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Early resolutions – getting all introspective

Well, inspired by the weekly notes from Morna Golletz of The Professional Quilter & International Association of Professional Quilters, I got the book ‘Your Best Year Yet!’ from the library today. I’ve never been a huge fan of self-improvement books, because they often seem like I’m kicking myself lower down. So far this book is really different. The two coolest things about it: the ‘how to use this book’ section in the front says ‘it’s ok to go ahead and start with the exercises in the back.’ The other is from the meat of the Values chapter – the two basic life pursuits models. One model is ‘What can I do to prove myself? To be good enough?’ The other is ‘What can I do with the gifts I have?’ Not going to spend a lot of time quoting from the book, but they are two very different approaches, the latter being focussed outward, not inward. (I confess I’m still surprised when people are impressed by something I do.)

Another book I borrowed from the library earlier this year was Chris Gardner’s ‘Start Where You Are’. He’s the author of ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ as well; the Will Smith movie of the same name was based on a portion of that book. And a couple years ago I borrowed ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen, after hearing a short bit about it on NPR. That one I now own, after the test-drive of the borrowed copy. All three books tend to have a lot of common sense in common. My goal for 2010 will be to make use of that sense and be more productive. That may sound somewhat silly for a ‘sweet little old ladies’ craft’ (SHRIEK!); if this can be my life’s work, I need to be treating it professionally!

One realization I’ve come to over the past year is that while quilting show and tell is wonderful, whether I’m showing a quilt, experiment or dyed fabric, it’s not the same as serious feedback. The Boyertown Guild was kind enough to commission a value scale of blue fabrics for the monthly raffle, and it was very gratifying to see the reaction. When the members saw me holding up the fabrics at the front of the room, a lot of them jumped up to buy their chances. And the guild made a bit of money, even though hand-dyes are normally twice the cost of commercial fabrics. (I did cut them a break on the price.) So the objective reporting – that the guild sold more chances – was good feedback for me. I hope to do more of the same by getting together to do some serious critiques with a friend. At any rate, I’ve learned to place more value on serious, considered review of my work. But I still enjoy the oohs & ahhs!
OK, enough for tonight. Tomorrow I will be putting the plan in motion!

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