I’m 39 this year and I’ve lived my life on the fast track in between the years when I’m not pregnant. Like many others, I struggle with feeling inadequate and spent quite some years of my life chasing after a perfect Singaporean life – you can read more about it here. Since I’ve decided to take things slow and quit taking up additional projects (on top of my day job), I’ve had more time to engage in leisurely activities—such as reading a book!
While scrolling through my Facebook account, there was an ad pop-up in my social media feed advertising free shipping for a knitting kit. It comes complete with materials and tools and what not. I thought… that’s a low-cost craft to try out, yeah. I bought it and, it’s really nicely packaged but a tad expensive for just shipping wool and needles to me. The pattern booklet was of little help because it basically just points me to their content on YouTube to master the stitches. I felt like throwing the kit to the floor, haha, but since I’ve already spent around USD50 on it, I decided to try watching the videos to see if it’s as easily picked up as they claim to be.
I spent around three hours on one of my off-days watching YT tutorials and figuring out how to to cast the first row of stitches. After three rows of stitches I still couldn’t tell the pattern but I decided I’ll just continue and accept that this is going to be a really flawed piece given that it’s my virgin attempt. “Go easy on yourself. Not everything has to be perfect”, me tells myself. Lo and behold, after around 7-8 rows, it’s actually turning out rather pretty! I’ve used up ball 1 of 2 of the yarn now and the two older gals are excited over it—they’re asking why I’m doing it and who it is for.
This self-challenge has unexpectedly reminded me and taught my gals some things:
- Focus – when you set your heart on something, it can be done.
- My gals saw me working on something I’ve never done before and watching me persevere to master it has set a good example to them—particularly to my firstborn who’s struggling with primary school. It’s given me something to show and talk about. When she saw how I’m attempting something new in spite of my lack of knowledge and skills on the subject matter, she understands that her mommy does not know it all and goes through similar emotions, such as frustration at some point before refining the skill.
- A self challenge reactivates the senses. Doing the same thing over and over again takes you to complacency. When you pick up something from scratch, you recognize your inadequacy: “I don’t know how but I will learn.” It humbles you and the sense of achievement after you master it is exhilarating.
Update: My firstborn now has a little slime production factory, having learnt how to make slime from YT videos. She also watches other craft videos and just like me, pauses them in between while she tries to recreate what is taught on screen. This evil mommy has been asking her how she can monetize some of the stuff she is making.