The holidays are in full swing, as witnessed by the hoards of shoppers at Giant today. Everyone had a full cart, but no one seemed particularly happy to be there. It made me think about the concept of happiness -- that elusive feeling that so often seems just out of reach, just beyond our grasp. I just watched a video by Google X's Chief Business Officer. Mo Gadawt, called, An Algorithm for Happiness. In it, Gawdat describes happiness as a peaceful contented feeling of liking your world and your life. He says that happiness is kind of a measure of how closely our world matches up with our expectations of how our world should be. Isn't that an interesting bit of knowledge. I believe social media is often the enemy of happiness. Right now Pinterest and Facebook bombard us with images of The Perfect Thanksgiving - stunning table, flawless food, an unharried hostess, and a spotless kitchen. To hold ourselves to that standard for any meal, let alone one that involves every dish we own, is setting ourselves up for one very stressful and unhappy day. I know, because I've been there. At the end of the day, it's much more important to create a peaceful and contented Thanksgiving than it is to kill yourself creating a picture perfect Thanksgiving image to share on Facebook. Emotions are contagious, and if Mom is stressed and unhappy, it spreads faster than sniffles at daycare.
Stressful perfectionism sneaks into our knitting life as well. We see perfectly styled and possibly Photoshopped images of some knitted garment, and we're often dismayed when we struggle and make mistakes in ours. Truth is that there are likely mistakes in the photographed garment - we just don't see them. And most designers will tell you they rip out at least as much as they knit - and that's okay. Knitting, like cooking, is a creative outlet, and there is little room for perfectionism in either. But there is a tremendous opportunity for happiness, if our expectation is to share a part of ourselves - to create something beautiful, and to find pleasure in the process. It is wonderful, and it is enough. Give yourself permission to know that you, and everything you are, is more than enough. Your happiness will contagious - spread it everywhere!
The shop is closing at 2:30 Wednesday, and will re-open Friday. I look forward to seeing you Friday 10-3 and Small Business Saturday 10-5. Lots of specials, and of course, a place at our table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen
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