Monday, February 21, 2011

Taking a Break & Fighting Burnout

I spent the weekend with my sister Karen and her family. They were here for a hockey tournament, and we all watched our lovely nephew play several games. This was a blast from the past - we were watching games at the same rink where my son played from when he was a little boy on through high school, and we were hanging out with relatives from far away with whom we share our long-agos.

This meant that I didn't work on the new book all weekend, other than putting up that mattress stitch video I had done.

Yup, I felt a little guilty for not making progress on the book, but I was also starting to feel tired and burned out with some of the knitting blogger/teacher/writer role. I'm in a very busy time at work, and somehow I don't have much energy at the end of the day to work on the knitting stuff.

I have worked at the knitting projects like a second job a great many hours every week for over a year. I generally get a big kick out of the correspondence, for instance, just this last few days, one of my emailers got a steal of a deal on a lovely machine and an experienced knitter wrote to say that I helped her master a technique. I get other emails that are discouraging, but I do my best to help and try to be helpful and patient. Sometimes I have to say "no." There are things I just don't have the time and resources to do, and there are problems out of my control. I've put myself out there, folks, so please give me the benefit of the doubt.

There's an art to learning what to ignore in interpersonal relations. I've worked in business all my life, supervised lots of people, and observed some wonderful managers. The best ones are fantastic at ignoring what they ought to ignore and focusing on what's important. For instance, you have an employee who does marvelous work and meets deadlines but you hate his grooming. Do you browbeat him over his appearance when he doesn't deal with customers? Or do you ignore the weakness or difference and take advantage of his strengths?

When it comes to dealing with people, it sure is powerful to ignore annoyances. Think of the power of this in marriage - For instance, my sweetie can fix almost anything. That's the good side of the coin. What's the bad side? He keeps every spring, plug, screw, and gizzy-watchit that might be useful someday for fixing something. I try to ignore the collected junk and enjoy all the wonderful repairs.

I have President's Day off, and I left things caught-up at work Friday. John encouraged me (he's working today) to break away from the book and catch up some other knitting biz stuff, but I do hope to get a little done on the book today.


  1. I second John! By all means take a break, you can't go full steam full time. What you've done so far has been a blessing to many.

  2. Scrivo dall'Italia, non conosco l'inglese e cerco di capire e tradurre con Google Translate.... Le persone che pretendono tutte le nostre attenzioni devono rendersi conto che quello che facciamo è perchè ci piace aiutare chi ha bisogno di imparare ma nessuno ci obbliga. Abbiamo casa, marito, figli e spesso un lavoro a cui dobbiamo dedicarci e non possono pretendere tutta la nostra attenzione. Non sentirti in colpa e non giustificarti se non riesci ad accontentare tutti, nella vita ci vuole comprensione. Mi piace quello che stai facendo con le tue lezioni e i video, e sei per me un modello da seguire. Col mio blog e qualche video cerco anch'io di aiutere chi vuole imparare a lavorare con le macchine per maglieria, maglia e uncinetto e da te ho imparato tanto. Continua così, che c'è chi ti capisce!
    I write from Italy, do not speak English and try to understand and translate with Google Translate .... People who claim all our attention must realize that what we do is because we like helping those in need but no one forces us to learn. We house, husband, children and often work to which we must dedicate ourselves and can not require our full attention. Do not feel guilty and do not excuse yourself if you can not please everyone in life wants us to understand. Like what you're doing with your classes and videos, and are to me a model to follow. With my blog and some video I try to help those who want to learn to work with knitting machines, knitting and crochet and I learned a lot from you. Keep it up, that there are people who understand you!

  3. Everyone need R and R from time to time. It keeps one from burning out altogether.

    Thank you for all you do Diana. It's more appreciated than you will ever know.


  4. I think you should take a day off from EVERYTHING and give yourself a break! It seems to me there is something about taking a break in The Ten Commandments, isn't there? Of course, this is the pot calling the kettle black, but maybe if I tell enough people to take a break, I will, too!

  5. Diana, please don't burn yourself out. Take the breaks that you need to be able to do your best. We knitters all need you, the newest to the oldest. I have been knitting for many years, but I have learned so much from you since finding your web site.
    I did buy an Artisan mid gauge knitting machine, by the way. There were just no used Silver Reed machines for sale anywhere around here. I did have a couple of problems, but Distinctive Knits replaced my main bed carriage and row counter right away. It's not Swiss engineering by any means, but it is not a bad little machine and does what I want it to do. To buy a new Silver Reed mid gauge with a ribber would have cost two and a half times as much. And, I was told by a woman who has been a dealer for many years that the Silver Reed factory in Japan burned down and their machines are all being manufactured in China now! So there you have it.

  6. Take the time you need.
    I love your videos, but your health is much more important than any video.
    Don't feel guilty.
    (I hope I express myself in the right way, not being an English speaker)

  7. Don't burn yourself out. We all need a break.
    Relax and enjoy yourself.
    I love your videos and am looking forward to your new book.

  8. Diana, you give us all so much, and all for free. You MORE than deserve a break! Your faithful followers will still be here waiting, and maybe the wait will cause the annoyers to go away? (wink)

    Burn-out takes the love of something away. You don't want to find yourself hating knitting, which is supposed to be a stress-reliever, because you've overdone it. I find it's very helpful even with something as small as a project that isn't going well. I just walk away, and come back to it some other day. It will still be there, and I'll have a much more positive feel about it later. Thanks for all you do, Diana!