Is this where I get a mulligan?

Golf ball on green

Photo by Andy Steele at sxc.hu

I’m not a golfer, but I do love to borrow one of its best words, “mulligan.” It’s golfian for “do over.”

Today was one of those days when nothing on my to-do list got done – and it wasn’t even a hard to-do list.

  • My nearly finished quilt project went a wee bit sideways (although it’s fixable);
  • My family research resources exploded (a good thing, actually; a different post about a whole new list of to-dos);
  • My next project is about to come in; and
  • It was 80°F today.

Needless to say:

  • The to-do list has a very small dent in it.
  • I figured out a fix to my quilt problem but it didn’t make sense to move the sewing machine outside, so it didn’t get done.

It’ll be 30 degrees colder tomorrow. Do over!

Slow going

Up there with slow food lately is my interest in slow learning. As in, learning new things at my own, leisurely pace.

I’ve had a lot more time and flexibility in recent months for things like writing, meditating and – wait for it – learning to quilt.

The quilt that started it all. I've been obsessed ever since with modern quilting.

Hot Spot by Alissa Haight Carlton. The quilt that started it all. I’ve been obsessed ever since with modern quilting.

If you know me at all, you may need to pick up that jaw from the floor. Except for classes in Home Economics in, what, 7th grade? – now called Family and Consumer Science – I’ve really never made anything by hand in my life. Two semesters of pottery don’t count.

I have more gifted artist and craftsman friends than I can count, yet I’ve always assumed I couldn’t make much besides food, music or a little trouble on the dance floor.

Then again, until recently I’d never found a craft I wanted to learn. Enter modern quilting, my new inspiration.

Today, I was mostly offline, and it was great. I am nearly finished making my very first quilt (to be revealed later, probably on Instagram, after I’ve gifted it to my friend).

The idea of taking things slowly today gave me the time, permission and freedom I needed to get this project near the finish line. One more step and I’m done.

From what I hear, unfinished bindings mean Purgatory for most quilts. So getting over that hump the first time around feels like a pretty big deal.

Not only am I happy to finish it — I’m thrilled to pick up a new skill I can enjoy and share with others the rest of my life. It can be my new gift of choice — along with fruit cake.

The multiple meanings of ‘Feast or Famine’

Orange tree whose fruite is ready to harvest - looks like feast

Photo by Brian Jimenez, Unsplash

Most freelancers are well aware that, when it comes to getting work, it’s a feast-or-famine game.

When I lost my job a few years ago, it took me a long time to realize that rest is no different. If it were, we wouldn’t put so much work into planning vacations. I mean, we have to plan to rest.

Thank God for my mom who knows me better than anyone, because I’m not sure I could have taken this wise counsel from anyone else the way I did from her.

Basically, she told me this: Enjoy this time as rest. You may never have this opportunity again.

That resonated in a way I wasn’t expecting. She was telling me to go out more, rekindle old friendships, enjoy a few coffee shops, play more tennis – all things I could never do that readily before.

As it turns out, I did in fact have that “rest” opportunity again.

Once again, it took awhile to figure out that, while it didn’t feel like rest at first, this season might be short-lived. So I’d better make the most of it.

And it’s when “feast or famine” took on a whole new meaning.