Things have come full circle.
Take Out/Full Plate is a reflection on a really, really busy time in my life. Great opportunities came my way, invitations to fun, job offers, big changes that had me saying yes, please, and big changes that did not offer me the option of saying no, thank you.
It was 'good' busy, thankfully, and because of that, I said yes to more than I realized, and that's when I got into trouble.
There was no good reason to say no. We all have limits and I thought I had a pretty good understanding as to what mine were. What I didn't know was limits change over time. It's good to acknowledge this. Good, but not easy.
Honestly, there was a good reason, but at the time, I couldn't or wouldn't share it with anyone, but I'll share it with you now. I was exhausted. Not an easy thing for anyone to admit. I felt like a quitter and that really bothered me. So the more I said yes, the more exhausted I became. Not good.
The title refers to a watershed moment, an epiphany if you will, when I realized things had to change. We were having dinner, discussing the events of the past week and what was coming up. Both the past and the future looked a little busy. I started making a food shopping list in my head when I realized we had eaten more take out in the previous weeks that I care to admit here. Some nights we ate separately and some night we had different dinners. I did not like this one bit. I love cooking so I asked myself what had happened. I realized that saying yes to all, our plates were full and we lived on take out. It was time to say no.
I needed to think more. Since I consider quilting a reflective and meditative process, it was only natural that I turned to needle and thread. I started putting them together with absolutely no plan in mind. It was therapeutic. Each of the blocks is hand-pieced and the top was assembled by machine. The block name is Drunkard's Path, and it's arrangement most closely resembles Polka Dots (#1451) by Aunt Martha, according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Sewing these curves helped me understand the power of no. It reminded me of something I've known for along time, but had forgotten: Saying no is the first step in stress reduction.
The fact that it took me so long to finish is not lost on me. True, I stole a moment here and there when I could grab needle and go, but over time I had moved into a much better place, and honestly, I did not want to look back. I put the quilt away.
This winter, I participated in the IGQuiltFest with Amy's Creative Side. One of the prompts was to show an unfinished quilt so I took this out again, and here we are. I'm really happy that it is finished. It is not going to be quilt relegated to the back of the closet. Instead, it is will be our new fall quilt, a fitting reminder during a very busy time of year. On those days when I need to regroup and think about what my next step will be, I'll take an important step. I'll get a cup of tea and sit on my couch with this quilt around my shoulders, to think about the power of yes and the power of no.