The critical first row

I’ve been crocheting like a mad woman to catch up on all the gifts I had planned to make this holiday season.  There are new patterns to try and colors to select, all chosen for special people that I know will love them. 

The beaded lace crochet angel, above, has already been sent to my son and his family for the top of their Christmas tree.  That was a fun project, and bonus, I made one for myself.  Perhaps my daughter will own it someday.

This is how legacies are formed and family heirlooms begin.

However, as I begin each new project, that old pain-in-the-neck issue reappears: the critical first row.

If you’ve ever knitted or crocheted anything, you know how difficult the first row can be.  In the project I’m working on now, I’ve frogged it (rip it rip it) FOUR times!  The count must be accurate, and the tension must be even if you want to create the results you desire. 

Focused attention now sets you up for a beautiful end product.  It’s worth the extra effort to get the first row right.

And isn’t that like change?

We are winding down a tumultuous year, aren’t we?  Whether we like it or not, things have changed.  Our social structures have had to adapt to a virus that barely existed this time last year.  COVID19 is an organism intent on survival, just like us. 

We have been forced to live in a different way in order for us to survive.  As we all know, everyone wants change, but nobody wants to BE changed. Right?

We didn’t want to stop traveling, but we did, and the environment was blessed for a while with humans hunkered inside. We were forced to adapt to online work and social connections; even my 79-year-old sister is now Zoom-savvy. She certainly didn’t want that, but she adapted to a new way to keep in touch.  We all did.

Right now, on the verge of a new year, what was “normal” is gone.  We are changing because we have been forced to change.  Since change has been forced upon us and things will be different anyway, why not design something new?

Now is the time to imagine what we want. 

The first row

And, just like starting a new crochet project, I suggest we focus on the first row.  Laying down the foundation is the toughest step, and it’s the step that pays the most dividends.  Whatever structures we put in place now will shape the direction of humanity.

I invite you to consider now, during this deep dark introspective time of year, what is it that will make your world, our world, better?  How do you want the mindset of humanity to evolve? When we give it shape in our imagination, we will automatically begin to choose actions that align with it. 

Naming what you want is the first row.  It’s the foundation.

I can only speak for myself, but I want a world with deeper, more genuine connections. I want humans to be human.  I want those that help and those in need to meet over a nice cup of coffee and get to know each other.  As Brené Brown says, “It’s hard to hate someone close up.” 

What is it that you want?


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