One thing I often struggle with is how long to stick with something that isn’t quite working for me. Sometimes I make the right choice, like abandoning the eating disorder riddled world of swimming in favor of rugby in college. Sometimes I make the wrong choice, like any year of French after a teacher made me cry in class. Sometimes, these issues are big, like choosing to stay when I wasn’t sure about Mt Holyoke or choosing to leave when I wasn’t sure about Simmons. Sometimes these issues are tiny, like leaving a party I’m not enjoying, or even more difficult for me, giving up on a book I’m not enjoying.*

I’ve complained already once about my current knitting project, which is supposed to be a rick-rack scarf, but is turning into a fuzzy and somewhat warped mess. I’d abandoned it, but I don’t have anything else going – no other project ideas for the intended recipient, no patterns jumping out at me from my Ravelry queue, no yarns begging for my touch. (I’m also on a strict yarn diet to get rid of my stash, broken once a year for Maryland Sheep & Wool, where I splurge a small portion of my tax refund.) If I abandon the project, I don’t know what else I’d do with the yarn, or with my hands while I’m watching tv? When is it okay to abandon a project?

* I have been trying to follow Nancy Pearl’s advice, based on the fact that there really are just too many good books out there to waste time on the bad ones: I subtract my age from 100, and read to that many pages. If I’m into it, I’ll usually breeze by page 72 without even noticing. If I’m not into it, it’s usually a struggle to get there.

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