Life’s a (Morning Glory) Beach

Morning Glory Beach in Progress

I have a cross stitch project that has been stuck in “Unfinishedville” for over 20 years.. The picture on the cover of the kit that shows the finished project is beautiful. I love beach scenes, I have an optimistic spirit so stitching a picture with 140 x 160 stitches (22,400) seemed like a fabulous idea. How hard could it be to make thousands of little x’s and create a lovely piece of fabric art? It turns out it is very hard if you don’t keep track of where you have placed the stitches, if there are 75 different colors of thread involved, and the colors are scattered in groups of 2 or 3 stitches across the pattern. It’s moved with me three times, stuck in its zip-loc bag. It’s felt too overwhelming to me to finish: so many stitches, so many colors, so many tiny codes in their little squares that you have to match to the right color. It’s been an emotional burden as I keep coming across the partially-done project and then put it away again.

It’s not the only big project or goal that has me stuck. If I look at the whole project, it feels like too much for me to even start.. How about you? Morning Glory Beach has become a metaphor for one of the primary ways I get stuck: I get overwhelmed by the details, and the size of the goal: 22,400 stitches, in 75 different colors that all belong in very specific places, and so I either don’t start, or get exhausted and find it hard to start again.

That’s why I like the Fly Lady System: small little steps, to get going and build a routine that will yield a more peaceful, hospitable home. To lose 100 pounds, the amount that will get me to a healthy BMI – I’m starting by adding water, eating less sugar, which are do-able. If I thought too much about it and wanted to go hard core dieting right away, I’d curl up in bed with a pint of double strawberry ice cream. For me, for most of us, it’s doing one thing, doing anything, which is better than doing nothing – whether it’s ending world hunger or creating a piece of fabric art.

I also get stuck because I put pressure on myself to do it, whatever “it” is, perfectly, to do it the right way. Assuming there’s only one right way, also gets in the way. I want it to look exactly like the model, and because that’s now impossible, I feel like it will never be good enough and so, why bother? And so it stays unfinished. I want my whole house tidy, so I jump in for 6 hours cleaning and decluttering, and then get so exhausted, that nothing happens for months.

So I’ve adopted and share this motto: doing something, doing anything, is better than nothing. Drink more water, shine the sink, spend 5 minutes on the Morning Glory Beach project. It’s something. And of course, I pray: asking God to multiply my efforts, and to make me useful. A little prayer is better than no prayer!

The primary reason for this blog: to share. My posts may not be perfect, or up to my perfectionist standards, but at least I’m posting something. And I hope and pray they’re useful!

Grace and peace to you!


2 thoughts on “Life’s a (Morning Glory) Beach

  1. Food is not a replacement for love, no matter how good it makes you feel. Little steps move you down the path… you have a goal. Great but now it is first and 10. You can move ten steps…the longest journey begins with a single stitch. Now there is 20, 399. And if you stumble, it doesn’t mean you failed, just that you stumbled and we all stumble.


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