29th September 2023

Obligations are often seen as something that we are required to do and can sometimes leave us feeling constrained as we believe our freedoms are limited by them.

For some, their obligation might be seen in a never-ending laundry pile or a table waiting to be plated up with yet another meal. Whilst for others, it might be a task at work they can never seem to quite get on top of or a relative who requires more care than they feel they’re able to provide. Whatever it may be, there’s no doubt we’d all be able to list the numerous obligations in our lives.

The truth is that obligations can also be felt in our time with needle and thread. Perhaps they’re seen in overlocking the edge of ground fabric, transferring a pattern, binding the edge of a quilt, or backing a blanket. Whatever it is for you, we’re sure there’s something your time with needle and thread ‘requires’ you to do that you feel takes up valuable stitching time!

A recent email from James Clear helped us reframe how we saw obligations and we think the idea he shared might just help point us in the right direction the next time we’re faced with a stitching ‘requirement’.

James acknowledged that whilst we often see our obligations as things that need to be completed, they’re not moments that should be dismissed. His simple suggestion was that if we’re able to devote the appropriate amount of attention to each of our obligations and ensure they’re ‘done with care rather than rushed to completion’ as we ‘bulldoze through them on the way to the next task’, we might just find some fulfillment in completing them.

He believes that if we’re able to ‘find the beauty and joy in daily rituals we will find beauty and joy in daily life’.

Whilst we’re not suggesting it will be an instant fix, James got us thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is some fulfilment to be found in the ‘requirements’ of our time with needle and thread. So, we’re off to find the beauty and joy in our next stitching obligation as, after all, they’re still part of our passion for all things needle and thread. A passion, we’re sure you’ll agree, doesn’t deserve to be rushed to completion.

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