I’m waiting on grand baby numero dos due early March!-and am in the process of knitting him a blanket.
Awe! What a nice Kokum I am. Choosing the colours his mum wants, ensuring the material is soft and safe, natural fibres ONLY. Taking the time to find an interesting pattern. Working on it diligently.
It all sounds just lovely. So serene, so kind and careful of me. Right?
This fucking blanket is the bane of my existence!
I have started it and ripped it out only to start it again so many bloody times that I have gone from Ms. L of good intentions to Ms. L who might just go to a craft market and buy a blanket to pass off as her own!
This thing is an exercise in frustration and as such, it’s now just one of my many and varied spiritual practices. Right up there with work…and slow walkers.
As I knit now, I`m mindful of every stitch. All one hundred and sixty-five of them. This blanket has become my meditation which is good because I need to meditate after staring at a glaring error one hundred and sixty fives times!
I have a thing about mistakes. I’ve had it since I was a young child and its a product of my anxiety disorder. My therapist says, fear of making mistakes-perfectionism-is really just anxiety by another name.
I can’t argue with that.
I once stayed indoors all winter long, because I was afraid of walking in the snow.
When I had an anxiety attack whilst trying to walk across an icy parking lot my husband, extremely frustrated with me yelled out “You hiked the Inca FUCKING Trail and you’re afraid to walk across this!?”
Rude yes, but like a lightening bolt of clarity I was able to see just how far from my truth I’d gotten.
It wasn’t about the icy parking lot. It wasn’t about a fear of falling. It wasn’t about hurting myself and not being able to get around-conveniently ignoring the fact that I was not in fact getting around AT ALL-
Deep, deep down it was because I was afraid of making a mistake.
And seriously, how dumb is that? Somehow I equated falling as a mistake? People fall! Ice and snow are slippery! Was I somehow supposed to find a way to out smart the laws of physics?!
It boggles the mind. I boggle the mind.
I grabbed my walking sticks that I used to hike said INka Trail and walked my ass to work, all winter long for three winters. Last year, I didn’t even use them. I’ve fallen a few times, laughed and lived to tell the tale.
I’m not cured of my perfectionism by any means but awareness of a thing is better than nothing and surely between now and when I die, I`ll have plenty of opportunities to try. Even whilst knitting sweet baby blankets.
Wouldn’t it be nice if things were perfect? Id love for this blanket to be perfect.
It aint gonna happen.
Even in the ripping out and correcting my work, thrice, it’s still not right.
I’m done though. Done with the anxiety that somehow this blanket is less than, not good enough because there is a mistake in it.
With the words and advice of a professional ringing in my ears, I’m leaving the mistake in. It’s on two rows, it doesn’t affect the integrity of the piece and it’ll probably just blend in anyway.
If anybody does notice I’ll just tell them I’ve left it in as a monument to the mistakes all parents make and how we need to be kind to ourselves and others. Mistakes are just part of being alive and being human.
Ms. L- 1. Perfectionism-0.