Sometimes Life is Messy

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Sometimes life feels really messy and I become overwhelmed, over-stressed. I want to fight for human rights, equality of opportunity, a healthier planet, kindness and generosity. I see problems that need solutions and solutions proposed that are purposely designed to take from those with the least to give to those who already have more than they need. I see hatred, corruption, sexual harassment, self-interest over caring for those in need and a planet in distress. My heart hurts at constant examples of people who value obtaining great wealth over doing what is right.

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I work hard to take care of myself so I have adequate energy for living life on my terms. Over the past two and half years I have periodically realized that politics and the meanness in the world was going to bed with me, interrupting my sleep, and sapping my energy. During those times I would decrease my internet and television political time and would focus on all that is beautiful as an antidote for the messiness of life.

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For some reason this strategy stopped working for me during the first part of October. I could feel myself slipping into a mild depression and frequently said to friends that I wanted to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. The problem was that I knew how not to be part of the problem – by not making derogatory comments about people who express support for incompetent politicians. I know I can maybe be a part of the solution by having the integrity of living a life that is consistent with my values of honesty, truth, compassion, inclusiveness, equality and living simply. But I didn’t know how to be part of the big picture solution. It sounds grandiose but I wanted to be able to do something that would fix Washington, to fix the injustices that were happening, overrule the harmful policies that hurt those without power. I wanted the power to do right but was realizing that I might belong to the group that is without power. Ouch!

My solution: for the past 40-some days I have been knitting hats. Lots of hats with more yarn being shipped for even more hats. I have been knitting almost a hat a day and hope to be able to make them available to low- and no-income people who visit a pantry that gives out personal care items and cleaning products in my community in Michigan. I have knit little hats and big hats, hats with stripes and hats with cables, and hats with fancy stitches. I have knit hot pink hats and blue hats and green hats and grey hats. I just finished a “roy g b” hat with red, orange, yellow, green and blue stripes (I don’t have indigo and violet).

Most important, I knitted every hat thinking about some child, some teenager, some parent, some homeless person who will be a little warmer during the cold Michigan winter. I knitted in a little joy and goodwill into every stitch, hoping that the people who get them will feel it. By knitting hats, I also knitted my soul back together (with a help of a couple of good sermons that were relevant).

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16 Comments »

    • The quote is perfect. Your words touched me so deeply that I had to take a few days to digest before I could respond. Thank you – from my heart.

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  1. This is a lovely way to be part of the solution. Sometimes it feels that the problems are so big and we are so small that we can’t possibly make any difference. But actions such as yours make all the difference in the world—to the “doer” and to the person on the receiving end. Thanks, Pat!

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  2. Marvelous post that has huge resonances for me! Reading about the hats I was reminded that a local elementary school has a Tree in the front yard where people hang scarves and hats, and those in need simply stop by a take them. It is a place of comfort for makers and takers.

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    • What a wonderful community story. Would like to chat a little longer but I’m in a middle of a hat that I’m having fun knitting. A beautiful red one! 🙂

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  3. Pat, You express my thoughts and feelings exactly. It’s hard to get the current milieu of negativity out of one’s mind, but you found a positive solution. I’m reminded of the old Sunday School song that we can simply “Brighten the corner where you are…” Thanks for this post. Lois

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    • My pleasure, Lois. Your comment brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. We need to all hold tight together and encourage each other. Thanks for your encouraging words.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear you, Pat. What a wonderful, generous solution you have come up with. Don’t forget that you also give back by being here and sharing your beautiful work.

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  5. This is funny, Pat. I have read in a German blog this morning that there is a “knitting for homeless” movement in Germany, too.
    We will never be able to solve all big problems, and can only find our own solution and help the one who is next to us who is asking for help.

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