There is a difference… (1)

…between tenacity and just plain stubbornness…

OK, I admit.  I’m stubborn.  It is a mission sort of thing with me.  I won’t ever admit defeat.  It has kept me going for 62 years.  I had teachers in art school who hated my work.  It only made me work harder.  That people pleasing thing?  Maybe, but I suspect that it is more of the shear joy I get when I accomplish something I didn’t think I could do.  I love a challenge.  Especially a technical challenge.  I get real kicks from sitting down and doing a series of perfect bound buttonholes.  Really.

Over the years I’d like to think that I’ve softened.  Raising kids, running a household and business, traveling on the road all the time, it sort of makes you pick and choose your battles. But there is a private satisfaction when I figure something out.  Something I can dig my teeth into.

I’m crossing my fingers that this blog reaches all my subscribers because there has been no issue in my life that has caused me more grief than to try and figure out why notifications were not going out to my subscribers.  The situation has I hoped been resolved.  It was literally an act of God that my tech support knew a higher up at Google and got things unlocked for me because I was actually blacklisted.  Please, if you don’t want my posts anymore, just unsubscribe.  I have a new plug in that lets you easily do it right on the notification.  No explanations needed.  Just do not put me in the spam box.  I’m hurrying to get this post out because my tech support is standing right here to make sure all goes as it should…

There are a lot of things that surround me at the moment, that should be bringing me pleasure.  I have been slowly working through my stash of bobbin lace pillows, finishing up old projects so I can move the equipment out and downsize some of my “hobbies”.  I already blogged about the “wedding” hankie that I finished for my daughter’s 25th birthday, started by my late mother in law 25 years ago.  That was last month.  I pulled out the next pillow with a small doily square, of a complex Buck’s Point, that has been on this pillow for years.  I have no idea how long.  I left off in the middle of a corner.  This is not just any old corner.  This corner required the addition of 5 extra pairs that come in and drop off in odd places.  I brought it to bobbin lace class.  The teacher blanched.  The person sitting next to me in lace class looked at my pillow and said, “Wow, I remember that.  I was in that class.  That corner was ridiculous.  I cut it off the pillow and moved on.”

So that kind of statement alone is sort of fightin’ words.  I become so stubborn, I will figure this out and won’t everyone be impressed.  Actually they won’t be because really no one cares whether or not I get through this corner.  I went to four lace classes in the past month, and barely progressed, ripping out more than I put in.  The teacher would sort of avoid me.  I don’t think she was in a mood to spend the hours figuring it out either.  Last night was the last class of the semester.  At one point I looked at the clock.  I looked at the lace.  I looked at everyone else in the room.  And I made a huge decision for me.  Huge.  You can’t know how big this is.  I took the scissors to the pillow and cut off the lace.  Done.  The weight lifted off me was enormous.  I didn’t fail.  I didn’t choose to spend my hours working on something that didn’t bring me joy and only bogged me down.  There is too much cool stuff waiting for me in the studio that actually does bring me joy.  The rest of the students were actually aghast.  The teacher patted me on the back and congratulated me.  

I came home and sat down at a puzzle I’m working on, I’ve had it on the table for a week, got the border done in short order and looked at this 1000 piece puzzle, of my favorite painting, “The Luncheon of the Boating Party” and said, what the hell was I thinking?  This is not fun.  All the pieces are virtually the same muddy shades.  I did for an hour and manage four pieces.  I do not want to be working on this puzzle six months from now.  Life is too short.  I have no doubt I can do it.  But why?  This is a whole new way of looking at life and I’m half scared and half giddy with the fact that I can just say, “cut it off…”  Or in this case, “pack it up”.  

I’m 84% finished a book I’ve been reading for a month now.  I have to honestly say I hate the book.  Someone recommended it, and it has been on the best seller list for a long time.  It was in my queue.  It is called, “The Goldfinch”.  It is about a stolen painting, and it involves drugs, intrigue, shady characters, characters who act badly.  I don’t like the characters, feel nothing for them, think the whole premise is ridiculous, and I am finding it painful to sit down and read.  I am so tempted for the first time in my life to just stop reading this book.  84% from the end.  Because, life is too short.  Two friends who read it felt the same, though they finished it they didn’t find the ending to be satisfying at all. 

The point here is I am weighed down by a lot of nonsense that I chose to do for fun.  It isn’t about prevailing and winning but about joy and being gentle with oneself.  My kitchen towel run for this year’s gifts is off and ready for hemming.  I want to do that.  I want to go visit friends.  I want to get a new warp on my big loom.  I want to weave off the Kathrin Weber workshop warp.  I want to sew some beautiful new things.  I don’t want to work on a lace pattern that only frustrates me.  I don’t want to work on a puzzle that does not bring me joy.  And you know what?  I don’t have to…

Stay tuned… 

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Caroline Morris
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I will hand you one of my parenting guidelines, it covers pencils in nostrils and strange lace corners too. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. I’m glad you sorted your subscription issue though, not that it affects me as I pick it up through Feedly.

Betty Harris
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Betty Harris

I hear you, Daryl! I spent months trying to persuade myself that I really wanted to finish a book I was reading when it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t enjoying it, and didn’t want to read it anymore. And now? I can’t even remember the title of the book!
Betty

Jeanne Kavanagh
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Jeanne Kavanagh

Kudos !! — You Go Girl!!!!! (as my grandchildren say to me) Be selfish enough to put yourself first for the JOY! Amazingly Awesome things will follow. Holiday Blessings.

Marcia
Guest

Kudos to you for putting an end to your frustration. We have enough in our daily lives that can’t be put aside and need our attention. I’ve been working on a hooked rug where no matter what colors I tried it never seemed to be right or pleasing to the eye. Loops seemed to be helter skelter and the thought of continuing was wearing thin. Ripping it all out gave me such a sense of satisfaction. I have moved on and love the piece I’m working on now. I don’t consider it giving up just choosing a better path.

Joan Anderson
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Joan Anderson

Life is too short to do things we don’t enjoy. There are things we must do and then there are the things we choose to do. If the stuff we choose doesn’t give joy, it is OK to quit doing it, no quilt.

Beverly Fielder
Guest
Beverly Fielder

I didn’t finish The Goldfinch either. I love a challenge which is why I rarely pick the simple projects and take classes that stretch my abilities

louise
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louise

Good for you!!! So many shoulds…..

Linda Sage
Guest

I used to finish books as sort of a matter of honor. I am the only person I know who finished “Giles Goat-Boy”!
Now – it’s back to the library if it’s not enthralling, funny, warm-hearted, or exciting.
Life is too short to read boring stuff or to finish lost-cause fiber projects.

Karen
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Karen

OK…..I need this blog. I always make myself follow your original rules and feel failed when I don’t complete. OK, I am going to try and give myself permission one task at a time…to not do something. Thank you.
Can it be laundry and cleaning first? Won’t be so painful…..just not chocolate.

Randi
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Randi

Bravo! Life rally is too short to do anything that does not bring me happiness or satisfaction. I hoe that writing your blog always gives you joy! I enjoy reading I learn something new each time! Happy holidays to you and the family-

Alice-Ann Ferderber
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Alice-Ann Ferderber

That is fantastic! Chuck the book. I did not like it either. I returned it long before it was due at the library. I might watch an hour a week (or two weeks) of TV. Where is the joy? I sure have more time to sew and weave. Just so you know, I received two email notifications tonight. The first was “tech department” sent at 12:33 pm and the real link was sent at 1:47pm both Eastern time. I’m so glad you have sorted out the problem because I enjoy your blog posts! Again Good for you! I can see… Read more »

Nina Ruit
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Nina Ruit

Mazel tov! I was a librarian for 30 years and there were many books I “had” to read, but I decided a long time ago that if I was reading something for pleasure and it didn’t grab me, I would just put it down and move on. Same thing goes for projects, weaving, knitting, sewing, etc. we need to grab the joy of the making while we have the chance!

Nia Lorre
Guest

You are a better woman than I am. I could never resolve being a creator and a blogger. Blogging just too much time. And I never had a real following, mailing list, technical problems, etc. Additionally, there are far too many horror stories about bloggers being blacklisted by Google and never getting it resolved. I had to choose, maker or blogger. My hat is off to you for being prolific at both.

Lucy
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Lucy

You are an inspiration. I need to remember this with all that I consider taking on and continue to ask, is this fun? Thank you!

Cate Markey
Guest
Cate Markey

I adore this post! That’s right, life is short and what the hell are we doing stuff that doesn’t bring us joy? We’ve earned it, though I don’t know if that is a requirement. Joy and light and Happy New Year.

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

I hear you…if it’s a lost cause or too far in the past to be relvant….let it go!!!

PJ
Guest
PJ

I agree completely. I’ve come to believe that we all need to be something something we love every day. Along with my weaving, knitting, and dogs, I’ve recently started learning ukulele strumming. Now every week I go to an evening where about 50 of us make “joyful noises” singing along as we play our ukes.

Charlene Fort
Guest
Charlene Fort

You ROCK!!!

Susan Loring-Wells
Guest
Susan Loring-Wells

Good for you to just let go finally. Had a few moments like this this year. Threw out a sweater I knit when I worked at WEBS in 1980’s. I’d been saving the pieces to put together for what 35+ years. Well when I found the moths had eaten it I decided it was time to let it go. I loved that particular yarn and pattern with a cowl neck that could be buttoned up or unbuttoned….Still have the pattern so if I choose I can knit it again, and in a size that would actually fit me!

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Thanks to all of you. I needed this today. What ever and where ever you celebrate, travel safely.

Mayson
Guest
Mayson

In the past few months, I have quit more books after reading a few, or many, pages than I have in the past few decades. I definitely hear you.

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