Tuesday, January 26, 2010

not a stranger

i hate to admit it, but i'm fairly certain that i'm not always the greatest friend. having an autistic spectrum disorder means that on any given day, i can be any or all of the following - self-absorbed, abrupt, inadvertently rude, awkward, selfish, unsympathetic, and socially unaware. & knowing this, i'm more than amazed to remember that i have such a great core group of friends. at the moment, we're meeting every week for a regular knit night - they know that i'm struggling on my own, and although they can't all make it all the time, at least a few of them have been meeting me every week to remind me that i haven't been totally abandoned, and to keep me attached to the "real world" in a way that i just can't manage on my own.

how strange to feel not a stranger
how much stranger could i be?
(deb talan, back to oregon)

maybe it helps that we're all a little "odd" - none of us seem to see the world in an ordinary way, so perhaps that makes them a little more forgiving of my peculiarities. but having come through a long childhood of always being the "weird" one, the one who was "too smart", the one who nobody really liked, i feel like i can't ever take having friends for granted.

i need my place at your table
i'll come for dinner when i can
(deb talan, "back to oregon")

and it amazes me that no matter how much i'm struggling, or how socially inept i feel, or how far inward i turn, they will be there. even if i can't manage to meet up with them when i'm supposed to - if the world becomes too much for me, and i need to retreat for a bit - i know that they're waiting out there for me to come back, and that when i do, they'll be as welcoming as they always are. and having people like them to help me navigate this difficult world is more than i could have hoped for (& you all know who you are).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

status report

i don't know how everybody makes it through the daily drill
paint their nails, walk the dog, pay every bill
(dar williams, "buzzer")

sorry about the small blog silence (and thank you to everyone who was concerned!). i'm pretty much ok - just really tired from working my way into the new habits of Being Alone. when you've been living with someone for quite a while (10 years, yikes!) i think you naturally settle into a routine, and a kind of division of labour happens - sometimes deliberately arranged, sometimes just something you fall into. one person does some tasks, the other does the rest, and everything gets done that needs to. but when you're suddenly on your own, you have to do everything yourself - and boy, is it tiring.
& it's not so much the fact that you now have to do all the daily tasks on your own - it's knowing that no matter what, you have to keep on doing them. there's nobody to say "hey, you look tired today - i'll do the laundry/take the dog out/clean the cat litter/pick up milk on the way home" - and that, more than anything, is what's utterly exhausting. there's no back up - just me, on my own, doing everything.
and it's going ok so far - i'm not living in squalor, or eating nothing but junk food, or living like a shut-in. i've been keeping things clean, keeping myself & the menagerie healthily fed, and have even been going to the gym (mainly out of boredom, but still...). and i've been making a point of getting together with friends every week for a knit night, and they're cheering me up no end.
but i'm not sleeping all that well (i'm a bad sleeper anyways, and even more so when i'm on my own) and i'm starting to get pretty tired, what with everything. and i'm definitely as lonely as i thought i would be - but i'm coping. and there are some small things every day that make me happy...

month 01 week 03 photo 01
basking in the afternoon sun

& maybe these small happinesses will be enough to get me through the 46 days that are left (not that i'm counting down, or anything...).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(heart) warming

month 01 week 02 photo 02
(month 01, week 02, photo 02)

a friend who comes to meet you for a night of knitting, because she knows you're lonely, even though she has a broken wrist...
it warms you up inside.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

my own devices

i'll admit, i'm not too great at managing on my own. when i'm left to my own devices, here's what happens: i eat rubbish junk food (i can't cook to save my life), i watch far too much bad tv, and i tend to avoid social contact in favour of talking to the dog. none of these things have ever been a big problem before, since the longest i've been left on my own for has been a few days here & there.
unfortunately, the RSA (the Resident Sock Appreciator, aka my partner) has just left for TWO MONTHS working in india - so i'm pretty sure my usual on-my-own habits aren't going to cut it for that length of time. luckily, the freezer has already been stocked with piles of easily-reheatable (& nutritious!) food, so that solves one problem; i've also filled up my lovefilm rental list with a bunch of great dvds, so that fixes the bad tv issue.
the last problem, however, is a little more difficult. having an autistic spectrum disorder means that i'm kind of naturally wired to avoid socializing - even if i want to have company, i'm not likely to actively seek it out. and although the RSA does a lot of practical "caring" for me as well (keeping me organised in the midst of life's chaos, keeping me positive when i'm more inclined to mope, and keeping me fed!) the most important thing she does for me is to link me to the "real world".
having aspergers is sort of like living on a small island - the rest of the world is happening around me, but i'm separated from it. it's not always a bad thing - parts of the island are nice & calm, and it's pretty relaxing to hang out here. but sometimes, it's really lonely, and scary, and weird - and luckily for me, i have someone who can bridge the gap between weird-alone island and the rest of the world, and make things less lonely over here. and the thought of two months of being cut off on my island is quite frightening.
it's not all bad - i do have a few very good friends who i'm sure will be looking out for me, and family who will no doubt be calling (a lot) to make sure i'm still alive. but there's noone that i feel as safe with as the RSA - and even the best of friends can't help with things like having to go to bed alone (i'm fairly certain that i'm not that good friends with any of them).
so, here's hoping that the two months passes quickly, and that i don't get too weird & reclusive from being stranded over here on my island....

Friday, January 08, 2010

staying warm

month 01 week 01 photo 05
cold snap? what cold snap??
month 01, week 01, photo 05

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

snow day

month 01 week 01 photo 03
sunlight on snowfall

month 01 week 01 photo 04
softly blanketing rich browns

month 01 week 01 photo 02
& warm reds

Monday, January 04, 2010

project 260

a while ago, i tried to do project 365. and although i mostly enjoyed it, i didn't end up making it through the whole year. i often forgot to bring my camera with me throughout the day's events, and would then find myself scrambling for that day's photo last thing at night, just so i could tick off another day from the 365 days that year. it started being stressful, and stopped being fun, and eventually, i gave up on it altogether.
i do really like the idea of committing to take regular photos, though - i enjoy finding interesting things to photograph, and trying to look at something in a different way than i normally would. plus, i bought a fancy-pants new camera quite some time ago now - and embarrassingly, i've yet to take it off "auto" mode (blush). clearly, i need the practice - but taking one photo every single day still seems a bit much (i already have more than enough things to remember).
so, here's what i've come up with - i'm going to take 5 photos each week this year*, with no daily structures - if i want to blow all five photos in one day, that's fine. and through these photos, i'm going to learn how to properly use my new(ish) camera (which frankly, i'm more than a little frightened of - it's so fancy!!). since it's going to be a learning experience for me, some of the photos might be quite bad, and for that, i apologise - i'll be storing them all in a flickr set, but you're under no obligation to look at them. i'm also going to be making it a little more interesting (for myself, possibly not for anyone else) by giving myself a theme to work with each month (chosen in a totally arbitrary way - basically, i'm making this up as i go). and what better theme for a cold, dark january in scotland than "warmth & light"...

month 01 week 01 photo 01
month 01 week 01 photo 01
christmas lights in the dark; macro setting, high ISO

i'm looking forward to seeing how my photos progress this year - and given how cold & dark january is so far, i'm especially looking forward to actively seeking out "warmth & light" this month...

* 5 photos times 52 weeks equals 260 photos!!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

new year, new yarn

happy 2010 (i can't believe it)!! a new year means different things to different people, and to me, it can only mean one thing - new yarn. 2009 was the year of homecoming (and the now-ended homecoming collection, inspired by all things scottish) - but now that homecoming is over, it's time for a new collection.

mixtape mosaic

"i made you this mixtape"

all the colourways in this collection are inspired by the lyrics to some of my favourite songs, and designed to work together in various combinations. the first little batch of them is up in the shop now (just search for "mixtape", or check out the "new products" section!), and i'll be dyeing up a pile more this week. i LOVE these colourways, each & every one of them, and i'm very excited to be introducing them to the shop at last!!
happy new yarn everyone (oops, new YEAR...)!!