Watch out! “Me” Time Can Be A Problem….

I’m an HR Manager by day…a mom/domestic at night.  In reality, the two jobs actually utilize a lot of the same skill sets and mental muscle.  Unfortunately, I pretty much use up all my emotional intelligence (not to mention tolerance for the human race) during the day.  By night, I’m a conflict-hating introvert.  I avoid interaction.  Shamefully, that avoidance often includes my husband and children, and always includes any extracurricular interaction with friends or family.

Early on in my midlife crisis, I realized my crafting could be an unwitting accomplice to my extreme after-hours introversion. I have to be very careful to temper my selfish desire to pursue what can be a therapeutic and calming hobby. If I don’t, I ignore my kids, the house stays dirty, groceries go unpurchased, takeout reigns…This can be ok on occasion, but obviously, wouldn’t be tenable for the long haul.  I’ll be honest, finding balance between what I want to do and what I need to do remains an opportunity for me.  I know it’s a potential obstacle, however, so I keep my eyes peeled.

The lesson embedded here is that even with  productive, creative pursuits, there can be pitfalls.  The really cool thing is that the problem can also be the solution.  It takes self-discipline to temper my after-hours metamorphosis into a hermit.  It also takes self-discipline to learn a skill and use that skill to bring an item or project to completion.  In essence, both require that I flex the same muscle.  Now obviously, it’s easier to flex that muscle with the more selfishly pleasing task.  That’s ok.  At least I’m using the self-discipline muscle.  The more I use it, the stronger it gets. Ultimately, the act of exerting self-discpline makes me more likely to do it in the future.  Hence, my decision this evening to play angry birds and eat apple instead of beading or working on my afghan.  Hold it…Yes, I know…that doesn’t sound like it required self-discipline does it?…oh well, take that example and you know…such the like.


Why Crochet?

So I think we’ll begin at the beginning-my beginning anyway. Let’s begin with Crochet.

Crochet proved to be a great first craft for me and it might for you as well.  Here are my top four reasons why I think crochet is awesome!

1. Comparatively, crochet moves fast. Once proficiency is gained, you can knock out a hat or scarf in an hour or two. For someone like me (I have tremendous issues with patience) this is especially important! I need the gratification of completion. When I’m learning, it helps keep me focused.

2. It’s cheap to get started. You can buy a crochet hook for a couple of bucks. Yarn can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. You can find a good soft skein of yarn for as little as 2.50. A lot of serious crafters belittle those acrylics generally available at stores like Walmart, but I think Caron Simply Soft feels good and is fairly easy to work with. Throw in a pack of those big plastic darning needles (less than 2 bucks) and maybe some stitch markers just to have on hand (3 bucks) and you’re done!

3. It’s portable. You can stash your yarn and hook in a small bag, and if your purse is as big as mine, you can just throw them in it!

4. You can make beautiful things. There is a staggering array of patterns available-many of them free- online.  You can keep your practice of crochet as simple or as complex as you please. If you decide to move into the realm of garment construction, you’ll be pleased to know that many couture designers have brought crochet garments to the runways of Paris and New York. You’ll be able to enhance your personal style in a way that’s contemporary and individualized to your personal taste.