stress-free projects: finding joy in the journey

Why don’t you finish already!

It’s an all-too familiar feeling:
Pushed up against a deadline,
real or imagined,
the stress and pressure pushing you to
finish already!

Rushing through the process
to get to the finished product —
yet now that you hold it in your hand,
are you really happy with what you’ve accomplished?
I know I’m usually not.

Where is your focus?

The joy in the journey is diminished
when the destination is all you can see.

When your eyes are not on the road in front of you,
but instead straining to see beyond the horizon,
you are apt to stumble,
or at least stub a toe.

In the same way, when your mind’s eye gets too focused
on the futuristic finished product,
you are likely to slip up
or prick a finger.

Let your focus be on the moment you are in
that you may fully enjoy it.

How do you feel when you see what you’ve accomplished?

Think of the last thing you’ve made;
did you purposefully find joy in the process?
…or was it rather rushed?

How many times did you say to yourself,
“It’ll have to do!”
as you rushed past one poorly executed step
into the next hurried task?

This finished product that you now hold in your hands — do you love it?
Or does a vague sense of regret seep into you whenever you see it?

More than a few things I’ve made
carry in them memories of many make-do moments.
Maybe I do smile, knowing I did well…
but I also feel a little sad inside, knowing I could do better.

Mostly, I simply don’t have the same
beautiful memories and associations
that I do with other projects.

Choose joy in the journey!

When I see certain things I have made,
a peculiar joy washes over me.

I remember the exact moment
when I stitched that seam.
The particular day
that I pressed the hem.
I remember what I was listening to
as I placed a particular stitch,
and the silence as I focused
on a special detail.

I chose to create these things slowly and surely,
with minute attention to detail, and forgetting the concept of time.

I have learned to love
the process of seeing something come together
so much that when that process is over,
it almost makes me a little sad.

But then, or course, the end of one journey
may simply lead into the beginning of another.

Imagine a project so stress-free that you hate to see it end.

Imagine if you loved every single stitch
that you put into your next project!
How much more perfect
might each of those stitches be?

Imagine holding the finished object in your hand,
knowing it tells the story of a wonderful journey.
It would hold memories of so many
joy-filled moments of pleasure.

I know what it’s like,
because I have projects like that.

Stress-free projects that had no deadline,
or a deadline so far off it was easily forgotten,
so that I felt completely free to invest in the moments
without worrying how much time I was taking.

When I made myself forget
thoughts of time and deadlines,
and simply invested in the work at hand,
not only did I do better work,
but the work became faster!

Forget time. Choose to love the moment.

Let the very concept of passing time melt away
and lean in to the moment you are in.
Invest in the step in front of you
and you will be rewarded.

Love the present moment,
along with what you are doing in that moment.
It will be over and gone before you know it,
so love it now.

Go make something stress-free.
Something without a deadline
and without the pressure of perfection.
Maybe a simple little bag,
like the one in my free ebook:
{simple sewing skills}

If you take the time to enjoy every beautiful stitch,
you’ll not only learn to stitch beautifully,
but also to find joy in the journey.