Lessons from Mediation and Crochet

“You know what you’re problem is…– You don’t know how to just be. You answer every problem. In fact, you have to answer with an achievement.”

“Guess you know why I’ve been successful.” I retorted jokingly, but really wanted to glare him to death. I simmered in my annoyance.

Armed with new information about my imperfections, I set out to learn how to ‘just be’. I know! I’ll make it my new goal to learn how to meditate!

I suck at mediation. ‘1, 2, 3, (you know I once read a study that said meditation is harder for women than men because men tend to think of one thing at a time, and women are multitaskers by nature…. ugh, start over)’.  1!, 2!, 3! (this is not my talent- start over).  1!!!!!, 2!!!!, 3!!!!, Oh I give.’ I suck at mediation.

Sitting down to crochet is a new found talent of mine. I say I took up the hobby because I can’t stand sitting still. But I’m really looking to achieve my way through problems. I appreciate that it gives me something to do with my hands while I wait. The real bliss, though, comes from it being a pointy, weapon-like object to stab things (like my problems) with when I get too bored. My intent was to learn how to pass the doldrums, but it’s funny the things you can learn from your grandmother’s wisdom talents.

The first thing I learned was to take the time to count your progress. It’s not in my nature to do this as I am always looking to my next achievement, but there’s something beautiful about holding up a scarf and knowing, ‘I created that’. It helps to take stock in your progress because you find your mistakes much earlier this way. See, if you make a mistake in crochet, it carries forward to everything you do. And unattended mistake makes a mess of things.

Which leads me to my next revelation… When you make a mistake, fix it. Sooner rather than later. No matter how fancy the cover up, the mistake will just nag at you until you take the time to correct it. Sometimes that means you have to fix your own technique going forward; sometimes that means going back to fix some stitches. Trust me, it’s much more painful to rip apart a lot because you wanted to ignore the error- than to just fix an ugly stitch or two now.

And my most exciting revelation, crocheting is very meditative. I can easily pass an hour with a smile of contentment on my face and in my heart, and for once my monkey chatter brain just rests. It’s nice to just be. Who knew?


New Year’s Resolution: to write more in pencil

My recent favoritism to the insomniac’s lifestyle has drawn me closer to mindless tasks that the strong would cringe at braving. Yet somehow, in the hush of the evening, these tasks seem more appealing.  Perhaps because nobody will know if you fail at them.

The objective for the evening: cleaning my office.  Now, to most this might only seem to be a drab, nuisance of a task.  Nothing more than a necessity.  But my office, conjures the spirit of my mother, a creative project master with the paraphernalia piled in every crevasse to prove it. Tonight I sat among my unfinished art projects, and breathed in the joy of a women realizing she has transformed into her mother. Better yet, after years of teenage arguing, I’m quite satisfied with that revelation.

Upon realizing the project of cleaning my office needed a more ambitious timeline than one evening, I looked around to find one small part of the chaos I could bridle.  I decided to organize my writing utensils.  A containable task among the shambles. Pens in one pile; markers, highlighters and pencils each in their own place.  That’s when I realized I had a hundred pencils for every one of the others.  I haven’t written in pencil in years. Why so many? A pencil is simple enough… Lead (no longer really lead). Plastic (those wooden things are arcaic nowadays).  And the timeless eraser at its crown (funny that the eraser withstood the test of time).

I guess I stopped using them; though, I am not certain why. Pencil markings are messy.  If you write long enough, black smudges will glove your hand; if you write longer, your hand will transfer evidence of its presence everywhere as your hand drags across the page.  Transferring smudges is not always bad.  In children’s artwork, these smudges create the most precious drawings complete with baby fingerprints shaped like dainty flowers. But, the miraculous thing about pencils is in its crown.  You can keep the good marks, and simply erase away the mess.

I’ve been writing in pen for several years now.  Permanent and heavy.  It reeks of absolute professionalism and confidence.  Not much hope of the good stuff rubbing off on anything or anyone else.  Not much hope of erasing the bad either.

I’ve been writing in pen too long.

This year, I resolve to write more in pencil.