Well the title is a bit misleading. I am using my hands to make things, just not ‘making anxiety’. I suppose ‘the act of making stuff by hand is my current way of dealing with anxiety’ isn’t that snappy a title, but it is the focus of this post.
I learned to knit this year. A friend got a bunch of us together and convinced us to try knitting. I tried it, was hooked, and haven’t looked back since. Knitting is usually associated with lonely old women, grandmothers (not the same thing) or hippy earth-mother types. At least that was my impression. Was I ever WRONG on all accounts. It’s a brilliant hobby and one that has helped me manage my stress and anxiety in surprising ways.
When I knit, I’m focused on knitting. In the now, and on the thing I’m making. It feels like a break. A long, proper break from the anxiety I feel about work and life (mostly work, but that’s another time). I’ve got several projects on the go, so the struggle for me is to slow down and take the time to enjoy the process. I tend to focus on finishing rather than taking it slow and taking it in. I should be enjoying the ‘break’ but I find old habits die hard: the need to complete things. The need to finish. The need to accomplish something. To do something useful. To have something to show – It’s not easy to untangle (heh heh) all these inadequacies, but I’m learning. Slowly. One bit of wool at a time, I suppose.
It feels good to make things with my hands. In the end, that’s what matters to me. That feeling of a proper break.