::YOUR:: way of enjoying

Sometimes l become heavy with comparison.  Social media floods my eyes and heart with the stunning accomplishments of others.  Someone else is always doing something that intrigues and inspires me.  On the one hand, that's just what I love about social media!  On the other, it can stir up so many unhelpful emotions:  envy, self-reproach, a sense of never measuring up.

I started this embroidery piece about 6 months ago, before baby was born.  Usually I'd fret over such a long work-in-progress, frustrated by its lack of momentum.  Seriously, that "e" was probably 2 months in the making! 

But this time I gave myself permission to freely enjoy the process whenever I wanted.  And when I wanted to finish it, I did.  The background hand quilting came together in about a day.  And now it's hanging on my wall in our new entry, where the lack of directional lighting hides any pulling created by the dense stitching.

As I was finishing, I reflected on the importance of accepting our unique way of enjoying.  Some of us are most happy moving from one project to the next, hovering over each for a day or an hour like a butterfly flitting from blossom to blossom.  Others get bogged down if their are too many makes in process, feeling an internal confusion or dissatisfaction that can lead to a total creative freeze.  I think lots of makers actual thrive as butterflies, but feel convinced that they should be steady worker ants instead.  They shame themselves for their lack of "focus" instead of feeling free to enjoy the variety their hearts crave.

The thing is, that's not me.  I really, truly don't like a project that waxes on and on.  I love the beginning of a project - the shiny new idea and choosing fabrics - and the end of a project.  Finishing makes my heart warm and my eyes dance.  It's what fuels me.  So, I can dabble in long term projects like my "home" embroidery at times, but I don't enjoy taking several meandering journeys at once.

What matters is knowing yourself.  What makes you happy?  How do you enjoy creating and what sustains your creativity?  No matter what that looks like in comparison to everyone else, accept your way of enjoying.  Then dig in and enjoy your hobbies, unabashedly.

This year I've taken on two long-term quilts at once:  The Penny Sampler and Facing East.  Although I am very pleased with each quilt in its own right, I have been bogged down more than once by a sense of inertia.  It's hard to keep both long-term projects going and still have time to finish something else in a satisfying length of time.  Since I finished my Sleeping Porch Dresdens quilt, I have been taking a break from a third quilt to make small projects instead.  Enjoying one finish after another (a baby dress, a towel, curtains, etc.) has returned that bounce to my step. 

And that's what I wish for you!  Know what fuels you and plan accordingly.  Don't apologize for your unique creative temperament.  Don't compare.  Just be inspired and be yourself!