Ninety Percent: As I was laying in bed last night unable to sleep ( I really hate insomnia) , I realized that I have three projects ninety percent complete. Two of those projects are small Christmas gifts and one is a small study that I need to figure out how to complete it. That is really silly and why can't I seem to focus enough to finish them? I guess I know what will do this weekend and I have promised myself not to start my sister's gift until these projects are done.
A Relief: For about a year now, I have felt extremely guilty about retiring from being a physical therapist. I could be making money contributing to the family and helping others. It was and is a profession I absolutely love except for the dreaded insurance paperwork. I loved working with people one on one and helping them to see what their bodies could do. I gradually weaned out of it as my family responsibilities grew but always kept my foot in the door and my license active.
But, truth was and is that I no longer could do the part of it that I loved-the manual therapy, the massage and the treating of back pain patients. After many years of using my hands, they are just tired . They aren't as strong as they use to be and can't do what they need to do to be an effective set of physical therapist's hands. In feeling guilty at not working, I was forgetting one of the key reasons I am no longer a PT: my hands and back. They just can't do it anymore.
I wanted to extend the life of them for sewing. And that felt selfish. Has felt selfish. Until this week. I have been volunteering packing shoeboxes for an organization that is also near and dear to my heart: Operation Christmas Child. I will be done today. But I have been reminded of the fact that my hands hurt when I do heavy work and lifting. If I can't safely lift a 50 pound box with my hands and back, I have no business lifting patients. I have no idea why I keep forgetting that. I retired because I hurt too much when I work. I am strong but the joints are just worn down.
When I sew, it doesn't involve heavy manual work. I can take breaks when I need to. I will need a joint replacement in my thumb at some point but not now. It is a huge relief to be reminded of that. I can't tell you how much I have been beating myself up being selfish and making art. There isn't another career to go back to. My art is it. This is my career . And I am very grateful for being reminded of that! A huge relief to let go of the guilt of not being a physical therapist anymore.
You deserve a fabric picture after listening to me ramble. I did buy fabric from Pink Chalk Fabric earlier this month( which is why on the last post why I am not buying any more...) The top bunch is a group of solids from their fabric of the month club. Great way to add stash if you need solids. Then on the bottom, two new pieces from Lotta Jansdotter and the red piece from Anthology. Pink chalk carries both of them.