A new analogy

Sewing. A humbling experience. You do a bold, brave line and you double back on yourself to make sure the stitching is strong.

Then you realise you’ve sewn an arm to a leg, or to yourself. You have to unpick and start again. That’s sewing.

And that’s life. You want the lovely jumpsuit? You’ve got to be prepared to unpick a lot of stitches and try again. With practice, you’ll spend less time correcting your mistakes – but unpicking will remain a fact of life, however many years you put in.

It’s almost better for the mistakes: for the feeling of pride when you look, tired and sore-fingered, at your finished piece that took you twice as long as you thought it would. It may be untidy and homely, but you made it. YOU did that.

There’s a healthy vulnerability in trying, isn’t there? In saying to the world, ‘I am not good at this but I will try.’ It’s good practice for any perfectionist, to try your hand at something new. Rollerskating did that for me this year and, for second (wintery) lockdown, I have clothes-making.

Find something totally absorbing that doesn’t matter, with zero stakes. Practise for the joy of slowly gaining a new skill. A glow of pride is so good for the soul.

Remember: no one sees the messy stitches but you

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