Monday, 14 January 2013

A Stitch In Time

Perhaps one of  the greatest malady that plagues many a man or a woman is the inability to bring to an end what he/she started.
Whether they be raging fires or simple conversations over a good old cup of tea. I do not boast of being immune to the “start things you can’t finish” syndrome for perhaps I need rehabilitation than most. New Year’s resolutions and lists, while they are a sufficient antidote for some, seem to further aggravate the symptoms of a soul that lacks the discipline to follow through on most things.
Being an individual who saw the end without envisioning the process, my efforts were often frustrated by unforeseen obstacles which I permitted to get the better of me. An evident pattern had formed in my somewhat short life and to change the pattern I endeavored for life is too short to live with regret. It took a mere piece of fabric to bring the moment of epiphany. A piece of fabric I had bought many moons ago with the intention of sewing a skirt. The reason for this was simply because I could never find the perfect fit, or if it was the perfect fit, it would be in the wrong fabric or the wrong print. The search for the fabric in itself was something of an “around the world in 80 stores” trip.
Once the fabric was safely at home, the willpower to begin the skirt making project was summoned through weeks of probing and pleading with the dressmaker hibernating within. One Sunday afternoon she surfaced and so began the measuring and cutting of fabric. It was to be a simple skirt yet one that I would love and feel comfortable in. I envisioned it and almost felt the soft fabric flowing as I “gracefully” walked on the sunny paths of one wine estate or some meadow I would discover.

Half way through “Project Skirt” despondency crept in. Once again unforeseen challenges resounded the need to abandon the mission. I had made a few stitches where I wasn't supposed to one too many times. The vision I had had, compared to the sight before me were worlds apart. A dismal failure was the entire project and like many of my attempted projects, I hung it in the cupboard with the “intention” to carry on when “I had time”. After weeks of seeing the unfinished product whenever I happened to wander into that corner of the cupboard, it occurred to me that not only was I staring at an unfinished skirt with mistakes I wasn't brave enough to correct but this was mere evidence of how I had dealt with many other areas of my life. While I could give every excuse as to why I didn't complete certain things I began, I challenged myself to give reasons why I should complete everything I started.
With this realization, I took out the skirt and began undoing the stitches that were made in the wrong places. The stitches left marks, evidence of mistakes I had made and at the end of it all, I realized the dream skirt could no longer be made using the same piece of fabric but it could be altered into a top. The vision was therefore altered and so to make a top I endeavored. Keeping in mind how the previous mistakes had occurred, I avoided losing focus while working at all costs. Not that I didn't make any mistakes but I was determined to correct each one before they piled up into a mound that could be unresolved. Back curved and eyelids heavy, I finally finished the top which adorns me as I write.
This simple yet important lesson helped me realize, that a stitch in time cannot be undone but it can certainly teach a valuable lesson if embraced. I can certainly make a new start and readjust my vision opposed to throwing in the towel completely. It took a simple piece of fabric to realize that sometimes visions may look great and wonderful but they are meaningless if one does not have a strategy and the discipline to follow through.

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