Making GOOD Using our Time

An appointment running a bit behind schedule - fist pump!  A stretch of open highway in the passenger seat - pure bliss!  Just give me a reasonably comfy chair and a good flight delay!  As long as I have a knitting project with me, I'm a content little detainee in any situation whether it's a few delectable waiting minutes, several luxurious captive hours, or a calming refuge in a tension-filled indefinite wait.  I once knitted an entire sweater in the waiting moments while traveling with my son on his college conservatory auditions. 

Have you ever thought about the phrase; "Make good use of your time"?  In a planning and organization context, this usually refers to making your time more productive and for me, this translates into a giddy trip to Chirps and Cheers for a gliding new pen and the perfect, pretty day-planner - Oh Yeah!  We all need beautiful and productive ways to better manage our time as we tackle the goals, priorities and deadlines set before us.  I wonder, though, in our quest to make good use of time, how often we overlook the power of the little unexpected, in-between moments in our lives?

The waiting times between scheduled events are often the magic moments that feed my soul.  In her article entitled "How to find Joy that Lasts", Martha Beck writes:

One day while reading up on the latest research in pop psychology, I discovered a two-word instruction that reliably ushered me onto the plains of peace when I couldn’t force my brain to just "be still". Here it is: make something.

I find this to be true.  A spare moment absorbed in the pleasure of needles and yarn, journal and pen, camera and nature, pencil and sketchpad, coffee and conversation, piano and spirit, sends me back to my pretty day-planner feeling refreshed - and sometimes unexpectedly blessed.

I was tucked in a booth at my favorite coffee shop knitting and pattern-writing a couple of weeks ago when I received a connection request through In Knit.  This exciting first request was from a searching young woman wanting to meet one-on-one.  Turns out, I had briefly met and enjoyed chatting with her and her roommate at the coffee shop a few months earlier.  She had expressed interest in improving her own knitting and so I complimented her on her desire to learn and gave her my card.  I really didn't know her or her story at all.  We arranged a meeting at the coffee shop later in the week.  In the end, this meeting was a refreshing experience for both of us and I feel very blessed.

I am typically not one to share my life and faith with people I don't know well.  But as she shared her story and her struggles with some of the older adults in her life, it became clear that this beautiful, intelligent young woman with the deep soul was in need of a peace, beauty and joy older connection.  My calm presence while knitting resonated within her and she felt it would be a therapeutic hobby for herself (Welcome to my world love bug! Sometimes knitting is just the therapy needed).  Then she said a special thing that truly made my heart sing.  She said; "You're old, but you're not OLD".  Such a delightful thought!  (It made me laugh because I am usually the one defending knitting against those who want to quickly brand it an "old-lady" sport).  I knew exactly what she meant, though, and took it as the sincerest compliment.  Our bodies age but our spirits don't have to.  As we talked, I found myself sharing my knitting and my faith and the many other ways I keep my body and spirit active, peaceful, joyful and growing - a magic moment!  We plan to meet for more talking and a knitting lesson as we connect in the free spaces of our busy lives.

This is the power in what we do my wise maker-people.  We knitters, crocheters and other needle artists share a special little portable niche with readers, writers, photographers, artists and others.  We can take our work wherever we go.  We get exceptionally good at sneaking in a row here and there while making good use of our time.  But - as with anything yarn related - we put a little different spin on it.  We "make GOOD using our time".  Every hand-made treasure is formed in the same way - one stitch at a time.  It's the small steps, squeezed into the magic in-between moments, often in the fellowship of other makers, that eventually add up to something special.  We create in the free spaces in our lives - spinning fragments of time into magic moments of genuine sharing, soul-healing and tangible good.

Let's make GOOD using our time!

Wise knitting my friends!

Jan