Today was a really, really good day at The Knitting Nest. I try to spend as much of each day up there as I can, but I’ve had so many headaches in the last few weeks that it’s been difficult. PWM is completely capable of doing everything that needs to be done, but I like being there. Yes, I LOVE being around all that wonderful yarn! But, I also enjoy hanging out with PWM. Wild Man is usually up at the shop when I’m there because he needs some supervision with his schoolwork. I’m a little bummed out that Rosie Girl spends most of her day by herself here at home. I do hope that she’ll come to the shop after school sometimes – she takes an 8th hour Art class, so she could walk to the shop from school.
Why was today such a good day? Well, it helped that we had three customers who made purchases as well as a couple of people who just came in to check out the shop. What really made my day, though, was that I got to help a customer on a project. She came in with her pattern and the 5 rows that she’d already done, but was having trouble with having too many or too few stitches at the end of each round. The problem itself wasn’t difficult (although unknitting angora can get a bit tricky), but I enjoyed figuring out the best solution to her problem. When I was done, I showed her the changes I had made and did a couple of pattern repeats to show her. She then did a couple of pattern repeats. And then she hugged me! What was a somewhat tricky problem to sort out for me really made her day. I think we have a loyal customer now!
When I was working as a family doctor, hugs were not uncommon. I hugged little kids who were coming in for physicals. I hugged elderly people who just didn’t get out much. I hugged and cried with women who had a pregnancy loss. I hugged families, whether it was a good occasion or a bad one. I guess I’m just a “huggy” kind of person! (We hug a lot in our house. It’s not unusual for the 13 year old or the 16 year old to walk up to me or PWM and say, “I need a hug.” And we’re happy to oblige.)
Not everyone wants hugs or to be touched. People have different personal space needs. But, today I realized that I’ve been missing these kinds of encounters. I like being able to help people – whether it’s getting their cholesterol under control when I was working as a family doc or teaching them a new knitting technique. And I’m finding that these interactions with people in a yarn shop can be (are) as important as when I was working as a family doctor. Yes, I hope we can meet people’s crafting needs, but I also want to help meet their emotional and spiritual needs.
And these contacts with people are also helping meet my own emotional needs. I have become so isolated because of the headaches, that I didn’t really notice how much I missed being with people. Nowadays, I prefer smaller groups of people and tend to avoid places with lots of noise. However, I’m still an extrovert and being with people is generally uplifting for me.
I’m learning how to balance my need for interaction and physical touch (being a natural extrovert) with my need for solitude and quiet (which helps me relax and keeps me grounded). Even more than meeting my own need to be around people, the yarn shop provides me and PWM a way to minister to our community in a very practical way.
It was a really good day today. Here’s praying for many more to come!