Reading While Knitting

Nothing complicated; nothing too exciting, but yes, I do knit while I read. As well as during many other domestic activities.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Meg quite reasonably offered to change the subject -- and I think that's a good thing.

So, something that's been knocking around upstairs for a while now. One of the truly unpleasant characteristics I practice is that of judging other people. Like losing my temper, it seems to happen in a flash, without conscious thought.

I'm most aware of it when I'm brought up short -- when my judgments are proved wrong, or shortsighted, or the role they play in my life (probably shoring up my battered ego) is made crystal clear.

What brought this to mind powerfully the other day was me listening to some conversations between some of the moms in the homeschooling group. The group is overwhelmingly stay-at-home female, although many fathers participate actively at home, and many of the moms, like me, work at paid jobs in addition to wrangling their children toward educated, engaged adulthood. I tuned in to overhear one mom saying, "Oh, I used to make performance raku pieces. Some steamed, some whistled, some exploded. We had people wear goggles for the last kind."

And the conversation meandered on from there.

I sat in my folding chair, just stunned. I know these people had lives before they wandered into my park days, really I do. But I think it's my fear that my "before" life and my "now" life are relatively uninteresting and in many ways fall greatly short of my "potential" that makes me assume that these moms are just their surfaces -- moms. And, I am greatly ashamed to say, moms who aren't always scintillating to me, either.

So I could feel my worldview rocking. It's happened before, but I wanted to hold onto that dislocation this time. Anything that makes me less likely to discount someone else's fascinating layers, or at least the possibility that they have them, is a good thing. I don't know where I got the idea that I'm all that and a bag of chips, and the fear that I'm not, unless no one else is. But I'm ashamed to carry it around.

In addition to dropping the down-view of others, I've got to get a more realistic view of myself, I think. Neither comparing up or down, just sitting with who I am and what I do and somehow allowing it to be enough.

It's going to be hard.

So, when it gets really difficult, I can meditate on my One True Superpower. I can do something easily, routinely, and gracefully, which few (almost none) members of my household can do.

Yes. I change the toilet paper roll.



At 5:35 PM, Blogger suzee said...

You're the most interesting person I know. Truly. And one of the things that I find so wonderful about you is your keen introspection - that's a rare quality.

It's, indeed, a super power.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

A super power, indeed.

Though I would contend you have other, even more impressive, powers at your disposal.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

I need that worldview rocked from time to time as well. Strangely, I had been hanging out at the park with another mom for months before we discovered we used to do the same job before kids. Sometimes it just seems so removed now, to ask (now that our oldests are 5 and up). All of a sudden she's much more interesting to me. I'm glad you wrote about this.

I think you have a bunch of superpowers. You can make yarn. And charm bees. : )


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