Adaptive Solutions (guest post from Joanna Charnas)




When I was twenty-eight years old, I tried to learn how to knit. I’d just finished graduate school and hadn’t found a job yet, so I had plenty of time to visit the yarn store where I’d purchased wool for a sweater. At the store I received instructions from the owner whenever my knitting hit a snag. The yarn shop was like an informal club, and other knitters would sit at the large table in the middle and knit and chat with each other. 

I got to know the owner over the course of the summer. She operated the store full time while also running her house and raising three teenagers. She told me that when she needed a break from her demanding life, she checked herself into the Ritz Carlton for a weekend. She explained that several weekends a year at the Ritz in Boston was less expensive than year-round therapy, which she implied was the alternative. She said she chose the Ritz because it was the only hotel in Boston (in 1988) that had twenty-four-hour room service. During her stay there, all she would do was lie in bed and knit while watching television. She felt relaxed and ready to return to her family and her store by the time the weekend was over.

I love hotels, and this adaptive solution to recover from daily stress sounded enticing. I’ve sometimes wanted to run away to a luxury hotel for a weekend and one day may treat myself to this escape. I never finished the sweater I was attempting to knit, but I’m always grateful to this lovely woman for sharing her creative method of maintaining mental health.

For more blogs (and an interview) by Joanna, check here.

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