I find that making things, creating them from beginning to end, and then seeing them in all their final glory, is rewarding. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and the beautiful items that I create are not the only reward. Yes, learning any new skill exercises the brain, but it also lends itself to learning about patience.
When people ask me about the amount of patience required to finish certain projects, I’m unsure of how to reply, and as a result usually just brush it off as nothing. But I realize now, that well, I don’t really see it as a matter of patience so much as a matter of process. In my experience the stages of this process involve a pleasant mixture of inspiration, motivation, and determination. The term patience implies that one is merely drudging through a tedious task. The word patience seems to invoke a sense of bearing through something that a person would rather not be doing. But it’s unlikely anyone would choose a hobby they did not enjoy doing.
When I take on the challenge of learning something new, it is because I have already been inspired to want to make it or do so. For me, inspiration is the jumping board for the rest. This desire to ‘make it myself’ is combined with a sort of a challenge, just to try and see if I could do it, even if only to a small degree. The object is to conquer this self-set challenge, it is my motivation, my driving factor.
After learning the basics of the new craft, I then attempt to create something. Typically though, at some point between the beginning and the end , I reach a point where I may start thinking things along the lines of: “This isn’t working!”, “This isn’t the way it is supposed to look”, “This is hard”, “This is going to take a long time to finish!”, or even just let out a big “ARGH!” I think this is the point at which the ‘patience’ factor that people are referring to enters--the point where others may quit, and perhaps do so prematurely.
Remember that I said the word “patience” implies a sense of doing something you don’t want to do? Well, I like what I do. I have fun doing it. Therefore most of the time patience isn’t required. At other times, however, you will need true patience. The patience to get through some frustration. Honestly, the frustrations I have encountered learning things are numerous. When acquiring a new skill takes more time then we had originally estimated, especially time that we may perceive as being in limited supply, or when we think a project should be finished more quickly, we may become frustrated with our progress.
It’s important to realize that the development of a skill here shouldn’t be mistaken for how quickly a project can be completed. As many of us are living hectic, busy, fast paced lifestyles, we have come to expect that other things are to be done quickly too. The reality though, is that some things will take longer to complete then others. Some things can be made in an afternoon, while others may take weeks or even months. I don’t allow this to discourage me (anymore). I’ve come to learn that accomplishing even only a 20 min dose of knitting every other few days or so, will eventually leave you with a blanket to keep you warm on those chilly winter days.
So, when people tell me that they couldn't do such and such, what I want to ask is this: "Have you tried it before?" Because as long as you're not trying, you really are NOT doing it, are you? The next time something takes your fancy, just give it a chance, challenge yourself to try something new, knowing full well there will be some snags along the way. If you find it to your liking, then really give it a go and see where it may take you. Alternatively, if it turns out to not be what you expected and you discover that it's something you don't really enjoy, then that's okay. There are many different options of handicrafts out there to try. So try another, and another, until you find something that you enjoy, something that soothes you. Because trust me, when you find a hobby you enjoy, and you complete a project simply for yourself, you are rewarded with such a sense of accomplishment which makes it all worth it.