It feels giant. Like a huge fuck up. But it’s really not. It feels that way because I’m overwhelmed…and overwhelmed is a place I don’t like to be. My counselor says I must like it, because I spend a lot of time there, but I haven’t been able to figure out how NOT to be there. She doesn’t have a map to get out of it.
So it wasn’t a small clusterfuck. I pinbasted 9 quilts and then finally got into my studio last night to do the last one and hopefully start quilting. I even sat down at the machine, all set up for quilting, and then put the owl quiltlet under the machine, and stopped. Fuck. Seriously? Where the hell is my brain? I don’t even know. I have to say that I always have some issues this time of year because it’s the anniversary of my marriage falling apart…after 13 years, I still can’t erase that date from my mind. Which is one of the things about my brain that I don’t appreciate. Can’t remember what I did last week, but 13 years ago is fresh, like it just happened. I could do without that. My anniversaries are all nasty ones.
Anyway, so I hadn’t stitched any of the pieces down. I iron, then I stitch down, then I pinbaste. Somehow my brain decided that completely skipping that middle step would be OK. And yes, I briefly considered a variety of options, including going to bed, having another glass of wine, sewing them down while sandwiched, or quilting without sewing them down. I also went through the pros and cons of each option, and then unpinned the owl. I stitched him down, ironed him again, and repinned him.
There. Done. So was that so hard? Nope. I can handle that. I’m more pissed at myself for spacing out. The fix isn’t bad, not too time-consuming. It was only another 5 minutes. Not the end of the world, right? But frustrating at 10 PM. Frustrated with my own brain.
Then again, I had a weird day. I didn’t teach yesterday. A local youth services group came in to talk about suicide and depression to my kids, so I sat off to the side and graded papers and tried to keep track of the kids who needed reminders of good behavior. And by the end of the day, I was reacting to all the talk and videos and listening to the kids. I could tell. I actually don’t remember this day from last year at all. It’s a total blank. This is like the second trigger event for me this year at school. I guess it makes me relate to my students. One of my weird ones was having an issue with the video. I could see her curling up into herself so I made a face at her. She giggled. Then the instructor (who was getting tired, I could tell…even teachers get crankier as the day goes on) got all snarly about her giggling and lectured us on feeling uncomfortable and not laughing (for whatever reason, because if you’re uncomfortable enough to laugh, that lecture just made you more so), so I gave her the giant scared eyeballs and she started to giggle again (I am evil), but muffled her mouth under her hand. I got that kid. She’s working for me now. Not a lot, but a little. Better than the I-Don’t-Care attitude I got for the first month.
I know I appreciate all the people who checked in with me repeatedly, sometimes annoyingly so, while I was going through my depression. Because it was bad. And it’s still there, the remnants of it. It never really goes away. It makes me question everything I think or do some days. Some of the mood this week is trying to visualize a future, a place where I have everything in balance, semi-under control (because I don’t think my life will ever be beautifully under control). I know some of the things I want, but getting there seems pretty impossible most days. I know I’m working my butt off at the moment, and I need that to loosen up a bit. So fucking up the quilting process, something I’ve done for years, doesn’t help me feel like I have a handle on things. I mean, I know everyone’s needs are mostly being met, but I need to get my head up and over this pile of crap, both the work stuff and the mood stuff.
Anyway, because I like to make it hard on myself, today I’m giving my students a hard, really hard assignment…for like the next three or four days. So that should be fun. For none of us. You will hear my frustration probably starting tomorrow. But whatever. Sometimes things are hard, and you do your best, and if you happen to succeed at the hard stuff, the reward will feel that much better. Maybe I should start with that today. For them and for me…