Why Some Goals Are Easier To Complete Than Others And Some Lessons You Never Forget

My daughter took up knitting when she was student at Virginia Tech and after she made a scarf for me and later some blankets and other things, I asked her to teach me how to knit. I picked out a yarn that I thought would be soft around her neck and had a mix of her school colors and after she started it for me, I set to work to complete it.

What I overlooked was that she doesn’t wear scarves, not now, not ever. I am known for almost always having one looped around my neck in all kinds of weather and I’ve worn them since my mid-twenties so it’s rare to see a photo of me through the years without one, but Miranda doesn’t wear them.

She did try to tell me this more than a time or two, and it took me a year of ripping out mistakes and redoing it before I heard her. I was so intent on presenting my first project to her especially as she had introduced me to it, that I never thought that this gift was more about me than it was her.

Miranda took me through the basic stitch so many times when I saw her over the last year that you think I could have worked it out, but I had such trouble with it that I began to knit only at the pub on quiz nights when my friend Jean could fix it for me when I made a mistake.

In the end, I shipped it unfinished to Georgia with my knitting needles to wait for our arrival from our New Zealand trip with the hopes of finishing it before Christmas. By Christmas day it was a major mess and when I showed it to her after lunch, unfinished and still on the knitting needles, she suggested gently that while I was good at many things, knitting did not seem like one of them.

There was something in the way she said that along with repeating once again that she did not wear scarves that I finally heard and suddenly I was able to let go of my need to finish the thing!

So she tied it off for me and I decided that I would give it to her dog for a neck warmer at least for purposes of a photo shoot because he doesn’t wear scarves either. Even though he won’t wear it again, it didn’t look so bad on him.

Afterwards, I told John that having tried my hand with the first one, I had some lovely yarn in just his color. He has not really protested, but thinking about it now, I am not sure I have ever seen him in a scarf either.

 

Life In The UK Test

There are still some things I seem to still be able to pull off with a better outcome than my knitting experience and the letter and news above was really big for me. I shared it yesterday on Facebook and received so many lovely responses that I was quite overwhelmed by all the support and since some of my readers only see me here, I wanted to tell you my news as well.

There are many steps on the way to being able to stay in the UK and most people assume if you marry a Brit it’s an easy-peasy process. Except for shaving a few years off the time it takes to become a British citizen, married folks go though the same process as everyone else.

Yesterday, I completed a major step in my goal to stay in the UK with John. I passed the Life in the UK test!

My next immigration appointment is on the calendar and if all goes well, I will have my Indefinite Leave to Remain approved after we are interviewed in a few weeks. Passing the UK life test was necessary to complete before the interview so I managed it just in time. I had mistakenly thought it was not required until you applied for a dual citizenship so I was on a tight timeline to get it done.

After I get though the next stage in a few weeks, I can apply within a certain period of time to become a naturalized citizen and have the right among other things, to vote, run for public office, and carry a British passport.

I don’t have to give up my American citizenship to do this and will have a dual citizenship when I finish the process.

I do want to acknowledge my long time friend Diane and her unknowing help with my test yesterday. We were roommates during my first year and her last at the university we attended together in New York. After she graduated, I transferred to the University of Georgia and she spent a year with an élite group of educators traveling and teaching University students study skills they might have missed in high school.

As a nontraditional student, I was older and had already served in the army and even though I was doing well in my classes, I spent many, many, hours studying to make this happen.

When Diane came to town in 1985 to spend a few weeks with the brainy young women of Agnes Scott, a college in Atlanta, she took a some time to show me a few things about note taking and review which changed my life and still help me to this day.

I kept the book she left for years until Miranda went off to VA Tech and I offered it to her in case she found she needed help to keep up. I don’t think she ever used it and I cannot remember the name of the book, but I will send a link to Diane in hopes that she can leave the title in a comment below.

Long story today to talk about lessons learned, but I did want to acknowledge how Diane’s help back in 1985 made prepping for the important test I took yesterday fairly easy and made me feel pretty confident going in to it.

If you live in the UK and want to test how much you know about your own country, you can take an online official practice test of 24 questions by going here.

I want to thank Miranda too for her patience in teaching me how to knit and let her know that I may try to make something else for her in a few years after (if) I manage to finish John’s scarf.

 

6 thoughts on “Why Some Goals Are Easier To Complete Than Others And Some Lessons You Never Forget

  1. First, congratulations on passing your test! It’s too bad character references aren’t part of the process, because I know that all of us would be happy to tell the UK officials what a wonderful citizen they will be getting in you!

    Second, thank you for sharing your experiences with knitting. I’ve often wanted to take up knitting, but I’m afraid that it would go the way of my attempts at needlepoint….messy.

  2. Wow, I only got 6 out of the 24 questions right. I am disgusted. I thought I was a dedicated anglophile and I find out I am a miserable pretender to the title… LOL

    Knitting was invented by the devil. I used to knit. I also used to curse a lot. Get the connection?!?

  3. Congratulations on passing Elizabeth .. I keep trying but have failed each time :-( /.. Yes such a shame character references are not part of it .. I am sure that you would pass with flying colours .. if they were ..:-) ..

  4. That’s pretty cool about your growing awareness on the scarf/knitting/Miranda issue. Definitely do NOT take up your needles again! Sometimes we need permission to let ourselves leave something alone.

    Congrats on passing your test, although it’s hardly surprising!! That was fun that you linked to the practice test. I got 14 right which is still failing. I was helped by 2 or 3 EU questions and some lucky guesses. I know it must be a relief to have that hurdle behind you!!

  5. Well I’m ashamed to say I failed – only 15 correct and of course lucky guesses accounted for a few! Having been away for 48 years I guess I just never learned many of those governmental facts. Congrats. on passing dear – you will soon be on your way to dual nationality, which I too have as I gained my American citizenship about 10 years ago. I waited a long time thinking just perhaps there might be a day when I would want to move back to England……..of course that didn’t and won’t happen now!

    Knitting is great when watching TV but I no longer try difficult patterns, just scarves in pretty yarns. I wear them constantly and must say they’ve saved my throat this long, very cold winter here in NC. Do persevere Elizabeth, I just know John will be needing a scarf while hiking the moors and coastlines one of these days! That handsome Springer(?) looks adorable in his new scarf BTW – lovely pic.

    Thanks for commenting on my bird/squirrel photos – the snowy landscape on Boxing Day was perfect and, as they were all hungry, the garden was a wildlife paradise!

    Happy New Year – I hope to be in Devon for a short visit in May, longing to see my home as always.
    Hugs – Mary

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