Last Tuesday I was going to meet RandomGwen here in Den Haag. Gwen is a fellow knitter and spinner, and we know each other from Instagram, then Facebook chat, then Ravelry, and finally, a couple of weeks ago, we saw each other in real life for the first time! We share a love for spinning on pretty spindles, for working with nice yarn and fibres, and for cooking.
The days before Tuesday I wasn’t feeling that well. I had a cold (first time in years) that was quite annoying and persistent. But I didn’t want to cancel, so I took some pain killers against the headache and went out to go have some fun with Gwen!
We met at the train station and walked to the city centre of Den Haag to visit some special shops. First, we went to the Søstrene Grene, a rather new shop with all kinds of nice home decoration stuff and a crafty section as well. I found something nice there:
A fun selection of colours! I wanted to use them for the fauxbonichi/sketching book that I irregularly keep. I do have some normal colour pencils, but those are not very good, they hardly produce any pigment at all…
Next we went to the Marks & Spencer. It’s quite a nice shop, with many products that we don’t really have (in that form) here in the usual Dutch shops. Gwen found what she was looking for and off we went, carrying quite a lot of stuff! We even went back to the previous shop to get a nice bag because Gwen thought hers could tear any second…
Time for lunch! We ate at De Boterwaag, a nice old cafe (in a 17th century building), and because it was so cold outside, I also ordered a hot chocolate with cream… when it arrived, I was quite impressed:
With our bellies full, we were ready to go outside again. It had started to snow… but just a little bit. About one snowflake per cubic metre… but still, snow is snow! It’s quite rare in Den Haag.
We visited the new yarn shop (previously known as Woool), Cross & Woods, and it was beautiful and nice. Quite spacious, and the selection of yarns they offer is gorgeous. Malabrigo, Hedgehog… It’s a good thing that I’m more into spinning at the moment, because otherwise something would have come home with me for sure.
We took the tram home and had tea and chatted, and we ate the nice cocos cookies that Gwen had made herself. They were good! Of course we had to do a spindle trial run too. Freya wanted a lot of attention and showed off her inner doggy. Later that afternoon, Gwen went home, but she left the remaining cookies… yay!
It had been a bit much for me, though, so that evening I was very tired and emotional. Yesterday morning I felt better, but in the afternoon the bad mood came back. It’s weird, I guess I’m under stress or something, but I don’t really feel it until it’s too late. I don’t have the feeling that I’m tense. And once it has started, it’s so hard to snap out of such a depressing mood. My brain realizes that it’s not that bad, but my body is so upset that it gets stuck. So we went out for a walk and looked at other people’s houses, and watched some tv, anything to redirect my attention.
Today is better. I’m still quite tired, and have a headache, but I’m not sad anymore. It was only today that I realized that I may have overdone it when I still had that cold. I feel so stupid! But it’s normal that my thinking gets impaired when I feel depressed. Anyway, I finally managed to remember this quote that I read somewhere about people like myself:
Two things often happen when stress occurs. We shut down and don’t ask for the help we need; and we stop doing the things we enjoy that could help us get through the stressful situation. We forfeit the very things that make us feel vibrant and alive. If this typically happens to you, force yourself to do the things you love — whether it’s seeing a movie, shopping, taking a walk, reading a book, taking a long bath, talking on the phone with a friend — and that will provide you with the strength you need to cope with the stressful situation.
In this case, I did ask for help (and David was great), but I didn’t do the second part correctly. The thing that makes me feel vibrant and alive is losing myself in the flow of art or craft. Not spinning or knitting or walking though, because those don’t force me to fully direct my focus onto one thing. I do get that focus when I do things like drawing, singing, playing the piano, photography, etc.
So today I embraced this advice, and picked up the rainbow that I bought last Tuesday. I drew “Glas in lood” (stained glass). And it grounded me. Now if I can only remember this when I need it…