Surrender | August 2022

If you can believe it, today is the last Monday in August so I’m here to check in with my word of the year, Surrender. Thank you to Carolyn for hosting this merry band of One Little Worders. She does such a beautiful job of creating a space for us to gather and to encourage us all along the way. Please visit her blog and the other writers reflecting on their words this month.

I have been feeling the itch to do all the things again. I’ve been wanting to pull out my fall cross stitching projects, sit down at my sewing machines, knit everything in my Ravelry queue, and read every book that crosses my path. I’ve started a new batch of sourdough starter and a large part of me sincerely believes that I’m going to start making a loaf of bread every single day. I’ve baked muffins, cookies, and cakes almost daily over the last few weeks.

And in the midst of all of this frenetic energy, I’ve been reminding myself why I “pruned my branches” back in March. That’s when I wrote about taking away complicating factors so that I could create a more clear and beautiful structure for my day. I’ve also been thinking about 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, a book that reinforced the message that no one can ever do everything they want. Back in March, I surrendered so many of my interests and decided to focus on knitting and reading in the colder months and gardening in the warmer months. It made a huge difference in my life and things have felt more manageable for quite a while.

But every once in a while… I get a little glimpse of a FlossTube video that makes it so tempting to pull out some of the projects I have in the works. Or I think about the beautiful precision of scrappy piecework and all of the bright and cheerful fabric that I’ve collected.

But I’ve tried to resist the pull to spread myself so thin. I’m working on my FOMO (fear of missing out) and trying to be okay with not doing everything. I surrender to the fact that I cannot do every single activity that interests me, despite desperately wanting to have a house filled with cross stitch projects and quilts in every corner. I am working towards a cozy simplicity, not only in home décor but also in the rhythm of my day. I don’t want to rush from project to project and see no progress anywhere. How many times have I seriously considered trying to get by on 2-3 hours of sleep a night just so that I could get more stitching done? A lot. And it’s never worked out well.

So deep breath. Reading and knitting, gardening in the warmer months, that’s my new mantra. No matter how much other things call to me!


The season is clearly shifting and so are my interests. Writing today’s post was so helpful for me and allowed me to solidify my priorities as we head into the cozy season. I surrender: it’s all so beautiful and I don’t have to create it all. It’s okay to admire from afar while not investing myself in any of it. And it feels good to sharpen my focus and think about what I can achieve with a narrower scope.

How are you doing with the shift in seasons? Are you finding yourself drawn into the cozier side of life? Or are you holding on to summer with all of your might? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

(And my sourdough starter is off to the races and I’m totally going to bake a loaf of bread every single day 😉)

25 thoughts on “Surrender | August 2022

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  1. Loved this, Katie! FOMO is real, and sometimes it’s SUCH a challenge as I’m tempted to try to leave the moment I’m in for the allure of all those other tantalizing moments in my peripheral vision. Thanks for the reminder — and for those grounding touches of humor!

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  2. Lovely post Katie. I learned a long time ago that I can’t do it all, even though at times I want too. I’m finding that with the slight change of the season, I’m wanting to knit and spin again . I’ve picked up my needles to work on a new sweater and I’ve been spinning. Everything else has been put aside for another day, and maybe even for another season. The only other thing that I’m looking forward to is starting my fall garden. Enjoy your day 😊

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    1. It’s too bad that we can’t find a way to do it all, isn’t it? But I love your strategy to stick with what you’re gravitating towards and to be okay with putting the rest aside until that shifts. Perfection!

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  3. I feel this so much! There are so many things I want to do, and it’s hard to face the reality that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do them all. I think it’s a good idea to focus on the things that are good to be done now (for instance, the stuff outside that you won’t be able to do in the winter). When it’s cold and snowy outside, you can use the gardening time for something else.

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  4. 4,000 Weeks! It’s becoming a perennial favorite. I’m rereading it this week 🙂
    I vividly remember your Pruning post; it resonated with me then, and your words here resonate now. The majority of me is actually a JOMO girl. (Joy of…). But–full disclosure–there are still times when I wish I was capable of more. Carrying more, doing things faster. (And a little better.) With practice, though, I’ve been able to look at stunning projects (like your Bloom!) and appreciate them for the beauty they are and the person who made them. Then I go back to whatever I’m working on, no strings attached.. Even if that ‘project’ is sweeping or weeding or mending!
    Enjoy that sourdough… (My favorite way–toast!)

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    1. That’s where I’m trying to get — to be able to see something that I want to try, but to hold those feelings in check and not feel like a total failure because I won’t be able to do it. Life goals! 4000 Weeks is so good – I love that you’re rereading it!

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  5. I am enjoying the subtle shift in the season a lot. I love that the mornings are a little darker and that it is not beastly hot when I wake up in the morning. Fall is my favorite season, so I am enjoying. I’ve thought of picking up some “old projects” and I may do that…or I may start something new. No promises either way! The key is to enjoy what I am doing…and I hope you find enjoyment in each and every day as well.

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  6. A very long time ago I used to read a blogger who did a different thing each day… Sewing, Knitting, Spinning, Baking… and each day of the week she blogged about the “thing of the day” I used to think how magical was she to be able to divide her days up like that and get so much done! She no longer blogs, but I think much of what she blogged about was “less than honest”… obviously, she had to be doing all those things every day to get as much done as she did.

    And it was then I realized that doing more was not the pull… but doing what you love… that is what makes for a happy life! I think you have found the perfect balance, Katie!

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    1. This is such great advice, Kat. Thank you! I’m thinking more and more about focusing on what brings me joy, rather than doing things just for the sake of doing them. Does that make sense?

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  7. I enjoyed this post and it came in a timely way as I was feeling that restlessness that some of you may relate to when you don’t know where to start and what to do. It is the feeling of I want to do it all and I do nothing. I ordered the audible book for Four Thousand Weeks. The poem Love After Love was new to me and I so enjoyed it. Thank you.

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  8. Oh, how I feel the same way! This feeling tends to peak during seasonal transitions for me as well. I have a Trello board where I organize all my projects – I have a backlog of things, but I only add a couple onto the “doing” section so that I don’t get overwhelmed. It has helped but hasn’t quashed all the feelings of wanting to do more! Rest is also important – you are not going to get any quality reading or stitching in if you’re falling down tired.

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  9. 4000 Weeks is sooooo good. I am on hold for the audiobook through Libby and can’t wait to re-read it (listen to it.)

    I’m glad you’re finding a way to do some things and also not beat yourself up for the things you don’t have time for. It’s a challenge. Lately I’ve been putting things on my To Do list – really only weekend days, since I work – and if I get TWO OR THREE things done, I am happy with that. Because I want time to relax! Read! Pet the cat! Watch the birds! Get on the elliptical! I guess my problem is not so much all the fun crafty things you like to do, but chores I need to do vs. the other fun/fulfilling things I want to do. I am not crafty, ha ha. I’m babbling, but I’m really trying to tell myself that it’s OKAY to put myself and my happiness on the list and prioritize that over chores, some of the time.

    I guess this is just today that you’re not alone!

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    1. You are so right: you are so much more important than the chores. I love that you’re working on prioritizing a few things each weekend and then letting the rest go. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a stay at home mom, it’s that THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING ELSE!!! It’s shocked me how much time I’ve spent cleaning and organizing and finding that I’m never done. It’s never “enough.” But — of course it is. There is definitely a GOOD ENOUGH. And now I’m babbling 😉

      Enjoy your reread of 4000 Weeks!!

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  10. Thank you for sharing this. I find myself wanting to do so many things and then get a little overwhelmed and wind up not completing anything. I have been working on trying to stay focused on a couple of projects at a time. I am curious about the bread. I also have a starter that I keep in the fridge and feed every 3-5 days. Sometimes I go longer. But it is almost a two day process to feed the bread, wait 8 hours, make the bread and let it rise. Then knead the dough and put it in pans to rise again. So you can see it’s about a day and a half process. Do you just continually use the starter? I would love to hear how you do yours. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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    1. I’m so happy to hear that I’m not alone with this!! There’s so much out there and it’s so hard to stay focused.

      And you’re so right about what a time commitment sourdough bread is! I’m planning to follow this recipe for my bread. It has you feed in the morning, mix the dough in the afternoon, let it rise overnight in the fridge, and then bake the next morning. https://www.feastingathome.com/sourdough-bread/

      Good luck!!

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  11. I am sure we all suffer from wanting to do all the things. I know I have a home full of them. Money was such a struggle when the children were little that when they’d flown the nest and I had disposable income I kind of went a bit over the top in the stash a 1000 projects department. Now that the world economy has gone into free fall might be just the time to make them. Maybe my word next year should be Stash busting!

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    1. That’s a wonderful way of looking at this! As we move towards harder times, we have plenty to occupy our time without spending much money. Love it!!

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