Dear Daughter: About not giving up

night and day block(only half the paper templates removed. Causing some wrinkles!)

Dear Daughter

I have created another patchwork block for your Dear Daughter Quilt. Something very satisfying about adding it to my pile of completed pieces. All waiting to be sewn together.

I very nearly abandoned this project. It would’ve been easy to take the blocks and made a cushion cover. Calling it a day on the rest, but I know I would’ve been reminded of my lack of perseverance every time I saw it.

You won’t be surprised that persevering is the subject of my next letter to you. A topic that often comes up. I hear you say that you just want to give up on something. Occasionally, I can see why and understand that it is a real choice, but most of the time it is a knee felt reaction to an obstacle. I live in hope that I can tell one from the other.

In this letter, I’d like to give you some pointers so you too can differentiate.

Night and day measuring

Forgetting the dream.

At the start of a project, the final objective is often as clear as a picture, and exciting. The very thought of achieving it is all the energy you need to make a start and dream plan. As time goes by, and the work is put in, the picture begins to fade. As does the enthusiasm. We’ve all been there.

It is the time it takes, that’s often the killer. The solution is to break a long project down into smaller goals. The end result may fade in and out of focus, but the next milestones should be clear.

night and day fussy cut

(Tip: using freezer paper makes precise fussy cutting in patchwork really easy.)

“Everyone else is better at this than me.”

Maybe some people are better. Maybe some like to think they’re the cream cheese on the subject, but one thing I can guarantee is, that not everyone’s better at it than you. There are plenty who start and never finish. Don’t forget, everyone is travelling along a path and have their doubts and encounter obstacles at some point. Who is to say that you won’t overtake them, through your own determination?

A good question may be, why? Why are they better at this than you? Do they work at it more? Did they start before you? Do they have an unfair advantage? You’re a smart cookie. I know, I say that every time, but once you have figured out how they do it, maybe you too could do the same. In the long run, you’re not in competition with them. Don’t compare yourself with them, but learn from them. The only person you need to compete with, is you.

patchwork offcut jar

(saving tiny off-cuts from fabric in a jar, for another fun project I have in mind.)

Other people’s attitudes

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Let’s face it. We all have likes and dislikes. The problem comes, when our opinion puts others off for no good reason.

“Opinion: what you think of something: a belief or judgement” – Oxford Primary Dictionary

If it doesn’t effect them, then their opinion is nothing more than an opinion. No two ways about it. If you like something, that is up to you. So long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, including yourself, then why should someone’s opinion stop you? A good question at this point is to wonder why they choose to share their opinion? Are they jealous, scared or showing off? I’ll be returning to this one in another letter.

(In the meantime, I might suggest that you don’t choose to share a project with them. For example, if they don’t like singing, then you practising in the same room as them is going to end badly!)

apple pie and coffee

The smell of success!

I cannot begin to tell you how good it feels to succeed. Fortunately, you have succeeded in so many areas, that you know how good it feels. When I find my enthusiasm wavering and the hint of giving up, I remind myself why I’m doing it in the first place. I imagine what it will be like once I’ve reached my goal. I visualize it, so well, I can almost taste it!

Don’t give up, unless you really mean to. Take a moment, or more, to decide.

As always

your loving mother

4 thoughts on “Dear Daughter: About not giving up

  • Monday 22 September, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    What great advice and beautifully written – all things that we need reminding of as adults also. I’m a great starter and find myself often getting discouraged half way into a project for many or all of the reasons you state above. Thanks for sharing your wise words!

    • Tuesday 23 September, 2014 at 10:06 am

      I’m a great starter too. I have a creative mind which buzzes with ideas, all the time, meaning I easily get distracted on to new ideas, leaving far too many unfinished projects. Hoping I’ve not passed on this trait to my children, but I guess I should have included it in the letter, if only to remind me. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  • Thursday 25 September, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I just love this series…. every post is so special. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thursday 25 September, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you. Often the hardest posts to write. She’s reached the age where I can’t be specific about her, in case I embarrass her, but at the same time, there is so much going on. Hope I’m finding the balance.

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