This is likely to be a photo-less post. Sorry, 'mere' words ;-)
I had a sewing machine lesson today. Earlier this month I bought myself a new toy (http://suebk.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/new-toy.html). I've dreamt about owning a machine like this for years and years. Finally, due to my redundancy, I could afford my dream machine. I was so excited about the neat and nifty things it could do. I've shown a couple of non-sewer friends, who have made modest attempts at enthusiasm, but they don't really 'get it'. Friends who sew - they get it.
As part of the cost I get a minimum of two free lessons in driving the machine. It's not really hard to drive a sewing machine. Like most things in life - read the manual, test in a safe environment, push the buttons, see what happens.
When I arrived for my lesson the 'teacher' asked what I had played with. I haven't yet broken any needles (I usually do that running over pins or forgetting to change presser feet). I have jammed the thread, which means I have also pulled apart the bobbin compartment to clean it. I've sewn ordinary stitches, buttonholes, some of the fancy stitches and played around the lettering. I've discovered the needle down, the tie off features, mirroring.
She was a little surprised. Apparently, some people buy a new machine and basically just look at it until they've had a lesson. What the? Some people don't read the manual so they 'break' it or get very confused very quickly. Also, people upgrading from a pure mechanical machine to a whiz-bang computerised machine often use the new machine as though it couldn't do anything fancy.
I did pick up a few tips that I had discovered by myself. I'm now more confident that I know what I'm doing (most of the time).
I explained to my teacher that I had waited a very long time for this machine. I had visited machine stands at every show I went to. I actually discovered some quotes I got several years ago for a couple of different machines. Why, why would I buy it and then not try all the goodies on it?
I wonder how many times we approach life with a similar mentality? We long for and dream of a better 'something' - job, relationship, finances, travel, opportunities - whatever. Eventually it comes along, but instead of embracing it with both hands and exploring all the possibilities we hang back, we worry about 'breaking' it.
The opportunity to travel comes along and we murmur about it being unsafe, and the food's not likely to agree with us, and hotel beds are uncomfortable. Or we go and whinge about everything that's not the same as it is at home.
A wonderful new job comes along and we edge into it timidly. We half expect to 'found out'. That someone is going to 'call us out', because we don't feel we deserve it. We don't take risk, don't embrace the challenges with gusto - just in case.
I am applying for a position in Cairns, which (if I got it) would mean moving the family some 1,700km. Completely different climate (yay), different culture, small city, new jobs, new schools, new house, packing (not so yay). If I don't get the position, I will be focusing on building my freelance business. My hope is that regardless of which path we follow, I will embrace all that life has to offer. I will push all the buttons, play with all the settings, and maybe (just maybe) produce some really creative at the end of the day.