When I came back to felting this year, I really intended not to let it take over my life. Because I don't really have that much spare time. Plus, I reasoned, what did I have to gain? I gotta tell you: it's not the way to get rich and famous. Well, in the hands of the right person, I suppose it has been, but that's not been my experience.
Mostly, I think I desired a creative outlet, but also, the recognition that I was doing anything at all. Because the work of a stay-at-home parent is largely invisible. Almost everything you spend your day doing disappears or cycles back into itself. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, dishes, picking up, picking up, picking up. It all needs done again in what, like 2 hours? So felting offers me an opportunity to say, at the end of 4 or 6 or 12 hours of work, here's what I made. And it's not disappearing. It's here to be enjoyed.
I know that being a mom should be enough. And I thought it would be enough for me. But I just felt like something was missing. Now I recognize that what might be missing could very well be some incomplete part of my psyche, some feeling of insecurity or inadequacy, or just a lack of inner peace with my situation in the universe. I shouldn't need to be or produce any certain thing to feel okay about myself, or be happy with my life. But instead of meditating or seeking counseling, I reached for a felting needle and started making things.
And it's felt really good, or at least it did until October, when I started to feel the Christmas push, and I stopped being leisurely about what I made and started felting every spare moment. Staying home from things to felt. Staying in instead of going outside because I thought I should felt. Felting so much that my vision is always blurry from all the close-work. And realizing, a few days ago, that I have completely let go of all the Christmas projects I had in mind for Nettie, in order to felt a few more animals for people I (mostly) don't know.
In a perfect world, I would happily felt for my friends and family, and yes, even strangers, for a good part of every day. But I don't live in a perfect world, and I just have to learn to draw lines. So today I have a little community of animals coming into the Etsy shop. I've worked countless precious hours to bring them to life, and I'm proud of them. I think they are my best work yet.
And now I'm going to step back into my life as a mother of a little girl who will never be two at Christmastime again, and try to enjoy all these moments, making and doing and just being together, with nothing to show for it.