Earlier this year I made a decision. Making this decision made me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, it was liberating.
So what was this momentous decision? I decided that I would stop trying to compete with my mother. Let me explain.
Firstly, this December my mother will have been dead for 3 years. During her life she was the consummate craftswoman. There was hardly a textile-based craft that she did not do. She sewed, knitted, crocheted, wove, made patchwork, beaded, dyed, did cross-stich, embroidery, tapestry, applique and spun wool. I do not remember a single moment in my mothers life when she was not doing something. And she was good at it.
A year before she died she developed dementia. It was a slow process but gradually we watched her lose her abilities to do all the things she loved. She still tried to knit, crochet and spin but eventually she forgot how to do even these. I felt incredibly guilty that, as her only daughter, I had not learnt these skills to be able to carry on where she left off, and I had realised this too late to learn them from her and that this wealth of knowledge was lost.
After she died I felt that I had to try and learn some of these. I started to get a weekly magazine on how to crochet, and started to make squares for a blanket. I borrowed a book from the library on patchwork and started collecting fabrics and made a cushion. I got out the cross-stitch kit that she bought me one year and tried to get it finished. Hubby bought me a sewing machine for Christmas.
Then one day it hit me. I was not doing these things because I loved doing them, I was doing them because I felt I aught to do them. What I loved doing was painting and sculpting. Something my mother had never done. What I was trying to do was to compete with my mother and I would never win. She had loved what she did, that was what made her good at it, I did not have the same passion so was not being true to myself and was failing.
I had been the only one who thought I aught to do this stuff so why was I doing it? I decided to stop.
The relief at deciding that I was going to focus on what I want to do instead was tremendous.
Is there something in your life that you are simply doing as a sense of duty? Are you being true to yourself? As I realised you need to truly love doing something to be truly good at it.
A Moodscope member.