Life Experiences

The Patience Project: Therapy by Needle and Thread

After working nearly non-stop for so many years, I didn’t know how to run at a lower gear. I didn’t have any patience left in me. So, I made a list of things I had been meaning to do and I began it. The first one was to mend some clothing.
I whipped out my sewing machine. Just staring at it brought memories of my auntie and grandma zipping away at their machines making costume after costume for my cousins and I in the nick of time for Halloween. With the threading of the needle and the push of the pedal, the sound of the needle zipping away was like therapy. It was the beginning of a two week Pinterest frenzy. Part of me wanted the meditative focus these projects required to slow my busy mind. Another part of me wanted to feel myself excel at motherhood, one superfluous project at a time. Whatever I was seeking, it did bring me peace. 
But this therapy didn’t come easy. I’d forgotten how to adjust the tension and my machine needed maintenance. After struggling through a simple hem I moved on to making a fun cosplay costume for my toddler. I’d certainly bitten off more than I could chew. As my machine jammed and the thread wadded and broke over and over again, it was all I had in me not to throw the whole machine at the wall. I even found myself standing with my machine in hand, ready to aim. Goodness! My lack of patience was quite shocking. 
If there is anything that will re-establish your patience, it is garment making. Knitting, crocheting, sewing…it may not be trendy and certainly not a part of the modern idea of feminism but it is very peaceful. After a few broken needles, nearly a spool of wasted thread, and a few nips of the finger with the fabric scissors, I was well on my way to acclimating to this new Stay-At-Home-Mom gig. It is no wonder women would quilt in circles and cross-stitch the afternoon away. It is beautifully meditative to create things with your hands that take so much care. In an age where everything is imported from a sweatshop across seas, some homemade things are still very much appreciated. 
Now, go make something. You won’t know if you are any good at it if you don’t give it a try. And if you aren’t any good at first, maybe it will build your patience. 


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