Until this afternoon I hadn’t used my sewing machine in about 6 months. I’d been itching to pull it out again but just couldn’t get inspired enough on a particular project to have the patience to do it right. I was starting to worry I’d forgotten how to use it, feeling anxious some of the time just thinking of attempting a new project.
But my husband asked me today to fix the hem on his shirt, and since he was about to go outside in 90 degree south carolina weather and mow the lawn I figured it was the least I could do. I even thought it would be a nice way to ease myself back into it. Something simple to make getting back into the swing of things a little easier.
It was awful. My thread broke at least half a dozen times, and the tension on the stitch I normally use was way off. Nothing would hold and I couldn’t figure out why something that should have been so simple was giving me such a hard time.
I must have done it three or four times before I got it right and felt confident the hem would hold through a cycle in the washing machine. I spent all three or four of those times getting increasingly frustrated with my machine and myself and quite frankly saying a lot of words that shouldn’t be repeated. My husband spent quite a lot of time outside, and I suspect that at least some of it was simply avoiding the cursing and exasperated “ARGHS” coming from my little sewing corner in the office.
Of course, the main reason my frustration built on itself the way it did is because I was getting angry at something that used to help me relax. Even when I would struggle with a project in the past it felt therapeutic to work through it. This only felt discouraging. And the fact that I was completely overreacting, well, that didn’t help either.
It’s clear from this experience that I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress lately. I was mad because it wasn’t perfect and because it wasn’t easy. That’s not normally me, but I obviously needed something to be easy, because nothing else has been. I think that’s what has been keeping me away from my crafts and even the blog- I just wasn’t prepared to fail.
But realizing this reminds me that of course it’s perfectly ok. I can fail at something and still enjoy the experience, and not all bumps in the road indicate a future failure. Some of them are just bumps. And I am prepared to fail. Who cares if I end up sucking at something, or have to try it five times before I get it right? In the end, it’s going to be fine.
OK, so maybe we aren’t just talking about sewing here, but this all definitely applied to it today. And it’s made me think twice about putting off some projects and experiments. There’s no reason to be afraid, and there’s no excuse for being lazy.
It’s still hard to get over that fear when you’re not feeling particularly creative, and inspiration refuses to strike, but who knows? Maybe if I push through or just take a risk I’ll find that inspiration on the other side.