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Trump Stole My Knitting

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Photo by Free the Image 1x1.trans - Trump Stole My Knitting

Those who have known me for any length of time know that since about 2006, knitting has been a huge part of my self-identity and a regular recharging activity for me in between building my business, doing social justice work, and writing and playing video games.

Knitting after the Trumpocalypse

Since the Trumpocalypse of November 8, 2016, I can’t knit. I can try, but ten minutes or so in, I’m done.  I’m prone to self-reflection, so I’ve thought about this a lot. I don’t have the words for the feeling I get when I think about knitting, but “dread” comes close. And I’m not sure I understand why.

Knitting has a long history of being a radical act. Women (predominantly) who knit have been at the forefront of women’s rights movements, civil rights movements, and other radical movements. So I should be more motivated, not less, right?

To be (overly) fair to Trump, it’s not like he grabbed my knitting. He didn’t. And Trump isn’t the only factor. But his election definitely broke the camel’s back. I look at the socks I’ve been frogging and re-knitting since summer and shake my head. The gift blanket that was supposed to be a quick and easy knit sits in my bag untouched. I’ve purchased the yarn for the perfectly glorious cardigan I’ve been planning to knit. I have the right needles and cable length and everything else I need, and – nothing.

What can I do to get my knitting groove back?

And you know? It’s not okay. I need my downtime. I need recharging activities that aren’t essentially mental masturbation, like video gaming is. I need a mindfulness exercise that makes me have a half a dozen positive experiences at once – accomplishment, enjoyable repetition, gifting, sensory improvement, and distress management. And. I. Can’t. Do. It.

I have a lot of reasons to despise and fear Donald Trump as leader of the United States. This is among the most trivial of them. But thus far, it’s the one that has impacted my life most.I’m even sleeping again, more or less. I’m making my plans for improving my life and resisting the impact this administration will have on vulnerable people. I’m doing the things that matter to me. So why can’t I knit?

For a change, this post isn’t about helping others find ways to improve their lives. I’m reaching out to y’all and asking: How do I get my knitting groove back?

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