Mar 10, 2010
As someone interested in learning more about myself and what makes me tick, I'm always looking for new sources of insight that don't cost $175 per hour.
My bookshelves are crammed with titles like Who Are You, Really?, The New Personality Self-Portrait, and the rather academic Your Beautyscope.
There's a maxim I happened across, I don't remember where, that says that "the way you do anything is the way you do everything."
If you're not familiar with this concept, take a few minutes and think about it. It's really quite genius and, I believe, accurate.
When I look at my approach to life, I can see patterns and themes that recur no matter what I'm doing. Like most habits, they probably served me once, most likely as a child, but no longer. Acknowledging these habitual ways of being can help me recognize when they're taking over and do something about it.
I've been thinking a lot about this lately in relation to sewing, both as an activity and, in a larger sense, as an area of focus in my life.
I can clearly recognize both my strengths (hurray!) and also my weaknesses (grr...), in observing how I sew.
For example, I have always been very passionate about my interests. Sewing is now one of them. When I get into something, I don't just dip my little toe in, but rather I jump in hook, line, and Singer (little pun there).
It may seem remarkable to some people that in a period of roughly nine months I've learned to sew, purchased nine sewing machines (and two sergers), and now blog about it, but to me, it's just my way. It's a blessing in some ways, a curse in others.
The downside for me has always been a tendency to burn myself out or to have unrealistic expectations which, if things don't happen as quickly or as easily as I'd like them to, leave me feeling discouraged and frustrated to the point that I lose interest and just want to move on.
I generally start a sewing project with tremendous enthusiasm. This positive energy can usually carry me through to the end, unless I hit a snag -- like attaching a lining, dealing with a difficult finishing technique, or cutting a big hole in my sleeve (ouch!) -- at which point I just don't want to do it anymore. I'll hang the project in the closet as-is and never look at it again.
Needless to say, patience has never been a strong point and I have a tendency to give up too easily. I was the kid who, if he wasn't winning in Monopoly, would throw the entire board up in the air and walk away. (Still trying to figure out how this served me as a child and it drove my brother crazy; Egads -- that's it!)
Today, I am learning to adopt the long view and to pace myself better, taking breaks when I'm pushing myself too hard. This helps. Life is actually not short (for a great many of us). Life is a long time. Better to be the tortoise than the hare.
So, gentle reader, how about you? Can you see in your own life that "the way you do anything is the way you do everything?"
If so, what does the way you sew say about who you are?
Let the conversation -- and the healing -- begin!