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Your Life Calling With Jane Pauley

Knitting a New Life

If you missed the live online chat with Jane and her guest, professional knitter Betsy Lee McCarthy, you can catch the conversation here.

Comment from Kathy B.: While it's scary to take the plunge, it's reaffirming to recognize that dreams can be realized at any age. How wonderful that you have combined your passion with a new business and, at the same time, giving back. I know firsthand how important it is to have the support and enthusiasm of our family and friends.
McCarthy: It was a surprise to me how much I enjoyed and loved and got from giving to other knitters. One of the best examples of this is a group of older students who were part of some project classes I taught for years. Suddenly the store in which the classes were taught closed. We were left with all having to say goodbye. At that point I realized it would be a good thing to keep this community together, so that's what I did. I stopped having a relationship as a teacher who was paid for lessons every week and instead supported and developed a community. These connections have been very important for the students and they are very important for me. It's very hard, I believe, for people in their 70s and 80s to make new friends. Some of the people in the group have made incredible friendships with one another. I've also realized that teaching knitting is, for me, like therapy. It provides a social context. I've also had wonderful experiences with people who've experienced strokes, people who hadn't knit for years, who felt their fingers were too stiff to ever knit again yet, over the course of a few months, found that they could knit, and that they felt better and had better mobility in their hands. It's been very rewarding. I had no idea that I needed to give this gift and that in return it would be such a gift to me.
Pauley: A lot of questions have come in that relate to Betsy's observation on the "Today" show this morning about not panicking in the face of ambiguity. Betsy, I want to hear you talk a little more about that.

McCarthy: Okay. I don't think human beings are generally programmed to be comfortable with change. We all see how children love repeated readings every night of their favorite books, and as adults we all find comfort in what is known and familiar. That said, when we make a change or move toward a change, we need to be prepared to deal with a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty. There will be, and there certainly was with me, self-questioning at different times. I didn't ever regret not being in health care, but I did occasionally wonder, "Have I done the right thing? Am I moving in the right direction?" So we need to learn to deal some way with the unknown, that gray zone between what we used to do, and do so very well, and the future where, we'll be comfortable once we get there.  We needto know how to deal with uncertainty and how not to panic in the faceof the ambiguity that is just a given as we move through unknown territory to a destination we're not yet sure about.

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