Your agony’s your heaviest load

I’ve been kind of moody the last week or so, and I’ve narrowed it down to my poor yarn store. At first I thought it was because the three of us talked about finances the other night, and in addition to finances never making me happy, things are just glacial right now and Evaluations Need to Happen. Not related to money, but related to time, the moodiness made me worry if I’m really being fair. Or unfair, as the case may be. I love what I do, being crafty. But that craftiness takes time. And all the time I devote to one thing, takes away from another thing. So am I being fair to Hanks, devoting so much time to HaldeCraft? Or visa versa? When I’m winding sock club, I think about the soap I could be wrapping. But when I’m wrapping soap, I think about the yarny things I should research and blog about for Hanks. But then… I’d rather spend time blogging and reaching out on the internet for HaldeCraft, since that actually seems to be working, than for Hanks, where the online response is slim to crickets.

Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony’s your heaviest load.

The more response I get to HaldeCraft, the less I want to work on Hanks… and then the more Hanks suffers (and the less I want to work on it). I mean, when we closed the bricks and mortar shop a year ago, Sharon said she was going to take care of the web store stuff, so I leave that to her and try hard to keep myself out of it. But I still think the blogthe twitter, and the Ravelry group need to be taken care of, so I do what I can there. Except nobody ever comments on the blog, which makes me feel my time there is wasted– so I basically have said “fuck it” to the Hanks blog. My time needs to be spent on that which rewards me somehow. Twitter is slightly less unresponsive, especially in the last few weeks as I’ve tried to make more of an effort. And by starting a weekly “what are you working on” topic on Ravelry, I’ve been able to get some great chatter going there — including a few voices from whom I haven’t heard in months. But that takes time. Time I could be spending on HaldeCraft, which gets me easily five times the feedback. Imagine if I took the time I spend on HaldeCraft and applied it to Hanks — or visa versa? How much interested could I drum up in Hanks if I spent as much time marketing it online as I do HaldeCraft? Or how much more soap could I wrap if I wasn’t dyeing and winding yarn? Only, don’t actually say that, because voicing that makes me feel traitorous to my little yarn shop. And in spite of the massive debt I do have and the savings I no longer have because of Hanks, I did get a lot of good things out of it (even though that sentence doesn’t make it seem that way). Friends. A lot of knitting skills. Direction. A better sense of business ownership. The taste of working for myself. So I do have good things — so why am I feeling sad this week in relation to the yarn shop?

You’ll never fly as the crow flies, get used to a country mile.
When you’re learning to face the path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while.

And then I remembered what month it is. And I started thinking about anniversaries. One year ago now, we were starting to make whispers to each other about how Things Weren’t So Good. It’s the anniversary of some days wherein a lot of things got thought about pretty hard. In fact, one of my photos of the day, I took while thinking that at best we were going to have to move to a smaller location (I think that was the day were I  spent time drawing floor plans of both halves of the store in case the landlord would let us put the wall back up and only rent half the space)… but that more realistically we were going to have to close. And what was I going to do? At that point my husband – infinitely more skilled in the work department than I am – had been unemployed for nine months. What chance did I have of finding a job if he couldn’t? What savings we’d had left after putting money into starting Hanks were dwindling quickly; there was no way we had any more money we could put into the yarn store. Not without risking losing our house. I was sad and lonely and I couldn’t tell anyone what was on my mind because most of them were yarn store friends and I didn’t want them to feel guilty, or sorry for me, or worried, or whatever. I started bouncing ideas off Tim that week; thoughts about what else could I do, maybe something crafty, maybe something at home, maybe now was the time to start that ceramic studio I’d always wanted (remember this poll? I should have titled it SPOILER ALERT). I could do that at home without too much starting costs, thanks to my grandmother. So, anyway. A year ago this month I was scared and sad and lonely. Which apparently I didn’t let myself feel until THIS year.

Well there’s always retrospect to light a clearer path
Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh.

–Emily Saliers

Because I realized that what was really tugging at me in the last week or so was the anniversary of it. One year, it’s been, since the rug was pulled out from under my yarn store life and a fresh sturdy brick walkway of ceramics and soap was put in its place. I’m happy where I am – questioning some things, of course, but I think I always will. But I couldn’t let myself mourn the death of Hanks last year because I was too busy just trying to survive, trying to get through each day. So today I am sad, and maybe this time next year I’ll be less sad, and the year after that I won’t even think about it, and then five years will have passed and I’ll be a little reflective and look back on what I’ve done for the last little bit… and maybe question some more and evaluate, like ya do. And maybe there are some choices I have to make; maybe there are some more hard thoughts I need to think, and maybe I don’t want to think them — as if refusing to think about them makes them any less pushy?

ANYWAY. Anniversaries. Time for reflection, and maybe a tad too much introspection coupled with some navel gazing. HOLY SHIT 1167 WORDS IS ANYONE STILL READING THIS?!

8 Comments

  1. AnneB

    I vote with Sonya… your long posts never turn into TLDR posts for me. Thanks for sharing; I wish I had the knitting mojo and could be buying from Hanks for my nifty projects. Alas, I do not. I will, however, forward Hanks on to those I know with the knitting power, and hope the vibe helps you, one way or another.

  2. Well, honey, I like to think things happen for a reason, so maybe your whole Hanks journey was meant to get you to HaldeCraft.

    I do hope that you find some kind of balance that makes your heart happy. 🙂

  3. Yes, people are still reading. I appreciate hearing that I’m not the only one who wonders at what has been and might have been and is now. I’m glad you’re letting youself feel sadness at the one-year anniversary. It doesn’t mean that things aren’t good now; it just means they’re different… and different kind of sucks.

  4. Terry

    You know what is weird is I link Hanks and Haldecraft as one in the same. To me you have always been the “voice” of Hanks andI feel like when I am reading Haldecraft, I am reading Hanks and because of that I forget to go read the blog etc on Hanks.

    I am ashamed

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