Friday, February 01, 2013

Pulled from the Ashes

I'm going to start with a little story today.

A few months ago, I was looking through some bins of my craft items.  Now I love crafts.  I dabble with this and I play with that.  I switch it up frequently.   I get bored with something and I move on.  Eventually I go full circle and get back to the original craft.   So I have bins of craft items.  As I was looking through the bins I stumbled across my cross stitch bin.  I was appalled to realize that I had not one, not two but 9 unfinished cross stitch projects hanging over my head.  I vowed that I was going to tie up these loose strings and finish my unfinished projects around the house.  I decided to tackle the cross stitch first.  Maybe quilts will be next...who knows.  :-)     The first cross stitch took me about 2 months to complete.  That's two months of working night (at home while watching tv) and day (I'm lucky enough that I can do small projects like cross stitch in between our few and far between customers).  It is the picture that is embedded in this paragraph...sorry for the glare on the glass.    The second took a few weeks (smaller and closer to completion than the first one).  The third one was really simple (just back stitching left) and I finished that really quickly.  And then I tackled the Thomas Kincade cross stitch that I had started 10-15 years early.  I started.  I was rolling along.  I was doing it and THEN I realized that I must have put it down 10-15 years ago because of some COLOSSAL mistakes.  My edges didn't line up, my house would be lopsided, and we won't even mention the flowers.  eiii yiii yii......  Oh it was bad!  I was tempted to throw it down in despair.  This thing was messed up with a capital MESSED UP.  I didn't quit though.  I took out some stitches on the edge.  I mentally told myself add one stitch when you get to this point in the project and to deduct a stitch when you get to that point. Do such and such when you get to that spot.  It was a headache.  It was a chore for me to even pull it out and work on it some days.  I wanted to scream and cry and gnash my teeth with frustration.  But I persevered.  I pulled this from the ashes and made something out of it! It is done and honestly, to the naked eye, it looks pretty darn good. 

As I neared the completion of this headache inducing cross stitch I started to think about the unfinished aspect of my life.  I am unfinished.  I need to FINISH this process of losing weight and settle into the 'new me'.  I am an unfinished project.  Even more revealing to me as I thought about the unfinished prospect was that I realized that I have been unfinished for so many years because I would make a 'collassal' mistake and that would make me throw up my hands and quit.  Still not following me?   I am doing good for a day or two and then holy of holies we go out to eat and I lose control and order the fattiest greasiest meal and follow it up with a large dessert.  Or I binge on chips and ice cream.  I make a bad decision.  What is my natural tendency??   I quit because I made a mistake instead of stepping back and figuring out how to move forward.

Just like the messed up Thomas Kincade cross stitch project.  I am not throwing unfinished projects aside anymore. I will make mistakes in my cross stitch and other crafts, just like I will in my everyday life and in particular my healthy lifestyle.  But just like this cross stitch proved to me.....mistakes can be rectified with a little patience and juggling.  Some mistakes I could easily correct.  Some I had to substitute and some I just had to learn to live with.  But just like my life...the end result is phenomenal.



Even with all the mistakes that I had to correct.  Even with all the mistakes that I had to learn to live with.   Even with the headaches and the frustration....I'd say that it turned out pretty darn good (sorry less then stellar picture.... I literally snapped the picture seconds after I finished the last stitch)






I had decided to weigh myself this morning, even though it's not my normal weigh in day.  Why?   Well it's the beginning of a new month!  I did.  I remain exactly the same as I weighed on Monday.  WOO HOO I maintained my weight this week. I refuse to be upset about not losing!!!!   I didn't waver in my determination.  I didn't eat food that I shouldn't have eaten.  I didn't skip exercise.  I did what was right. Should I have lost.  Yes.    Guess what??? The scales didn't show my efforts today.  Who the heck cares?   The scales WILL eventually show my efforts.  The pounds eventually will fall off.  I'm doing what is right.  That said, I woke up thirsty which is a sign that I am dehydrated...and usually that bodes ill for a weigh in for me.....plus TOM is knocking on my door...I wish I could tell the monthly ick that I'm not interested and it can go away...but that's not the way of life.   This is life...and results don't always directly match up with efforts every single time you check.  They will eventually though.

5 comments:

Gwen said...

MaryFran, I really needed that last part of your post. (but beautiful work on the cross stitch projects.) I made a couple of what I thought were minor bad choices yesterday, and gained 1.2! I'm totally frustrated, and will discuss more later today in my post, but I need to stop getting so frustrated by these minor set-backs. Because that's really all they are; learning lessons for sure, but minor setbacks. Thanks for the reminder!

Shelley said...

What a great analogy! I wonder how many of us have unfinished projects lying around, and you are so right in how that translates into other parts of our lives. I think by tackling your craft projects, you are setting yourself up for finishing EVERYTHING - including weight loss - this year. I'm excited for you!

As a former cross-stitcher, I also have to say how impressed I am with your pieces - dang girl, you take on BIG projects! They are beautiful, and huge congrats for completing them!

Scribbles said...

MaryFran you are so full of wisdom and insight. Your post is so spot on. I always take something away to think about when you write a post.

twogirlsmama76 said...

You are so darn talented girl! We got this! I needed this post. We focus too much on the weight loss instead of the improvement in our life. Yes it's hard to do the exercise, but it's amazing how I feel after completing another workout. If I look at it like a project that I will finish each time it makes it worthwhile.
Sherry

spunkysuzi said...

Lovely cross stitching!!
Unfortunately I had some unfinished ones and by the time I went back to finish my arthritis in my hands and my eye sight didn't let me finish them.
Great comparison! It's true we are all unfinished works of art. We must never give up and can overcome any bad stitch :)