Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Three Rows Of Ruffles

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments and that bridge must be crossed daily. Over time, that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future. - John Maxwell



One of my favourite projects from 2012 was a little girl's coat sewn with an orange and black wool blend found in the bargain section for two dollars a meter. The fabric is lovely to work with and the pattern a wonderful canvas for creative moments. I've sewn it several times.




Approaching 2013, I wanted to start as I meant to go on which included a clean house, a good night's sleep, time with family, generosity, and an energizing project. I spent the 31st and the 1st stitching a second version of the coat as a gift for my husband's cousin's not that new baby. She was born last May - and this is a size three - so we're okay - LOL.




I planned for three rows of ruffles along the bottom - a long, tedious, and boring step. Part way through, compromising with just one row started to sound like a great idea except one row would have significantly altered the finished look. There was no rush and plenty of fabric and therefore no need to compromise. The only thing between me and three rows of ruffles was creative laziness. When I asked myself am I doing the work of creating my best version of this coat? the answer was no so I sat my behind in the chair and sewed three rows of ruffles.




This year, I didn't want clearly written goals, immediate, mid and long term checkpoints, and a list of step-by-step milestones. I've done that kind of goal setting before and, no thanks, not this year. Having - finally - laid to rest some far too demanding demons, I'm not anywhere near so driven and I'm choosing a more organic and less exhaustive intention - do the work - and an ongoing question - am I doing the work? When I am doing the work, there will be room for celebration and when I am not, there will be room for correction. Good and enough.




Over the past month, I've journalled about creativity and relationships and finances and personal growth and spirituality and health and more. What I haven't done is write out a how-to list because we all know the how-to steps. They are the same time after time. To lose weight, eat less, exercise more, or both. To improve finances, spend less, earn more, or both. To create an X, Y or Z, sew an X or a Y or a Z. To use up the stash, use up stash. To stop increasing stash, stop buying. To write, sit at the keyboard and write. To pray, pray. To study, study. To make a home, be home making. And so it goes. It's not a lack of information; it's a lack of action.




In the area of creativity, my plan is to play and to experiment, explore the details, and become more fully immersed in the process and the project. I want to learn to do by doing and by working consistently in the studio on a daily basis.

For me, 2013 is not about just surviving; it is about thriving. I've been wasting too much time that could be better spent creating. I want to stop talking, take action, and do the work. I want to get up each day knowing what my overall objectives are and what it will take to achieve them and then do the work. I believe this will be a gentler, more self-caring, and achievable approach although I imagine by the end of the year I will be heartily sick of the phrase - do the work - even as I have developed new habits and a new direction for the future.

The great composer does not sit to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. - Ernest Newman

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the perfect tangerine colored buttons IN stash!

22 comments:

  1. OMG! LOVE that coat! Aren't you glad you didn't take the lazy way out and only do one row of ruffles? One row would have been good. But three rows are fabulous!

    Last year I didn't choose specific goals either, but instead opted to force myself not to take the lazy way out. I can't tell you how many times I have said to myself, "Stop being lazy!"

    My goal was that when I'm doing something (or procrastinating doing something) that is making me crazy, to stop immediately. Figure out WHY it's making me crazy, and either fix it, come up with another solution, or just stop being lazy and get it done.

    It's been wonderful!!! Life has become so much more peaceful with so many of the little annoyances done away with.

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    1. YES - three ruffles is so cut.

      THANK YOU so much for sharing your experience last year. It's VERY encouraging since do the work and stop being lazy are pretty much the same thing. I'll look forward to more peace and less annoyances.

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  2. Great thoughts on just getting to it. I've not written down any goals for this year, but rather am continuing my ongoing processes that work for me. I make goal lists at any time of the year.

    That's a beautiful coat. Lucky little girl.

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    1. Figuring out what works and then working with it makes life so much easier. Best of luck.

      My daughter wants one like it only blue... which makes it not like it really but... Howard's Mom wove some blue yardage for a coat when Jessica was small. I now feel skilled enough to cut it up so we'll use that... if it's a girl.

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  3. This direction of being increasingly self-aware and increasingly gentle and honest with oneself (no excuses, no blame) resonates with me. I imagine it leading to a productive and peaceful new year. Elle

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    1. I'm banking on it. Mel's experience (above) is certainly encouraging.

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  4. Beautifully put and beautifully sewn!!

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  5. Holy cow, what a great post!! Lots to think about and convert to action - and I'm a much better thinker than "action-er" ;-/

    JoyceP in WI

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    1. I am extremely good at over thinking. Convert to action is much harder. LOL - it can - it will - be done.

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  6. I love your John Maxwell quote (I even stole it and posted it on Facebook); I have been having similar inner dialogues. I spent quite a bit of time last year identifying things I Need to Change; this year, I must implement. I must change...even if it's just one little daily thing in a week or a couple of weeks. Thanks so much for the post and the push!

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    1. It's from his book 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. FABULOUS. I've been writing down all sorts of quotes. More will come up I'm sure. Best of luck with your goal. You can do it. YEAH!

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  7. That's one lovely coat Myrna.
    You should be very proud,
    Terry

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  8. "It's not a lack of information; it's a lack of action." You put into words something I was feeling about myself but hadn't quite sorted out.

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    1. That really did click for me and help me find my voice about it again. I've quoted your paragraph in my blog. Thank you.

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    2. I'm glad it clicked. I read your posting. YES YES YES!!!

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  9. You gave me a lot of food for thought last night. Do the work is going to be my mantra for this year. Thanks for putting in words what has been rummaging around in my head.

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    1. YEAH - we can do the work together. Wishing you all the best. Be gentle. Day four - I've already screwed up - and it's okay. Gentle loving corrections are just fine while we keep walking in that direction.

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  10. This is the first time I have read your blog. I am so very happy that I did. Thank you for this post! Lots and lots of food for thought. God willing, I will have many accomplished things to share (because of this post) when the year is over.

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    1. Welcome to the blog. Any progress is progress. I think one of the important things is not to beat ourselves up over slips and slides but to keep moving in the right direction. I'm getting many opportunities to "do the work" via asking myself if I am. Sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I'm not yet because there is another goal - such as using up current groceries before buying new ones - to be completed first - as in before making some diet changes. You'll know if you're heading in right direction and can continue or correct. Best of luck.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.