Why is it so easy to magnify our failures and minimize our successes? I find myself looking back at my life and often dwelling on the things I perceive as my failures.
A few years ago (before I became fully addicted to knitting), my passion was urban and sustainable agriculture. I worked in the “green”, local, organic food field. I rallied my friends and co-workers to start a “backyard farm” program.
Now, to say my vision for the project was unclear would be an understatement; I had never grown a vegetable or even gardened before. But, I had faith in the concept and the community and believed the idea would work.
Our group broke ground and started vegetable gardens in various neighbourhoods around town – in backyards, community gardens, balconies and even a rooftop garden. Then, we all separated and tended and harvested our own gardens.
Even though I didn’t have a clear vision, this separation wasn’t what I thought would happen. My personal backyard garden barely produced anything because I planted it under a tree that blocked the sunlight. So, I developed the idea that the farming project had failed and that I was a failure.
What I didn’t see at that time were all the wonderful fruits of the project. Just because everything didn’t turn out the exact way I had wanted it to, I became blind to all of the good that came from our hard work.
We had inspired people to start looking at unused space as potential garden plots, we empowered people to start a garden which they maybe had never thought of doing or didn’t think they could, and we made connections with people in the community.
Gardening and Knitting are very similar in the sense of community they inspire. When I worked on the garden, or picked up supplies for it, there was an opportunity for me to connect with someone about what I was doing. People shared stories of picking fresh carrots from their parent’s garden when they were a child.
The same happens when I take out my knitting or spinning. I often have people telling me about their relatives that knit or sharing stories about the unique knitted objects made for them by their loved ones.
The connection is there and that’s what’s most important. Through the connections we make we can inspire and educate people. I am through with looking back and focusing on all the messes I’ve made and have decided to focus on the good that came from it all.
Please feel free to share your personal “failures” here in the comments (it’s freeing, I promise!). And if you are able to look back and see the positive things that came from your experience, you can share those thoughts as well.