The first weekend of the New Year was a hit.
Sometimes, life feels good because you finish all kinds of things. But sometimes, because of timing, you're just in the middle of a whole lot of things, so it isn't realistic to expect to be able to finish them all.
The key to being (and feeling) productive is recognizing the difference between the two.
This weekend was a weekend of progress in process. I finished about 2/3rds of Main Street, so I'll be able to blog about that sometime this week.
I cranked along and made about two lbs., so now the thrill of making it has worn off a bit. But this is fine, because now I have homemade pasta stored in the freezer, ready for whenever.
In case you're wondering, I realized I didn't need to use a chopstick to roll the shapes (a process that would have involved figuring out where to buy chopsticks and then going to get them). As it turns out, a #10 double-pointed knitting needle works just fine.
I also got back on track with my fitness regimen. I went swimming, I worked out using the (friggin') circuit training at the gym, and I went ice skating. Can you tell which one of the three is my least favorite?
Ice skating is such a happy winter activity. Nothing beats it. I step on the ice, and I'm 8 years old once again, smiling and speeding around the rink.
I finished all I could finish on an afghan I'm making. I ran out of yarn. Instead of getting fussy about it, I just ordered some new (should be arriving in a day or two) and switched over to finishing a cardigan. I have about 4-5 more rows to go, and then that will be done (I finished the last half of a sleeve and half of the neckline this weekend). Almost there.
I'm hoping to get the afghan finished so I can give it to Project Linus in NJ. Ideally, I'd like to have at least two finished to donate, so I'm going to get cracking on another ASAP.
Project Linus donates handmade blankets to homeless shelters and hospitals, for children in need. Since Hurricane Sandy, there has been a HUGE need. If you're interested, the link to their page is on the list to the right of mine, under "Worthy Causes." You don't have to give blankets: sometimes, you can buy a blanket, and the proceeds will go to Project Linus.
While I'm at it, I'll give a plug for two other worthy causes in NJ that I discovered in 2012. Obviously, I'm a fan of Karma Cat & Zen Dog Rescue Society, the rescue shelter where I adopted my two crazy cuties last summer.
Their motto is Pure * Organic * Kindness. What's not to love about that?
I'm also a fan of Seer Farms in Jackson, NJ. This organization began during the economic crisis a few years ago. The owners realized that many people, due to foreclosures, natural disasters, or other domestic crises (illness, military service), are forced to simply abandon their pets.
Seer Farms offers a safe-haven for pets whose families are in crisis and transition. As they point out on their website, "In our experience, if given the option, a pet owner
able to make temporary long-term arrangements for the care of their
animal(s) will do so, alleviating a considerable emotional burden that
is added to an already difficult time."
I cannot imagine going through what some people have had to go through, and then finding myself forced to give up my cats on top of it all. In tough times, pets are a huge source of strength and comfort. Feeling compelled to give them up is an inconceivable emotional burden added to an already difficult time.
Most people aren't innately cruel or callous (although some people are, obviously). They don't want to abandon their animals, but if they can't provide for them and a shelter is the only option... they need other options. Seer Farms works to offer that alternative option.
Obviously, Seer Farms has also been very busy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
As George Eliot once wrote, "Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." And, perhaps more importantly, "More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us."