I’m in a mentoring program at work that is pretty great. I’m an extrovert and an external processor, so having regular meet ups with someone to talk about life and goals and challenges is remarkably fulfilling. One exercise was called the “Wheel of life” and you evaluate the different areas of your life (work, relationships, finances, health etc) and think about where you would like them to be. Do you know what I rated the lowest? Social life. I gave it a 2 out of 10. Pretty crappy, but that’s what I was feeling.
I have amazing friends and I especially love being in Australia so I’m close to friends that I was away from for years. But between working full time, crappy health and being pretty darn pooped every evening and weekend, my social life isn’t great. It was weird thinking about it and trying to put a number to it because it certainly wasn’t a conscious choice I made. Instead, it is the result of just letting life happen. When you have babies it gets so much harder to go out, so you get out if the habit. Then adding in work and having some health set backs means that a lot of time you’re kind of in survival mode. Social life is one of those things that is never an essential requirement, so it gets deprioritized. Before you realize it, you have friends you consider close, but you see them about once a year.
It’s one of those frog in a pot of water scenarios. Life gradually cranks up the heat, but you don’t notice. Eventually, you’re fully cooked. My social life is fully cooked and needs some TLC. So I’m hoping to make some changes. One is to make more effort just to reach out to people. Email, text, phone, whatever. The main thing is engaging and this doesn’t depend on living close or big schedule changes. It’s more of a habit change. If I swap 5 minutes of fb time for emailing a friend, it’ll be a big improvement from what I’m doing currently.
Another thing I love is getting together with people, but I hate the hassle of finding a time that works and sorting out all of the logistics. So I’m thinking of instigating something like a monthly crafternoon. Maybe on the second Saturday if every month. If something happens regularly, you don’t have to stress about making it work for everyone because you’ll get another chance. And if I is always the same, it removes the mental load of planning for all kinds of variables. I love crocheting, but I love it even more when I’ve got friends to share it with.
Still a kind of half-baked idea, but I’m putting it out there because I think it could be great and also to make it a bit more real. Now, if only I could figure out a way to get all of my friends all over the world together in one place, I’d be set.
I wonder what it is about losing something and finding it that exponentially increases its preciousness to us? Winter has finally hit here in the Southern Hemisphere. I was wondering why I couldn’t find my jacket anywhere and then a fuzzy memory of “putting it in storage” came to mind. Unfortunately, I could not remember where I put the storage bin. Fortunately, I’ve got kids - one in particular who seems to have photographic recall of everything. She said, “Oh - I think I know what you’re talking about.” Went to my room and emerged with my jacket! (I think this is the payment for all the times I find things the kids can’t - even though they’ve looked “everywhere!”) I was very happy to have my coat, so I wouldn’t be cold, but what I was still sad about was not having the fingerless gloves my mom knit me last year.
A fun twist on the autoimmune stuff I’m dealing with was that I started to experience Raynaud’s syndrome - when my hands get cold, I have some circulation issues with fingers going white and then red when the blood returns. Fun times. Anyway, my mom has this lux cashmere yarn and knitted me fingerless gloves. The same Mom who won first prize on the first knitting submission she ever put into the Minnesota State Fair. My award-winning mom made me a ridiculously wonderful pair of gloves and I lost them.
At Christmas, we traveled to Minnesota and I looked “everywhere” - but couldn’t find them. I knew it would be cold and I wanted to take good care of my hands, but it didn’t work out for this trip. Ever since we came home I’ve been wracking my brain to recall where they were. I kept thinking it must be hidden in a nook or cranny where we’ve let crap accumulate, so the solution is cleaning and clearing until the turned up. Sadly, no matter where I cleaned it purged, I couldn’t find them.
Fast forward to a week ago, when my dear daughter found my coat. I put it on and felt a funny lump in the pocket. You know the feeling when there’s something in your pocket from a long time ago and you’re 80% sure it’s good, but it could be old used Kleenex? Well, I put my hand in and was welcomed by the silky-fuzz touch of cashmere. It was the gloves! Jackpot!
It reminded me of when I was a kid and I had a Christmas stocking (also knitted by my mom) and when we would first hang them up, sometimes I would go and grab a penny and tuck it into the bottom. Then on Christmas, I loved feeling like I got an extra bonus penny. Even though it was still only a penny, I loved it so much that a couple of years I even left it in the stocking when it was in storage so I could get it out when we decorated for Christmas the next year. There’s just something about going without something and then having it again that doesn’t just change your perspective, it changes your emotional attachment.
I couldn’t believe it when we were decorating for this past Christmas, my daughter ran and grabbed a coin to put in her stocking. I had never told her about me putting the penny in my stocking. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone about that, but there must be something hard wired that compelled her to do it.
I’m not entirely sure what the difference in our attachment to something (or someone) is after a time apart, but the first thing that comes to mind is gratefulness. And maybe gratefulness is the point where our perspective and our emotions converge - we don’t just think differently about it, we feel differently about it.
And it may sound like it is just a materialistic thing because I just wanted a penny. But I really think it is different because everyone knows the surprise triumph of finding $5, $10 or $20 in their pocket. Regardless of your cost of living and the impact this might have on your budget, there’s something about not having something and then having it again, that transforms how we interact with that money.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit recently about when you get something back that you didn’t have for a while. It’s been 2 years now since I got the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Even though my life is surprisingly normal now, it isn’t the same. When it was really bad, I couldn’t use a knife and fork, let alone crochet. For about 3 months, I couldn’t use a pen properly and struggled with typing, for about 12 months, I couldn’t do safety latches or childproof things and even now I struggle with opening bottles or using ball point pens. But as I started being able to do things again, I was thrilled and just wanted to relish it all!
Hence the crocheting website. I’ve been crocheting for nearly 25 years, but now I’ve really thrown myself into it. I am also fully aware that I may not always be able to crochet, but while I can, I want to make the most of it. I don’t know what my journey has in store, but I do know that I don’t want to take things for granted. I look back on my crochet photos as happy memories and I feel deeply and profoundly grateful.
And maybe gratefulness is the point where our perspective and our emotions converge - we don’t just think differently about it, we feel differently about it.
I was writing down a quick cheat sheet for me when I go back and forth between US and UK crochet terminology. Rather than just keeping it to myself, I figured I’d post it here so you can have a handy reference. Also - I know I’ll go hunting for it again in the future, so I’m putting it here for my own reference next time. This is just the basics, but it is usually enough to jog my memory and help me scale up/down for slip stitches, hdc/htr and dtr/ttr. Hope this helps you as much as it helps me!
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