A recent post from Mary Corbet’s Needle n’Thread got me thinking. She says that she’s has SOS, Stitching Optimism Syndrome.
She describes herself this way: “I am an over-optimist – and my optimism gets me into trouble. I am an optimist about time; I am an optimist about workload; I am an optimist about perseverance; I am an optimist about capabilities.
And so, with my usual optimism, I often take on more than I can reasonably accomplish in a given amount of time, or I make plans that take me much longer to deliver on.”
I know the feeling. I do it too.
Most of the time my optimism doesn’t bother me, I can happily start new projects, pulling threads and mounting canvases until I run out of either thumbtacks or project bags.
But then I turn around and I look at all the UFOs that clutter my life. I can’t even bear to count them there are so many. And I turn into a black pessimist.
If you look at my count of finished projects this year, the optimist says, “That’s great! Look at how many you have finished!’ But my pessimistic self says, “All well and good but you have probably started and not finished at least that many. Oh, and what about the 20 or so UFO’s sitting around not actively being done?”
I can sabotage myself quite nicely.
Both attitudes can have traps. The optimist gets overwhelmed with stuff and adds stress to what should be a pleasure. the pessimist gets depressed, doesn’t stitch, and adds stress to what should be a pleasure. Get the picture?
We should strive to be stitching realists. Our projects in process should not outrun our time, money, or skills. We should prioritize projects so the important things get done. We should underpromise and over deliver. We should shop our stashes before going out and buying everything for a new project.
Do these things and we’ll be happier and probably stitch more happily.