Something I saw on Ysolda’s photostream on flickr reminded me of my own recent thoughts. I’m in graduate school at the moment, which means that every day is a big blank and my time is highly unstructured: I rely only on myself to set a schedule, get organized, study (no one will force you, and exams are far away), make time for hobbies, get out of bed in the morning. If you’ve never had a time like this in your life – let me tell you: it’s haaaard! This may just sound like spoilt whining, but in a situation like this everything depends on you and how responsible you manage to be. Of course, it results in lots of wasted time and procrastination in unspeakable amounts. Another side effect, however (and one I probably hate the most) is that you are always feeling somewhat guilty about not doing your work at that very moment. Because there is always work to be done. For me, this has resulted in a terrible compulsion to multi-task at all times. So I feel silly just knitting. I must at least knit and watch TV, that way I’m getting done with two fun activities at one time, which is more productive than one at a time. What strange language for talking about fun! I get the same urge when I exercise (not precisely fun ;) – I get annoyed if I get to the gym at the time when BBC is running some time-filler: surely I should at least be getting up to date with world events while I sweat those calories off. Well, the gym TV was broken today, so it was just me, my music and half an hour of sweating. That plus Ysolda’s remark reminded me how interesting (and emotionally refreshing) it is to just exist, with your knitting (or jogging), with no other distractions. I remember telling a friend about a year after I discovered knitting how I had realized that before I had knitting – I would never just sit down and think. Go a little deeper into my head. Not because I plan to, but because that just happens naturally when you relax and let your fingers work away: slowly and gradually you find that you are completely there, and thinking, and you enjoy it, and you’re not even scared of your issues (we all have stuff repressed), it feels good. And you find that inner peace we all need in our hectic contemporary lives. So here’s to single-tasking, and to being inside your head!