***A little Saturday evening navel-gazing, if you will.
It's funny how reading others' blogs and hearing others' perspectives on life and knitting helps one understand oneself a tiny bit better.
Recently, Laurie blogged about what her knitting group meant to her, how it's helped her get out of her house and her shell as she struggles to survive a painful divorce.
I can't pretend to know what divorce feels like, but I do know something about isolation. For the last six years I've been working in a business where I'm either out of town, or working from my house, and as a result, my social circle has fallen away to the point where I really have very few, if any, girlfriends left.
In my mid-twenties, when I finished my second round of college and moved six thousand miles away from home for a job, I had no idea, until after I got there, how much I'd become dependent upon school my entire life to provide my social circle, and how hard it was to make new friends as an ADULT. Years later, after I'd moved back to my hometown and was working the normal nine-to-five daily grind for awhile, I eventually left that grind to go into consulting work, but had no idea how much I'd become dependent upon my former nine-to-five lifestyle to provide my social circle. And I also had no idea how much harder it is to make friends as a single adult approaching middle age in a world skewed towards the married-with-kids.
And so, in a very short space of time, my knitting group has become very important to me. It may seem silly from the outside, (and especially if you're a non-knitter or a man, or both). I'm sure to spectators we appear to be just a bunch of gossipy hens. But it's so much more than that.
I really have had no other opportunities to regularly meet with women from various walks of life, from multiple generations, and with varied marital and family statuses, and not only have something in common with them, but also have no other agenda than to sit, enjoy each other's company, and knit. There's no structured meeting agenda, no hard-and-fast start and stop time, (it's sorta 7-ish to 9-ish, but people come and go as they please), no things-we-must-get-done-during-this-meeting, no minute-taking, no president or secretary or mission statement. We meet, we knit, we chat, we share, we laugh and we eventually go home. That's it. No rules. No responsibilities. No agenda. It is so incredibly freeing -- I had no idea. And I'm a single woman. I can't imagine what it must mean to the wife-n-mother types, to be able to leave their responsibilities at home for a couple of hours a week and have some innocent feminine fun. And what makes all of this possible? It's the knitting. The knitting.
Sandy's recent blog entry also got me to thinking. Here's a woman experiencing something that all mothers must eventually face -- the dreaded empty nest. Something with which I'll most likely never have first-hand knowledge, an experience with which I cannot really empathize. Same with Jane's current worries for her daughters health. I have no children and so cannot honestly say, "I know how you feel". But because we have something in common -- we've made a connection through knitting -- I can perhaps step across the chasm between non-mother and mother and if nothing else, offer support, a listening ear, perhaps some encouraging words.
Knitting is just a craft, just two sticks and some string. Just one of many types of hobbies and handiwork that people do in their spare time. Or is it more than that?
So far, the knitting, (and let's face it, the blogging), has brought me together with more new friends in the past nine months than I've made in the past ten years. There's something pretty special about this deceptively innocent hobby that I've yet to put my finger on.
But I do like, so very much, how it has opened up my world.
All thanks to the knitting.
I had no idea.