Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Giving yourself permission not to finish frees up energy - another quilting/work intersection

Last year I took a class from a world renowned quilter for a week. It's my gift to myself each year to spend a week learning something new at the Empty Spool seminars. By the way, if you've never gone, it's a wonderful way for quilters to learn! This year though, the teacher, wasn't my kind of teacher. For me, not very affirming. I digress here a bit, but I've noticed that sometimes great artists are really not great teachers -- some are great at promoting themselves and their work rather than encouraging and teaching students. I think I've had a few bosses like that as well. I digress.

During the holidays, is my time to renew myself with family, friends, and quilting. I've noticed, however, that in my studio I have a few UFOs -- a quilter's term for "unfinished objects." I like to think of myself as not a quitter -- as someone who finishes what I start. The UFO from that class, I've decided will never be finished as originally planned at that class. And, oh my...it feels good to recognize that. I declare it totally unfinishable! Of course, I will go through some doubts: 1. Is it unfinishable because my techniques are not up to it? 2. Is it unfinishable because I didn't like the teacher and she did not help me to excel? 3. Is it unfinishable because.... You know what, I don't need to know the reason. What I do know is that by declaring that one effort unfinishable,I feel ever so much more creative! Plus, it frees up one of my favorite fabrics that I want to use in another quilt project that is to be a gift for dear friends.

So, how does this intersect with my work life? Well...getting closer to retiring, I could declare my work career at an end, but I'm not ready for that, although the lesson I will take here is that when I do it will because declaring an end to work will free up energy for other loved activities and efforts. I think the better intersection is that sometimes we are asked to do things that should not be asked. For those, we have to stand up for our beliefs and redirect our efforts. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for posting this. Instantly my UFO list just became 2 projects shorter. Both are from classes that left the same taste in my mouth as you have described. I sure wish that shows would offer a satisfaction gaurantee.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a very sage insight and something that many would benefit. I also think that to figure this out takes a lot of courage and self-reflection.