The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Unraveling

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on September 6, 2011

Sometimes in life you just have to cut your losses.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I have a good friend who has been dealing with the long-term struggle of finding good school placement for her four kids.  Each has dramatically different personality and learning style.  It has  been really hard.  She thought she found something that was working well, but at year’s end, testing showed that the kids weren’t progressing the way she wanted them to.  They decided to cut their losses and go back to more traditional education for everyone.

It’s not easy to make a big investment, then realize it was a mistake and decide to start over fresh.  It’s even harder to make the decision to go back to whatever it was you were doing in the first place.  “It would have been so much easier to just have stuck with this without ever veering off into XYZ,” you think.  We’ve all been there.

There’s a reason the cable company tells you to not hang up and try redialing when you get put on hold.  It’ll just extend your waiting time even longer.

Knitting has great metaphors for life.

Here is a legwarmer-in-progress:

I’m learning a new skill with this project: knitting in the round. It’s not hard except for when it suddenly is. Like when you mess up, and it just doesn’t look right anymore. I ignored my first couple of mistakes. I’m making the legwarmers for Eva, and my kids are pretty forgiving gift-recipients. If I knit it and it doesn’t fall apart, they like it.

But this was starting to look so bad that I knew it was time to cut my losses. I had already invested about six or seven hours of laboriously learning to knit in the round. Every knit-in-round pattern contains some variation of the language, “Be careful to not twist,” and believe me, it’s true. If you don’t knit, and later start, there will be a day when you look back and remember me telling you this. Believe.

So I tore the whole thing out. I unraveled row by row and round by round. At the end I was left with nothing but a curly mass of slightly tired looking yarn.

I started over. Experience had made me wiser but also warier. I knit with my eyes open a little bit wider now. If I’m chatting, don’t be insulted if I don’t look up at you. I know things now that I didn’t know before. I’ve raveled, unraveled, and raveled back again.

And the result? I have a pretty damn good start on a pretty damn good legwarmer.

As in knitting, so in life.

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One Response

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  1. Peggy Hagberg said, on September 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Looks great so far. Knitting teaches patience doesn’t it? 🙂


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