I am the sort of person that is interested in many, many things. You may have noticed. (Read all the books! Knit all the things! Spin all the fibers! Cook all the foods! Try to be dairy-free! Try to be vegan! Try! Try! Try!) And, I will chase a thing down a rabbit hole and completely get lost in wonderland where I will become distracted and then enamored with something else and the process will start all over again. Which is why I’ve had to develop some management techniques to keep myself from ooh-look-shiny-ing myself out of a job or an apartment or every relationship I have. These techniques are some really simple things like: I can’t have more than 3 knitting projects going at once. Or, I can’t buy tea until I’ve finished tea (this is harder than you’d think). I can only read one non-school book at a time. I try no more than one new recipe a week. Or, my new favorite: the quarterly purge of my things. I’m right now involved in this process. 4 times a year, I try to go through my stuff (my pantry, my closet, my yarn stash) and give away a bag of stuff to AmVets or the local food pantry. If I’m not wearing it or knitting it (and I can’t think of what I’d knit with it) or eating it, it should go. There’s no need to just hang out to things indefinitely. But, this is really hard. You find things you’ve not seen in awhile and you feel nostalgic or you talk yourself into keeping something because, “This will make a great hat or some mittens or something. Someday.” And, it’s really easy to get distracted during the process and break one of the other rules.
For example: In the past week I’ve cast on two projects and signed up for a mystery knit-along. Which means I’ve gotten I’ll be at 5 knitting projects. I tell myself, “You know, that one is only a swatch. You just want to make sure you’re reading the lace pattern right before you string 400 beads onto the yarn and start knitting a shawl.” What’s worse is I’d like to say I’m done starting things. But, I have this itchy feeling that I’m not. While I was de-stashing I found some sock yarn that I think will be perfect for a something I want to make for a friend. I have a pattern picked out. And, it’s really easy but really nice lace. I want to start it so bad. But, I also want to follow the rules, especially since this is a pretty heavy time in my life professionally. (I know what you’re thinking: “You’re an academic. It’s summer. What are you doing?” Well, writing a grant proposal, writing up a proceedings paper for my research group, contributing to a journal article, writing a chapter of my dissertation and piloting a brand-new and exciting analysis of some really awesome data and if that works out writing an abstract for a conference. That’s what I’m doing. It’s also a lot to be in the middle of.)
Oh, and I started two new audio books (in addition to Swann’s Way which I’ve been listening to since January). I’ve been listening to a Nicholas Sparks book while I’ve been purging and I’ve been listening to Divergent again in the evenings while I knit. I love Tris and Four. They’re so awesome. And, so far Nicholas Sparks’ characters are both inoffensive and not all that needy or memorable. Everything you’d want in a book that’s supposed to keep me occupied while I’m working. It’s not hard to get into when I’m only half paying attention and if I miss anything it’s probably not that important. (This is a compliment even if it is a backhanded one. Sometimes the good things are the things that require the least of you. But, only sometimes.)
Don’t get me wrong, I love being this curious about the world. I love trying new things and knitting new projects, especially if they’re destined to be worn or used by someone I care about. But, it’s hard work to keep yourself focused and not running off after everything you find interesting, sometimes.