So, it feels a bit strange, but we are now over 1 year into the official pandemic-ness of the pandemic, a quarter of the way through 2021, and on what feels like a very uncertain but hopeful precipice looking towards the future. As a bit of a life update, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to get both doses of the vaccine (due to employment status), and that the majority of my immediate family have been or will soon be vaccinated (due to age, employment, or health status). Vaccinations should soon be opening to all age groups in my area soon, and so I am hopeful that everyone who hasn’t been eligible yet will be able to try to find appointments soon. I know this isn’t the case everywhere, especially internationally, and I am very aware how lucky my family has been in all of this.
In a slight bit of poetic irony, my first dose of the vaccine occurred exactly 1 year after my boss gave me the call about the work-from-home orders. I will say that, of everyone I know, I’ve had one of the worst responses to the vaccine. I felt pretty achy and groggy after the first dose, and my body felt on fire after the second. In both cases I lost a lot of energy, and have felt a lot of general fatigue. After the first shot I powered through work and life activities, but after the second I really couldn’t. I will say though, that if this is how I’ve responded to the vaccine, I’m so incredibly grateful that I was able to avoid dealing with the results of contracting the actual virus.
Of course, for anyone who has read my last few blog posts, you may have noticed that I had been participating in the pattern review Sewing Bee last month. I made it to the second round, but I didn’t make it past that. I wasn’t surprised – there were some truly brilliant entries in the second round – but I did feel a bit sad because I had to pull back from a lot of my design plans for the second round. I had really wanted to do some embroidery work on the jeans to make something really new and transformative, but I just didn’t have time. The first day of the second round coincided with my first shot, which I hadn’t known when I started round one. The process of actually getting injected with the vaccine was easy, but the process of finding an appointment time has been a bit like the Hunger Games. Of course, some things are more important than a sewing competition, and I took my shot when and where I could get it. Added to that, I was under some important work deadlines, I started an online class for work, and I had a few other critical deadlines for some of my volunteer activities due that week as well. I’ve known for a while that I really need to consider scaling back some of my activities (I don’t know how I did everything when I still had to commute and get dressed in the mornings) but the week of round 2 really put that into harsh perspective. I managed to get it all done, but honestly, I didn’t sleep that week. I finished my jeans in time for the contest, but my body was so swollen from lack of sleep that I could barely walk outside to take photos. I love the excitement, inspiration, and adrenaline that I get from participating in the Bee, but the second round this year really pushed me to my physical limits when combined with everything else going on in my life. With the Bee, of course, “compassionate deadlines” aren’t a thing. But at this point I’m not sure how many un-compassionate deadlines I have left in me.
I’ve seen a lot of people in the sewing community talk about spoon theory, and I think it might be applicable here. I’ve sort of always been able to push myself through energy lows, but lately I haven’t been having the same sort of luck with that. I’m sure part of it is that I haven’t been nearly as physically active as I was before the pandemic hit. And I’m sure that some of it is that collective weight and concern of living through this pandemic that we are all dealing with right now. I don’t know about everyone else, but simple things like showers and cooking food feel like they take up so many more spoons than before, and that week of round 2 I was definitely borrowing spoons from somewhere to get through. In the week that followed I was paying them back with interest though.
I haven’t sewn a stitch since I finished my round 2 project, though I did clean up my sewing room from the disaster that was a bunch of deconstructed jeans. While I’m still really happy I participated in the Bee (and I’ve worn my new jeans a lot already considering it feels like I never leave the house anymore), that week put me behind on a lot of things, and I needed to get caught back up before feeling like I have the energy to get back to sewing again. But I’m hopeful that I can get back to sewing plans soon. And while I’ve totally fallen down the rabbit hole of costuming on YouTube and Instagram during the pandemic, I really want to get back to the wardrobe plan I had written about in my now not-so-recent post. As predicted, I totally shot myself in the foot by posting my plans to the internet, but I had made a decent amount of progress at the start of the year with my first two tops and first bottom of the collection. The next piece has already been patterned and adjusted, so hopefully it’ll be a quick boost to get me back into the sewing game. And even though I’m still under work-from-home orders, I expect that will end in the next few months, so while my need for a quasi-professional-ish wardrobe was certainly pushed back, I really do need new clothes. And while I’d love to have a totally me-made wardrobe for back-to-work, I’m also not going to push myself to get it finished. Having something to wear to work will be good enough, and I can add to that as possible over time. I’ve already got the hole in my foot regarding this sewing plan, so at this point it’s more important to to manage my spoons and have compassionate deadlines than to try and rush to get things done for some imagined deadline that doesn’t really exist.