3rd November 2023

You may recall us referencing Debbie Preissinger’s article from Needlepoint Now in our welcome to All Stitched Up! issue #394 where we unpacked some of her thoughts about how to keep the motivation going in our time with needle and thread.

Specifically, we looked at the idea that if we find ourselves overwhelmed with the needlearts project before us, we can ‘simply pack the joyless project away for another day and pick up something that sparks happiness within us.

As mentioned in the welcome, this was somewhat of a lightbulb moment for us and whilst we acknowledged that there are moments we should all ‘fight’ our way through the overwhelming feeling our time with needle and thread can occasionally bring, we can also just pack the project away for another day.

Further to Debbie’s views, a recent email from The Tonic challenged not just our thoughts on packing a project away, but whether we need to complete every project we start. The opening paragraph to their email, whilst referencing reading, immediately had us thinking about our time with needle and thread.

‘Do you find it difficult to quit things sometimes? For example, you’re reading a book, and before the hundred-page mark, you hate the story, characters, and prose, but you can’t bring yourself to put it down because you’ve already invested the money in buying the book and the time you’ve spent reading it.’

In our case, our thoughts wandered to some of the UFOs we’ve left abandoned for some time now – we’ve laid countless stitches, but there’s something about the project that just doesn’t quite work for us, and yet we feel compelled to complete it given our investment of money and time to date. This inability to quit is known as the ‘sunk cost fallacy’.

‘It keeps humans performing the same course of action even when quitting would obviously be the more beneficial choice.’

To beat the sunk cost fallacy, we need to be aware of whether we’re holding onto something that no longer serves us well but are unwilling to give it up because of our initial investment of money, time and/or effort, or if perhaps we’re continuing with something simply out of obligation. Then, if we conclude that what’s before us is no longer serving us well, we need to figure out how to remove it from our life.  

When it comes to our time with needle and thread, removing a project from our lives can be easier than it sounds – it is after all just fabric and thread – and the chances are, we may even know of someone who’d like nothing more than to complete what we started.

The truth is, we all have a limited number of hours we can devote to our time with needle and thread, so shouldn’t we commit that time to something that brings us immeasurable joy?!

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