Happy 2014! As I sit down to write this post, it seems pointless to say Happy New Year, since it is actually the last day of January. Was January shorter this year, maybe by a couple of weeks? Maybe it seemed shorter because in our region we spent most of it huddled under layers of quilts, trying to stay warm. I suspect that this will turn out to be one of the coldest January’s ever. Well, I can’t complain too much, because cold weather usually brings lots of snow, and snowboarding this season has been epic. We’ve even had 3 days of powder so far. The feeling you get while snowboarding in powder is so euphoric, it almost defies description. And it’s legal! Suffice to say it should be enough of a reason for any skier to take up boarding. I have yet to convince my hubby, but my 2 sons have converted, and my son Chris is in my adult boarding class this year, showing me up, of course, because that’s what kids do. Each week, instructor Tim tries to teach the group a new skill, such as turning in circles, moguls or riding switch (backwards). Everyone but Chris is older (45+), and we don’t bounce back as easily as when we were teenagers. In fact, instead of bouncing, we “splat”. After splatting a few times, we develop hesitancy to attempt to perform that particular move that precedes the splat. The trouble is that we won’t improve if we don’t keep practicing. It reminds me of a great quote by Jack Canfield that I read last week:
Everything we want is on the other side of fear.
How true! Our biggest fear is usually fear of failure, so we avoid failing by not even attempting. So we stop attempting, and resign ourselves to the fact that we can’t do whatever it was we were trying to master. This brings me to another great quote, this one by Noah St. John:
The number one secret to success is giving yourself permission to succeed.
Aren’t we our own worst critics? We say “I’m so terrible at ____”. It usually takes recognition of our ability/skill/talent from someone else before we acknowledge in our own mind that aren’t as bad as we think we are. We can shorten our road to success by granting ourselves this permission. For 2014, I will attempt to become comfortable with riding switch on my snowboard. I will try to practice every week, because I know I can do it, and with practice I will become competent. I will fall less and less as I practice (fewer splats). By April, I will have added this skill to my snowboarding “toolbox”.
I can extend this into another area of my life – quilting! I recently purchased several new books on machine quilting. I can do one of 2 things with these books – I can add them to my growing stack of unread how-to books on quilting, or I can crack the covers and read them, practice the techniques in them, and give myself permission to successfully use these techniques on some quilts this year. Maybe this time next month, my blog post will be a book report on these books. Will my quilting improve? Not initially, but it will if I practice, because I know that eventually I will be able to competently stitch out the designs. I have already given myself permission to succeed. My quilting splats are much smaller and less painful than my snowboarding splats.
My quilting bud Betsey is going to add skills to her quilting “toolbox” when she takes my Borders and Bindings workshop on the upcoming Panama cruise in April, organized by Quilt Camp at Sea. This is currently my favorite workshop – I love teaching this class, because the participants take away several new “tools”. It’s great having Betsey in my class – she is very methodical, and takes her time, but she makes sure that she understands the process. Right now Betsey doesn’t have a roommate, and I would room with her again, as I did on a previous Quilt Camp at Sea cruise, but this time around Hubby is joining me. Betsey is an awesome roommate – we laughed until we cried. If you know anyone (such as yourself!) who would like to join us on the cruise, please have them contact Kathy at www.quiltcampatsea.com in the next few days. Just thinking of this cruise helps defrost my fingers and toes right now. By April I will definitely be ready for some fun in the sun!
I haven’t done a give-away for a long time, so let’s do one today. For a chance to win a bundle of Northcott’s new Artisan Spirit – Shimmer fabrics, please tell me about a fear that you have overcome, or would like to overcome, or a skill that you learned despite thinking that you “could never be able to do that”. Please send your comments by February 6.