Monday, July 30, 2012

Survey: How Do You Deal with Distraction?

I'm relieved that it seems like a pretty slow summer in the Northern blogosphere. I'd be eating my heart out if everyone was churning out gorgeous summer frocks like nobody's business while I'm plodding along.

So, what I'm interested in knowing today is: How do you deal with external distractions when it comes to your sewing or other hobbies?  When your mind is cluttered with other concerns is sewing an escape? Or do the other things going on in your life bog you down with your projects?

In addition to dealing with pain, which is draining, I have a few larger issues on my mind these days. I may have a number of career and personal opportunities in the near future, which is wonderful, but it's making my mental space a crowded landscape. There may be some difficult decisions ahead. And all of this is distracting me from sewing. Instead of my usual focus, I find my mind wandering between any number of vague fantasy projects while my jacket remains unfinished. It's very unlike me.

I did cut the sleeves last weekend, and this weekend I sewed in the zippers. 






 But without focus, I'm much more mistake-prone. Not a good thing now that I'm on the home stretch. And I did, in fact, make two mistakes. First, I just simply forgot to interface the sleeves where the zippers went in. Naturally, I realized this after finishing the second one. Also, I sewed one up slightly incorrectly and had to take out some stitches and it left a mark. It isn't too bad, but I know it's there. 




Both of these were mistakes born from distraction. Usually, when I'm not thinking about work or family or friends, you can bet that my mind is at work visualizing and planning my next sewing steps. But with so much other clutter, this just isn't happening. I forced myself to sew the zippers because I'm irritated at not having this done. But without good planning, I made mistakes.

So, I've decided I'm going to move forward in little or big bursts whenever I feel up to it mentally and physically, but not force myself again. Sigh. This is frustrating indeed!  

In the interim, because I feel like sewing in general, I've got some less mentally taxing sewing projects going on too. More later this week. Happy sewing or whatever it is you are busy with!


15 comments:

sewbusylizzy said...

I deal with it by doing a bit, getting a piece ready to sew and coming back later to check it. I'm horrendous when I rush or get tired. And that's worse than not sewing some days, it kills confidence!

Lisette said...

When I can't concentrate in sewing I pick up knitting, of course it can't be a super complicated pattern either. If your mind is going to wander better over something that you can't do real damage to =)

Karin said...

I just give in to the distraction and wallow in it! I love to sew, but sometimes other things are just more urgent/important.

Tanit-Isis Sews said...

Sewing is what I do to distract myself from all the stressful crazy going on in life---so the more other stuff is happening, the more I am wanting to be sewing. (I am not saying this is a good thing, mind you.) On the other hand, having my brain full of other crap does make it hard to be really thoughtful about sewing---most of what I am doing these days doesn't require a whole lot of thought, or new techniques, or research. Which is why I'm not working on a fancy leather jacket. ;) Good luck, both withthe pain and the exciting life opportunities!

Clio said...

Oooh. Yes, I am wallowing!

Clio said...

Agreed! I'm doing MUCH better with my knitting than with my sewing at the moment.

Clio said...

Thanks! I need some luck! With both!

puu said...

for the most part, i sew to distract myself from other issues--but still, sometimes other things (hobbies, life, pain, etc) get in the way. my own hobbies tend to go in cycles, so i just go with flow of what i am interested and try not to force myself. i've often ended up making more mistakes that way! happily, your leather jacket still seems awesome--i am sure your mistakes will be of the type that only you would notice, or consider a mistake. and i completely agree that working on a simpler project in the interim is a great plan to keep the sewing creativity going.

poppykettle said...

When life gets in the way of your sewing huh? Yeah, I know this one intimately. I find making a list of sewing steps on a notepad or something before starting sewing with lots on my mind helps because I don't have to rethink the process (or get distracted in between steps). Although I don't do this as often as I should! I have the same problem as tanit-isis - the more stuff going on, the more I just want to be sewing! Escapism much? Either way, you've just gotta keep plodding on :) And I SO can't wait to see your finished jacket (just to add a bit more stress to the pile :P )

Kimbersew said...

A little self-forgiveness goes a long way! I find that the energy/focus/whatnot comes back around again. Or if it doesn't, then it doesn't hurt to let the project go. I've had a lot of UFOs in my past, and I don't regret saving my energy for something more worthy of my attention. The projects that matter (and I really hope the leather jacket will be one!) will be all the better for it. Because I sew for my living, projects for Me often get short shrift. It sucks. So I try to have the projects for Me also have a professional education slant to them- learning a new skill or working out design elements. And they still get shunted to the slow season- but at least they get finished and worn! It is all learning... pace yourself and reward yourself. It isn't easy, but the good stuff is worth it.
Good luck finding solutions to the pain. That sounds especially hard.
Cheering you on in all your future opportunities!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Career stuff takes up a lot of mental head space. It's what you spend the majority of your time doing, so thinking about changing it is highly draining. Take your wallow time and don't feel bad about it! And I can't see whatever the problem is with the zippers--they look fabulous!

Elizabeth said...

When I was deciding to move to San Diego this spring, I really couldn't concentrate on sewing, my mojo took a nose dive. So I feel you on this issue. Relax. Sewing will always be there for you and so will we.

Clio said...

oh. yeah. wallow is totally the right word for it.

Clio said...

Thanks, everyone. The support is really appreciated.

T. Sedai said...

I know this post is a bit old, and that more recent posts seem to indicate you are doing a bit better (yay!), but I totally know how real life can kill the mojo. Sometimes I think doing some quick instant gratification projects can be good pick-me-ups, but on the other hand if you really have no interest in sewing right now, don't push it. When you feel better the desire will come back, and then you can return to all the projects you were working on and give them the time and attention they deserve. In the meantime, rest, wallow, and deal with real life. Creative desire will return. It might take longer than you would want, but eventually it will come back.