Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rip It Out and Re-do It! (embracing the do-over)

Embracing The Do-Over at Make it Bake it Buy it Fake it
When I was a kid, and something wasn't going my way, I'd call out, "Do over!" The slate was immediately wiped clean and I would start again. Somewhere along the way to adulthood though, I forgot about the beauty of do-overs and began resenting anything I had to start over or do more than once. Perhaps as I grew older I became more aware of time passing... of the limited time we all have, and I didn't want to waste any of it doing the same thing twice? Maybe. 

Lately though, I've begun to re-consider the do-over, the second chance. How many times in life do we wish that we could go back and do something over, do it better, or at the very least, do it differently... say it differently. Should we just accept that we did the best that we could at the time and move on? That certainly sounds like the healthier option. And I think with most things, it is. After all, we can't go back in time, so the trick is to do the best we can right now.

But where is the point at which we look at something and say, "That's good enough" and can be truly happy with it... or think, "No, better re-do it", knowing it may forever nag at us if we don't? How do we know when to start over and when to just let go and move forward?

I've started making a new baby quilt and these are the thoughts that have been swimming around in my head as I progress with it. Is it any wonder that it takes me so long to finish one of these?! 

One of the blocks I'd made the other day kept bugging me. I walked away for a while. Something about it just bothered me. So I slept on it (not literally of course). And in the light of a new day.... it still sat there with a scowl. Or was that me? I rearranged the blocks. Rotated them this way and that. Looked at them from every angle. I'd spent a whole day trying to talk myself into accepting it as-is and yet I wasn't happy. 

No, there was nothing for it but to rip apart the offending block and do it over. I scowled some more, but as I finally sat down with a cup of tea and got to work with my seam ripper, something happened: I embraced the do-over for what it was, a second chance. Just the thought of getting rid of all that future angst I would no doubt have, if I left things as they were, started to lift my spirits. The tea probably helped also.

The do-over is simply part of the process. That's what popped into my head. The frustration? It went out the window. In the end, I had a better quilt block and hardly any setback at all. I will forever be able to identify the once offending block, but now it will be without any internal nagging or regret. Instead, it will be with an inward smile of satisfaction that I did do the best that I could at the time.  Because sometimes the best we can do... is to call a do-over.
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