When I first had the idea for the fabric fast, I had great visions of increased clarity and creativity. Maybe I would have an idea for my first pattern or feel inspired to create a class.
At day seven there was no glory only a feeling of failure. I broke my rules seven days in. Here’s what happened:
I was feeling disappointed about something when a package arrived in the mail addressed to me from a store I did not remember ordering anything from. I got really excited. I love mail and packages.
I opened the box and it was a gift I’d bought for someone else and wasn’t expecting for a few more days.
A few hours later my husband sends me a few items to order from Amazon and I find myself looking at my wish list. I notice the preorder price on a book I’m interested went up by TWO WHOLE DOLLARS. Friends, this is a disaster. What if I wait and don’t get the best price? What if my life cannot be complete without this book?
I was feeling disappointed, sad and a made up story that if I didn’t decide to buy this book NOW bad things would happen.
I bought the book.
Rush of pleasure and excitement.
I remembered I resolved not to spend money on quilting stuff.
Rush of embarrassment and shame.
At first I wanted to pretend it didn’t count. There’s nothing specific in the rules about books, right? That rationalization sounded too flimsy.
Next, I wanted to hide it. Maybe make it my anniversary gift from my husband. After all gifts are fair game. But, let’s be honest; it wasn’t a gift.
Then I remember one of my favorite therapy concepts: The What the Hell Syndrome. Here’s how it works, it’s New Years and you’ve resolved to give up desserts. On January 14th, you’re celebrating so-and-so’s birthday and eat some cake without remembering your goal. Or maybe you remember your goal and ate it anyway. Then you think, “I messed up my goal. I already failed, so what the hell? Put some ice cream on my cake. I’d love seconds.”
A more dangerous version of this the teenager who thinks, “Well my parents already treat me like I’m a terrible untrustworthy person even though I am not. I might as well do those terrible and untrustworthy things and at least get some benefit out of it.”
So I messed up. Now I have a choice. Let the What the Hell Syndrome walk me towards quitting or remind myself:
“Everyone makes mistakes, so why can’t you?” -Big Bird (That Big Bird is really wise for being only six.)
So this fabric fast isn’t going to be perfect. I make mistakes. And just like it wouldn’t be fair to expect my kids to walk on their first try, I am going to be kind to myself when I make mistakes. Because Big Bird says it happens to everyone.
Side note, If you’re wondering what book I just HAD to have:
Side note: can we take a moment to laugh that I titled this blog “Welcome Too Imperfection” as an upfront acknowledgment that I make mistakes ALL THE TIME and then I got stressed out at the idea of saying when I made a mistake? Yep, I thought that was kind funny/ridiculous too.