Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Structuring a Vast Wasteland of Time


I'm not good at structuring my time. This is one of many reasons that I was very glad to escape my house, once I'd completed my dissertation, and move into a job that had a schedule that took me into a workplace but still allowed some flexibility in my hours. Now that I'm working, once more, from home, as well as two different yoga centers, a once-a-week gig at a hospital doing staff development yoga, and seeing students on an individual basis for therapy at my office space, I'm struggling to feel that I've accomplished much in a day. It often feels very rajastic.

Rajas, or movement, is one of the three gunas -- qualities or elements or personality features - that make up each person. The others are sattva - or calm, peacefulness - and tamas - heaviness, inertia. As in many Eastern systems, there is no hierarchy here; each of us is a mixture of these three elements, and the ratio of one to another changes, somewhat, based on the activity or life we are engaged in. For instance, we all need some tamas so that we sleep and rest, but not so much that we sit on the couch all day, eating chips and watching Netflix. Rajas is valuable for a bike messenger who needs to keep moving to accomplish her job, but in too great a dose, could reinforce hyperactivity or lack of focus. It is wonderful to be sattvic - judicious, measured, wise - but in the middle of an emergency, do you want to stop and ponder the situation or call 911?

For me, rajas can be agitating. I like to have big blocks of time, spent on one thing; not too much moving from place to place, whether that's for errands or when traveling; and a reasonable dose of quiet each day. Here's where the structuring part comes in: I can't seem to make myself sit still and come up with a plan for some stasis amidst all this moving about, teaching different classes, working on developing a business, and all the little to-do's that crop up like weeds in a spring garden.

One thing that has helped is to vastly simplify my knitting. And to do a few rows most mornings while I drink my first cup of coffee. I've retired Vivian until I can figure out whether to drop down to a smaller needle (size 7 worked great on the sleeves but is creating too big a body), go down a size and start over with the body, or decide that the yarn (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino instead of the heavier wool called for) is too stretchy and decide to make something different from it.



In the meantime, I'm - shocking, I know - knitting a pair of socks. Super-simple Sailor's Rib in Colinette Jitterbug. Knit Magic Loop on a size 1 32" Addi Turbo needle. And another try at making a hat for my study partner in my yoga therapy training. She requested a grey hat with some red. Try #1 was Kim's Hat from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts in Cascade Pastaza. Too thick. Try #2 was Rose Red by Ysolda Teague in Blue Sky Alpaca. Too beany-like instead of the intended beret effect. Try #3, Rose Red again, on a larger needle. Too floppy and shapeless. Try #4 is swatched below, and this is my final effort: Trym from Elsebeth Lavold'shref="http://www.yarnbarn.com/patterns/designs.asp?partNo=KB-ELV-BOOK17"> new collection of small projects, in Silky Wool in a beautiful garnet color. It is coming along nicely so far. I've finished the chart section for the brim and am ready to start decreasing for the crown. Keep your fingers crossed. I think that the color is keeping me going; I just didn't see her in a grey hat, so I hope she'll like red without the grey.







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