Hobbies that upset you

Yesterday on Ravelry I responded to someone in their forums who had recently taken up knitting. They were knitting every evening and no matter the pattern they were finding it super stressful. To the point of tears stressful. Which I think everyone can agree is not great.

What surprised me a little was the variety of responses. I wondered if they were trying for perfection and getting upset when mistakes happened or doing something to complicated. Other people wondered if they were using acrylic wool (which is cheap but can be unpleasant through the hands) or knitting needles that weren’t smoothly handling the yarn. All of which seemed constructive.

But there was a third group who basically said “Give up then. Don’t do things that you don’t enjoy”. I found this response the most interesting. One, it hadn’t occurred to me as a piece of advice and two, I think it raises a good question. Should you do things that you’ve learnt that make you miserable? Obvious answer is NO!!! But, I don’t think it’s that simple. You might be cross because you aren’t good at something and need to practice to get good. We don’t want children to give up after first music or sport lesson and we don’t want adults to give up either without giving something a fair try. So how long is too long and when do you decide – nope, that’s it. This hobby, sport, activity thing isn’t working for me.

I don’t know the answer, but thought on a board where people were reaching out for help with something, that the most interesting and radical response was – stop doing something rather than trying to fix it. I think we could all take this advice in lots of aspects of our lives (I’ve just done it in a professional setting). But we all need to know when to keep trying to fix something and when to walk away. That’s the grey, murky area. However, I think it’s important to remember – sometimes walking away is the right choice and you should just do it and not look back. Applies to a lot more than knitting!