What I did do was knit. And make a mistake at the start of a very long row of over 400 stitches... twice... which meant picking back stitch-by-stitch... twice. And when I finally finished the row correctly, I had eight extra stitches from an earlier mistake where I'd multiplied by the wrong factor. It wasn't insurmountable. I promptly eliminated those eight stitches on the next round and wrote that down for my "pattern" - to start with 521 and not 529. No one would know looking at the poncho. I know. Even though I fixed it, those extra stitches will always be there.
One of the things I love about meeting new people is that everyone has a story - the big and small details that make up the ingredients of their life. The surface is packaging. Substance is something else entirely. We all have "mistakes" in our past that no one would know from looking at us... but we know... and we've learned from them and - hopefully - recovered from them and yet they are always there. Fixing doesn't necessarily make it all go away. It's just well hidden.
The spiritual study I'm working through right now is Wide Awake by Erwin Raphael McManus. I'm really enjoying this author. He has a way of saying things that makes me go oh... right... hmm... that's so obvious... why didn't I think of that? Take for instance this quote from yesterday's section:
... if God wills, it will happen. I find this to be one of the most limiting frameworks for many people who believe in Jesus - they believe when something bad happens to them, they couldn't avoid it because it was God's will.
I've certainly been guilty of sitting back and waiting for God to wave a magic wand and make "it" go away or make "it" happen. Think about it this way. What if God's will for me is to be fit and trim and dressed in a flirty red dress and I'm couch surfing in frumpy sweats while stuffing potato chips down my throat? I don't know about you but I have never found myself suddenly shot upright, dressed in a completely different outfit, with a new and better body.
It struck me anew how much responsibility I have in my own life... which sounds like an oxymoron... since who is more responsible for my OWN life than me... but it's true... sometimes I'm wishing for things that are entirely within my capacity to aim for yet I want a magic wand solution. McManus goes on to write:
Every day, whether you recognize it or not, you are affecting the future. Every choice you make has momentum long past the action. Good choices create a better world and a better future.
And bad choices also impact. That's easy to see when I think back to what I wish I'd known sooner. While those "knitting mistakes" can't be changed and can be recovered from, the impact is always there hidden in the next rounds.
One of the less than subconscious reasons I haven't been working in the studio is that I alternate between ignoring what's going on in my life and wondering about what I am going to do next. It's not the "why me" question, that seems rather pointless since why not me. This is life. What I'm wondering about is what choices should I be making now... if any? How hard should I be pushing myself... if at all? What direction should I be pushing in? Is there prep work that could and should be done for what's coming next? Questions like these are more easily processed while knitting than sewing.
If our reality is that it's unlikely Howard and I are going to retire together, then it's likely that my reality involves spending a lot of time alone. I'll need to do something with that time which has me wondering what do I want and what - if anything - should I be doing now to prepare for that time even though I have no idea if we're talking ten minutes or ten years? That's an interesting balancing act. Living in the now while preparing the future. It's not an unfamiliar question; it's just suddenly different than anticipated. McManus also wrote:
You may ignore it but you were created with a creative capacity. Your life affects reality. Your life today changes the course and quality of life in the future. You are responsible for your actions and the consequences of your actions. To be entrusted with creative potential is to bear great responsibility.
Virtually every occupation and attraction in my life relates in some way to creativity so one thing I know for sure is that whatever it is that I will be doing will involve creativity. There will always be a desire to grow and develop and to learn and perfect new skills. There will always be a desire to write about and teach and share those skills. I know this as for sure as one can know anything because although I've been "semi-retired" for several years this desire remains consistent making it a direction I can aim in with a high degree of confidence and one that requires - allows - me to continue to prep by being my best creative me.
I love that the coaching sessions with Diane are clarifying what I want. The assignments and the accountability are fabulous ways of helping me move forward. Along with knitting yesterday, I did some work on the asymmetrical assignment going through my image files to see how many were of asymmetrical garments. It surprised me that there were not nearly as many as I'd have thought. Asymmetrical is going to be a fun direction to move in. It's about balance. There has to be enough of something on one side of the garment to balance the more major something that's happening on the other. Quite often that something is a place for the eye to rest. Garments... life... learning... choices... what do I want... resting places? It's all a balancing act. Life is such a mystery and such a gift.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - open spaces
History doesn't happen to us, it happens through us.
- Erwin Raphael McManus