...You know how some of us in the stitching community try and have personal nuclear meltdowns in the month of February and cause as much collateral damage as possible (whether we mean to or not)? I've figured out why it happens. It came to me in a flash of inspiration the other night as I was sitting and stitching while watching Grey's Anatomy.
It's not the letdown after the holidays.
It's not because of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
And it's not any other excuse you can come up with other than this one: Guilt-Free January causes it. And Finish-It February.
I'm going to take this moment to apologize to whomever it was who came up with these two as great ideas, because you're probably a friend of mine (I can't remember who came up with the idea, but I know it wasn't me) and I don't want you to feel hurt. But your idea is to blame.
For those who aren't familiar with these two concepts, here's the Cliff's Notes:
Guilt-Free January: Start as many new projects as your heart desires without worrying about the massive amount of projects you have already started that are screaming at you to finish them.
Finish-It February: Finish projects that have been sitting for awhile, or are close to finishing and need those few extra stitches, or at least a good sprint for the finishing line.
Think about this... the stress and the pressure to finish *something* for Finish-it February follows right on the heels of a carefree and relaxing month of starting anything you want and never even having to think that you have other projects sitting and waiting to be completed. It's like going on a cruise for a week to the Mediterranean and enjoying all that wonderful card loaded food and then realizing that you have a week to fit back into that bridesmaid dress that you promised to wear to a best friend's wedding. Think about the stress that's going to build up for that. Same deal.
But it's not just the pressure of needing to finish something. It's what we *do* (or not do) in order to finish something during Finish-it February. This goes back to what I was doing when I thought of what causes all the blowups during February. You see, I was just finishing up watching Grey's Anatomy. At 11:42 at night, while stitching. That's an hour of the night that I am usually sound asleep, but I was awake and considering watching something like 'Days of Our Lives' or the first night of '24' (another 90 minutes after commercials are skipped). I was seriously contemplating staying up past midnight, or pulling an all-nighter - and what stitcher hasn't done that once in their lifetime?
I realized that I needed to go to sleep else I'd be a real bear to deal with the next day without a lot of caffeine and a mid-afternoon nap. And that's when it hit me. There are stitchers staying up pulling all-nighters to finish things during February and they're not getting enough sleep. I know what I'm like when I don't get enough sleep. I know what my kids are like when they don't get enough sleep. I know what DH is like when we don't get enough sleep (he just goes and takes a nap when he doesn't get enough sleep - smart man).
We try to not take it out on our families. We don't take it out on our pets or our stitching. We don't even yield a chef's knife and take it out on a well-meaning onion. We end up taking it out on the people on the boards.
I'm still suffering the effects of a Guilt-Free January spree from 5 years ago - the very *FIRST* Guilt-Free January. That's right. I was a nice and comfortable one-at-a-timer until that month came up. And I gave myself an excuse: other people are doing this, and they have rotations. I can start these things and then work into a rotation. Well, I'm not a strict rotation stitcher - it doesn't work for me. I like working on things until I am tired of them and then putting them aside to work on something else. Sometimes I'm not tired of the projects until they're finished. Then Finish-It February started and I was totally stressed out because the sole project I had before all this wasn't close to being finished in 28 days, nor was anything else I'd started.
And no, I don't start small projects so that I can have something to finish during February. And I don't consider it cheating either, but it's just not what I do. But I digress - I have projects that are 5 years old that I've barely worked on since starting them 5 years ago. This year I will try and give them some love, but you never know what's going to pop up. And I've been good this January. I didn't start anything. I only finished crocheting a scarf. Yes, I know I should have saved it for February, but I don't label the months any longer. That first round got me in enough trouble.
So there's the theory: it's the stress and pressure of Finish-It February following hot on the heels of Guilt-Free January. And the lack of sleep that stitchers endure to finish something during that month - that "just a few more stitches", and "just a few more, I'm almost done", and then the sun is rising and they have to go to work or start the day and there is no opportunity for a nap. The sleep cycle is destroyed for a few days and you will be grumpy.
In the month of February, when you're not busy appreciating everyone around you like I suggested earlier this month and you're reading the board and are about to fire off a response to something that's really got your goat, I've got a suggestion for you...
...step away from the keyboard and go take a nap. *stands ready with a pile of fresh from the dryer warm blankets*