Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To School

I had a couple of interesting (to me) realizations this past weekend.

  1. There was a time, not too long ago, when pretty much any and all mad money I possessed went towards purchasing DVDs, as the massive collection in my front room will attest. Now, though? Pretty much anything "extra" I get that doesn't go towards spoiling my daughter is spent on yarn and video games. I still buy the occasional DVD, but only of a movie I have already seen (this was not always the case) or of a few very limited television series. I've even been weeding my collection out pretty heavily, trying to cut back on all of those previous impulse buys. It's not as if I have that much time for watching DVDs at any rate. Nope, when I get child-free time I am usually playing games, and when my daughter is playing on her own I am knitting or crocheting while I supervise.
  2. In between no longer working and spending all of my time with a toddler, I have pretty much lost all of my socialization skills. The only adults I regularly spend time with are people I have already known for quite some time. But unless someone else initiates contact, I have pretty much lost the ability to make new friends, or even really to hold my own in a conversation with strangers at, say, a party where I don't know many people.

I don't say any of this to complain. It just really hit home to me after a weekend with quite a bit more socializing than I am used to these days. We are ever-changing beings, to be certain, and it would be silly to expect me to be the same person I was four or five years ago, especially with all that has transpired in my life since then. But seeing as we are ever-changing, I have hope that maybe I can direct some of the next round of that change.

To that end, I really need to relearn those socialization skills. I have always been painfully shy, but it has gotten worse in the last few years. I think the best way to do this is through those two things I am truly passionate about at this point in my life beyond my family. I'm not quite sure how to work the video game angle quite yet (though it does seem to hold up well as a conversation topic in the groups of people I do tend to find myself in when I am out and about). But I think my love of crocheting and knitting is really going to serve me well here.

I would like to spend more of my yarn-allocated money at my local yarn shop, Jenning Street Yarns, because I have learned through my mother (and many of the yarn-related blogs I have begun to read) what a treasure our local yarn shops truly are. Normally, I buy my yarn online (like any true antisocial hermit), or at a faceless chain store. Granted, this is often the much more cost-effective method, because the really nice stuff isn't cheap. So I need to find a valid reason to go to the local yarn store beyond just spending money. Luckily, there are a few good ones. 

For one thing, Jenning Street Yarns offers a pretty wide range of classes--where you work with an instructor in a group all making the same project for a few sessions. This will definitely be a benefit to my ongoing quest to boost my meager knitting skills. Sadly I just missed the sock-knitting class, but I suspect they offer those on a pretty regular basis, and I am keeping my eyes open for other classes in my skill level that offer a project interesting to me.

I also learned that my yarn shop holds a monthly social. The third Sunday of every month they open up their doors for a few hours and invite local knitters and crocheters to bring in their projects and, well, socialize with each other. I've marked my calendar down for the next one and am going to try to attend, even though part of my brain is already screaming in terror at stepping so far out of my comfort zone. Still gonna plan to do it though. Heck, maybe I'll wear one of my video game shirts and that will give me something extra to talk about...

My husband mentioned that a friend of his is moving back to town in the near future and she is a yarncrafter. He mentioned to her that I am as well and she told him that she is thinking about starting up a yarn circle when she gets here to help meet new people. I found myself really excited about the idea and hoping that it pans out. I also know that there are those among my current friends and acquaintances who pursue their own yarncrafts. So in addition to outings at the yarn store I will be looking to join or start a once or twice a month yarn circle among people who are already more or less known quantities.

I think that these outlets will be a really good place to start getting myself back in the world of socially functional folk. We'll have to see how it goes, eh?

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