As we move through 2016 I’ve been trying to change my outlook and my attitude towards a braver, more positive me. I catch myself being a “realist” to the point where I often talk myself out of things that I’ve logistically evaluated and convinced myself just won’t work. But then a small stubborn voice at the back of my mind says “Oh come on, just try it.” And that small voice is usually followed by a vision of Master Yoda (because I’m a nerd) reciting his classic “Do. Or do not. There is no try” speech and you know what? Yoda is right.
To “try” something usually implies that you have two options, and one of those options is always to not like the thing you’re “just trying” or not doing the thing to completion.
I want to try to be No, scratch that, I’m going to be more optimistic and simply start DOING things. I’m going to do. I’m going to find a way, no matter what, and see it done. Even with the smallest of things.
Even when I’m too tired to sew, I’m going to do it.
Even when I’m too busy to blog, I’m going to do it.
Even when my tripod is broken and the lighting in the winter is terrible and there’s no way it’s worth setting everything up to try and take photos of a measly pair of pajama joggers, I’m gonna do it.
I’m doing it, I’m doing it, I’m doing it.
The funny thing that happened when I changed my mindset from “I’ll just try it” to “I’ll do it. End of story” is now even the small things feel like a triumph. I really like how these photos and these pajama pants turned out. A lot. I didn’t give myself the option to weigh the pros and cons or consider the odds might be against me. I didn’t give myself the option to feel anything besides success. Whatever my definition of success means today, I’ve reached it. I did it.
Even though I messed up on the sizing of the waistband, leading me to insert two grommets and a drawstring after the pants were already completed, and even though the grommets are upside-down, they work and you can’t tell (unless you look very closely) that the ugly side of the metal faces outwards. And! Even though I messed up the size of the leg cuffs and had to invent some pleats at the bottom of the pants to get everything to fit, I did it. And it works. So really I didn’t mess up a thing.
Tim Gunn knows what’s up when he says Make It Work. Tim Gunn knows about doing and not trying.
I bet he and Yoda would have some words of wisdom to exchange.
I know a sewing project that isn’t coming together like you hoped, or some indoor lighting that isn’t on your side, seems like a pretty trivial thing to get all philosophical about, but changing your mindset and your outlook takes small steps. Sometimes that small step means setting up a broken tripod in the corner of your kitchen, standing over a bunch of plates of wet cat food and playing with your camera settings until you decide dark, moody lighting is actually a cool thing right now (works well for Local Milk) so you’re going with it and you’re doing it.
So anyways, aside from sewing and blogging more frequently and more genuinely, I’m also working on less trying and more doing. And more doing means more bravery, even if it seems like a very minuscule amount.
I want you to be brave, too. Don’t try, just do.