Sunday, December 26, 2010

The luck of the draw

So I have had a string of good luck this year - at least that is what others have called it. I won the 50/50 draw at the Roughnecks lacrosse game in April. I won free tickets to see a writer I like. I won some free patterns on various blogs. The latest was a $50 win on a lottery ticket that I purchased in October. (Before I go on, I should say that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a gambler - but I do take the occasional flurry - usually when I go to buy a Saturday paper and the ticket booth happens to catch my eye - and it is always a quick pick and I always get the Plus.)

I was walking home from a final Christmas gift purchase (yes - walking - because AE had the car - and that appears to be what parents do when their child has the car). (As an aside - it is SO nice not to have to drive her half-way across town for her extra-curricular life - and then have to drive back again to pick her up. Mind you, I have my fingers crossed the entire time she is gone - not because she is a bad driver, but because everyone else is).

Anyway, I was walking and thinking about luck - and I decided that I am lucky, but not because I win things. I am lucky because I have many, many things that bring my life joy and blessing - the money is nice - but it means nothing if I have nothing else in my life. So here is my list of things that make me feel lucky:

I have work that I love (even if it is not my ideal place of work, I love being surrounded by books and getting to read them - all, if I choose to).

I have enough to eat and to feed my family.

I have three wonderful children - all healthy, all mostly happy, and they seem to understand that if you work hard, you are rewarded, that laughter is good and that family is important.

A great husband, who loves me and lets me be me. He is still my favourite person to talk to.

Things that I love to do, like running and knitting and reading and cooking - and the time, space and money to pursue them all.

Good friends - the women in my book-club, the university friends (that I see only once a year, but make me feel like we only parted last week, instead of 30+ years ago), my childhood friend who is coming to visit next week, and my newer friends who have only become part of our life in the last 3 or so years.

The skills and time (and money) to give to those organizations whose work inspires me.

3 brothers and a sister (and their partners) who I am exceptionally close to - even when we live many miles apart.

My mother, who continues to inspire me with her zest for life and her refusal to be old, in spite of her 87 years.

The fact that I live in Canada - I think there is something special about Canada and Canadians and despite our current Prime Minister, we still have the potential to be one of the world leaders in common sense, good judgement and generous natures. Maybe it's the cold and snow??

There is lots more I could name - but won't, because that would be boring. It just seems that occasionally, I should stop and count the lucky moments in my life - the luck that comes from who and what are around me, not what I win.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I will not ever never knit anyone anything for Christmas (this year)(with apologies to Lauren Child.....)

So a great number of the bloggers I follow are knitting for Christmas - but I am not.

I used to knit for Christmas - every year (in the early years of our marriage) I used to knit my husband a sweater. And that was a major labour of love, since he is 6'4" with VERY LONG arms. (Quick note to my daughter - smaller men are nice too. Just saying.....) All those beautiful sweaters are under our bed in a bin - he rarely wears them now - some are out of fashion, but it's more because sweaters are too warm for the office and he prefers a sweatshirt around the house. At least that is what he said. I am not knitting for him this year.

I am not knitting for my oldest son - because he scorns my knitting during the time of year when it is most appropriate (see previous entry of November 29).

I am not knitting for my youngest son - he wears a uniform to school, has a great number of hats and mitts (most hand-knit, some by me) to protect him from the cold and he runs around the house in boxers and t-shirts the rest of the time. So I am not knitting for him.

I am not knitting for my daughter - well, I am knitting a pair of fingerless gloves - but they were a test-knit for Samantha Roshak last March and I am just getting around to finishing them now. So I am not knitting for her for Christmas.

I am not knitting for friends. Last year, I knit the French press felted slippers for a friend and her daughters. The felting caused 4 of the 6 slippers to look like they were made for the right foot - even though they were clearly and carefully made for the left (well, two of them were). Despite all sorts of wetting and blocking, they are still sitting in my knit basket, all 4 right footed ones - and unless I can fix them up, there they will stay. So I am not knitting for friends.

I am knitting for me - but these are projects started long ago, with no real deadline in mind - and considering that I have only braved the mall once in the past 2 weeks, we still do not have a Christmas tree and the only baking I have is shortbread sent by my mother, I think the writing is on the wall that these sweaters will not be done for Christmas either.

So I am not knitting for anyone this year - and to be honest, all I mostly feel is relief , tinged with sadness because I like to gift people with things I have made. But I value my sanity and I know that if I knit for one, I would feel obliged to knit for all - and I can't do that (well, I could - but I would have to give up all hope of sleeping, eating, running or working in the next 10 days and these are things I also value greatly).

Next year, I might knit for others - but this year, I am not (unless someone comes up with the perfect knitting gift that takes 1 hour (tops) and requires yarn that is in my stash - why then, THEN I might be tempted......)