A (cliched) metaphor

My life looks a bit like that at the moment.I want to shout and stamp my feet and generally rant  – “It’s not my fault!”, “The cat did it!”, “Why can’t I sort this out?” “Why! Why! Why!”I know perfectly well why. It was my choice, I put the ball of yarn down near the floor in a basket where my (usually) delightful cat could see it. And get to it. And drag it out in the middle of the night. And play with it.

There are two ways I can solve this little problem, and getting rid of the cat is not one of them. I could be destructive and pull and tug and create knots which I will never be rid of. I could also get the scissors out and cut all the tangles and leave myself with short bits everywhere, unsuitable for their original purpose. Both approaches destroy the yarn and lead to regrets I’d rather not have. After all I spun this for a purpose and if I ruin it now my shawl will never get finished.

The constructive way through this mess is the slow, patient way. Taking care to undo the threads before they become knotted beyond redemption. I know I can do this  – I’ve done this before, you see – I try to learn from past mistakes, but not always successfully.

The metaphor should be pretty clear – my life is full of tangled threads. Several unfinished projects, including the shawl, numerous commitments to as many organisations and a desire to get on with my own life – whatever that may mean. So applying the weaving lesson to my life means extricating myself from the various roles I have in organisations and allowing myself to be an “ordinary” member for a change. I will be finishing off these large projects currently lying around the house, so that the equipment can be stored or sold. If I simply dropped these things – threw up my hands and said – “No more! Time to move on!” I know I would regret it. I know that because I’ve also learned that lesson about myself.

So this time I’m trying a different way. I’m no longer interpreting the current wisdom which proclaims:  “Make the time. Do it now. You have to make a choice”, as meaning right now, this very instant. I am making the time, I am doing it now, but slowly, gradually, not rushing my changes. I’m designing and spinning (and weaving) a life with the threads as I want them.

I’d love you to share with me how do you make changes in your life? Do you find it easy? Do you have a metaphor for your life right now?

14 thoughts on “A (cliched) metaphor

  1. I had to giggle at the kitty mess. Mine does that too and I threaten him with the great outdoors. He does not care. We’re currently going through changes–Dave Ramsey classes. I’m going to learn to live within our means. Sigh.
    waving from wana112

  2. I so empathise with the idea of “extricating myself from the various roles I have in organisations and allowing myself to be an ‘ordinary’ member for a change” and I wonder if it would free up the extra time I need to devote to my writing. This is the big one for me at the moment, I can’t change my family life (that’s getting more complicated as my lovely brilliant mother sinks into dementia) nor my business – it’s about as flexible as I can make it already.. But, as you say, such changes have to be steady otherwise chaos will reign. A brilliant self analysis, that I am sure will apply to many with our crowded lives.

    • Thanks Ann – your mother and your business are so very important, I hope the space to write will gradually open up for you. I guess the writing itself is a goal with many stages along the way to achieving it.

  3. I love this. I find big instant changes in my life never lead to great results – its always the small changes that make the biggest difference. I also laughed because my cat loves yarn and creates spiders webs out of any yarn he can get his hands on…

  4. Lovely re-working of a timeless theme. I love your closing line. I find it inspiring. As for making changes, I now must make them more slowly (given the limitations of parenthood and a chronic illness). No more running off to the other side of the world. With some threads, like writing, I am trying to “show up to it” every day–to live the change/commitment every day.

    I’m looking forward to reading more,

  5. The degree of difficulty of making changes to my life hinges on my assessment of the advantages of doing so, and my personal liking (or otherwise) of the tasks involved.
    As an animal lover: my current pets are a Maltese rescue dog and a couple of budgerigars: I have all the patience in the world for the messes they make. 🙂

  6. I love that you made the time to sit and ponder and collect your thoughts to write that piece. As for me, I have previously untangled 200 metres of electrical ‘hot wire’ that took me 4 days. It was satisfying in completion but later I considered, was it REALLY necessary! My approach to your tangled lump now would have been to thrash it in the washing machine and produce a felted wonder ball and offer it to the cat – yes, I am learning to go with the flow, bend with the wind, explore the other path and open the door around the corner.

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