I’ve noticed creativity has become more and more important in my life. Ironic, since my job went from being super creative to being more about small details and set tasks. Maybe it’s because of the change in my job that creativity is being pushed forward for me in other areas of my life.
Regardless, after one day in a less-than-thrilling project management seminar, I went home in desperate need of something creative and different to do. I bypassed the laptop (seriously, I did!) and went about sewing. Yay sewing! I’d seen this online tutorial for a coffee cuff and thought it would be so cool to have one. Okay, so I guess I didn’t totally bypass the laptop. But it was used for good, not just randomly surfing.
One dissected Starbucks sleeve, some butcher paper and a few fabric scraps later, I had this:
Not bad for a spur-of-the moment experiment, huh? And as I posted on a crafting message board where I mostly lurk, it’s a little wonky and far from perfect, but it works. And then it hit me. That’s kind of like me. Wonky, far from perfect, but yeah…pretty good overall. I just seem to get stuck in the wonky-and-far-from-perfect part.
What surprised me was that when my friends and coworkers saw the cuff, they didn’t see the imperfections (or at least were nice enough not to point them out). It was all “Wow! You made that? It’s so cute! Can you make me one? You could sell these! They’re awesome!”
Nobody commented on the less-than-perfect shape, or the uneven stitching, or the thread that didn’t quite match (I hate winding and loading bobbins, so I used whatever happened to be on the machine). They just saw that I created something cute.
My guess is that this view of myself applies to more than just my attempts at crafting. Maybe the hubs is right and I am too hard on myself, too quick to see the imperfections and totally overlooking the good stuff. It’s so hard for me to focus on the good. I don’t know why I’m so quick to berate myself for not being perfect, for not achieving everything that I set out to do, or not achieving in the exact manner that I had planned. But this habit of focusing on my bad traits that has led no doubt been a major contributor in this rut I’m in.
I know I shouldn’t focus on every little thing that falls short of flawless and that nobody is perfect. But it seems like everyone else has everything together…or am I only seeing their good stuff and not noticing their wonky bits, just like my friends didn’t notice my wonky bits?
So instead of focusing on the shortfalls, I’ve adopted a little practice that we used to do in my sorority when we needed to
complain discuss unpleasant matters. We aired our issue in a pro-con-pro format. For example: “Suzie is such a good student, but she leaves her books everywhere and needs to keep her side of the room more organized. Still, it’s great that she makes her schoolwork such a priority.”
Sooooo cheesy, I know. But, surely, focusing on two pros for every con will help me embrace my wonky bits, right?
Take the coffee cuff as an example: I’m proud that instead of vegging out for the evening, I got off my butt and did something. It’s got a lot of room for improvement and I need to tweak the pattern a bit. However, it’s added a bit of flair to my boring office coffee and gave me an outlet to be a little creative.
Lesson learned: Focus on the good stuff. The wonky bits just add character. Embrace the wonky bits.