Midnight Musings: 24/11/2020
Chapter One: Beginning in the Middle
Beginnings have always fascinated me. We've so many different "beginnings" and ideas tied to the concept of "beginning". Just this week I was chatting with a friend about her uni work (she's being super clever and doing a Masters). She's got a big essay coming up and a nugget of knowledge from my dim and not-so-distant past of being an English teacher knocked around in my brain, making me aware of its presence:
"Write the introduction at the end: start in the middle."
I honestly can't remember which of my uni lecturers gave us that advice. I do remember, however, the impact it had. The eureka moment. I've since passed it on to hundreds (no exaggeration) of exam students, and now I'm thinking - why can't I begin in the middle now?
Traditionally, beginnings seem to be pinned to a few different things:
* the start of a project or endeavour
* the start of a week
* the start of a month
* the start of a calendar year
* the start of an academic year or semester
Why though? Why can't we leap in where we are? Why are we so afraid to rip up the rule book and go for it? Wednesday is now five minutes old - the middle of the week - and I'm starting something new.
And it feels great.
The Midnight Dyery rebrand happened, quite by accident, in the middle of a year-long advertising commitment with Knit Now Magazine. I initially thought I'd have to hold off the rebrand until the series ended, but the people at the magazine were super supportive and nice and it meant I could start at a time that was right for me.
When was that time? Right at that moment. Right in the middle.
I'd realised that I really wasn't The Project Bag. The name, the brand identity, it no longer fit - like a pair of shoes when you're a child (or a favourite pair of jeans after three months of lockdown!), it was restrictive, uncomfortable, distracting. It was time to cast it off and step into the new shoes that fit, that would carry me for the next few hundred miles.
I took the plunge; The Midnight Dyery Began and it feels SO GOOD!
Yes I didn't have my official logo immediately. Yes OK I didn't have my new ball bands printed, or the budget to do so right then and there, but what does it matter? My confidence, my drive, my enthusiasm for my company was just totally revitalised. Look at this new open journal: Midnight Musings - on brand or what?
Why am I writing this new journal style in the middle of my blog posts, in the middle of the night?
Because every time I decide I'm having a rest, or taking time away, suddenly my creativity pops up and my enthusiasm starts, and ALL THE IDEAS happen at once. They rush into my mind and, unlike the silvery fish that eludes Virginia Woolf when an angry academic rages at her, a woman, for walking on the lawns of the university, these fish are swimming round in circles, dancing around my mind and leaping like salmon. Why?
I haven't waited until the end of the year, or even the season, to take my winter break. I've pushed things back, created space, and suddenly the things that crowd in, the pressure, the anxiety, they're all outside the goldfish bowl of my mind, which is no longer a whirling eddy, but calm, and quiet. The clamouring of the things I've pushed aside are rendered impotent: dulled by the density of the calm water I've surrounded my mind with. And I reach up, and catch a fish, drawing it down in the water to look at. I release it slightly and, rather than darting away in a frenzy, it swims languidly around in front of me, letting me admire its scales as different elements shimmer into focus. Then I repeat with the next fish...and so on.. until the whole shoal has started to come together.
Taking a break in the middle of winter isn't a logical thing to do. I didn't actually set out for it to be a regular thing. In my first year of business, my darling daughter was born and died. Christmas, her first Christmas, I needed to take time away from the business and just be with my husband, our family, and get through the run up and the day in our own way. An unexpected side effect was the calming of the water, the space to admire possibilities, and I was prepared and excited for the challenges of the coming year.
It was so refreshing that I've become emboldened, and made it an annual ritual. I have my last shop update in November and then hang up my respirator and apron, and take time for me. Every winter, mid season for knitting and crochet, I stop. And it's brilliant.
The Midnight Dyery began in the middle, and I cannot wait to see what this year's beginning in the middle brings me.
Tomorrow my plan is to set up my new bullet journal - in the middle of the penultimate month of the year. Am I being super organised and arranging it for 2021? Nope!
I'm beginning in the middle.