thank you: stubbornness.

stubbornness.

i’m not sure if i came by you through genetics or environment. but you’ve gotten me far in life.

some might say being stubborn is a negative trait. others insist that it’s not stubbornness, but that’s usually when they’re referring to the characteristic within themselves. they call it determination, drive, or gumption (no really. people use that word. i heard it once, in a movie.).

but that’s not how i see it. that’s just sugar-coating the sentiment. for me, it’s a strong and positive driving force from within. it gets a bad rap, though, because it’s not always elegant in execution. it’s believing in something and sticking by it when things get tough. even though you know digging in those heels and holding on might make you fall face first into probable outcomes.

i admit, it is a bit of a dichotomy coming from me.  for most situations, i think it’s best to flow around what might come your way, stay fluid and flexible. but i don’t have much control over when stubbornness sets in. it seems to have a mind of its own. it plops itself down and refuses to budge. and you know what? i’m glad when it comes around because… things get done.

in the case of creating, stubbornness helps me see projects to completion. sometimes, i want to toss things out the window (sometimes, i do… proverbially at least). but sometimes, though a project may mock me, taunt me, look at me funny from its smug little pile in the corner, stubbornness makes me to push back a little. to get over that hump. to get over my fears. to get over myself.

it has helped me to sew that first zipper, a technique which filled me with dread before i tried it. to make that first buttonhole, another endeavour that confounded me. and most recently, to join that sleeve to the body of a sweater knit in the round, seamlessly. not a terribly tricky thing at all, but a major mental block for some reason.

sweater knit in the round

{ finished photo coming soon, you’ll have to take my word that it’s done. }

and you know what? just like with the zipper and the buttonhole, stubbornness has spit me out on the other side of this sweater, leaving me wondering what the heck all the fuss was about.

i don’t have the answer, but without that stubborn streak, this project would’ve joined others defenestrated long ago.

as to whether it was genetics or my upbringing that gave me this trait? i think like most things, it was a bit of both. my mom’s words from many years ago (when i was notorious for starting things and losing interest halfway) have stayed with me, and often push me when the time and situation is just right… “finish what you start.”

i try to. stubbornness helps.

p.s. if circular knitting confounds you, i might be able to help. yesterday i thanked some people for sending me things, and soon, i’ll be sending someone some stuff too. if you follow me on twitter, you’ll know i mentioned that i’ll be having a first-ever giveaway later this month. i’ll be able to share more soon, stay tuned. be stubborn about it if you must! ;-)

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6 Responses to thank you: stubbornness.

  1. heather says:

    i love the color of that green yarn:) and knitting without tears has so much useful information. i used it to make my first completed sweater also:) one thing that was interesting was just how tight the stitches are for the first few rounds after you join the sleeves…but it all came out perfect in the end:) can’t wait to see your finished item, thanks to stubbornness:)

    • imadeitso says:

      hi heather. the yarn is so nice, i have about 2 skeins left of it… what to make, what to make. mitts and a hat maybe? and yeah, the tight stitches concerned me a bit but you’re right… it all worked out. i’ve made sweaters before, but the sleeves have always been sewn in afterwards. the other sweater i made in the round recently was done from top down (another zimmermann), which was easier for my mind somehow than this bottom-up one. anyway… thanks! :)

  2. Tara Benwell says:

    I love this post! I’m trying to get better at finishing what I start. It’s one of my life challenges for sure. Getting my book out there was a huge boost for me, especially because it was out of my hands for so long. But I’ve written two other books that I need to finish and release. Gene Hayden’s book “The Follow Through Factor” offers excellent tips. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have Ana’s gift of stubbornness. Your mom gave you a true gift. I think I’ll try to pass it on to my kids! It is you who deserves the “thank you” today!

  3. ~*~Patty says:

    great wisdom in this post Ana
    your Mama taught you well

    head strong is another word that comes to mind…strong is good :)
    oxo

  4. Corey says:

    I adore you: colons.

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