Knit Picks

Shouldn’t I know how to do things?

Shouldn’t I know more?

Shouldn’t I be better at this?

Shouldn’t I have mastered something? Anything?

It’s been a week.

Back to school routines, assessment tests, extracurriculars. New schedules, feeling behind, racing everywhere morning ’til night. Tending to illnesses, celebrating milestones, squeezing in a shower whenever possible.

In surrendering my office so that my twins could each have their own bedroom, my stuff is now scattered around the house in no fewer than seven locations, mostly closets and nooks. It’s fine – we’re putting on an addition to the house in the coming weeks and I’ll have space then – but my driver’s license is up for renewal and upgrade to REAL id, I needed to put my grubby hands on all sorts of identification. Back when I had all of my detritus in my office, I knew exactly what was where – old teaching materials, scraps of half-baked essay ideas, knitting patterns, hole puncher, stamps, documents showing residency, my social security card, my voter registration card.

But I couldn’t find what I needed. Which of the seven places had the file box with that one envelope of needed documents? Was I sure I hadn’t been responsible and put it in the safe deposit box? The panic rose, and I heavily invested in exhaustion in anticipation of long searches and/or requests for new documents.

My husband found the right folder within five minutes. Right now he knows my mind better than I do.

It’s been a week.

The book writing hit a not-unexpected rough patch. I’ve nearly completed several months of research and I am, as of Monday, headed back to the writing part of it all (it’s a cyclical process.) I still have no idea what I’m doing. It’s terrifying and awful and wonderful and, and, and…

Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep up with making the world a little better, a little kinder, a little less awful and I can’t seem to go fast or far enough with that. It can be isolating. I’m trying to reach out and keep up with friends, but I’m dropping balls there, too.

Back in early August, I cast on 56 stitches on 3 double-pointed size 2 needles and began to knit my first sock. Over the last few weeks I made good headway, especially during the debates, because the field was sufficiently narrowed down and I didn’t have to check chyrons to see who was who.

I had about 4 inches done on a 5.5-inch cuff when, the other night, I realized I had really messed up. Really. Truly. Badly.

It was not a great moment. It was a moment of lost time and effort.  A moment of feeling inadequate and alone.

I’m too old to feel this bad at this.

At all of this.

Shouldn’t I know how to do things?

Shouldn’t I know more?

Shouldn’t I be better at this?

Shouldn’t I have mastered something? Anything?

I don’t have a handful of “go-to” recipes I can make from memory out of pantry staples.

I can’t seem to undertake a knitting project (I’ve been knitting for five years) without having to scrap it somewhere in the first quarter of the project.

I can’t make my hair look right.

I can’t get the stories in my head on paper in the way I want them to be.

I can’t publicly speak about things I’m passionate about without coming across like mid-1990s-romcom Meg Ryan.

I can’t keep my stuff together – literally in this case.

I can’t get my car out of a parking space in tight parking lots without making 1800-point turns – the cars are all SUVs and the parking lots are striped for small cars.

I can’t retrieve the lost end of a drawstring and all of my drawstring clothes seem to have developed this need this past week.

And don’t get me started on parenting – kids are little wonderballs of entropy and there is absolutely no chance of ever feeling you get that right because the needs are changing and each kid is different.

Shouldn’t I know how to do things?

Shouldn’t I know more?

Shouldn’t I be better at this?

Shouldn’t I have mastered something? Anything?

I ripped out the sock and started over. Sure, I could have tried to unravel it and fix, but I know enough to know I don’t know how to fix this mistake easily. It is faster and the less frustrating choice to start over.

So, it’s all about taking a deep breath, unraveling what I can in some areas, starting over in others, and shoving still others back into closets and nooks until I have the space to tend to them properly (I’m looking at you, drawstring pants.)

Things are changing and I’m not done yet. There’s still time to master something. (I’m still looking at you, drawstring pants.)

That’s life.

2 thoughts on “Knit Picks

  1. Jackie, You certainly nailed this piece! I just also had to o rip out a square I was knitting b cause halfway through I realized that I cast on too few .🤢 Stay well, Jan

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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