…they didn’t get finished. But it’s OK.
Despite starting in early November, which I thought would give me plenty of time, I ran out of it. No–that’s not quite right. I chose to use my time differently.
I might have finished the napkins, if…
- I’d chosen a simpler design for them.
- I’d done pretty much nothing but embroider during every free minute from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
When I found myself feeling anxious and resentful about the project, I knew it was time to let go of it as a Christmas present. To hang onto my original goal, I’d have had to give up other things:
The quality of the finished product. I might have followed the advice some readers gave to embroider only one flower per napkin, but I really didn’t want to. I like them as they are coming to be, and I didn’t want to compromise that.
Time with my family. Although I can sometimes work on the project while in the same room with my family, I’m not giving them the same kind of attention when I do that. I chose to be more fully present than I would otherwise have been, which was something we all needed.
Other gifts that were also meaningful. I didn’t finish the napkins, but I did make these journals for a friend/colleague and her daughters. They were quick and easy and quite satisfying (and I’ll put up a quick post about them in a few days).
I really did want to finish the project and give it to my mom for Christmas, but the relief I felt when I gave myself permission to let go of it (for now) told me that letting go was the right choice. The work already done is not wasted; they will be just as appreciated for Mother’s Day or for her birthday in September. In the end, I got my mom a pair of pretty pajamas, which she loved, and I gave myself the gift of a little gentleness, which I sorely needed to get through the holidays in what has been (and continues to be) a difficult season of my life.
It was good to get a reminder that we always have the power to make choices and the ability to change our minds. And, that what we originally hope for might not be the only good outcome.
I hope you’ve all had wonderful holidays. Looking forward to connecting with you more often in this space now that things will settle down a bit. (I hope! Don’t want to jinx things!)