After my shameful temper tantrum yesterday morning, I packed up, went to Mother's for the day (she was 75 yesterday!), planted bulbs for her, and then came home and picked up the prayer shawl pattern, needles, and yarn and started again.
I am far past where I was when the unfortunate fire incident, er, happened. Why was this so tough? I can't imagine now; it has just flown off the needles this time. Maybe my head is more into it or perhaps I am now familiar enough with the pattern that it works easily. Either way, I am into the third pattern repeat and clicking right along.
This is rather emblematic of life, isn't it? We attempt something, say learning a new skill, and we fail miserably. Now we have two choices. Try again or quit. Many times we choose to quit just because "it's hard." Yet, isn't there a wonderful satisfaction when we accomplish that difficult task?
Math was always a trial for me. It started in fifth grade when the boy next to me whispered to me when I earned an "A" on a test, "That's okay; girls can't do hard Math." That was it. I couldn't after that. I bought the lie and ran with it. So, now I am enrolled in a developmental Math class and am determined to overcome my Math phobia. It is hard, make no mistake. But, I am learning it and I am very proud of myself.
Knitting was the same way. I first wanted to learn when I was expecting John. A very lovely lady whose sister was at our nursing home tried for three months to teach me. Mrs. Sheel would have me to her house, come to the home, and meet me for lunch, all to encourage me. After three months I had twelve rows of a baby sweater that had six very decorative holes in it from dropped stitches. I put it down and didn't pick it up again until I was in graduate school and had four teenagers in my care. It was knit or drink. I couldn't drink and drive, so I learned to knit. My friend Jill came over on a Sunday afternoon and we sat on a quilt under the pear tree in the back yard. After ten minutes of watching her, I had it and off I went. That was more than 15 years ago and I have never been without a project on my needles.
This is all to say that maybe we give up too soon. Or, maybe we have to be ready to learn before we can. I guess, for me, the lesson is to never give up even when I really want to find the matches and remove the challenge in a more creative way. But, as I knit along on the shawl, I realize that the anxiety and frustration is worth it. I only hope that my life will be as lovely as the shawl I hold.