What do you do when you get stuck?
Considering how long it’s been since my last blog entry – it’s pretty clear that “publish a new blog post” hasn’t been at the top of my to-do list for a while.
It’s there. Just not at the top.
Not because I don’t like sharing my work.
And not because I haven’t been working on things I’d like to share.
Like these two rugs
and this twill tape/binding (the hem sections on the multi-color rug were too bulky to fold and didn’t look right),
and another greeting card project with removable/useable mug rugs,
and a couple of scarves,
and some experiments dying fabrics and yarn to “go-with” commercial yarn colors.
The reason I haven’t shown up here for such a long time is that this blog is part of a question I’ve been struggling with – my “What will I do about building a new website?” question.
And by struggling, I mean stuck.
The kind of stuck-ness that happens when you know something’s wrong with your project.
And you try to fix it.
But it’s the kind of wrong-ness doesn’t go away. It just gets worse.
And you start to think it might be better to cut your losses and move on to something else.
If you’ve ever struggled to understand something and felt like you didn’t “get it” – If the only thing you did manage to get – from all the hours, days, weeks, (months?) of study, practice, work and effort – is a feeling of frustration – then you know what I mean by stuck.
Like you’re not getting anywhere.
You’re just spinning your wheel(s) and not making any yarn.
And if you know what that’s like, – you probably also know how easy it is for feelings of confusion and bewilderment to turn into disappointment and doubt.
The problem isn’t that we get stuck.
Learning something new is always filled with challenges; situations, information, techniques, materials – all kinds of things we’re unfamiliar with and aren’t (yet) ready or equipped to handle. So we ask questions. Our questions lead to answers. And the answers help us move forward.
The problem is – instead of asking “What’s wrong with this?” the question we often ask ourselves is “What’s wrong with me?”
When that happens – when we interpret our inability to move forward as some kind of personal failure, our self-esteem takes a hit.
Maybe – instead of trying to push harder against what’s holding us in place – maybe what we need to do is take a step back.
Maybe we need to walk away.
It’s not about quitting or giving up. It’s about checking in with ourselves and reconnecting with what really matters.
It’s about recognizing how we feel about what we’re doing.
And giving ourselves permission to do something else – something that allows us to rest our minds and re-set our intentions.
If you find yourself, like I have, in the middle (or at the beginning?) of a project that isn’t going well, – if you’re unsure about which direction to take, or what to do next, – instead of beating yourself up about what isn’t working, and what you think you did wrong, – remind yourself that there are plenty of things that you can do right.
Things that give you pleasure. Things that you can you enjoy.
Things that make you feel successful.
Do some of those things.
At some point, when you’re ready, if you decide you want to take up where you left off, you can do that, too.
Unless – before you walked away – scissors were involved.
I gotta go put on another warp.