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doing for ourselves vs. doing with others

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I’ve been ruminating on this subject lately.

Making something with my own hands is so satisfying.

I’ve been knitting – a lot – and each time something comes off of the needles (that means I’m finished knitting it, for those unfamiliar with the jargon), there is an immense feeling of accomplishment. I just MADE that fabric. From a never-ending strand of yarn. With nothing but wooden sticks. Really. I just did that.

I’ve been preparing healthy foods for my family from scratch. As recent as one year ago I was still relying on the box of Jiffy when I wanted to make pancakes. Now I mix flour with baking powder, milk, oil, egg, honey and whatever extras I want. And there is a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing that my family has fuel to get through the next few hours of whatever we have planned because of what I just did.

The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction fill me. But I am wanting more lately. That desire has a name. Community.

I cherish the time that Darren spends cooking with me in the kitchen and the time that I spend knitting while Dennis plays guitar beside me. And I’m ready to be IN our community. We see them once a week, and sometimes twice, but my heart is ready to be there NOW.

There is much pride to be found in doing things for yourself, relying less on products that are made for your consumption and putting the energy into figuring them out for yourself. But there is so much more to be found in taking on those same tasks alongside others. Someone standing next to you, kneading dough to the same tempo. Someone digging the earth with the same hope for a fruitful harvest. Someone sharing in the awe of creation.

Do you agree?

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3 responses »

  1. absolutely!

    Community is one of my greatest values.

    Reply
  2. Actually, I have been thinking about the same thing in reverse. About how much more pleasure I get from doing things alone. It drives me about insane when I have to try to fit what I want to do around someone else, and I reached a breaking point. I love spending time with Tom, and I wish some of my old friends that have moved away were back, but I really enjoy being alone (with Tom). I used to think I was this social chatty cathy type that had to be around people, but I really enjoy myself more when I can do things alone. Not to say I want to live a life of solitude, but I cherish and look forward to spending time with myself.

    Reply

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