Blooms to Blossoms: Integrating Wellness, Lifelong Learning, & Personal Development

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Once Learned, Never Forgotten



By Elaine Guerrazzi | July 6, 2020

Our identity development occurs many ways and is an ongoing, lifetime process.  Family culture (norms, values, and beliefs) is part of identity development.  Traditions are how family culture materializes.  Sharing and learning about stories, knowledge, and crafts is often how families pass down the traditions of their history. This sharing creates unity and a sense of belonging resulting in the link between generations.

My friend Polly publishes a blog, Phrog and Munkey.  Her recent blog post, “The Benefits of Crocheting” shares a family story tying directly to Blooms to Blossoms purpose to show that integrating life and learningmakes a difference in personal development. “Crocheting has been a part of my life since I can remember, and it remains something that brings me joy.  My grandmother, my mother, myself, and my children (son included) all crochet.” Companionship, stress relief, creativity, self-esteem are benefits Polly identifies in her story.  I share her blog (with her permission) to encourage you to recognize and remember how generations of family members cross the boundaries of life and learning.

At the heart of every family tradition is
a meaningful experience.  Unknown

The Benefits of Crocheting

As a young girl I wanted to learn how to crochet and I asked my grandmother to teach me.  I was left-handed she was right-handed, we sat facing each other her slowly crocheting and explaining, me listening and trying to mimic her movement.  As she was talking, she began to crochet faster but I was still struggling.  She was right-handed, I was left.  It was like looking into a mirror and trying to copy her process, backward.  Do you remember the Groucho Marx and Lucy routine where she is trying to mimic his movement as if she was in front of a mirror?  This must have looked similar.  I was left-handed, she was right.  This went on for some time her saying “put your needle into the stitch, loop over and pull it back through…” and me trying but failing.  After some time her patience ran thin and she took the needle out of my left hand, remember, I was left handed, and put it in my right, moved around behind me, took my hands in hers and taught me how to crochet.  She loved to crochet and some of the pieces she made were intricate and beautiful.  Some were a little questionable like the bathing suits she made us one summer.  I remember her, her patience, and her artistry every time I pick up a crochet needle. 

This leads me to the first and most important benefit of crocheting, sharing, companionship and time spent with friends, old or new.  Learning to crochet is a challenging process that is tough to teach yourself, so you need a mentor, a friend, a teacher to show you how it is done.  Someone to take your hands in theirs and walk you through the process of weaving yarn together to make something beautiful.

Crocheting relieves stress and anxiety.  Well, maybe not when you are learning how but once you have the automated movements don and your process is instinctual, it is comforting to sit and create.  It is the creativity and repetitive motion that helps you become more relaxed and ease the tension in your thoughts.  

Crocheting builds your self-esteem.  Anyone that is a master crocheter will tell you how fulfilling it is to be able to read a pattern, pick up a needle and some thread and make something that someone is going to love.  When you put that last stitch in and tie your piece off you feel amazing, accomplished and astounded at the sheer process, your ability and the craftsmanship of your work of art.  If that doesn’t build your self-esteem, I don’t know what will.  

Crocheting has been a part of my life since I can remember, and it remains something that brings me joy.  My grandmother, my mother, myself, and my children (son included) all crochet.  One of my fondest memories of my grandmother was placing an afghan that I had made on her lap.  I went to see her one evening at the assisted living home and started to push her down the hall and the afghan on her lap was too long.  She fussed and told me that I needed to make her a short afghan so it wouldn’t get caught under the wheels.  I left there, went straight to the store, bought some yarn, and proceeded to crochet.  When I placed the afghan on her lap she said, “I taught you well.”   That was her way of telling me she was proud of me, that she loved me and thank you all at the same time.  

Stitches bind us together.  

Polly’s afghan

It is interesting how the hobby of crocheting can affect so many lives?

Consider your past, present, and vision for your future as you reflect on ways to thrive and blossom.

Consider your past, present, and vision for your future as you reflect on ways to thrive and blossom.

Consider ways your experiences transfer knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs from one aspect of your life to another.

How do the pieces fit together to make a whole?

“Traditions touch us,
they connect us, and
they expand us.”  Craig

Phrog and Munkey Enterprises…products are constructed with as much reclaimed wood as possible which allows us the opportunity to protect a small part of the amazing planet we live on. 

More blogs from Polly:

An Old Tractor and a Good Book

A Rooster, a Song and Laughing Out Loud

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