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Friday, January 15, 2021

When Will the Penguin Get Its Wings?

I love doing crafts but I'm actually really bad at most of them. That's because I'm impulsive and impatient and not particularly good at taking the time to re-do things when I do them wrong. I just keep going and don't worry about if things are perfect. I don't like to go slow. I just want to DO the things. 

I really wanted one of these little amigurumi crochet animal kits from The Woobles. Honestly they are so cute. And so small. I thought it would be a good first project. I put it on my Christmas list and on Christmas morning it was there under the tree. 

I started the project that day!! 

But it was hard, actually. And I made some mistakes. And I realized I couldn't rush through this. So I stopped, undid my few stitches and waited. 

A few days later I gathered things I would need: a laptop for videos. The pattern. Pens to check off rounds. I watched the first videos a few times. I started. I messed up. I restarted. I messed up. I restarted. This is very unlike me to undo and restart. I would much rather push through. I restarted. 

I thought it would be good for me to try a new way of doing crafts. I'd practice being patient and fixing mistakes instead of just making an imperfect final project. 

I made some progress. I watched videos. I counted stitches. I restarted. I started getting some pains in my hands so I adjusted my grip. I counted stitches and kept track of my progress. I restarted. It got very hard. 

As I made my way to the end of the project, I realized I was not near the end. I would have to do a stomach and beak, too. Yikes. I actually felt real anger at this point. Anger at myself. Why was this so hard? Why did I make so many mistakes? How do people actually stand to do crochet? It required so much intense counting I couldn't believe people did these projects for relaxation. My shoulders were cramped. I was breathing weird.  

I was angry at the penguin, too. 

I probably should have stopped and taken a break because honestly I wasn't having fun at this point. No fun at all. This craft wasn't satisfying and creative. It was a torment. I'll just stop, I told myself. 

But there was a deep part of me that worried if I stopped, I wouldn't finish it. Ever. Because I wasn't having fun. My hand hurt. I was frustrated at how many times I messed up. If I stopped when I wasn't having fun, why would I ever pick it up again? 

I kept going. I finished a version of the stomach and a version of the beak. 

Then I read the rest of the pattern and realized I was supposed to make wings, too. Sigh. I did not do the wings. 

The penguin currently sits wingless on my desk. It is cute. It is darn cute. But it is also a little terrifying. I'm scared of how this penguin made me feel about myself. I was really, really hard on myself. I was judging myself for how unhappy I was about a craft. This was a sobering, strange experience.  

I don't know when I'll have the gumption to go back and finish the wings. There's a gamble here. If I wait too long I'll forget the skills I acquired to make this project. If I go back too soon I might be just as frustrated. 

What if I didn't do the wings? Would that be so bad? 

But every time I sit at my desk, I see the unfinished project. I know it's not done. 

And the penguin is there. It's shiny plastic eyes beg for wings. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

2021 Focus Words

 Here are our 2021 focus words. 

I'm excited about these. I think they will help us move into the new year in a good mindset. What are your words for 2021? 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Words for 2020 and Words for 2021

 On New Year's Eve 2019, we had no idea what 2020 held in store. We wrote down some words that we wanted to think about for the coming year. 

There are seven words here because my parents were visiting. That won't be the case this year. 

Some words, like travel, were harder (impossible) to achieve. Being outgoing also wasn't really a good idea. 

Other words like patience and love, were unbelievably essential this year. 

Steady and hardworking were also key.

We're getting ready to head into 2021. Everyone keeps talking about how things will be better. I think things will be different, but many things will be the same. 

I'm thinking about my word for 2021. What would yours be? 


Monday, December 21, 2020

Best Gifts

One of the best gifts we received this year was a pup born Dec 25, 2019. Having a pet teaches self-sacrifice, discipline, empathy and responsibility. 

Having a pet is also fun. 

It hasn't been easy this year, but I'm not sure the point of life is to be easy. I think my philosophy on how to live life is to do my best

That does not equate to perfection, or to be better than others. 

It truly means to do my best. Some days my best is checking off a to do list like I'm a master sword fighter slicing through those tasks. Some days it's pushing the pushable tasks into the future. 

Some days it's wearing pjs all day. Some days it's ...wearing sweatpants all day. Some days I might put on a dress, but only in the summer. 

Having a pet adds different challenges to my "do my best" mantra. But he's really quite forgiving. And that's a good lesson for us, too, to forgive ourselves and others when we don't quite do our best. But we can still keeping trying. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Puppy (or People?) Training

This little pup has started puppy class at Camp Bow Wow. He loves going to Camp Bow Wow for doggie daycare. I think he also loves puppy class. He certainly is a favorite of the teacher. I know he's learning lots of new skills, but so are me and my husband. 

Our teacher has a great attitude. The goal is to get the dog to choose to do what we ask, because they love us and want to please us. So she's teaching us how to reinforce the behavior we want. She shows us how to ignore behavior we don't want. We use a lot of food rewards, but we also use the clicker to reinforce that our pup has done something good. And lots of verbal praise and pets. 

I can't help but think - who is being trained, the puppy or the people? 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Moms Demand Action is Still Hard at Work

 Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America continues to work on non-partisan policies to reduce gun violence and keep people safe. Join us today!