Dude, Where’s My Cardigan?: Husband’s 2012 Christmas Gift Progress Report


IN THIS ARTICLE:
Making good on your promises to those you love
even when life gets weird.


We’ve got loads of reasons for leaving business unfinished. Like, there are some things that you don’t finish out of a crippling perfectionism — the kind that tells you that if a thing won’t be perfect, it isn’t worth finishing. Or there are some things you don’t do because you’re really busy and they’re not as high on your priority list. And then, of course, there are the things you leave unfinished out of sheer laziness. All can be shame-inducing.

But there’s a special kind of shame reserved for when you’ve promised to make something for a loved one for a special occasion that you had every intention of finishing on time for that occasion, but you don’t.

Such is the case with this cardigan I promised to my husband for Christmas. Christmas 2012.  It is now October 2017. Or, wait a minute — maybe I promised it to him for his birthday? Who knows, I can’t even remember. All I know is that I started making the thing five years ago and have promised to finish it every subsequent year, but life got weird. Weird how? Work stressed me me out. Work stressed him out. We were stressing each other out. Resentments festered. Etc.

#FBF to that time in 2014 when I posted on Instagram about how I was making progress. Ha!

To make matters worse, this isn’t just any cardigan — it’s the “Dude” cardigan. Yep, the famed ’70s Pendleton worn by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski. An article of clothing I chose to DIY for my husband because he’s been a HUGE fan of the Coen brothers since he was a youth growing up in a small town in Northern Ireland with this crazy, far-fetched ambition to one day move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. Such was his love for the big screen. And the small screen. All the screens.

#TBT to that time, in 2016, when I said I just might “actually be able to finish” it. Double ha!

With much hard work and persistence (on top of natural talent, of course), my amazing dude uprooted his life and moved halfway across the world to make his goal a reality. Even when life got weird.

Image: The Big Lebowski | Gramercy Pictures

I, on the other hand, chickened out of my childhood career ambitions, moved a mere 30 miles from where I grew up, and I can’t even finish a lousy cardigan for the person I love most in the world.

Of course, I could continue using the “poetic” excuse of taking the same laissez-faire attitude while making this cardigan as the Dude himself took throughout the film. That is, “the Dude abides” unchanged as all hell breaks loose around him.

But, and I’m going to be super frank now, one of the biggest reasons I didn’t put in the time and effort to finish this cardigan for my husband was resentment. I was depressed and dissatisfied with my life. Consumed by a job that was only leading me farther away from where I wanted to be. He was busy with a career that was blowing up. And resentment manifests in all sorts of ways — like being unwilling to put in the extra effort at the end of a tiring day to make good on a promise years ago. And, in more ways than one, this cardigan seemed to epitomize his success and my (perceived) failure. Resentment makes us conjure up crazy symbolism like that.

A month ago, it was two pieces of knit fabric. Now, it’s an actual vest! A wearable thing. Two sleeves and a collar away from done.

But no more. I hereby proclaim THIS to be the year. Not just for finally finishing this cardigan, but for making a greater commitment to finish what I start. To actively pursue and take responsibility for my own happiness. To love my loved ones like there is no tomorrow. Unconditionally. All of those things we know we should do but don’t — until tragic things happen in the world that remind us that tomorrow is never, and was never, guaranteed.

The back.

So Los Angeles had better have a cold, cold winter this year, especially after the record-breaking heat we’ve had throughout the fall. Otherwise, my husband’s going to be sweating buckets wearing this thing on Christmas morning.

This terrific knitting pattern can be found at andreaknits.com/dude.

Oh yeah, and I think it’s also fitting to announce that 10 years ago on this day, we got married inside a Toyota Prius in a drive-thru wedding ceremony in Vegas.

Here we are, driving down the aisle.

Love, American style.

And ordering. I think we had the dinner combo.

One wedding please, supersized.

Looking forward to 10 more years with my dude.

How A Capsule Wardrobe & An App Helped My Anxiety Big Time


IN THIS ARTICLE:
I, a pathological clothes collector, got rid of 90% of
my wardrobe and it was the best anti-anxiety decision ever;
the ah-mazing wardrobe organizer app that helped me;
I admit that it’s not for everyone


I love clothes. Let me repeat that for emphasis. I lu-hu-hu-HUUUUUV clothes.

Not sure how to say that in a way that sufficiently conveys my deep, emotional connection to those glorious pieces of fabric joined together to protect our bodies from the elements.

Still, the affection I had for my garments (many of them I constructed myself) did not stop me — approximately 8 months ago — from donating 14 large moving boxes full of them to the Goodwill. Percentage-wise, that was about 90% of my wardrobe, and I’m still not finished paring down. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be doing such a thing, I’d have scoffed.

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Turn a Tube Sock Into a Microwaveable Scented Heat Pack (Video)

tube-sock-heat-pack-edited

Anxious much? Let this heat pack enfold you in its toasty, rice-weighted, aromatherapy embrace. There there, now. It’ll be ok.


IN THIS ARTICLE:
Heat packs soothe both body and mind; pssst, there’s
an even easier way to make it*


Ah the microwaveable scented heat pack. Humble as it is, I’d put it on a very short list of luxuries that cost next to nothing. But what if you don’t have sore muscles? Doesn’t matter. All you need are muscles.  You’ve got muscles, right? And daily emotional stressors too, I’m guessing? Well, you’ll benefit from this, trust me — especially on a chilly evening. Just nuke it, drape it round your neck and shoulders, light some candles, and succumb to your handmade heatpack’s warm embrace. Continue reading

7 Top Ranking Free Online Social Anxiety Tests (And My Impressions)


IN THIS ARTICLE:
7 free social anxiety tests you’ll probably encounter online if
you Google; types of questions & results;
which sites are trying to sell you something


Google “free social anxiety tests,” and you’ll find these seven among the top search results — so I thought it might be helpful for some of you if I jotted down my impressions of each. It should go without saying that you should always take results from non-verified, for-personal-use tests with a good dose of healthy skepticism — especially if they’ve got an online therapy program to sell to you. Still, they can be a good place to start if you want a general idea as to the severity of your social anxiety, and possibly help you figure out your top anxiety triggers.

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Social Media Gives Me Social Anxiety…So Why Can’t I Quit?

My thumb vs. Facebook. A daily battle.


IN THIS ARTICLE:
what some researchers say about social media
and anxiety, how Facebook totally screws with my head,
I ask for your experiences and input


It’s clear to me that the more time I spend on social media, the more anxious I get. Yet I keep subjecting myself to it — every single day, several times a day.

At least I know I’m not alone. Google  “social media and anxiety” and you’ll scroll through headline after headline reporting stuff like: Social Media Is Causing Anxiety, Study Finds;  Social Media, Loneliness, and Anxiety in Young People, etc.

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The All New Incurable Homebody: DIY For the Socially Awkward


IN THIS ARTICLE:
dad’s words of wisdom, the rebirth of the blog,
how crafting helps my social anxiety and
maybe it can help yours


Saturday, August 26th, was my dad’s 73rd birthday. To honor the occasion, my younger sister Liesl and her husband Kenny threw a celebratory lunch at their apartment. Though I didn’t make it for the meal (I’ve got dietary restrictions up the wazoo), Continue reading

A Whole New Incurable Homebody Coming Soon!


IN THIS ARTICLE:
why I’ve decided to relaunch the blog,
accepting social anxiety as a fact of life


I’ve allowed this site to lay dormant for so long. Partly due to analysis paralysis. Mostly due to trusty ol’ self doubt. But you know what? I’m forging ahead — self-doubt notwithstanding. In fact, I’ve actually decided to make that a focus of the site, along with social anxiety and his sidekick social awkwardness. You can run, my pesky lifelong companions, but you can no longer hide.

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yes, it’s been far too long…

…since I’ve posted or have even visited my favorite sewing blogs. Oh, the crafting withdrawals! So what’s been stealing my attention? Well, a few things really…

First, I’ve been writing/recording/rehearsing with my new band, then work got a bit distracting, and finally, a medical scare struck our otherwise serene household. It’s a long story involving a frantic 911 call and an ambulance ride to the ER. I won’t regale you with details (and my hubby probably wouldn’t want me discussing it here!) but please be assured that everyone is now safe and sound.

Anyway, there was something about this episode that made me want to take a break from my projects — to slow down, smell the proverbial flowers, count my many blessings and all that jazz. Of course this meant spending lots of quiet time with Dane, the kitties, myself and of course, a load of good books!

Some of my reads over the past couple months:

And I haven’t completely neglected my sewing machine! I did find the time to whip up a cheerful fabric bookmarker…

…as well as couple of fast and easy dresses, but I’ll save them for my next post!

Please don’t take it personally, but…

If you invite me out to any type of social gathering, I’ll most likely decline. It will (probably) have no bearing on how I feel about you, I’ve just always preferred staying at home and, ideally, being productive while I’m at it.

That said, I’ve very recently become obsessed with making things and talking about making things. So, instead of boring my coworkers to tears with talk of knitting needles and sewing notions, I’ll let loose here.

Thanks for stopping by.