I won't say the vast majority of the population is on social networking sites, but I have to say that in my age range, there are a lot of people online. Over the years, I've reconnected with a lot of old friends from school and travels. Best friends that I lost contact with became new to me all over again. It happened again recently and it's been really fun reconnecting.

There's nothing quite as enjoyable about rediscovering a person all over again, yet also having the past history to exchange funny, "Remember that one time when.." kind of stories. J and I spent a lot of time together back in the day and we've shared some pretty heavy experiences in life. It's nice to laugh about the good 'ole days, but the harder times are painful to talk about - even now.

It's really difficult to lose the ones that you love, but it's even better to gain them back.
I'm just going to write. I don't care how it all comes out and in what format, or in what order. It's all jumbled in my head anyways, so maybe I can make sense of it later. Many fragments, little wholeness.

As my husband has been gone the last week, I've felt the inner pull to prepare my heart for the future. We're embarking on a path together that wasn't in my vision of the future. I thought we would get out of the military, go back "home" and start our own brand of life together. That changed, and with that change I feel like I have to change, too.

This whole last year, plus some, has been one long-winded change of all kinds. At times it's been really difficult to find a branch to grasp on the long fall from the top of the tree. In essence, it's been like falling from "here" to "there", and "there" is the here and the now, the reality, ground level.

Becoming a wife, a military wife, a mother, a housewife, a person taken out of her familiar element. Taken further away from my own ambitions, my personal desires, the things I used to fill my days with. At times it's been unsettling, others it has been amazing, mostly it's somewhere in between the latter two. I know, without a doubt, that I am not the first or last woman who has had to struggle with coming to terms with my role as a person changing. Also, having to deal with my own sense of identity, grasping at the tangled remains of who I was, who I want to be now, who I want to be in the future.

I miss the feeling of being able to create my life one day at a time without regard to tomorrow. For many years I lived my self-created adventure. I laughed in the face of ho-hum existance and tried to make even the small things exciting, meaningful and memorable. I think of myself as a person that tries to live "deeply", absorbing as much in as I can handle and then maybe a little more, just for good measure.

I've become awfuly complacent about my life recently. There are phases that last for a few months and I ride the high of evolving and changing and then it pitter patters out to blahness again. I did a group book study on a couple of books and felt wholly and completely invigorated, then I went into the practical stage of putting the new things I had learned into application and now I'm here. Here is not pretty, here is not nice. Here is a little bit stagnant, a little bit dark. And I don't like it! I figure this is a good place to start - not in denial, but recognizing that I have come to this place and now is the time to start shaking things up. If you've been reading, then you've probably caught wind that I haven't been feeling 100% fulfilled in general.

I think it all boils down to me and how, in the process of all this change, I forgot to create a new vision for myself and my future with my family. The balloon of passion that has been steadily carrying me through life has lost some elevation and I know that now is the time to start pumping it back up.

One of the big things that has been missing in my life is the creative process. Yes, I've been knitting, but it's for the most part a solitary activity. And solitary is how I feel. I feel a little like a social butterfly with her wings folded together. When we moved here I moved away from a church where I volunteered a lot of my time. I moved away from a really fun full-time tattoo job where I got to meet new people and hear new stories all the time. I moved away from all the interesting countries that were a day's drive away. I moved away from my then-budding interest in creative photography. I was spontaneous, always creative, always on the move.

Now, I stay at home quite a bit so that my son is well-rested and well-fed, and also so that I can see my husband for short stints between his ever-changing, all-demanding job schedule. Life with a young child is a beautiful thing, but it is also poses a restraint to spontaneity. And time. All that time I spent with a tattoo machine in hand, a camera in my face, my hands on the wheel - replaced by the here and the now. I'm left wondering - how do I win some time back for me? I don't want to lose touch with myself any further. I don't want to throw in the towel and become the "white button-down, jeans and sneaker-wearing soccer mom in the suburbs". I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being that person, I'm just saying it's not me.

And that's all I've got on my plate right now. I feel like I have to become a little stronger again because there are times ahead of me that will require me to be much more self-reliant and proactive. I need to prepare my heart for strength against temptation, for patience and more kindness.
Years ago, I hit a point of revelation that sitting around and watching TV was mostly wasteful and numbing and I'd done enough of it. That being said, I really like watching the hoarding shows that have become popular recently. Long ago I knew a very old woman who hoarded very expensive museum-quality antiques. Every surface in her unkept house was covered with stuff. My Dad and I met her while visiting my Great Aunt at the lake and later, when I moved in with my father, she became our landlord. The house we moved in to was ... shocking. It took me weeks to clear the cobwebs, 10 years worth of dust and to sort through the furniture that was stacked ceiling-high. The "house" was quite small and in it were at least 15 dressers, 6 couches, numerous tables in all sizes and and and... it was insane. Not all of it was crap, though. Before moving out we bought all the pieces we liked and later sold them before moving overseas. We made four times the amount that we spent! It was very strange having to weave around furniture to get from one room to the next.

Throughout the years after, I always lived in relatively small spaces with too much stuff. It was always irritating. I'm a sentimental person and I like to hold onto objects that have meaning to me. It goes a little like this: "So-and-So gave me this. I bought this in This Country." Etcetera. There are boxes of "stuff" in random places in the house. Some of the objects in those boxes haven't been touched in years. In the last few years I've been working on downsizing possessions in general. Mine are easy, having my husband follow suit is a whole 'nother story though! But I won't get into that... It's hard to let go of stuff.

My personal story is that after my parents divorced, our house foreclosed and I moved short notice into my Dad's (above) cramped house. My entire childhood went into the landfill. I don't own a single childhood toy or book. All that remains of that time are a few ripped-out pages of my very first diary - red hearts on pink paper and all.

My husband is gone doing some training out of state until the end of the month. In order to escape potential loneliness I've been on a sort-chuck-organize rampage in the house. I did lots of that while nesting, but since it's been difficult while doing a lot of mothering by myself. Now that Lucas is older and can occupy himself for longer periods of time and I don't have a husband to take care of, I have more time to invest in the house. We'll be moving before the winter is officially over with and now is a prime time to gut everything that doesn't need to go through yet another move.

It feels good to see the trash bags go out, to see the charity piles grow and to finally, after a long pause, have space to breathe again. Having a clean, clutter-free living space is energizing for me. I feel less stressed, more at ease and the house seems peaceful and open. There is still plenty that is blocking the total clutter-free state of nirvana I could achieve, but much of that is out of my hands. (Read: husband's stuff, mostly papers and scattered stuff in junk drawers and storage spaces.)

I miss my husband a lot, but at the same time, I've enjoyed the extra time to get things in order and the time to spend with the girls minus guilt trip. Oddly, I've knitted very little. I brought my sweater that's in the process of being designed to knitting group tonight, but picked a meal-time-clean-up washcloth project instead so I could concentrate on socializing. I'm trying to keep my days as full as possible, an occupied mind is one that can't dwell on the negative! :)
Above: Knitted squares, joined with crochet. Finished in 2008, finally got a decent photo. I love this blanket, it's very warm. Materials: Lion Brand Homespun and Gedifra Fashion Trend Astrakan.

Above: WIP Willie Warmer. Materials: TLC Cotton Plus

Above: Razor Cami. Materials: Araucania Ranco Solid

Above: Freehand Stash Bag (crocheted) Materials: Patons Classic Wool and leftovers of Plymouth Boku

Above: Square for Planet Blanket project (crochet). Materials: Red Heart cotton

Above: Noro Spiral Beret. Materials: Noro Silk Garden Chunky.

Above: Best Friend Cowl. Materials: Noro Bonbori and 5 assorted buttons.

Above: Bokulicious Mitered Square Knitting Tote. Materials: Plymouth Boku

Everything except the first picture of my blanket are things that I've completed recently or am in the process of completing. You can see the details and original pattern sources (when available) on my Ravelry Projects Page.

Things are going great and also blah. Lucas is eating again! That's the great news. I don't dare weigh him, in case that puts a damper on his re-newfound curiosity and interest in food that I'm so excited about. I've been slamming out one project after another, which is good.

What's not so hot is that my husband is going away for awhile. He'll be spending about three and a half months out of state from now until the end of January. I'm trying to be strong and not get too depressed, but I hate to be alone and I'm going to miss him. The timing couldn't be worse - the holidays, the winter blues... the "who's going to take out the trash?" issues... Just blah. So, I knit so I don't go nuts. At least it's constructive, from my existent stash and it's not ruining my health. :) Half full, right?