Latched on and letting go

I was recently reminded in a very loving and gentle way that when you keep making the same mistakes over and over, it starts to piss off the people around you. They love you and all, but it’s that whole “if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same result”. Well, my mistakes (not unknown to me mind you) were that I was in a cycle of choosing people who are unavailable or who are going to hurt me. In my kind friend’s words, “falling in love with people who don’t deserve your time and attention”.

The fallout from this was that my friend had withdrawn from my bullshit. There were other reasons that had nothing to do with me as well but watching me make the same errors became too overwhelming for her to deal and she distanced herself. For a hefty chunk of time, I lost one of my closest friends, tired of watching me repeat patterns and cycles of hurt.

This was something of a revelation. Not because I was unaware of my uncanny ability to choose a roster of bad men, but because I had wrongly assumed that friends would stand by you no matter what. This isn’t to say I blame her. Not at all. Sometimes the only way to knock sense into people is to make a dramatic or grand gesture, or in this case, bow quietly out of your life. To me, the latter was worse.

It was a long overdue wake up call that I need to stop being so absorbed in men and dating apps and sex and relationships and trying to fit an odd assortment of dicks into the holes in my life. So, what form did this epiphany take?

Latch hooking. Huh, you say. Yes, I have rediscovered the grandma art of latch hooking and I am making a rug. Suspend your eye rolling for a moment and let me explain.

When I am latch hooking my rug, my hands are occupied, busy, contained. It’s like knitting or crochet or leather work – it’s something I can do with my hands that lets me be mindful. I can have the TV on, or listen to music, or carry on a conversation but nothing else. Specifically, I can’t hold my damn phone and that is really the kicker here.

I started latch hooking at the weekend and in one day spent six hours at my rug with only a short break for lunch. I wasn’t checking my apps, on rotation to find my next stimulus, choking on headlines to distract myself. I simply was.

And I can’t tell you the last time I felt that.

So, the size of my canvas is approximately 126 squares. Each square is made up of 100 pieces of wool. My maths has never been bang on but my calculator tells me that is 882m of wool (they are about 7cm in length). At the rate I currently hook, it takes me about 12 minutes per square. To finish this rug, it’s going to take me a little over 25 hours. 

25 hours when I’m not swiping left. 25 hours when I’m not engaging in needy behaviour. 25 hours when I’m not whining about my insignificant issues. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a long time, but for me, it’s a start.

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