For so long I’ve talked (and whined and complained) about wishing I had more time to do “fun things”, that I almost missed an opportunity last week to create something imperfect.
One thing Zack is so good at doing — that I admire so much — is turning his cheek to the mess in order to spend time doing something he loves: the kitchen counter, the overflowing laundry basket, the messy entryway. And for a long time it kinda bothered me — made me a bit jealous even, that he could just look away. But I now see the value in what he can so easily do.
Something Zack has taught me through this perspective is that saying “no” to the mess means we can say “yes” to our list of fun things/ideas/dreams, and for me that has been learning embroidery. For years I’ve talked about wanting to learn (seriously), but the honest truth is I didn’t put any effort into actually learning.
Whenever Zack would sit down for some “fun time”, I felt jealous that he had the opportunity to do something for himself. Why couldn’t I look away from the messes and give myself some “fun time,” too? Certainly I can also turn my cheek?
So last week, when Maxwell was napping and Zack was pulling out his computer to play a game, Zack asked me what I was going to do for myself, and honestly I thought for a moment about a few house chores I could finish. But I made myself sit on the couch and work on this…
It’s absolutely imperfect, but it’s exactly the kind of imperfection I’ve been wishing I had more time for. And last week I made it happen.
I’ve never been a gal who feels guilty over sitting down to read a book or spending quality time with my girlfriends, but for some silly reason I didn’t give myself enough grace to turn my cheek more often and say “yes” to trying something totally new.
You probably noticed my stitches aren’t consistently tight. The cloud isn’t perfect. Are those French Knots, you may be asking yourself.
But the beauty is this project IS absolutely imperfect, and sometimes a little imperfection is all we really want anyway.
Do you long to create imperfection?
Here are some tips:
-Instead of saying “no” to a new idea, be brave and say “yes”
-Instead of starting over (and over and over and over), keep going and allow the mistakes to tell a story
-Instead of keeping your imperfections hidden in a drawer, share them with your people so they feel encouraged to accept imperfection, too
…and maybe your imperfection will transform to perfection.
Maggie you inspire me every day. Thank you for sharing your imperfections and encouraging others to do the same. What a blessing!!!
We are always our own worse critic. Don’t worry about questioning stitch length or perfect French knots, etc. When your post first popped up and I saw the picture of your work, all I thought was “Wow, that’s great, I’d hang that on my wall. And I LOVE the cloud!” So give yourself grace- because others may just be seeing perfection in what you call imperfect. :)
This post is so inspiring to me. I rarely take time for me and sometimes my fiancée has to literally make me stop cleaning. I definitely need to take more time to create imperfection :)
@Leslie, what’s wrong with us that we have to clean so much? Haha, it’s a sickness I think. YES! So take some time for yourself… and soon? :)
I absolutely know what you mean about always thinking about the chores you could be doing. My little one is a few weeks younger than Max and for the first few months after she was born I had a super hard time letting chores go so I could rest instead. I’m finally at a point where dirty dishes and overflowing laundry baskets don’t bother me nearly as much. They’ll be there tomorrow.
@Krista, The ability to rest is so important, and not in a “I’ll never do this” way, but definitely in a “this is healthy for the family when I take care of myself” way :) there will always always always be something to clean or our away or fix. But our babies are growing up every day, regardless of how we spend our time as mamas :) loved your comment. XO
Wow. You just told my story. I’m a stay at home mom, all my family and friends think that I have nothing but time to do fun things for me. Wrong. I get so lost in my tasks and never carve out time for a few minutes of fun.
Great job on the embriodery. Imperfect is the new perfect.
I am so proud of you and your embroidery looks great! Perfection is impossible to attain, and why do we take ourselves so seriously anyway? Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good – this is something i have to tell myself every day.
And as for that housework… I’m three kids in and I’m finally finding it easier to ask myself – ok, where is my energy today? Sometimes it really feels geared toward blasting through some housework. I am finding, the deeper I get into my work, the more I love it… and then I’m happier each day ignoring the house. But I can only do it to a point or things get crazy around here. So that’s the balance… everything has to have its time.
Ultimately I’d rather have my kids remember me as a creative, engaged mom rather than a spotless housekeeper. I could hire someone else to keep house. But there is only me to express my creativity, and only you to express yours. Better to have our kids remember that than our spotless housekeeping!
That’s enough of a ramble for one morning… have a great day. :)
@Sarah Milligan, ohhhhh you’re stirring something up inside me that is saying, yes yes yes! I’m right there with you Sarah :) thank you so much for your comment and sharing your wisdom with us. XO
Oh, I love this!
I hope you hang that embroidery front and center in your house! It is gorgeous! Love that little blue cloud!
@Laura Radniecki, thanks Laura!!!!!!!! xoxo
You are doing a lovely job! Always love to see what you are doing next!
You don’t even have to explain why you think your creation looks different – it’s your creation! Good for you.
Could you speak briefly about the issue of imperfection in regards to sewing. I feel like all I can see in my products (I make custom iPad covers) are the little imperfections, and it holds me back from feeling secure enough to ask the price they are worth, because of MY hang ups that they are not “perfect” (store bought looking). Does this feeling ever go away, the longer you sew? Or is it feeling you just try to manage?
@jessica, my thoughts are this… Your products prices should reflect your materials, labor, profit and overhead — but also included in the labor is your experience. The more experienced the more you should charge for your time (or your seamstresses, should you hire that out one day). You need to decide what level of flexibility you’ll allow for visual variances. Definitely make sure the product is 100% functional, but the beauty of handmade is there are tiny margins for variance. Also consider yourself as the customer, would you be 100% satisfied with the product even though it had “errors”? Hope that helps!!! XO
Hi Jessica! I’m working on this answer and aiming for a blog post next week! Hope you’ll check back… xo
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