Friday, December 25, 2009

Kung Fu Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It is 4:00 AM on Christmas morning and I am wide awake and excited. I remember being a little kid and waking up at the crack of early on Christmas morning full of excitement for the long awaited Big Day! But, I have no “Big Day” plans or expectations for today, there is no Christmas stocking full of trinkets to discover, there are no presents under my tree to unwrap (in fact, there is no tree), so why am I excited and up so early?

The answer my friends is in a quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda.
You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."

I watched Kung Fu Panda last night. A dear friend recommended it and she has always steered me in the right direction. As you loyal blog followers know, I have been conducting my own home study on personal growth-trying to figure out how to make the most of each day with the resources I have, trying to find “Awesomeness” like the Panda.

In an hour and a half, this sweet, entertaining, enlightening movie summed up everything that I have found after spending the last few weeks reading library books, googling the internet, “connecting” with people, meditating, and making some major attitude changes. Spoiler alert- if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to-don’t read the next sentence!
“There is no secret ingredient. It's just you.”

Today truly is a gift- I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, I don’t have to do anything! I think I’ll enjoy my morning coffee, knit, nap, knit some more and finally venture over to Janet’s for our Christmas Festivous. Who knows how my day will unfold-it is full of possibilities and "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."

I came home last night after a exhausting 4-day trip to find my mailbox and front door littered with gifts and cards, my phone was full of messages containing invitations that included me in Christmas festivities. I found my “Awesomeness”! Thank You!

“To make something special you just have to believe it's special.”

Enjoy this special day with special people-I know I will.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary

This personal growth stuff is really powerful stuff! And I like it!

I’ve always done physical exercise like yoga, running, weight training, adult competitive kickball, etc. to strengthen the body. Now, I’m exercising my mind and spirit to build my inner strength and attain some personal growth. This is something that I'm going to do from now on and it requires practice, time and energy. I am so very lucky to have wonderful personal trainers like Janet, “Not Steve” and so many of you to guide me and who lead by example.

I know that this is going to be a slow process with tremendous rewards and some aches and pains. But, I have grown more in just a matter of weeks than I have in twenty years.

Many of you may be asking “What do you mean?”
Well, for starters, Janet and I developed a mantra, “Aim Low.” We figured that any step forward would be a success, even if it is only one tiny step in the right direction. Instead of feeling the weight on the world on our shoulders at all times, we would break the world down (in my case the world consists of lots of To-Do piles) into tiny pieces and deal with each piece one at a time.

In the last blog, I blabbed about being stalled in our website and book writing efforts. The next day, I opened my brain extra wide and the website question, “What is Knitwits?” was answered. Janet must have done the same thing, she came to work with several pages for our book. We found our direction and focus again and we can now keep moving forward. Our roadblock has been unblocked!

Then, I put a little extra into my flying duties. I interacted and made connect with my passengers and crew instead of just trying to do my job and get through the trip. I enjoyed getting to know the different people on each flight and it put the fun back into flying again. When you spend most of your time doing something, you better have fun doing it!

My last example is a biggie. I took the first step in mending fences with my family. For many reasons (some known and some unknown), my family and I have grown distant and remote. We’re not great communicators and our pride built walls around our true feelings. There was a perpetual pattern of my mother talks, we listen, we get mad, she gets her feelings hurt. To avoid this cycle, we just stopped talking to each other. I sent an e-mail to my mother, brother and sister-in-law about my Christmas plans to stay in the 41017 and included that the best gift for me would be to forgive and be forgiven for any differences we may have, set pride aside and repair this family unit. I received immediate responses back-all wishing for the same gift!

I read a quote the other day and I want to share it with you all:

"The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra." Jimmy Johnson

Isn't this why we knit!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Personal Growth

It fascinates Janet and I that the state of Knitwits parallels our personal lives so closely. We have stalled in our attempts to write a book and design a new website for the shop and we have stalled in our personal growth. Our ideas, desires and dreams keep flowing, but nothing is coming together.

Writing our book and designing our new website forces us to define what Knitwits is. We can't seem to get our arms around "What is Knitwits?" Knitwits is such a big part of us that the "What is Knitwits" question has stifled us and snowballed into personal reflection about ourselves.

(It's going to start getting a little New Age-ish here-but bear with me.)
Janet and I had a heart-to-heart talk the other day and we discussed and shared our somewhat beaten down states of mind. We both want growth for the shop and our souls. We both want happiness from the shop and our spirits. We both want something more from the shop and our lives. Instead of waiting for change to magically happen, we vowed that for change to occur--we had to change. So thus begins our journey.

(Now, it gets pretty deep-again, hang in there.)
I have never given much thought to personal growth until recently. It causes you to become very reflective and analytical. I'm trying to get to know myself again by making myself a friend and having conversations with my clone. Some exchanges are very powerful, others are subtle, many are painful, some pleasurable, sometimes the messages are cloudy and sometimes they are amazingly clear. While this may sound totally insane, it has been very helpful to me. I'm a whole week into this personal growth thing and I think I'm onto something good.

This last trip, I tried to connect with my passengers and fellow crew members instead of maintaining a professional yet disconnected air. The difference was amazing and rewarding-many high points and one low point. But, I know that it's a long, slow process that will occur with little changes and many readjustments that will have to be practiced.

For me, this blog is therapy-I get to sort out all of the disjointed noise in my head and try to put these thoughts together and share them with you, our loyal blog readers. Thank you for reading, this is much cheaper than therapy.

I've digressed. Now, to get back on track. "What is Knitwits?" Many have told us that Knitwits is a yarn shop that is fun and special because of Janet's caring heart, her colorful personality, her good energy, her flair and keen eye for color and concept and her self confessed lack of advanced knitting knowledge. If anyone can help us define Knitwits for our book and website, the phone lines are open and the comment box is ready!

Watch us grow and prosper in 2010!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The True Meaning of Knitwits

The blogs have been kind of blah lately because I haven't been feeling very chipper. The end of Daylight savings time, the return of cold weather and putting together 2010 budgets and plans for the shop have taken a toll on me. I'm like one of our Dancing Flowers, I need to be removed from the box and given sunlight to operate and do my thing.

Yesterday was my day to have a pity party for myself. I don't do it very often (thank goodness) and I try to do it in the privacy of my own Kleenex box. I've been dealing with "Big Girl Stuff" like car trouble (no heat) and the furnace in my condo not working properly (I have to choose between heat or hot water). HVAC and cars are waaaaaay out of my area of knowledge (kind of like IT) and waaaay out of the comfort zone for this "always cold in the summertime" gal. Give me lace weight yarn and a complicated cable pattern in German that calls for chunk weight yarn and I'll some how figure out a solution. Give me something with a motor, coils, power source and switches and watch me revert to a child.

Well, yesterday I went childlike and had a pity party with tears and all. If you find the need to do this, do it at Knitwits. I had offers from Janet, Jill and Belinda (and many others) to move in with them until the warm weather returns. I had offers to borrow vehicles, have vehicles donated, offers for rides, bus passes and more. People offered to pay for repairs, loan space heaters, bring over coats, buy Slankets and everything else (chocolate cake and cheesesteaks) imaginable. You are all too kind and generous and I am not used to such caring and giving. I touched me to tears.

While I was having my pity party about being cold, I listened to others in the shop sharing stories about their lives. They too had come to the shop for comfort, to escape and perhaps find an ear that would listen. My problems suddenly seemed so small and selfish.

What was different about yesterday was that I opened up. The usually closed up and in control me asked others for help, guidance and advice. I got a lot of it from lots of different sources and your caring souls warmed me up. I let go of control and let tears and emotion flow.

I stopped at Janet's after we closed up shop. She gave me an early Christmas present...a warm and cozy Slanket. I then came home after my emotion filled day and the heat was on and working. Instead of putting another layer of clothing or my new slanket on when I walked in, I took my coat off.

Amazing things happen when you open up and let go of control and amazing things happen at Knitwits.

Knitwits is so much more than a yarn shop--it is a place that makes you feel like you belong, it is a place that helps you create what you never thought you could make, it is a place filled with your knitting family, it is where true friends are made.

If balance sheets and P/L statements had columns for caring, sharing, mercy and kindness, we'd really be on to something good! Thank You Janet for opening the doors and allowing us to be a part of your vision.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back in the 41017

It felt like I've been away for 2 weeks but it was only a 4-day trip. Glad to be back in the 41017!

I'm still knitting up a storm--I knit the little Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Eve, his crazy Dr. Suess-like brother on Thanksgiving Day. The patterns are fun and they should be in the shop anyday now. I knit the Candy Cane Hat with two skeins of Mission Falls 1824 Superwash wool from the Holiday Handknits book. It is pretty easy and quick--a two-hour mechanical delay and a flight from JFK to Houston and back to JFK--boom done.

Also in the works are a Baby Alpaca Hat and a Inca Marl and Bee Sweet Cowl. I didn't bring the right needles so both of these projects got put on hold while I was away.

I'm going to have to put the needles down while I'm home this week, the end of year paperwork and planning for 2010 are quickly knocking down my door. It's hard to believe that we're already in December. For 2010, we have some great ideas to keep you and your knitting needles busy. Stay tuned for more details.

For now, we have lots of last minute gift ideas and some fun shop activities and festivities. Read our e-mails for all the details. I'll be back in blog form after I go through my mail, pay bills, unpack and do laundry.