Crocheting Courage

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forest Gump

Forest Gump , brilliantly played by Tom Hanks, didn’t study the chocolate diagram or the descriptions of each chocolate. He taste-tested the chocolates, and found some to his liking and others not. Let’s call this the trial and error method. Or making it up as you go along. “Stupid is as stupid does”, or a courageous way to live?

Does taking a calculated risk mean more courage and fewer bad choices? Does calculation or”exercise of practical judgement” increase your odds and decrease fear. I do pro and con lists, worst case scenarios and collect copious information on alternatives, and then….. I am paralyzed. When the time comes to act, my courage is often buried under a mountain of facts. I need a course on “How to Find Your Courage”, but then I would fill my brain and many notebooks with how to’s and be back where I started.

After many wasted years of “self-Improvement”, I now believe Nike nailed “courage” when they said “Just Do It!” When I first saw these ads, I thought they were stupid and shallow. I can’t “Just Do It!” I thought, not until I find my courage! And then I heard this quiet voice inside asking me to fill in the blank. I can ______. I can run one lap. I can call about a class. I can talk to that cute guy at the gym. I can learn to play banjo. I can write one sentence or one paragraph. Take a tiny step. If you do it,courage will come, so “Just do it!”

So how can crocheting , “Just do crochet!” be an act of courage? Crochet hardly seems dangerous or scary. I suffered a nasty stress fracture of my foot during the hell of trying to get a diagnosis for Roger. The final straw was having to use one of those rolling things to get around and keep all weight off my foot. I just couldn’t work under those conditions, so I took medical leave. My leather recliner became my own little island. I sat a lot because it was just too hard to move from place to place, and I eventually broke the chair!! So what to do when you are terrified to find out what is wrong with your husband and stuck in a chair…crochet of course! I learned to crochet and crocheted my chair and my heart inside pretty patterns of yarn. Of course, I could not stop the disease that was slowly turning Roger into unrecognizable pieces, but I could crochet.

I crocheted to stop the unraveling of my life. It was truly an act of courage to slide the yarn thru my fingers, and learn many difficult patterns. I still crochet, and I tell myself “Just do it!”. I can crochet, one row at a time.

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