Many of us who crochet do a lot for others, we crochet miles of yarn every year to light up the lives of our family, friends and community. We do this in such a “zen-like” manner that we don’t give it much thought, it’s just something we do. We don’t think about the time we spend making beautiful, soft things for mama to tuck in baby. We don’t count the rows or cost for that graduation or wedding gift. We give little thought to the hours spend ripping out rows for afghans for soldiers, the homeless, bereaved families, or for some stranger somewhere who just may need something because they lost everything. Why do we do this? Why do we reach out to those we know and those we don’t? Why do we did it without thinking about what we are doing to our pocket books and to our bodies? We do this because we are good people. ‘
In fact, in my experience MOST people are good people. I’ve lived in 23 countries and on four continents and I can tell you that for every negative experience with a human being I have 30 or 40 more positive experiences upon which to draw. Sure there are cons and jerks out there, yet most people really have good hearts, are kind, and honest. Also in my experience, and I am quite guilty of this on a personal level, we who are “good people” tend to dismiss the good we do in the world. We don’t want to be seen as egotistical, or wanting attention for our good acts, and on one level that’s important. We shouldn’t do the right thing for the wrong reasons. But neither should we take our goodness for granted or refuse to see it for what it is, an act of Love.
Yes, Love with a capital “L”. As we enter into the US celebration of the worker, Labor Day, I’m caught musing about what Labor I do, why I do it, and what I have dismissed and not recognized as valid. I think nothing of whipping up a cape for my daughter when she has a fashion crisis. I think nothing of donating yarn to a local charity. I think nothing of crocheting for hours to make sure local women have warm hats for the oncoming winter. I think nothing of sitting here hours on end coding and reworking the website, because I passionately believe that as a consumer group you and I have the power to make lasting change. Not change that will just make us valid in the eyes of stores, but change that will make our economy better, change that will make our individual lives better. Somedays I just blow all of this off as “something I do.” I do this because I enjoy it, I do this because I believe in this, but do I always see that it has had a real and lasting impact on lives and businesses? Today the answer is yes, yesterday the answer was no, I don’t know what the answer will be tomorrow.
All of us do this as a Labor of Love, however we express this passion for our art and craft. But please, DO count your cost, please DO count your effort. When we don’t things slide away, like the tendon on my finger. By not counting your contribution and your labor in the gift, you leave yourself open to discounting YOU. What do I mean?
Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. Listen to your heart.
I’m not telling you to write a note to the recipient saying, “By the by I want you to know that I spent 12 hours planning this project in my mind, another 3 hours and $60 on yarn choices, and 46 hours making the project” But I am telling you to take note of that internally. VALUE your time, your money and your labor enough and the gift becomes even more valuable.
Over the course of our long Labor Day weekend I am hoping to have enough use of my hand to actually crochet some really soft yarn. I’m valuing my hand and giving it as much rest as I can spare. I’m valuing my precious and now temporarily limited crochet time even more and choosing to crochet with something lovely. I found a very soft, very brilliant silk/bamboo blend that is so gorgeous it makes me itch to use it. It makes my skin tingle when it touches it, and it’s a tactile Nirvana for me to use.
Now that I’ve rambled on, here’s what I really meant to say.
Count yourself in the equation. You matter, your time matters, your skills matter, and most of all that wonderful loving heart of yours matters!
Hook On! Live Long!