With only one pair of jeans to choose from…

With only one pair of jeans to choose from…

December 27, 2020
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The bottom line: The thrill and joy of using my hands to turn a pair of jeans on the to-be-mended-pile into a pair of fully functioning jeans again.

For many years now, I’ve taken my worn-out jeans to the tailor, so I can continue using them. I always thought they got so worn out in the crotch because I my thighs aren’t distanced, but rather chafe on each other as I walk… but one time, dropping off three pairs of jeans for mending, he looked at me, and asked, kindness in his eyes, if I biked a lot? I responded Yes, you mean…? He nodded, saying, Oh yeah, biking a lot wears out your jeans in a jiffy! 

Oh. The relief. It wasn’t my build, but rather the fact that I live in Malmö, a city perfect for biking, and I bike. A lot. Like, a LOT. 3000+ kilometers/year, easily. Which made so much sense, as my build hasn’t really changed at all, but the worn-out-jeans issue had only started around the time when I started biking more, and even more after I sold the car. 

But now, one pair after another, I’d had to put the jeans on a to-be-mended-pile, when it wasn’t the crotch at issue, but rather holes, holes well within my ability to mend, and even more so, holes I wanted to mend experimenting with Sashiko, a Japanese visible mending technique I’ve been fascinated by for a long time, but never really got into… 

But… if necessity is the mother of all invention I’d like to add that only having one pair of jeans to use, with the rest in varying stages of un-presentability, sure is the driving force for taking action. 

So as I sat down to watch Orphan Black on the recommendation of my youngest, I grabbed a pair of jeans, two colors of embroidery floss (that I bought, for this specific purpose, some 2- years ago…), my recently bought embroidery hoops, a couple of cut-off-T-shirt arms I’d kept for just such an occasion (might come in handy, you know!), a needle and a pair of scissors and settled in. 

The beginning of a hole mid-thigh and fraying hems of both legs as well as on one back-pocket is what I was dealing with. So I reused the frayed cuff from the backpocket to mend the hole in the leg, the ends of the snipped of T-shirt sleeves to line the fraying hems of the trouser-legs, and a cut off part from the T-shirt for the back-pocket. Playing around with free-hand embroidering, far from perfect, very obviously hand-made and most definitely visible, as I put the final touches to the back-pocket I was very pleased with myself. 

It took me many hours (roughly 5 episodes of Orphan Black), but I did it, the hoops worked well, and I had fun experimenting with different patterns. This morning, I stepped into the newly mended pair of jeans, and liked what I saw. I will, for sure, get started on the other pairs of jeans as well, as I do need a few more pants to choose from in the mornings. 

More than anything though, it strengthens my inclination to not waste resources, but to make the most of them. Mending my clothes, myself, or having the tailor do it, is but one way to make sure I do just that. 

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Advent Calendar 3 – Letting my body sing with joy

December 3, 2018
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The importance of being in physical motion isn’t new to anyone reading this. Of this I am so sure I’d be willing to bet money. However – many of us (including me!) aren’t in motion even close to the amount we need, to do our bit to ensure wellbeing in all ways, physical as well as mental and spiritual. Because they are connected, as we as human beings are an integrated system, not a body separated from our mind.

I don’t have a car anymore (not since 2014), and live in Malmö in Sweden, which is a city well attuned to riding bikes as well as walking and with a fairly ok-functioning public transportation system. As I don’t need a car to get to work, being without a car works just peachy for me. And if I need one, I have friends who are wonderful, as they let me borrow theirs if possible. And if that fails, there’s always Sunfleet carpool.

If possible, I do use my bike, so this morning, when I had a walk n talk at a park in the center of town, I rode my bike there and back. All in all this means I have gotten two hours of movement in my body, and my body loves it. But not just my body – it’s the perfect “cure” for ensuring mental movement as well. As Anna Tebelius Bodin told me and the others at a seminar last week, just by standing up, our human brains are alerted. They wake up, going “What’s up? I am ready for what ever may come!”. Our brains were evolved to our current functionality approximately 40 000 years ago, when human beings were in almost constant movement, at least 17-18 000 steps per day. So when these ancestors of ours finally did sit down, their brains were allowed to take a rest. So the way us modern humans live and work today, with many if not most of us, being practically immobile for hours upon hours, sitting in front of a computer screen, or a lecture for that matter, we are not giving our brains an optimal setting to ensure learning. Because just by sitting down, the brain has already entered rest mode.

In the spring of 2017, my body all of a sudden started to tell me it wasn’t satisfied with “just” walking and biking any more. It told me to start to jog. Me, jog? Well… if the body tells me so, who am I to disagree, right? So I started to jog, slowly, and set a goal for myself this year of jogging at least every week. Which I have done, except for weeks when I’ve had a cold, but then I do two jogs the next week to compensate.

Come spring of 2018, my body whispered more and more, that it wanted about 10-20 kilometers of movement a day. So I’ve listened. Letting my body sing with joy at being able to move, at wanting to move, of being used the way it is meant to be used – for movement. That makes me feel great!

Advent Calendar 2018 – number 3 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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