How to face a challenge head-on!

On Remembrance Day I finally screwed up the courage to deal with something that had been hiding in the closet for three years.  I tried moving things around from one closet to another so that this particular problem would go away but it didn't work.  Then I watched some videos on YouTube to better equip me to deal with the issue.  I printed off the instructions and read them through several times during that three-year period, but I never actually tackled the heap of material that was tormenting me.  For those who know me well you know that was tortuous for me because by nature I am a 'get it done girl'.  But this one thing just dogged me.

So last summer I decided the best way to break free of the problem was to become doggedly determined about staring it in the face every day.  With that in mind, I carried a small folding table to the living room and placed the gigantic bag of fabric on the table.  Now, I would have to look at it everyday until I finally did something productive with it.  I knew it was still not quite enough but this was a challenge that had lurked in the closet for three years.  It wasn't a challenge to be taken lightly.

For roughly three months I walked past the table piled with fabric several times a day without doing anything.  Well, I did make token attempts at action.  I reread the instructions a few times.  I handled the fabric trying to decide whether to use one piece or the other.  I double-checked my sewing supplies to confirm that I had enough spools of thread of the correct colors and that I had a good pair of sewing scissors on hand.  The scissors would be critical when I reached that point where I was prepared to actually cut the fabric.

A sewing project had never held me in such a state of indecisiveness for so long cutting fabric had never been so scary before.  But it was obvious that I was scared of something because I was willing to walk around that ridiculous folding table for months and go through the motions of moving it in and out of our bedroom when guests were coming.  It was a grade A hassle that I was okay with although it did make me wonder what the heck was going on.  I wondered if I had lost my mojo, my courage, and my charge forward approach to life.  The fabric mocked me silently.

Actually, the mocking was not very silent - at least not in my head.  I heard it loud and clear telling me I had lost my edge.  I was a failure because I couldn't make a simple decision and get moving.  It was a curtain project for heavens sake.  What was the worst that could go wrong?  I had conversations in my head every time I walked by.  I told myself I wasn't ready, that I hadn't ever made curtains before, that if I cut the fabric wrong I would never get another piece the same.  I freaked myself out over some material that was destined to be turned into large square panels and hung in our bedroom.

By Remembrance Day I was over the freaking part and onto the mad part.  When I got mad with myself for the craziness of the situation I made the move to action.  I laid out the fabric on the dining room table.  Greg got the sewing machine out for me.  This was it, I was going to slay the curtain dragon.  I read those instructions again, checked my calculations, measured three times and cut the panels.  It was quite liberating there was no turning back.  If I messed up now I would have to just deal with it and figure it out.

Four panels of cloth each measuring 120 inches by about 54 inches lay on the table.  I had succeeded in making a choice between the two fabrics in the bag, step one was done.  The cutting involved in step two had been accomplished without a hitch.  All was going well.  I sat down to stitch the first two panels together.  The bobbin was loaded.  After struggling a bit to thread the needle I took another look at the fabric.  My experienced sewing brain told me to make certain I had the right sides of the fabric together.  It was difficult to tell the difference there was a slight sheen to the right side.  Well, I thought about it all then proceeded to pin and stitch the first two panels together wrong.

The failure choir unleashed their chorus in my head and those nasty monkeys who hang about began chattering.  I had a moment when I felt like shoving everything back in the bag and putting it in a closet in the basement.  Anyone who has ever had to pick out stitching when a project has gone wrong will know exactly how I felt.  I had two choices.  I could lay my enormous swathe of fabric on the table, gamely arm myself with a seam ripper, and remove the hundreds of tiny stitches.  Or I could fold it all up stuff it back in the bag and give up.  After a few deep breathing exercises I picked up the seam ripper.  About half an hour later I had the stitching removed.  I was slightly discouraged yet I knew that I had come through the worst of it.  Those panels of fabric would become curtains and they would hang in my bedroom.  The story would have a good ending.

I told you this story for a couple of reasons.  The first reason was because it was about everyday life here on the swake.  The second reason is because hidden in the folds of the fabric story there are life lessons although I didn't realize that until I began to write for you.  The third less lofty reason was that I am half done the curtains and I need an accountability group out there in Internet land to ensure that I actually finish the damn things!