Patience is Virtue – Slow Down!

21 Apr , 2014 Mindset,Thoughts

Patience is Virtue – Slow Down!

I think Sunday is slowly becoming the day when I blog. It seems to be the only day where I can actually sit down after the week and just blog about something.

It’s 12:47AM and I’ve just finished my book project (I will talk more about this), so I will keep this short.

Slowing down seems to be the theme in my life lately. Almost all of the projects that I have been working on have been slow, slow and slow. When I say slow, I don’t mean my work is slow. I have and still am working at a pretty good pace. Everything is slow meaning the motion or progression of the project is slow.

The Website project – that is still going on. Two websites are done but there’s still nitty gritty things going on. Another website seems to be a long, long and long project – no rephrase, it’s a short process that is just slow.

The Book project – I think most of you know that I wrote a book for Singles a few months back. It took a long time to put this together, but now that I have decided to put it together into a physical book (surprise!) it’s taken even longer! I’ve ordered 5 proof copies.. Don’t ask why.. and read through one copy with a red marker and marked the shit out of it. It’s good though, because, I’ve now nailed the format, the content and the bits and pieces to make it look better and most importantly, read better.

The Project X – I haven’t talked about this project yet. This is something that I haven’t yet spoken about because it’s something special that I did for someone else. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for her, so I will keep this hush hush and then spill all the details after the day. The wedding day. Yes, Project X is a wedding dress that I made for a friend. So all the details and photos after the special day! Only 2 weeks to go! What I can say now is that this project also took a long time and was a very slow process as well. It was a lot of long nights on my bed or on the couch hand sewing lace together. Stitch after stitch. Threading my stupid curved needle every 20 – 30 minutes. And on so many occasions the thread not making it through and splitting. Fuck, that pissed me off big time!

So what is this slow slow slow business. Each of these projects have been slow and have all taught me something that is a new skill to me. Slowing down. Being patient. Waiting.

I am that kind of person that prefers to get things done quickly. Speed. Speed and precision. When I first became a designer, I wanted to skip ahead and get straight into becoming a boss. When I finished my Counselling course and Coaching course, I wanted to get right into it and run a multi-million dollar business. I wanted clients, I wanted money, I wanted it all now.

The thing was, I was really really rushing things. I didn’t take time to learn things. I didn’t take time to just wait. To slow the fuck down. Because I was so fixated on the end result or completing the damn project, I never really completed those projects with a good result or to a great standard. It wasn’t half-arsed but it wasn’t the best that it could be.

Rushing and always having to get there first also made me feel really stressed out and really worn out. At the start of the year, I was really overwhelmed, “How can I get all this done now!”

These three projects taught me a lot. It taught me to slow the fuck down, take a deep breath and think about what I had to do AND to keep going and to enjoy it.

For instance, the whole website project taught me to really take a step back, read through, respond and wait. Accepting that it takes people a lot of time. Actually, accepting that human nature makes people respond really quickly when they want money from you, but respond really slowly when they need to give YOU something. I’ve learned the art of negotiating with people, being patient with people who are not understanding what you mean and learning not to respond immediately.

I was the kind of person that would respond to an email, text, message, facebook or anything immediately. Now, I just wait.

The Book Project taught me to refine and not to be afraid of my work. I have to admit, even though I have written and edited the book a few times, I have actually been too afraid of re-reading it again. It’s that feeling of, “It’s my book, eww”, fear of success, I guess. So when I had the hard copy, I was really going to just skim it, check for formatting and send it off. Then, for no reason, I started to read the first page and I thought, “FUCK, there’s mistakes on this page!!!” because of this, I just put my ego aside and kept reading.

About 2 chapters in, I slowly forgot that I wrote this book and was captured by my words again. It’s a pretty awesome book, I must admit. Even if I have to sound all up myself. It is an awesome book. Now that I have re-read and added bits and pieces in to further explain myself, taken out the spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, the concepts that made no sense and added new info that I somehow forgot to add – now the book is complete. I’ve even extended the book by a few pages, changed the formatting of the page numbers and now, it’s a NOVEL! YAY! Refine is so important!

The dress or Project X really taught me to be calm, patient and enjoy the peacefulness of hand stitching. I would have to say that I do enjoy hand sewing. I would also say that I do also really like to just sew and no embellishment but this dress has taught me that doing intricate embellishment may take some time, but not THAT much time. I sewed a small motif I cut out from the lace and hand sewed the edges to a piece of toulle to create a new pattern. That took time, but the result was so delicate and beautiful. I mean, I never thought that I’d have the patience (and skill) to be able to do that. Really challenged myself.

The results, I suppose, is also something that I have learned to let go of. Now matter what the result is, it will always be either great or not so great in someone else’s eyes. It used to matter a lot to me that the result of any project that I work on must be super awesome in someone else’s eyes. What I have learned is that I can’t control that. I can only control how I feel about it, how successful or how not successful something is.

In my eyes, all three projects are great. I’m proud of each one and I am happy to stamp my name on it.

None of this could’ve happened if I hadn’t just slowed down and enjoyed each process. If I didn’t slow down, I would have a half-finished book that contained many grammatical errors. If I didn’t slow down, I would have a dress that wasn’t perfect and I wouldn’t learn anything from it. If I didn’t slow down, the website would have started from scratch again and we would face the same issues and just move from developer to developer.

Finishing is an art of slowly completing something. It can’t be rushed.

Starting a project must also be slow as well. Slowly planning the project. Taking time to think thoroughly about the project. Using your time to research the project.

I guess slowing down is just the next step in becoming a mature person. Or maybe just something useful for impatient, rushy people that I used to be.

I think I’m going to keep enjoying this slow business. One step at a time. I don’t need to “keep up” with anyone else but myself.

Karen

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