Thursday, January 17, 2008

a barrier? or a blessing?

Lene wrote this in her January 6th post:

"And sometimes, just sometimes, the knitting might be a barrier between the world and me, and then the question is: do I dare to enter the world without my knitting?"

I've been thinking about my own motivations for knitting.

I've always been sort of an introvert. Socially normal, but happiest alone or with one, maybe two special friends. My family is pretty quiet, not boisterous at all, and as a child and adolescent I was always happiest in my room with a book, or sewing on my little Singer featherweight in the basement, or out for a bike ride, alone with my own thoughts. For a few years I basically refused to participate in family stuff like horseback rides or watching movies. I just wanted to be alone.

Books provided a protective barrier in social situations, too. Even in the middle of my big extended family or on a rollicking school bus, I could retreat and be quiet, peaceful, in my own head.

I like knitting for the way it keeps my hands busy, but I've realized rather uncomfortably that even though I still FEEL engaged, knitting affects the investment others perceive from me. My reactions are delayed...I miss touchdowns and plot points and the expressions on faces or in hands when my eyes are buried in what's on my needles.

I need the decompression time that knitting provides, because my job is socially and physically exhausting. But I need the reconnection time with loved ones, too.

I spent Monday in the hospital with my husband. he'd been having chest pains for a few days and they had him in for testing and observation. When it became clear on Monday morning that the symptoms had worsened and I'd be spending the day in one of those infamous hospital hurry-up-and-wait situations, I grabbed a ball of sock yarn and needles on the way out the door. I used the knitting to calm my anxiety...but in doing so, did I shut him out?


Toni said...

I don't know--I am a strong "Type A" personality and a fidgeter, so knitting helps preserve my sanity, and my husband fully appreciates that our lives are both better if I am allowed to knit, so I think he views it as a "marital aid." Besides, he gets great sweaters. :)

Jody said...

I'm sorry to hear about your husband! I hope it all works out for him.

As for barrier vs. blessing, it's probably both. But if it helps you deal with stress, it helps you deal. I'm sure he's the same with football/basketball/insert hobby of choice here ...

Toni said...

I hope your husband is doing well & is out of the hospital!!!!