“old soul”

I learned to knit this summer, as I said a few days ago. I love it. I’ve made two bunnies so far.

My grandmother gave me a cardboard tube full of 11 pairs of needles and a canvas bag full of yarn. I’m not very good but one doesn’t have to be very good to make a bunny. Or a scarf.

I’ve also been sewing quite a bit, and learning to embroider. I saved a bunch of doilies from a fancy dinner to craft with them later.

I like crafts. I like cleaning, too. I spent all day today organizing my jewelry and cleaning out my desk, rearranging my knick knacks.

My mother said once that I am an old soul. At first I agreed with gusto. Yes! I’m an introvert, I don’t like big parties. I’m a fan of book clubs and knitting and crafts and orchestra concerts and modest dresses. I wear shawls, I light candles, and I save glass jars and ribbons though I don’t know what for. Old soul seemed to suit me pretty well.

But, do I want to be an old soul? On one hand, it means I’m wise beyond my years, mature, understanding. I’d like to be all those things. On the other hand, it means I’m boring. Lame. I don’t want to be boring and lame.

I think I’m more self conscious than I should be. I think we all are. I recently opened up to one of my best friends. I’m a private person in real life, so telling her all that has been bothering me was a big step. It’s funny, I write this blog for all the internet to see but I don’t talk to anyone face to face about myself. I often worry that they won’t care, or that I’ll bore them. Am I an old soul in that way too?

As a kid, I thought when you got older you would know everything. It’s sad and scary now that I know that isn’t true. I feel just as intimidated by parts of the world as I did back then. I still feel young, even if my soul is old.

I think the “old soul”-ness of me is just another side effect of both my introversion and my age. People underestimate the quiet one just like people underestimate the young one. Even I tend to underestimate myself.

Regardless of what all this old soul nonsense means, I don’t mind it. I like to knit, I like to wear nice clothes, I like to go to bed at a reasonable hour. And while this stuff may not be very “young,” it’s still stuff that is very “me.” And I’m happy to be me, even if I’m old at heart. Even if it means being a bit lame.

(Besides, if someone calls me lame, I just won’t knit them anything for Christmas. Then they’ll be sorry.)

Relaxing is hard

Relaxing is difficult for me. I suppose it always has been. I’m the sort of person who bounces their knee under the table.

Relaxing is hard to justify, especially when it’s not “an activity.” I can relax on a beach, because that’s why I’m there. But when it’s Sunday night and I could either relax or do any number of activities, I feel lazy if I choose to relax.

Maybe I just need to learn that it’s not a bad thing to take a break every once in a while.

Yesterday I was playing Star Wars with my 3 year old cousin. We would run around in capes made of blankets, and then he would announce “Take a break!” and we would leap onto a couch and catch our breaths for about sixteen seconds before taking off again. That’s sort of how I treat relaxing. A burden you have to do so you don’t break down.

Even when I specifically set aside time to relax, I have a hard time doing so. Growing up, vacations were always spent doing things. Those relaxing beach moments I described earlier were just that—moments, because my family would soon tire of it and decide to go swimming, or something.

Last night, since I truly didn’t have much to do and had such a busy week last week, I decided to let myself relax. To “force” myself to relax may be better phrasing. I turned on Netflix and laid down  for about an hour and a half, then I started feeling gross and restless. I should get out of bed…I should do something. I should prepare for tomorrow. I could do laundry. Do I need gas? I haven’t used Rosetta Stone in awhile. I need to shower at some point. Did I water my plants yet? Maybe I should repot my cactus.

And so on.

I want to be able to relax. It would be good for me. But it’s hard. It feels lazy and unproductive. Even a “relaxing” activity like knitting or video games feels difficult after awhile.

What do you do to relax? Do you feel guilty/lazy/restless when you try to?