I am rarely happy with the results of work I do. Although I’ve been told this is a sign of low self-esteem, I believe it is actually an indication of the opposite: my ego is so large that I assume I can do perfect work. Well, obviously I am not actually capable of perfect work. When I produce something with any flaws, I feel that I have not lived up to what I can do. The Guy with the Red Pen especially loves going after my chapter drafts, my university lectures, and even my blog entries.
When the results are the work of my hands, my internal critic seems to take a nap. I can be so pleased by even a first attempt at sewing a little felt purse (which my 6yo can do, too) or by a loaf of honey wheat bread. (“I made it! Who knew I could do THAT?! Amazing!”)
Knitting is the place where I am most able to acknowledge my talents and skills. The pleasure and confidence I receive when I knit allows me to try new more complicated patterns or skills. Sometimes I feel guilty about the pride I take in my knitting. Sometimes I feel the need to point out that what comes off my needles isn’t anything special and that many, many people can do better. But why should I? Let the sleeping critic snore. I’ll take some of that knitting confidence and open up the file with the half-written chapter—and try to sneak in a paragraph before the alarms go off….