When Kathleen and I are on the road, we’re ON THE ROAD. For the first few years we travelled, I liked to pretend that I’d actually get work done, taking my computer and knit projects with me wherever we went.
It became pretty obvious, though, that time on road meant ROAD TIME, and although I’d squeeze out the odd new design, or blog post, the energy required to be present in classes and in the booth meant that our non-show hours were usually just recharging our batteries.
This isn’t a bad thing, although at first I thought it was. Learning to accept that I have limited time and energy forces me to focus more intently on exactly WHAT is the most important thing for me to do. These past two weeks, the most important thing I needed to do was REST.
Physically I was shattered – perhaps a bit mentally, too – and as I told Gerry this morning, “Sitting and resting is the hardest work I’ve ever done!”
Tomorrow I go back into the dye studio, although my assistant will be handling just about EVERY physical aspect of the work. I’m still a mass of pain, my chest burns with the Costochondritis and walking is still a bit painful from the accompanying sciatica.
I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to use Layla (my assistant) to help me bridge the place from not being able to do ANYTHING to doing EVERYTHING myself.
Asking for help is hard. Almost as hard as resting. I have to get better at doing both if I intend to do this rather physical job of yarn dyeing for the long haul!
And – for what it’s worth – I HAVE been working on a new design idea or two during my self-imposed sitting time. Idle hands, and all that. And if I continue to recover as I have been, I’m hoping to be back on my bike sometime this week, just for a mile or so, just to get my muscles used to the feeling of riding.
And I REALLY need some of that riding joy right about now!
Our next show isn’t until August 17, so I have plenty of time to move slowly. It’s the wonderful Michigan Fiber Festival, one of our favorites and it’s in Allegan, MI. Please do come by and say, “Hi!” if you’re in the area — you won’t regret it, it’s a LOVELY show!
ModeKnit Yarn was on the road for most of June (the busiest month of our biz so far) but now we’re home. Huzzah. We will will rest until we go back on the road in August.
Kathleen’s planning a short trip with her husband to visit a good friend in Seattle and I’m hoping to dye up a bunch of orders (with the assistance of the lovely Layla) and RESTING.
And I am hopeful that I’ll be climbing out of this pit of pain called Costochondritis that I’ve fallen into*.
[cue flashback music] On Mother’s Day this year, back in May, we had a booth at Shepherd’s Harvest in Minnesota and had an AMAZING show! Both kids came out to help me tear down and pack up the booth, and as helpful as they were, I still did something ridiculous and strained some muscle trying to catch a stack of gridwall that was sliding off of a hand truck.
(Kathleen was dealing with a case of conjunctivitis AND bronchitis, so she was home healing, or she would have thrown her body between me and the aforementioned gridwall. Which might have been cool to see…)
What started as a ‘back sprain’ has slowly consumed my ribcage in a conflagration of pain. Connected — although I’m not certain how — is a lower back pain which rivals anything I felt in childbirth*.
For the record, Max was 11lbs, I used no meds except a touch of post-delivery demerol.
[cue more flashback music] Actually, when I think about it, I’m certain the whole pain mishegas had it’s conception in a fall I took at Target in late April on their icy sidewalks… Damn.
Cycling, my panacea for pain, has been just outside of my grasp. Simply trying to climb onto the bike is torture, trying to ride to the end of our alley is Just. Too. Painful*.
So now I’m in my recliner, waiting to see the doctor this morning, happy to have found a position where I can sit for 10 minutes*.
For now, every breath, every movement, every time I bend to pick up something, I’m in agony*.
Sleeping is so damn hard because there is NO position that is comfortable. Nightly back seizures are a new trick my body is playing, and I wish I could just knock myself out at bedtime!*
This June was a sort of experiment for MKY — trying out 2 new shows, plus a LONG trip back to Colorado for Estes Park again. We loved being at all 3 shows, but I don’t think we can realistically do this again, not without some younger, stronger backs to help us on our way!
Max accompanied Kathleen and I to Iowa AND to Houston, and if it weren’t for him I’m certain that we would not have been able to do either show.
I know I wouldn’t have been able to.
In many ways, this physical nonsense is a wake up call to K and me to take a good, hard look at our business model, and consider which parts are working well, and which aren’t sustainable continuing as we currently are.
Lifting and carrying heavy things, even when my back and body are healed, is something to which I must bid a fond farewell as I ease into my sixth decade. Growing older doesn’t mean the business will slow, but it DOES mean we have to work smarter!
*I know this is simply a blog post of complaining and whining, I’m so sorry.