Reflections on a Vocational Happenstance
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde
Yesterday I was not at my productive best. The early morning hours went well, but I have nothing to show for the afternoon and evening. Overall, I ripped out more than I kept. I went to bed dissatisfied, eager for a new day, a fresh start.
It's hard not to be discouraged when undoing what took an hour or more to knit, and when you've done this three or four times in a row, it's murder. I must remind myself of what was gained in the process, and that I had to keep starting over because I was trying something new. And it wasn't as if I made the same mistake twice -- each version featured its own unique error, its own lesson learned.
In the midst of my frustration, I would have been happy for some knitting equivalent of "ctrl-Z", some blink-of-an-eye shortcut back to the beginning. I would have used it a dozen times.
But the second half of this variation on the famous British imperative (and all the other variations, too) is not the important half. What we need to remember in all circumstances is the first half: "KEEP CALM".
Yesterday, for whatever reason, though I probably looked calm on the outside, my mind was not settled enough to be designing from scratch. The magic "undo" option would only have helped me to make more mistakes in more rapid succession.
I should have been working on something that my hands could do without much supervision. The repetitive motion and steady output would have soothed my poor, frazzled brain, allowing it to rest and reorder itself. If yesterday's experience leads to my finally learning that lesson, then my time was was well spent.
Today, I'm convinced, will be better.