Monday, October 12, 2009

The Dress

My middle daughter decided she wanted to be a Confessor from Legend of the Seeker for Halloween. (Just picture a flowing white medieval dress, you get the idea). I picked out a pattern and bought the goods. "Wow, you pick the hard ones," said the man checking me out at the fabric store. "Better you than me," my mother in law said doubtfully. Even my husband looked mildly skeptical. My seven year old piped up, "Mom, that looks hard! Can you really sew that?" I just smiled and said "We'll see," because I was pretty sure I could sew that. I haven't sewed in a while but I know what to do, more or less. The dress is hanging up nearly complete downstairs. I was correct in my confidence, not that I wouldn't make mistakes, but that I understood the process well enough to retrieve the mistakes I did make (and there were at least three major ones). A real seamstress would smile at my ill-set sleeves and imperfect hemline, but my daughter looks great and is happy with it. I did what I set out to do.

What I wish is that I could apply that relaxed confidence to other areas of my life. I'm not sure where I got so tied up in knots. I wasn't raised with harsh criticism; my husband is the soul of tolerance. Somehow the need to be angry at myself for failing is so seductive. I only got my poor little daughter to ballet twice a week instead of three times; now she won't get cast in the Nutcracker, because she didn't go often enough. I've applied for a couple of jobs but haven't heard back. I have about a hundred irons in the fire but I have tremendous difficulty in putting forth that last 15% in order to get it done. I'm maintaining my weight and getting to my workouts three or four times a week, but I'm progressing so very slowly compared to my blog friends. Not sure what to do. The only mantra that seems to work is, "Yes, I am teeming colony of flaws, but my family's stuck with me. They just have to put up with my imperfections." Reassurances don't seem to help much, unfortunately. It's like trying to reassure an obsessive-compulsive that yes, they turned the stove off. I just have to work through it myself.

On a brighter note, I 5 factored today and yesterday, even though it was damned late (10 pm) and I didn't feel like it. Felt good both times so I get a gold star for that.

Maybe that's what I need... a star chart :) Or some cognitive behavioral therapy.

7 comments:

  1. Good job on the dress!

    I think we are our own worst critics sometimes. I know I am. I'm learning to shut up the negative comments and just keep plugging along and putting forth my best effort each day.

    Hang in there! Slow and steady wins the race... :)

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  2. I'm a firm believer in CBT to change one's thought patterns. I'm working on changing mine. It's a slow process, but so worth it.

    I do miss sewing Halloween costumes! They are the absolute best. Congrats on your fine job. I'm sure your girl will look spectacular.

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  3. One of the enduring memories of my childhood was the sewing my mother did for us. She didn't sew often, nor perfectly, but memories of the times she did stand out for me. Your daughter will remember this costume, too, and not for its imperfect hemline. :)

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  4. Great job getting the dress almost done. It sounds like the hard part is finished.

    Life is tough when we have so many things coming at us at once. Don't wear yourself out comparing yourself to others. Only you know everything that is going on in your life, and to be honest, if you are maintaining, you are winning. Of course, we all want to progress fast, but anything is great other than going backwards.

    Make it a great day!

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  5. Great job on the dress. I love to sew so this speaks to me!!

    Yes, having confidence in other areas of our lives but not in weight loss happened to me as well. I often wasn't afraid to try new things in life, but was afraid to really make a good effort to lose weight.

    Have a great one.

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  6. We are always so critical of ourselves... I the feel the same uncertainty. Remember lots of people think you are incredibly awesome.

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  7. CBT is a good thing. It actually does work, but like all things it takes practice. How about a picture of the costume? I would love to see it!

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