I've gotten back into knitting lately - which actually helps me in more ways than I can adequately quantify. You see, I'm an information junkie. I love it. Learning, anything and everything about anything and everything, and I know more useless things than almost anyone I know. I have a good grasp of how to get a fair amount of information in a hurry, and what I can do to find out the things I want to know - immediately, not "well, first we go to the library" style. I have little patience, and I want to know everything about everything immediately.
Knitting forces me away from my computer. I can't knit and type or scroll, I need two hands for it. And since I can't knit in front of the computer, I move to the couch. But, just... sitting... and knitting... is intensely boring for me. I need something going on to keep my mind active or I will go insane in about thirty seconds flat. Trust me on this, I'm not kidding. And so I sit and I watch Doctor Who. I'm so behind that I've only gotten just barely out of The Martha Era, and so I'm catching up. So I have something to do that occupies my hands, my mind, and that Skeeve and I can do together. It works out rather well, honestly. I can't rush, or I miss things, I can't finish everything right now because knitting takes time. It forces me to be patient, to slow down, to watch what I'm doing, and take the time to engage in things that I enjoy, even if it means not learning something for a few hours.
I have little interest in what many people consider self-care: fashion, design, hair and nails, makeup, none of it. It's all boring and useless to me. I don't have any interest, I never have. I'm rounding the bend and bearing down on forty, and I still haven't applied makeup more than probably fifty days of my entire life. It isn't now, and never has been, something I was interested in. I can't just sit and do nothing. My mind is always on the move, I have to be looking, reading, listening, engaging, all the things all the time, and knitting! Knitting forces me to chill the impulse. I can't go traipsing all over, I've got too much stuff for that. I can't go on an information hunt, I can't manage the devices. I can't sit and read for the same reason - I don't have the free hand to hold the book or turn the pages. But I do have the ability to sit down, force my mind to slow just a bit, and allow myself to recharge. I can watch an interesting program, knit away, and my mind is occupied by plot threads and knitting patterns, my hands continue to be busy, and I'm able to just relax. It's not stereotypical in any respect, but you know what? So much of being gifted is not being stereotypical, that I don't know why this surprises me.
I suppose the nutshell version of this post is fairly simple: find something you love, and do it. Not something you need to do, but something you want to do, something that is at least a little relaxing, and find a way to get it into your days. Even if it's just once a week, a quick chance to be you - not your child's parent, but truly yourself - is so much more freeing than anyone gives it credit for.
This blog post has been a part of the Hoagies' Gifted series on Gifted Self-Care.