About me

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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

On new things

I am delighted to announce my interfacing has arrived. 

This weekend I will finish off those two shirts and disinfect the remaining toys before the little girls and their mom arrive Tuesday.

I feel my luck has turned.

Let me tell you about my golf.

First off let's make clear that I am no athlete. In fact in the family I grew up in I was frequently referred to as the one who didn't do sports. Maybe that's one reason why I sew.

When I was growing up sports was a team thing and I was the kind of kid who was most likely to be picked last for the team. 

Then my husband got me out to the golf course last year. Since he knows enough about teaching to give very little advice and say lots of nice things (or maybe he knows a lot about marriage), I started to have fun.

Until two days ago when for some reason there were teams of 20 men around each sand trap fixing them up who stopped, leaned on their rakes and shovels, and watched my every shot.

Let's just say that ball would have gone further if I had kicked it with my foot.

This built up to a sort of session on about the 7th hole when my golf partner / spouse was given a full description of how I felt in grade 8 when the gym teacher laughed so hard at my attempts to play basketball he had to sit down. Of ski trips with new boyfriends when I skied into the snow making machine. Of even being a Line Dancing class dropout at the local community centre, because I couldn't keep up.

I think every one of us has something that they have been told, or believed, or have tried and failed at in the past - to the point they have decided they just can't do it. It's just not them.

This matters only if you have been steering around that thing you can't do so long that somehow what it is makes you feel lesser about yourself. If all that steering around had detoured you. It depends too, I think, on how badly you felt, or even were made to feel about not succeeding, that determines how much it is costing you. 

But you know we all deserve to feel complete, because we are. So when a person gets knocked back, even by herself, she has to deal with that.

So after I stamped home I actually googled "how to recover from a bad golf game" (you would be surprised there are about 8 million hits on this) and saw useless diagrams but finally found one soul who said "the more you try the worse your swing will be. Loosen your grip and just try to hit it up in the air and forget about everything else." (I am paraphrasing here - the author was a male professional golfer and I am not).

So I went out again, yesterday and today, and did just that. I decided to play for me. Just for me. I looked at that little ball and said to myself "up in the air you go" and about 20% of the time that's exactly what happened.

20%. Pretty good for a girl who was booted from basketball in grade 8. 

I used to have a phobia about bound buttonholes. So about 20 years ago I made them and made them and made them until I made one perfect, in fushia knit no less. I cut that sample out and it's on my bulletin board at home and sometimes, in some jobs, I used to put it in my pocket and take it to work.

I keep that buttonhole around to remind me that I am not a fast learner but I am a good learner. To remind myself that you can learn a new thing at any time in your life if you allow for not learning it too fast.

You have to give yourself a chance, you have to give yourself a chance.

I left that buttonhole at home, maybe I should have brought it.


Far said...

Thank you for the post! :) We have to remember to give ourselves a chance...

Sewfast said...

Great post Barb! Thanks for the reminder!

shams said...

Fabulous. I am just the same, athletically!

Martha said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts. I like the idea of your buttonhole. We should all have something like that to remind us that we are worthwhile human beings.

Mary said...

"...I am not a fast learner, but I am a good learner" Thank you!

Marianne said...

Oh, another perfect post for me. I was just telling my husband yesterday that I can't seem to do something that is commonly recommended for "art quilting", which is to create lots of small, fast projects to gain skill and ease. I told him I would just have to build my skill my own way, which is slow and painstaking and fussy, just hoping that in my own slow way I will be building the skills I need to be able to express who I am. I am finding your posts so confirming and empowering. Thank you!