On Picking Up Old Habits

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

I think of myself as a creative person; maybe not creative in the sense of inventive or originality, but certainly, I am a person who enjoys creating things. At the Museum, I get to write, I often help with the creation of various print materials, coordination of newsletters, and the like. When I’m off the clock, I have knitting needles in hand, I enjoy baking and cooking, and I’m often writing for my own sake. Creating. Being a ‘Capital K’ Knitter is part of my identity.

Knitting in costume at a Culture Squared outreach event in 2016; thanks to Carla from the Robert McLaughlin Gallery for the photo!

Since self-isolation became an every day reality, I’ve found myself struggling. Real talk for a minute. I live by myself and while I truly value and cherish my independence and my solitude, I am an extroverted introvert. I miss people. I miss my co-workers, my friends, my family. I never realized how much I would miss coffee shops.

Since mid-March, I’ve been knitting a lot. Like, I made an entire sweater in two weeks, a lot. But in the middle of last week, I found myself bored with knitting. Sitting in my house, with little to do besides watching TV, reading, and knitting, for weeks on end, I had a moment when I looked at the needles and yarn and realised that when something you consider to be part of your identity becomes a chore, I became concerned. My thing that brought me joy suddenly didn’t.

I needed a new thing.

So, I rediscovered an old thing.

I dug into my basement and found my old cross stitch supplies. A craft that I did in high school and university has basically been untouched since discovering knitting, but now, this has become my new escape.

The cross stitch project I started. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you may recognize what it’s shaping to become: the Fourth Doctor’s iconic scarf. I liked that this is a nice gateway between my knitting addition and cross stitching

There’s no knowing how long social distancing is going to last, and as a creative person, I need to be creating SOMETHING (and goodness knows I didn’t need to be creating those four dozen chocolate chip cookies I baked a few weeks ago… but I digress). Finding something new has helped. It’s sparked new creativity, new interest, and is certainly keeping me busy when I’m not sitting at my desk working remotely.

If you find yourself feeling like this, I highly encourage you to try something new or different. A new craft, a new skill, find a new TV series, try learning a new language (getting better at French has always been a personal bucket list item). I needed ‘different’ in order to keep my senses about me, and doing so has helped.

Published by Oshawa Museum

Since 1957, the Oshawa Museum has been acquiring and preserving for the public, records that trace Oshawa's rich history from its earliest settlement. Our collection includes historical information on Oshawa, its families, businesses, social organizations and many other areas of interest. Included in the collection are photographs, documents, scrapbooks and other Oshawa related memorabilia. In addition to making Oshawa's historical inforamtion available, our staff also provides lectures, presentations, conservation work and research assistance.

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