I mentioned in my last entry that I was having trouble focusing on any of my projects. With worrying about the job situation, it’s hard to honestly care about anything else — even things that bring me so much happiness. Once I vented my frustrations a little and explained the situation on my blog, I felt like I might be able to attempt finishing my stays. Here is what I did to help get me back on track:
Cleared my mind
It seems silly, but it’s such a vital part of focus. True, I didn’t realize at first that I’d been so upset and down about the job situation, but it was hanging in my subconscious enough to affect my ability to proceed with anything.
I literally had to clear my mind and realize that we were going to be just fine. There is nothing I can do — especially worrying — that will help me right at that moment. Christopher is doing what he has to do to find work, and I’m keeping my eyes out for any potential work as well. We still have some savings, and although we both hate seeing those savings dwindle, we will just have to work hard to build it back up again once there is more income.
Forgot how long it’s taken
I’ve been working on these stays for way too long. Some of the time spent was careful planning, researching, and creating a pattern (and I probably did it the hard way, knowing me). There were many times I didn’t work on the stays so that I’d have time to think about my next step or whether I wanted to go back and fix something. We also had travel plans we made before the layoff that made it impossible to work on the stays, even if I wanted to (I need to figure out a good travel kit that doesn’t take up too much space — but projects aren’t always at the point where you can easily carry them and hand sew — like if you’re still cutting out fabric). Anyway, I’ve been sick of dealing with the stays and just want them to be finished!
Unfortunately, in order to achieve that wonderful feeling of a finished project, I still have more work to do. I’ve also been dreading sewing the binding on, which will possibly be the most time-consuming and annoying step.
Took one step at a time
I had to decide which step to do first, and then focus only on that step. I was familiar enough with what’s left to know how each step would affect the next, so I wouldn’t make any glaring errors, but I tried not to focus on all the work that was left. I didn’t want it to overwhelm me and make me feel even worse than I already did.
I also made decisions — which may or may not have been wise, but time will tell (and I’ll learn something from it, I’m sure) — about whether or not to skip steps and cross my fingers that moving on to the next step would work for this project instead of stressing about every little thing. Sometimes you can put too much into something and make more of a mess with it than you intended, afterall.
Remembered to enjoy the process
I need to remind myself that I do love to work on a project, and often I’m actually very sad when a project is finished. Although I can’t wait to be finished and move on, I need to remember that I love sewing and I’m thankful that I do have something I can work on. Maybe if I just focus on my task, I’ll get better about not dwelling on those things I have no control over.
Cut myself some slack!
The most important thing that helped me was finally realizing that regardless of how I think I feel, if I’m not in the mood to work on something due to other things dragging me down — then I shouldn’t work on it! I wanted to sew, and thought I was just fine, but obviously there was plenty on my mind if I ended up just staring at my sewing projects and walking away disgusted and even more down. The minute I stopped kicking myself about not sewing or doing anything else I thought I needed or wanted to, I was able to relax and approach it in a less stressed out state of mind.
So far, I’ve been working on adding the binding to my stays. I decided to save some money and trouble and buy store-bought bias tape. I didn’t have any fabric to make my own, and have been needing to buy a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I’ll try making my own another time and instead be happy that I’ve saved myself a little trouble and cash. I’m hand sewing the binding, so it’s a little slow-going, but it’s not too bad. I’m enjoying the process again, and the minute I don’t feel like messing with it, I’ll take a break from it again.
It can be such a silly thing to worry about something as minor as sewing when there are more important things to worry about, but hobbies are an important part of our lives too. They bring happiness and can even get our minds off stressful things. It’s not fun when you start stressing out about things that are supposed to be relaxing and fun! Next time I get in a rut like this, I hope I can remember these tips, and I hope they might help someone else.