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Much More Than Sewing Lessons

Growing up I loved spending the weekend at my grandma’s house. I especially loved her sewing room. This one room was like a creative playground, it had bins of fabric lining one wall and every surface was covered with mounds of project books. She had 3 sewing machines to play around on and not to mention she always had undivided attention for me & whatever project I chose to work on that weekend. Little did I know that these sewing lessons would turn into foundational life lessons.

I can remember this one particular weekend when I woke up so excited from sewing the night before and was telling my grandma about the new project I wanted to start. She listened attentively as she always does with her genuine curiosity and warm smile. She then says pretty matter of factly, “well you do know that you will have to finish last night's project before you can start a new project.”

And with that simple statement I could just feel the wave of emotions come over me. There was frustration and disappointment and confusion, but mostly anxiety. You see I wasn't familiar with following through on things or fixing my mistakes. I was from the other camp where if something was difficult then you walk away from it, ignore it and hope it never returns again. But my grandma had a different plan for me that weekend. She could tell the emotions were starting to overwhelm me and so she reassured me that she would be there every step of the way. She would teach me the things I didn’t know how to do on that project. As you might imagine, I was supported by grandma to finish the project that particular weekend.

25 years later, I still wish I had the project from that day. Although I may not have the wallhanging or baby doll blanket that I started out to make, I do have something more valuable to me. You see, my grandma gave me so much more than sewing lessons. She gave me life lessons and this specific one continues to show up on a regular basis.

I have the perspective that problems will come up, that is the process of sewing (and life). Problems aren't a personal reflection of lacking something but rather they are an opportunity. They’re an opportunity to learn new skills, to build deeper relationships and grow towards being the best version of myself.

So, when things get hard, whether in life or working on a project, and I’m starting to feel defeated, I try to pull on this story and adjust towards the perspective of using this as an opportunity for something better than before.


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