The pressures on all sides to bond make those who, for whatever reason, find themselves alone uneasy and even guilt-ridden in their situation. Even worse they reduce the possibility of success for the relationships which they constantly promote. If, as we are told, our lives can be fulfilled only by our intimate attachments to others, then those attachments are from the beginning under a weight of responsibility that cripples their growth. Even more importantly, this current insistence on relationships not only spoils our chances of relating—it gets in the way of our discovering the value, perhaps the necessity, of solitude.
It’s Friday Craft Day! Help yourself to some Spooky cross stitch patterns to make over the weekend. I’ve got a mix of free and for sale patterns covering the Halloween aesthetic. So get your stitch on.
Spring cleaning is about clearing out stagnant energy. Fall cleaning is about carefully picking through the contents of your life to find what to keep and what to pitch. It is for opening your closet doors and laying all your clothes on the bed, for pulling out your fall and winter gear and inspecting it. Those gloves and scarves and coats you carelessly packed away six months before get an airing out. You wash those that need it. You pair up gloves, toss those what are missing partners, or, as I do with my son’s gloves, pair them up with another lonely one to make a mismatched set.
This is the process I’m going through now. I am trying to bring order to a house I never properly set up. Our move-in was hasty and chaotic, and the last year didn’t afford me much time to purposefully arrange things. This fall, however, has brought me the time and energy to tackle such housekeeping details.
I’ve started with my clothes. By virtue of my life spent mostly in my home, my daily wardrobe consists mainly of pj pants and T-shirts. Those times I have to venture into the outside world, I will exchange the pants for one of my skirts. This has been my daily uniform for the past five years, and my clothes are beginning to show it.
I began with the shirts. All the T-shirts riddled with holes went under the pinking shears. In thirty minutes I had reduced them to rags for cleaning. They replaced the previous rags that had come to the end of their useful life.
This last week I moved on to my skirts. Currently I have four every day skirts, one “fancy”, and two that haven’t made it into rotation yet. All of them are handmade. One skirt went into the bin, so torn up and run down it wasn’t even fit for rag duty. The other three are threadbare and torn at the seams. If I toss them now, I’ll be short of outside wear, though, so I’ve decided to mend them enough to get through the next month while I make new skirts.
I’ve patched these skirts before. Those times I was careful with my fabric choice and my stitching. This time, knowing that I just need to keep my underwear from showing, I set to the task by first grabbing a handful of scraps. The result is haphazard, but serviceable. And that’s all that’s warranted. Once I’ve made up new skirts, these will be retired. I’m considering remaking them into a throw, something cozy for the winter nights ahead.
This upcoming week the target of my fall cleaning will be the pj pants. Several need some light mending and I’ll probably make a couple of new pairs, as well as retire a couple that are as ratty as the skirts. Then I will move on to the winter clothes: sweaters, sweatshirts, long sleeved garments, as well as tights and leggings. By the time December rolls around I should be well sorted out to survive the winter.
Examine your patterns. Consider first if the pace and the pattern of your life are of your own choosing. Take the measure of your life, honestly and logically. Determine which patterns are imposed upon you from external sources and which are self-imposed (or self-inflicted).
Make an honest assessment of what you have to do, what you don’t have to do, and of what you have consciously chosen to do, regardless of whether it is required or not.
Now reach a little further within to take a deeper measure of your personal life patterns. In doing so, realistically determine what it is you are striving for. Reexamine your life patterns in the clear light of personal truth and choice. Ask yourself what it is that you truly want from your life, from yourself.
If you are fairly clear on what you really want, then you can effectively determine whether or not your life patterns are structuring your success. If you are uncertain about what you ultimately want, then you must ask yourself who or what is actually determining and managing thee patterns of your life for you and why.
These are hard questions, but necessary ones if you want to take more power over the patterns in your life. Know that you do have the ability to choose far more in the matters of your life patterns. The first step—and the last—is taking your personal measure.
I’m a word nerd and a science fiction geek. I also love to swear. Like, really fucking love to curse. My swearing is sometimes a problem (like when my children started dropping f-bombs as toddlers). But mostly swearing offers me a release for frustration. (Also, swearing has its benefits.)
Which is why I love science fictional swearing. You get to express your anger in a way that won’t lead to judgmental looks from those around you.
This cross stitch sampler is my love letter to the swears used throughout fandom. The pictured sampler was stitched on white 14 count Aida cloth using two strands of floss. Download the free chart by clicking on the download button below, or clicking here.
If you get your stitch and bitch on, please post a picture in the comments. I’d love to see how it turns out for you.
While I was learning to work with clay, I made a lot of pots and had to believe that even if they were less than perfect the making of them was worthwhile and important. To continue, I needed to find faith that the expression of my inner forms would become easier and that it had intrinsic value to me as a process of growth. I had to believe that my vision and its pursuit were valuable to me and to those around me even though the world didn’t necessarily need more mediocre pottery.
—Rheya Polo, “Spinning from the Center—Creation & Transformation”
“That’s not—!” Prudella pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. “I didn’t mean literally. It’s a saying. It means to cut out those phrases you love.”
“Well, I didn’t know that!”
Prudella counted to four, took a breath and opened her eyes. The ghoul sitting across the desk from her wore a wrinkled, pained expression, accented by the jagged scar that ran like a fissure across her face. It was a toss up as to whether the ghoul was more concerned about the bodies in the wheelbarrow behind her or her grade in Fiction Writing 101.
“It’s okay. A beginner’s mistake.” Prudella pushed the box of tissues across the desk. On the cubicle wall opposite a poster reminded her that that everyone at Transylvania Community College was there to help students succeed.
“What should I do?”
“Go over your manuscript again and bring it to the next class. Oh, and maybe talk to Irving. He’s a necromancer, I think.”
“The term is ‘resurrectionist,'” the ghoul said around her soggy tissue nose blowing.
“Do they?” Prudella watched the ghoul maneuver her load between the adjunct professors’ cubicles and made a mental note to ask Irving at the next class what term he preferred. Then she reminded herself she had another dozen Composition 101 papers to grade before her next student conference. This week’s assignment had been “how-to” articles. Already she’d read three point by point grave robbing tutorials.
“Back into the fray,” she sighed. But first, coffee.