Friday, November 30, 2012


Should. And Better.

I've been struggling with a lot of things of late. Well, let's be honest; for years.

And tonight someone said something about how I "should" do something with regard to knitting and it just set me off. It was said with no malice aforethought and with the kindest of intentions, but I went off in my head, and rather than trash someone I like, I thought I'd do a little out-loud therapy, which is what I started this blog for in the first place. I'm so very glad that I still have readers -- all three of you -- however I started this blog because I needed to speak.

I need to speak; I don't need to be heard. If nobody at all was reading this, I would still speak. And if something I say resonates with someone else, then that's all for the good.

But tonight, I need to speak. This is for me.

There are two words that are very triggering for me. Those words are "should" and "better".

I grew up knowing that I was good, sometimes even fantastic; but not good enough. Everything I did, it was good, but even if what I did made me happy, there was a "better" way to do it. I was never good enough. It was never right, or sufficient.

Or I was good, but not good enough to make a living at it, so I should learn to type and work in an office, even though the thought made me vomit.

And so I bowed, I folded. I gave up my dreams. I learned to type (90wpm with a 1% error rate, thank you very much) and I was a secretary, an "assistant" an "Office Administrator" and all of that crap for 26 years or more.

And then I sort of said "fuck it all" and cashed in a bunch of retirement funds and tried to do the yarn thing full time. Unfortunately that happened right about the time menopause hit me.

Nobody ever tells you how totally FUCKED IN THE HEAD you get during menopause. I wish women would talk about this more. I wish doctors would tell you. I wish mothers would tell their daughters. For the couple of years when you're perimenopausal you are MENTAL. Half the time you're horny as hell and the rest of the time you want to kill anyone who looks at you sideways.

I always knew when I ovulated. Some women don't feel it, but I could always feel my ovary pop and I knew that I had three days within which to get pregnant. But during perimenopause you are MENTAL. I would feel the "pop" and so I'd be getting on the bus and my body would scream "OMG, you have almost no time left, this might be the LAST VIABLE EGG, you must jump the bus driver now!!" and then the other part of my brain that was even MORE mental would yell "BUT HE IS A BASTARD AND THE CAUSE OF ALL OF YOUR DESPAIR, KILL HIM NOW!"

I think it's understandable that I wasn't functioning well at the time. I'm just glad I never jumped nor killed the bus driver.

And I'm rambling, but this is my blog and therefore I can do so.

Anyhow, back to the original topic ... should and must are terribly triggering words for me. And I had someone say to me that I "should" do something.

And I thought about it for a bit. And the thing that I should do is something that would make me unhappy.

So I ain't gonna.

This is a long rambling post written while in a state of drunkenness, and I'll likely edit it or delete it or something later. But I think the point is ... should? Why SHOULD I do something to change what I love, just because someone thinks it's BETTER? I've been told I'm not quite good enough all of my life and I have had so many things that I love taken away from me or polluted by the will of others.

My knitting, my art, is mine, and I shall do it my way.

I'm good. I'm just fine. The way I knit is perfect for me. If you like knitting socks on circs, then go, you bad thing. I knit them on DPNs because it brings me joy. I won't change how I do things because someone else wants me to come to Jesus and realize that circs are the ONLY way to knit socks. I knit with cotton, with acrylic and with cashmere. I use what I feel is the right yarn for the project. Imma keep using what I want to keep myself happy. You? Go do the same, but pleas stop trying to get all up in my grill and change how I make myself happy.

So there.

Keep on doing what you do. Thanks for the reminder for me to do the same.
I understand. Menopause was not as hard for as what you experienced, and I'm sorry that it was so hard.

I was sitting at a guild meeting one day trying to figure out how to translate directional decreases on a graph to the way that stitches appear on my needles. A woman sitting next to me said "if you would knit correctly, you would not have that problem"

It's probably been 5 years, and it still lights me up..

You know, I'm glad you didn't jump the bus driver too. It would have caused a whole HEAP of trouble.

And, just as soon as I can, I'm going to have some more of your yarn. I loved the last batch:
Sing it, Rabbitch!

Thanks to hormonal migraines, I'm planning to go straight from the pill to hormone replacement patches. Maybe that'll help me hold on to my brain, maybe not.
I like your blog and agree fully with this post, sounds familiar to me. Rant away, it always helps. I also knit socks on DPNs... occasionally I knit socks on DPNs with DK weight yarn, because I like them chunky. It's how I roll.
Hear, hear. You go, girl! I don't knit "correctly" but it comes out ok so who cares?! Not I! :)
Nobody gets to "should" on me and I've even learned not to "should" all over myself! Potty training takes awhile.
I love reading your blog, keep it up. Hey look there are four of us! Keep doing whatever makes you happy.
Yes, I've always struggled with that "better" thing too. Mainly because someone else's "better" was never my "better." Doing it their way just made it better to them but it wasn't generally at all what I was going for.

And I reserve the right to keep changing my mind about what my "better" is.
I'm with you. Be who you are, not who anyone else thinks you should be: it's the only way to be comfortable.
I hear you. I have often felt myself being captive to "shoulds" and feel like it's a waste of precious time/life. I've been teaching a friend to knit, and am hyper-conscious about not saying should/better. There are just so many ways to do things. I stick with: this is what I would do, and this is why, but there are many ways to do this, so you've just got to experiment for yourself! Applies to all of life, really....
Amen! Why "should" we have to conform to any other person's ideals.....I am so proud of you for posting this. I wish I had the same courage.
I SO agree with you on the "should" thing. But I'm also still laughing out loud at the picture of you jumping the bus driver! Perimenopause never made me want to do that, and I'm sort of sorry it didn't! ;-)
I enjoy reading your "rants" and have for a few years now. Please just go on being yourself and the heck with anyone else. You are unique, remember that.
This unruly mob has entered double digits, all agreeing with you. We get to be our own selves, now more than ever at this stage of our lives, and damn the torpedos.

'Should' my arse.

I also hate the word should. Enough said. The other thing I hate is "just do your best". Well, h*lls b*lls, sometimes doing your best just means showing up and not screaming at someone or decking someone. Especially when menopausal. Especially when gathering with some of my family members.

I'm thinking of tattoing myself with the words *keep calm and carry yarn* - and I'm 65 years old!
If anyone says "should" to you, pop the word right back at them, A bit of vicious criticism will certainly divert them. (You will also find it diverting).

I`m not at all sure about the notion of perfecting life. I don`t think it works, and people who do are deluded. I know people who work with "life coaches" and are told "you can do anything you set your mind to" Bollocks!

I tend to suggest aims to these people which I know damn well are beyond them - that shuts them up.
Yay you! Someone wise said "Don't should on yourself."
I learned to knit one day and was OFF. Within about a month I was knitting my first sock (poorly. LOL. One day I'll frame it.) But within the first year I was knitting scarves, shawls, entrelac, lace, anything I could learn. I WANTED TO KNOW IT ALL!!!!!!

A friend of mine has been knitting for 30 years. She knits scarves and VERY rarely a sweater (maybe 5 total?). I tease her that she really just knits gauge swatches. LOL. She LOVES knitting gauge swatches, but it takes her years to finish a scarf. She has no desire to learn the difference between a K2TOG and an SSK or why you'd use one over the other. And if she has ever knit with anything thinner than DK weight without holding it double I'd be shocked. LOL.

And you know what? We're both happy with our knitting. She LOVES knitting the way she does and I LOVE knitting the way I do. So who cares that I won't follow a pattern to save my life, and she wouldn't dream of deviating from one? She's happy. I'm happy.

Knit the way that makes you happy and tell everyone to go suck it. It's YOUR knitting, not theirs.
You should keep drinking you write a better post
Three readers? You underestimate, my good lady.

I don't know if you've ever been a weaver, but Saori weaving has the perfect philosophy for me- there are no mistakes and if you like the way you're doing something that's fine. (Of course, this is badly paraphrased and totally inelegant compared to the published version. But I like it, so it's fine.)

I long ago realized that there is nothing to be gained by criticizing others' technique so I don't even offer suggestions unless they ask. We all travel our own roads in our own conveyances; from hence springs creativity.
So f- them and their should. You are awesome and I love reading your stuff.
Missed you, Rabbitch. Please post more often.

I've suspected for a couple of years that I'm perimenopausal but no proof. Wild to jump something? Yup. Ready to kill? Yup.

Going to have to do something to ameliorate menopause though, or I'll never climb Kilmanjaro while I still have functioning limbs. That and other foolish, grandiose dreams that I guess I "should" let go of now that I'm past it.
Do it your way. I share your dislike of the words should, better, etc.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?