I’m an occupational therapist by profession (and a mother fucking badass in my off time). Occupational therapy began in the field of mental health as a way to help patients find more independence and success with their occupation, meaning their attention and direction towards a specific goal in their life. Occupational therapy played a very important part after both world wars in aiding in the rehabilitation of veterans, not just physical rehabilitation, but emotional and mental rehabilitation. OTs believe in the mind body connection and found that through purposeful, meaningful activity, a person can regain function, success, and independence in their life. As therapists we try and grade activities to provide the just right challenge so that the patient feels stimulated but not frustrated with the activity. It is in this way that the healing can really begin as the therapy has a goal and the activity is enjoyable and can take the patient’s mind off of their ailments, injuries, or issues.
So why am I boring you with this? It’s because I often find myself losing my knowledge when it comes to my own child. I can treatment plan my way through every diagnosis under the sun for other people, but I find myself paralyzed with my daughter. But the other night we were sitting around binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and it came to me and I said it out loud. We should knit. She looked at me and said, yes we should. So I literally got up off the couch, threw a bra on, and ran over to Michael’s craft store to get supplies. I had no idea what to buy as I hadn’t attempted knitting in about 15 years so I bough a bunch of yarn, some needles, and some scissors and brought them all home. We unloaded the goods and stared at them with quiet anticipation and excitement for what seemed like hours. And then we looked at each other and looked back at the needles and the yarn and looked back at each other and started to laugh. We didn’t know where to begin.
So we did what we do these days, we went on youtube. We finally found a good video and watched and re-watched and tried and gave up and tried again. We laughed hysterically and screamed in frustration and threw the knitting needles at each other. We hadn’t even casted on a full row but the healing had begun because we laughed. Our minds couldn’t think of anything else because we were all consumed with how to hold needle one and then what to do with needle two and then where do you put your fingers that we forgot all about the shitty year we had. I eventually got the hang of it, she not so much but we learned something in the process. It’s the process of doing that helps. It is losing yourself in trying something new and different that is the most important and healing. So yes, I am I learned how to knit years old and I’m happier for it. And even though she didn’t get it, she told me to leave the needles with her because she plans on trying again. That is the healing right there.
Here’s to knitting into the New Year.