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my story

My Story, Part 2

Sometime last year, I published My Story and shared a little bit about how I landed here in This Knitted Life.

Welcome to My Story, Part 2, where I tell you a little bit about ME and who I am as a person (who happens to knit a lot).

Through our lives, we are shaped by many people and places–our homes and schools…our families, friends, and teachers who leave a mark on who we are in this world. I grew up in rural southern Oregon and still have dreams about the creek that was in my back yard as a child. In fact, I just had one the other night.

I remember spending childhood summers in that creek, catching crawdads and polliwogs, turning over rock after rock all afternoon long, on the hunt for whatever critter might be lurking underneath. Looking back, even at age ten, I was my own little geomorphic force.

Somehow I emerged from my childhood and set off to college, determined to study the environment and basically major in Saving the World. When we’re young, it’s easier for big ideas like that to seem more tangible. We’re not jaded yet and haven’t hit enough walls to pause and even contemplate the  feasibility of our dreams.

We just jump in and go for it.

My entire ethos as a human being was to participate in the world and try to make it better. I was seventeen. Decades later, I am still that person. Although admittedly slightly more bitter on occasion (and I have lots of grey hair).

I truly believe changing the world around us is possible, although I have come to feel that making a difference works better at a local level and in our own, immediate lives.

(Although, with the power of the internet, I do believe big changes at a large scale now have much more potential to shape the landscape of our common humanity. There is power in numbers. Think big.)

My abbreviated, unprioritized list of things I believe are important: Plant a garden. Be a good neighbor. Vote. Participate in your community. Think about your choices, what you buy, and what that means for the world. Teach your children to engage in civic society. Use your voice and make it count. Practice fairness.

All of that.

As Reed gets older, we have more and more discussions about the world we live in. He knows mom goes to work to restore rivers for fish, and he goes to school so he can grow up to help animals. Or be a fireman. Or a fireman who rescues animals. Or a lawyer so he can make lots of money. (Depends on the day.)

Like many of you, so much of my time is spent just scrambling to make it through each day. Wake up sleep deprived, breakfast, pack lunches, out the door. School/work. Home. Unload car. Dinner. Clean. Bath time. Bed time. Think about exercising but decide that’s a horrible idea. Knitflix. Repeat.

And so it goes.

There’s not a lot of room in that to make the world better, or even make ourselves better. For me, there’s value in just having a sense of scale of the universe. Even though we become hyper-focused in living our daily lives as they fly by and we try to catch on to the seconds and hold their memories–lest we forget the look of joy on our children’s faces or the sound of their young voices when they say something profound that makes us pause and think: wow– we retain our sense of right and wrong and know what inequity looks like in our own lives as well as the Great Big Planet.

Each night, I tell Reed tomorrow is a new day. There are worlds to explore. Anything is possible. I don’t say that to teach him hope, per se, but because I truly believe it.

Sometimes the world shapes us. Other times, we shape the world. Both are significant.

Yesterday I spent two hours upending my veggie garden and replacing part of it with a collection of peony bulbs. Because I think the peonies will make me happier than chard and green beans. (Even though this morning–AFTER planting the peonies–I recollected that it can take new peony plants up to three years for their first blooms. My peony gratification might thus be slightly delayed, should they survive the inevitable slug onslaught and puppy digging.)

Life is short. Do what you love. Treat others with kindness. Hold your children tight and them send them off into the world to chase their own dreams before anyone tells them it’s not possible.

That’s me, in a nutshell.

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