Sometimes we start something that we don't know how to finish.
Sometimes we have a vision in our mind, but lose confidence along the way, and we want to give up.
Sometimes we get frustrated. Confused. Overwhelmed by what we've bitten off.
Sometimes it all feels like too much.
On the farm I've been feeling this way lately.
As in: we really have no idea what we're doing.
It's a familiar feeling.
One I remember from early parenting.
Owning my own business.
Writing a book.
Like I'm a little lost and in over my head.
Like I need to shine a light somehow on my own path but I can't find a headlamp.
And unlike the pillows, those other things I wasn't about to give up on.
I made two patchwork blocks on a whim almost a month ago.
I thought they would be cute pillowcases.
For pillows that I didn't have.
I thought I could make pillows.
You know: skirt, scour, and card some wool.
Sew and stuff some muslin cases.
And it sounded like a good idea at first, but felt more and more epic every time I thought about it.
So I gave up. For weeks.
And then I went thrifting.
But once I had pillows to cover (thank you, Goodwill), I stalled out again.
I've never made that kind of pillowcase before.
And so those pillows just sat on my couch as is – in their rust colored taffeta thrift-store-splendor.
Sometimes we set out without a plan.
Other times we have a plan but lose it along the way.
I finally got sick of looking at those fancy pillows.
I would finish what I started.
And I did.
Without having a clue as to what I was doing.
And so the pillows are a metaphor.
For your kid's eczema.
For going back to school or choosing a new career.
For that book you long to write. (Ahem.)
For homeschooling your kids when you're not sure you have what it takes.
For whatever you want but are't going for right now.
The pillows had this to teach me:
1. What do you want? Keep that beautiful picture in your mind as you embark.
2. You have what it takes to make it reality. You might forget this when you reach step 3.
3. Know that you may lose your way. It will be hard. You'll even want to quit. Over. And. Over.
4. When you hit that wall, taking a break is a really good idea. Regroup.
5. After your break, you might need a fresh new plan.
6. Revisit step 1. As often as you need to.
7. And then get back at it. Time and again.
8. And when you've done what you set out to do, don't forget to be in that joy and dance around the house like a happy fool.
As for my pillows, they weren't as epic as I'd made them out to be after all.
Once I got over my frustration, my feeling of not knowing what I was doing, they were done in fifteen minutes.
I waited a month. And they took me fifteen minutes.
How many other things have I abandoned fifteen minutes before I hit my groove?
So I'll try to remember.
The lessons of the pillows.
And I'll keep at it.
Whatever "it" may be.
(Now. To get back to writing that book.
Because that does feel pretty epic and overwhelming today…)