’t feel nailed to the floor by this damned inertia I’d do just that.

Knowing that dwelling on this was digging myself into an even deeper pity pool, I took Atticus on a little adventure for some REAL digging. Nothing like physical work to give inertia a slap-down.

We noticed while sledding at the school yard across the street Thursday that the adjacent ice rink was covered in snow. With the rain yesterday I figured the surface would be pretty useless if the lumps of gritty snow weren’t scraped off before everything re-freezes later today.

So I grabbed my shovel, donned my yak-traks and scraped! It took me 2 hours, and it was hard. I was a human zamboni, and it felt good. I even hummed along (with Atticus scooting across the ice like a fuzzy, black Bambi)

But now the kids can put on their skates and head over for some energy burning good fun on a relatively smooth plane. And when it gets colder today the lumpy, wet, rainy snow won’t freeze to the newly smoothed ice’s surface.

If we’re not going to embrace this winter thing, what’s the use of moving to St. Paul?

Now I’m back to my “office” – ready to re-attack the sweater maths with new gusto – hopefully with a clearer head and less self pity this time. In the background I’m watching a DVD of The World At War. Maybe I’ll see some of dad’s footage…?

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