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My Name is Mildred

Ok, it's not.

But sometimes I feel that I could easily slip into a Mildred persona of sorts... A crochet-obsessed, cat-loving, hotdish-making, bird-watching, Lawrence Welk-fangirl who doesn't take crap from anyone. Except that I sometimes I take crap from people. Well, more frequently than I'd like or admit. But I despise it and I always think about all the things I wish I had said after the fact. And I dwell on them.


The truth is, I love all those things I mentioned (except taking crap from people) and think they fundamentally make up who I am. I mean all of our likes and dislikes help shape who we are, but those are all things that comprise my rawest self (I think). I once noted how no one knows who you really are except for you and I think about that once in a while because I believe that to be one of the truest things there is. The person who knows you best still doesn't know you the way you do; you're the only one who can claim that. And that's cool.

I think there are some people who would be surprised that I am extremely sensitive, empathetic, and emotional. I'm not great at expressing my emotions to many people; in fact, I usually suppress them and I know it. This is clearly why I think many people would think that I am delusional to describe myself in such terms. But I know me and I know I am.

Crocheting is one of those activities that focuses me. The repetitive motions are calming; the tangible result of the looping and twisting is satisfying. In the same way checking an item or task off of a checklist is satisfying, so is seeing the woven fabric take shape. I rarely keep the things I make for myself because the value isn't in the final product but the process, and sharing that value with other people is more meaningful than keeping the thing itself.

I like gifting things to people. And not because I like giving people "stuff." When I receive a gift from someone that I know took them time to conceive, plan, and create, it is breathtaking. Time is something we never get back once spent, so when someone makes time in their life to try to make mine more beautiful - well that's about as amazing as it gets. For Christmas this past year, my best friend gave me a book. The book itself was a small, inexpensive, paperback book of poetry, but the true gift was the gift of time he gave to me in the promise that we'd read and discuss it together. We're getting ready to finish the book next week... It may be the best gift I've ever been gifted. In the same vein, I hope that when I crochet someone an afghan or a shawl or a hat or whatever - that they experience the kind of warmth I do when I receive a gift given in the same spirit.

I just finished a poncho that I will actually keep for myself. It was weird to finish it, try it on, and know it was mine. And while weird, it was satisfying; it was similar to how I feel when I complete a gift for someone else - but in an entirely different way. I still felt that it was a gift... A gift to myself. And I felt a kind of warmth for it. I tend to have several projects going at once and that is certainly the case now. All three are gifts; two for people and one for my cat. I doubt he'll feel very grateful for it, though. Christmas is just around the corner - at least if you plan on crocheting gifts for Christmas, it is. I'll be busy for the next several months and will probably pull several late nights to get everything I've planned finished in time. That will be fun.

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