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When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Knitting therapy

The scene: the living room, hour unknown. Balls of yarn populate a plastic bin and wicker basket within arm's reach of the sofa while an assortment of knitting needles -- some metal, some bamboo, and even some plastic -- poke out of the bin at various angles. Scattered over a nearby coffee table are empty Jolly Rancher wrappers, the only sign that a human has been in the vicinity. The only other sign of life is a white cat with black patches who sleeps at one end of the couch on top of a pair of scissors, a two-pack of large tapestry needles, and a tape measure that bears her tooth marks.

A small pile of knitted garments in soft unisex pastels lies at the other end of the sofa, camouflaging a larger heap under a blanket. Slowly, the pile and blanket shift, disturbing two infant-sized sweaters, a hat, and six tiny pairs of socks. As they tumble aside, one Troubadour peers out from beneath it all, the beginnings of another sweater clutched in her fingers.

Is it safe to come out yet?

Okay, it hasn't actually been this bad, but it's been close. One cannot eat pie all day to counteract 24/7 nausea. (Or you can, but I suspect it would be only so effective.) So for most of the last 16 weeks, I've been -- you guessed it -- knitting like a woman with a yarn obsession.

I didn't expect it to be as helpful as it's actually been. But, with the occasional Jolly Rancher to help stave off the worst of the morning sickness (less calorie-laden than the aforementioned alternative), knitting, which I can even do lying down, has worked. At least it's kept me from thinking about throwing up while feeling like throwing up. Anything for relief, right? The psychology of nausea is half the battle, I say.

I'm happy to say the green haze I've been seeing and smelling through has lifted significantly in the last week. Life before pregnancy hormones -- or something like it -- is there, just over the horizon! I can't wait. And, I suspect, neither can D, who has been trying extremely hard to get me off the sofa for my own good. "I'm supposed to encourage you to exercise," he reminds me every so often. I think I laughed at the idea the first time -- and then gagged.

Now that I'm on the mend, I am actually of a mind to get more active -- here and elsewhere -- so stay tuned! I've missed this space. For now, though, I'll leave you with a picture of our kitty, who has been taking full advantage of my company. She also seems to like my knitting -- I promise this shot wasn't posed.


8 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Oh, I love this! And hard as though first months are, picturing your growing pile of tiny knitted things is delicious.

Even more so than pie...

C. Troubadour said...

Those knitted things have been helpful in giving me an idea of the size this infant is supposed to be (maybe not at birth but within a few months of it). I can now picture the end result of the work my body's doing -- hard to imagine when you've never been a parent before!

Good Enough Woman said...

CT! Oh my goodness! I missed the last somehow. I think you posted it when I was at the cabin, so it flew under my radar. And, as you know, I haven't been very bloggy. But enough about me.

You! You're going to have a tiny troubadour! I'm so excited for you. And knitting is SO therapeutic. I finsihed a baby blanket for my godson this summer. I loved it! I wish I could post a picture for you. Maybe I can get it on my blog, but it will take some doing.

ANYway, I love the knitted booty, love the peach pie, and love that you are starting to feel a bit better.

Thank you for describing your knitting scene is such detail.

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh my gosh. Sorry for all of the mistakes. My iPad hates me, especially when my fingernails get too long.

C. Troubadour said...

GEW, I would love to see this baby blanket you made! I've rekindled my love for knitting that I'd let go for years (lack of time), and it is a joy to have busy fingers now. I get bored quickly with big projects (like, say, giant afghans), so baby items are perfect.

I will post pictures here too. It's fun to share your work, no? I wish I had a knitting circle here, but I have yet to locate one.

As for the touchscreen keyboard -- it hates me too, with or without fingernails. When I type, my fingertips do not conduct well enough for the keyboard's liking, which my tech-junkie husband finds extremely funny. (Tap -- poke -- POKE POKE -- jabjabjabjab ...)

Good Enough Woman said...

This year, I've learned some basic crochet so that I can make a big afghan. With fuzzy, knobby yarn, it goes pretty fast, and I love just picking it up and doing a few rows here and there. No counting. Just continuous double crochet.

C. Troubadour said...

That sounds way more manageable than knitting an afghan :). I have yet to learn to crochet, but I suspect it's in my future -- it's nice for finishing borders on knitted garments.

Good Enough Woman said...

Yes, yes it is! That's how I pieced together the knitted sections of the baby blanket I made. :)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Knitting therapy

The scene: the living room, hour unknown. Balls of yarn populate a plastic bin and wicker basket within arm's reach of the sofa while an assortment of knitting needles -- some metal, some bamboo, and even some plastic -- poke out of the bin at various angles. Scattered over a nearby coffee table are empty Jolly Rancher wrappers, the only sign that a human has been in the vicinity. The only other sign of life is a white cat with black patches who sleeps at one end of the couch on top of a pair of scissors, a two-pack of large tapestry needles, and a tape measure that bears her tooth marks.

A small pile of knitted garments in soft unisex pastels lies at the other end of the sofa, camouflaging a larger heap under a blanket. Slowly, the pile and blanket shift, disturbing two infant-sized sweaters, a hat, and six tiny pairs of socks. As they tumble aside, one Troubadour peers out from beneath it all, the beginnings of another sweater clutched in her fingers.

Is it safe to come out yet?

Okay, it hasn't actually been this bad, but it's been close. One cannot eat pie all day to counteract 24/7 nausea. (Or you can, but I suspect it would be only so effective.) So for most of the last 16 weeks, I've been -- you guessed it -- knitting like a woman with a yarn obsession.

I didn't expect it to be as helpful as it's actually been. But, with the occasional Jolly Rancher to help stave off the worst of the morning sickness (less calorie-laden than the aforementioned alternative), knitting, which I can even do lying down, has worked. At least it's kept me from thinking about throwing up while feeling like throwing up. Anything for relief, right? The psychology of nausea is half the battle, I say.

I'm happy to say the green haze I've been seeing and smelling through has lifted significantly in the last week. Life before pregnancy hormones -- or something like it -- is there, just over the horizon! I can't wait. And, I suspect, neither can D, who has been trying extremely hard to get me off the sofa for my own good. "I'm supposed to encourage you to exercise," he reminds me every so often. I think I laughed at the idea the first time -- and then gagged.

Now that I'm on the mend, I am actually of a mind to get more active -- here and elsewhere -- so stay tuned! I've missed this space. For now, though, I'll leave you with a picture of our kitty, who has been taking full advantage of my company. She also seems to like my knitting -- I promise this shot wasn't posed.


8 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Oh, I love this! And hard as though first months are, picturing your growing pile of tiny knitted things is delicious.

Even more so than pie...

C. Troubadour said...

Those knitted things have been helpful in giving me an idea of the size this infant is supposed to be (maybe not at birth but within a few months of it). I can now picture the end result of the work my body's doing -- hard to imagine when you've never been a parent before!

Good Enough Woman said...

CT! Oh my goodness! I missed the last somehow. I think you posted it when I was at the cabin, so it flew under my radar. And, as you know, I haven't been very bloggy. But enough about me.

You! You're going to have a tiny troubadour! I'm so excited for you. And knitting is SO therapeutic. I finsihed a baby blanket for my godson this summer. I loved it! I wish I could post a picture for you. Maybe I can get it on my blog, but it will take some doing.

ANYway, I love the knitted booty, love the peach pie, and love that you are starting to feel a bit better.

Thank you for describing your knitting scene is such detail.

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh my gosh. Sorry for all of the mistakes. My iPad hates me, especially when my fingernails get too long.

C. Troubadour said...

GEW, I would love to see this baby blanket you made! I've rekindled my love for knitting that I'd let go for years (lack of time), and it is a joy to have busy fingers now. I get bored quickly with big projects (like, say, giant afghans), so baby items are perfect.

I will post pictures here too. It's fun to share your work, no? I wish I had a knitting circle here, but I have yet to locate one.

As for the touchscreen keyboard -- it hates me too, with or without fingernails. When I type, my fingertips do not conduct well enough for the keyboard's liking, which my tech-junkie husband finds extremely funny. (Tap -- poke -- POKE POKE -- jabjabjabjab ...)

Good Enough Woman said...

This year, I've learned some basic crochet so that I can make a big afghan. With fuzzy, knobby yarn, it goes pretty fast, and I love just picking it up and doing a few rows here and there. No counting. Just continuous double crochet.

C. Troubadour said...

That sounds way more manageable than knitting an afghan :). I have yet to learn to crochet, but I suspect it's in my future -- it's nice for finishing borders on knitted garments.

Good Enough Woman said...

Yes, yes it is! That's how I pieced together the knitted sections of the baby blanket I made. :)