Monday, April 24, 2006

Lifestyle Stories

The Oregonian has asked women to share their stories of lifesytle changes that led to feeling less anxious, sleeping better, taking things more in stride. Part of a series of healthy living articles the newspaper has been running now for serveral months. The question this month was "What specifically do you do to reduce the stress in your life? Here is my entry:

Nothing takes the stress out of a day like “sittin’ and knittin’.

You might think that knitting is an “old lady” thing to do. I am an old lady…but actually I have been knitting since I was a small child. My Aunt Clara used to come from her home in Chicago to visit us each summer and she always had her knitting with her. She gave me my first pair of needles and started me on a craft that has provided me hours of pleasure for sixty years.

I love the feeling of soft yarn sliding through my fingers, the joy of watching the stitches come off the needle and become a garment, the sense of accomplishment when I am finished. The rhythm of knitting soothes my soul and settles me down when I am over-whelmed by life and its responsibilities. There is always a project in the basket beside my chair and I can pick it up and knit for a few minutes or an hour or an afternoon. It’s portable and goes with me when I travel (although I can no longer take the needles on the airplane).

Knitting has brought me hours of entertainment and satisfaction, and I hope the things I have made have been useful to those who received them. I feel a sense of communion with other women elsewhere who enjoy this craft, and I am grateful for the peacefulness and serenity it has provided through all of life’s travails.


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