A Complex Answer To A Simple Question QueerJoe Sequestered with mask

A Complex Answer To A Simple Question – VLOG and BLOG options!

Many friends and family members are gratefully reaching out to me asking, “How are you?” Or some similar inquiry into my well-being.  Here is a complex answer to a simple question.

If you’d prefer to watch/listen to the blog today, I have recorded it as an Episode of Knitting With QueerJoe here:

If you’d prefer to read, scroll down!

Why Such A Complex Answer To A Simple Question?

COVID-19 and the associated sequestering it requires has had an impact on many of us. But when someone reaches out to make sure I’m doing okay, it’s not a simple answer.  There are so many factors to consider.  It’s not like when you met someone on the street a year ago and asked how they were. A similar inquiry a year ago was more of a social greeting rather than a desire to really know how someone was doing.

When someone asks you today how you’re doing, they want to know.   Thank you to all who have reached out to ask your friends and family members.

For me, in short, I’m doing well.  When I assess my situation, there’s not a significant amount of change from pre-COVID-19 times. If you’d like a more detailed assessment, read on. Otherwise, just skip to “Current Knitting.”

Physical, circumstantial and emotional impacts are the three areas I see most people affected.

Physically Speaking

From a physical perspective, I am doing very well.  Neither Thaddeus nor I is sick (that we know of). We don’t have any symptoms or fevers, etc. We have sufficient food and toilet paper and access to grocery stores to get most things when we need them.  We have a roof over our heads. We have plenty of cat food and litter for Finn.

Yes, there are some things we can’t get easily. Or store in bulk. Yeast of all things… so weird. Frozen vegetables. Milk can’t be stored up too far in advance. But any of those are minor inconveniences that I can normally see as temporary.

We have also been getting out biking when weather permits. I’ve actually been able to lose a couple of stubborn pounds that I hadn’t been able to lose for about six months.

Physically speaking, we are doing well.

Circumstantially Speaking

Overall, we are very fortunate when it comes to our circumstances.

Finances haven’t changed for us.  We didn’t have jobs to lose or from which to be furloughed. In fact, if anything, we’re saving money by sequestering.  No traveling expenses. No eating out at restaurants. Although, the few times we shop for groceries, we’re paying more at our local store for some items than we might have at Costco.

I live with a barber who can not only cut my hair, but he can also walk me through helping to cut his hair. Having just celebrated a birthday, we weren’t able to celebrate as we usually do. Ordering a mail-order birthday cake turned out to be a great thing. I have a fabric stash and minimal sewing skills that allow me to make cloth masks for Thaddeus and I. And I have plenty of yarn to keep me knitting.

Extended family and most friends are okay. I have a former co-worker/friend who I hadn’t seen in a long while who died of COVID-19. That’s the closest the virus has hit to home.

Emotionally Speaking

This is the most difficult category for me. With all the physical and circumstantial benefits, you’d think emotional health would follow easily. And for the most part it does. But doing well in the first two categories only makes the last category easier. Not assured.

Also, emotions are quite as clear-cut and constant as physical and circumstantial characteristics, right?  They change and fluctuate.

Again, overall, we’re doing well emotionally.

Some days I struggle with the uncertainty of the situation.  When will it “end?” What if I can’t get my statin prescription filled? Is it okay to have a teeth cleaning done or if not, until when should I postpone it?

When enough of these questions pile up in my head, I feel unsettled and sometimes anxious. But usually those times are very short-lived. Sometimes it affects my ability to sleep. But that is also very infrequent and for a short period.

I also have some feelings of deprivation and resentment.  Many of you know we had to cancel my favorite event of the year, the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat in Upstate New York in May. In addition to the disappointment, there is also the worry of finances and contracts with the registrants and retreat venue.

All-In-All – A complex answer to a simple question!

So you can see why (perhaps) it’s a complex answer to a simple question. Yes, life is different, but when it’s all added up, it’s about the same as it was before when I consider my general well-being. When I have a more difficult day, it’s easy to generate a little gratitude for all I do have.  It’s easy to recognize the self-pity when it rears it’s ugly head and understand I’m just having a bad day and that it won’t last.

With all you have going on, this is probably more than you wanted to know. But for those who have asked…thank you for caring and reaching out.

Current Knitting

The latest Chevron Striped Scarf is complete!

Chevron Striped Scarf 04-13-20 01

Chevron Striped Scarf 04-13-20 02

Overall, I love how it turned out.  It looks quite fantastic. The size is really nice and makes it very versatile to wrap in many ways.  The only thing I’d change would be the weight of the fabric.  It’s a bit heavier than I prefer in a scarf fabric. But that’s a minor thing for me.

Chevron Striped Scarf 04-13-20 05

It ended up being about 79″ long and 12″ wide.  And very soft and warm

I also made some progress on the Zig Zag Striped Scarf.

ZigZag Striped Scarf 04-13-20 01

There is a similar design on Ravelry by Christy Kamm called the ZickZack Scarf.  A lot of guys I know are making her design and it’s better than my version of it.  And hers is free. I’m using US5 needles and the following two yarns for mine:

ZigZag Striped Scarf Yarn 04-13-20 02

I’m knitting on 70 sts (10 sections of 7 sts each).

4 comments on “A Complex Answer To A Simple Question – VLOG and BLOG options!

  1. Beautiful knitting. Love, love, love the colors in the Zick Zack!

    About the milk, apparently milk can be frozen. I haven’t tried, yet (we can still get milk ok. Yeast, flour and baking powder are both in short supply though…maybe people are taking up baking now?)

    1. Thanks Jean Marie. Just a quick clarification. Mine is not the Zick Zack pattern. It’s similar, and the end result is the same, but I personally think Zick Zack is a better way of doing what I’m doing with mine. And the Zick Zack pattern is a free download on Ravelry.

  2. I actually have the Zick Zack downloaded, but hesitating as a scarf takes me something approaching forever (unlike socks, and the occasional sweater…not all sweaters cooperate!), even when it is less knitting. Maybe I should learn to knit backwards to save flipping back and forth ;-)….

    Jean Marie

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