Harry Potter Knitting Group on Ravelry. I think I explored my stress limits, more than my creative limits.
At the end of this term, I will have been staff for 8 months (hard to believe), and part of the group for two years. My children have nearly grown up with my knitting for HPKCHC--certainly become teenagers and young women. As a part of the HPHC group, I have explored many different ways of knitting, dealing with deadlines and online moderating in a sometimes very high paced environment. I helped build and grow a new, and hopefully more sound, structure to the group after some significant challenges in September. I learned some dyeing, and to spin. It wasn't where I thought I would be going in January last year, but it has been valuable and creative in a different way. September, though, was absolutely, without a doubt, insane in terms of time and investment and energy. The kerfluffle, and the aftermath, just took time and energy to work though. In the end, the structure was sound, but the process to get there was time consuming.
In September, my oldest also left home for university. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that my oldest left home, and going to university was the side benefit. She is, as far as I can tell, doing well. She got her first adult job: seasonal retail sales. This is something that everyone should try so that they learn to appreciate how much work it is to do, I think. I think I explored feelings of change and loss. Our celebrations and traditions are changing because she has left home. It is expected, but I am finding it hard to feel my way through this challenge of parenting a young adult, particularly one who is dependent on 'bank of mom' but doesn't want to communicate with mom or dad.
Combine a parenting change of this level with a significant change in job to a new school with very few resources, and I have had a tiring year. A lot of time is put into development of resources for teaching, and not so much into cleaning the house or dealing with the changes of having someone leave with all the stuff in two bedrooms still in piles. I guess that is part of mom-hood--cleaning up someone else's messes. Well, the house is still a mess, and she is coming home in two days for an unknown period of time to stay with us for an unknown period of time. Planning is challenging at my house right now.
Then, I added costuming a play to my fall schedule; a world premiere play, written by a good friend of mine. The play was awesome. Costuming, however, was not originally on my goal list. I don't regret doing it. I went into it, though, knowing I didn't have a lot of emotional flexibity with all the changes I was dealing with, and I got through it, but it was hard. I am exhausted in a way that I didn't expect would happen because the fall was simply so challenging.
I'm sure I could have added something else to the insanity, but seriously--three major things, plus several deaths in November, have made me think about my life, and where I want to be next year. True, I want to have goals, right now my energy level makes me think my goals need to be very simple: get through, build space to breathe, use stash, create within the framework you have with the stuff you have, enjoy the process and the people around you, just breathe.