I have an obnoxious nervous habit. I pick at the skin around my fingernails and cuticles, sometimes drawing blood or causing injury. It's worst when I have nothing else to keep my hands occupied.

Some people take their laptops to meetings. I tend to think of this as relatively rude - a lot of folks will reply to email, sit there and write code, or otherwise fuck around with their laptops during the meeting that they're supposed to be paying attention to. I leave my laptop at my desk unless I'm really under a crunch deadline.

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So, then, what do I do with my hands during a meeting? I started bringing my knitting. Nothing hugely fancy, no lace charts to keep track of, just a simple scarf that I've already memorized the pattern for and is now second-nature. I also take my knitting to my therapy sessions, and have yet to have a problem with keeping track of what I'm saying (or what my therapist is saying) because of it.

I have a new manager, who set up team meetings. Our first one was this week, and I brought my stupid-simple scarf. I explained exactly why I had it with me, and that I could, in fact, pay attention while knitting. He didn't say anything to me, but today my senior manager said, "Did you bring knitting to a meeting? That really freaked him out."

Pssht. And I didn't even threaten to stab him or anything. So I guess I'll have to start carrying a mala with me and start saying mantras to myself, or do what the Romans do and just fuck off on a laptop keyboard during meetings from now on.