A Stitch in time

  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Better late than never.
  • A picture paints a thousand words.
  • Change is as good as a rest.
  • A watched pot never boils. 
  •  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

I’m sure that most of us have heard these and the many other proverbs. You may even say them without thinking about it, I know I do.

My Grandmother used a lot of proverbs, one of her most quoted was ‘A stitch in time, saves nine.’  As a child, I though she meant it literally, it made sense since she was teaching me to knit and sew. It’s not surprising that I took it at face value.

[ If it’s of interest, It seems the phrase originated in France, during the 1700’s, and was first recorded in English in Thomas Fuller’s book of Gnomologia (1732) ]

But I digress…

Most (if not all) proverbs were intended to teach the masses in an easily remembered format. However, I wonder if any of them thought about alternate meanings?

The subject of this blog invaded my thoughts, without any form of invite. It wasn’t one of my considered subjects, but never-the-less, it has refused to go away until I put it ‘out there’. So for the sake of my sanity, I shall attempt to quell it’s nagging.

A stitch in time, saves nine.

Scenario 1

In our hectic daily lives, how often do we put off doing things, telling ourselves we haven’t got time? Frequently, even if concerned about their health, many people will use a variety of excuses to avoid seeing their doctor. Even when the ailment becomes more worrying, they ignore it, doing anything to avoid hearing the truth. However, this can easily back-fire. The delay could mean that a simple, easy to treat niggle  has become a more serious problem, with all that entails. Without a proper diagnosis, how can any of us know? Why do we procrastinate over something as serious as our health? Use that first*stitch* when needed, there is nothing to gain by delay.

Scenario 2

Maybe you misunderstand what someone is telling you and you get angry. Your temper rockets skyward, preventing the unwitting recipient the opportunity to clarify what they were saying. The argument gets personal, with you hurling hurtful insults. Later, once the fiery rage has faded, you reflect and realise you were in the wrong. You owe the other person an apology, do you make your peace immediately or avoid it, hoping it will resolve itself? It won’t. In most cases, delayed apologies are less likely to be accepted.

Scenario 3

How many of us have bumped into an old acquaintance – you know the face but can’t recall their name? They are chatting as if you were long-lost friends, what do you do? The sensible solution would be to apologise, then explain and ask them to remind you. But courage is a strange being, it can tell you it will be easier to bluff your way through the conversation. So you smile and chat, walking on quicksand, hoping you don’t give the game away. ( I fall into this category). You might breath a sigh of relief when they leave,  but what if you meet them again? How much more difficult is it going to be then?

Scenario 4

For no specific reason, you are late for a meeting, do you make a simple apology, or concoct an elaborate web of lies? While the fanciful tales might ease your conscience, is your memory really that good? You will be walking on egg-shells, scared of being caught out. And what happens if you are?

Scenario 5

One of the most difficult and distressing situations, is meeting someone you know has been recently bereaved. You don’t want to speak to them because you’re nervous about saying the wrong thing. Few of us can instinctively find the right words, (if there is such a thing) but avoidance, perhaps by crossing the street, doesn’t help anyone, nor does it solve anything. You’ll still need to have that first conversation sometime, you can’t avoid it forever. Pushing through your discomfort by focusing on the other person’s needs is kinder and easier, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Nearly there…

Scenario 6

Relationships can be a ticking time-bomb. Even in a fairly close partnership, it’s likely that at some point the boat will be rocked and by the law of averages, at some point, the blame will be well and truly yours. You’ve hurt the person you love most, they are upset, the atmosphere is dreadful. You want things back as they were but you also want to save face, besides why you should make the first move? They were to blame as well! You realise that you need to talk through your problem but your inner coward is insisting you avoid the truth at all costs. So instead you snipe and bitch, hoping that your partner apologises first. Problems can easily escalate and there is no way of knowing how much damage is being done. While there is love between you, there is no place for pride. Put your partner first. Using the *stitch* in time, can make the difference between healing the hurt, or allowing your world to collapse around you.

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The key in all of these scenarios, is one word, or rather, two – ‘I’m sorry.’ It’s a simple little phrase, but said with humility, it can be the necessary *stitch* that repairs the damage. It can hold things together, even bridging the widest chasm. It’s up to you whether you use it.

In the context of this proverb, I believe ‘one stitch’ means to face up to your problem as soon as possible. Delaying tactics might render your sewing abilities futile.

Sometimes, the remaining eight stitches won’t be enough.

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This is my interpretation but you may think differently, I’d be interested to hear other ideas.

Rosie x

 

 

Life keeps getting better

Each time I believe that my life has reached it’s peak, it proves me wrong & something even more wonderful happens.

Despite my reservations I recently set up a free writing group which has been running for a few weeks now. Attendance has been comparatively low which has been disappointing, however I realised that I was sending out the wrong signals to the Universe. I had been doubting my competence, once I dismissed that notion & realised that knowing that I was capable was not an ego trip, things began to change. This week I have had several enquirers from potential new members. Hopefully they will all come but It matters not if they change their minds – I won’t.

Everyday I become more certain of my abilities. I am continually learning new skills. My enthusiasm is growing for the writing group as well as a few other projects that I have in the pipeline.

So many people believe that their life wanes as they age. I don’t believe that it does. What seems to happen is that we need to change our direction as we age. Things that inspired or interested us when we were young lose their appeal or are no longer relevant. Too many people are afraid to let go & hang on to what they used to do/ be good at. This prevents them from learning new skills & finding new interests that would suit them better. There is so much that is out there to learn & experience. Don’t let fear hold you back-
GO FOR IT!ūüėČ

Praise where it is due

like so many people, I always had difficulty in accepting praise, I’d mumble something about not being very good, or else rather than embarrassing myself by blushing, I’d make a joke, or make fun of myself.
I’d been brought up not to show pride in myself or my achievements. Pride is on par with lust, gluttony or avarice ( although to be honest, I never truthfully understood quite what avarice was.) I grew up believing that it was wrong to be pleased with myself – so inevitably I stopped showing my talents – became a mediocre nobody.
I hated having the spotlight on me, even to the extreme! One painful memory involved winning the first prize in a theatre draw. I was mortified! I begged my Father not to make me collect the prize, but I was ritually marched through the theatre towards the stage. I could feel myself burning up, tears pricking at my eyes as I made my way past all of the envious spectators. Why Me? I didn’t deserve to win, I didn’t even want the prize! Surely everyone must believe that I’d cheated? Why Oh why did it have to be me?
I’ve never forgotten that day. It acted as a blueprint for the rest of my life. I would never claim any further prizes, even at Bingo ( which I hated then & now) if I noticed hat I was close to a full house, or winning line, I stopped crossing off any more numbers. I couldn’t bear the humiliation of having everyone stare at me.
I stopped doing the Lottery because I dreaded winning a fortune but not being able to claim it!
Bizarrely though I felt comfortable being on stage, be it as an actor, dancer or singer, I guess that it felt safe because I was playing a part – it wasn’t really me that everyone was staring at. I wasn’t there, I’d stepped back to allow the ‘other me’ to take front stage, I was invisible. Safe.

How different things are now!

Since living alone, since finding out who I really am, I’ve come to understand that there is no shame in being proud of my achievements. I have no need to be embarrased when someone offers praise.¬†¬† I’m only an ordinary person but like everyone else – I am unique. You are unique, we all are & we all have positive attributes as well as weaknesses. I am learning to feel quietly proud when praised & now am able to say a simple “thankyou”.

Recently, in a moment of madness I decided to do something positive, to show gratitude for the abundance that the Universe has bestowed on me.¬†¬† My health was reasonably stable so I took part in Care Internationals’ campaign ” Walk in Her Shoes”, which involved walking 10,000 steps a day, every day for a week. This was to represent the distance that Women & girls in the poorest parts of Africa need to walk daily, just to fetch water.

Although the daily distance wasn’t huge ( approx 5 miles) for a fibromyalgia & angina sufferer who was usually only able to totter for a few steps before collapsing in pain, this was way, way out of my comfort zone!¬†¬†¬† However the cause is very important to me, so I duly proceeded to train myself to walk, with the aid of my pusher, a few metres more each day.

Naturally for this to be a success I needed to gain lots of sponsorship, but as I haven’t lived here for very long, I didn’t have a lot of people that I could call on to support me.¬† Therefore I decided to enlist the help of the local newspaper to highlight my endevours.¬†¬†¬† I wrote a letter, hoping that part of it would be published, what I hadn’t expected was to have¬†an entire article¬†and a full length photo of myself published!¬† Not much chance of anonimity anymore.

At first I was dreadfully embarrased, but soon realised that I needed to embrace this publicity if I wanted to raise awareness of this cause.¬† Good job really because shortly afterwards I was awarded a beautiful bouquet of flowers as that weeks’ most inspirational story.

I soon discovered that being recognised had it’s advantages. I found the courage to ask people to sponsor me & even had my photogragh taken again with my carers’ company, along with a very decent sponsorship.

I began keeping an online account of my training, difficulies & successes, this involved regular updates, photos etc.¬† I admit that I found this quite daunting – taking ‘selfies’ may be the norm these days, but not for me!

By the time the challenge began ( 23rd March 2015) my health had deteriorated but I knew that I needed to carry on РI had invested too much effort & time, besides I needed to do this for ME!  I had to prove to myself that I am able to hold my head up, I am able to succeed!

And succeed I did!

I raised quite a substantial amount of money & although now one month later, I am still suffering from the ill effects of pushing myself too far, I AM PROUD of myself. I did what was seemingly impossible for me, I did it without worrying what other people thought.

This has opened a whole new chapter in my life.¬† Why shouldn’t I continue with this positivity?

I have also realised that I was taught wrongly.¬†¬† Being proud is good in the right situation.¬† I now know that I have the right to create my own life rules, as long as I don’t cause harm to anyone.

I’m no longer that terrified little girl.

It no longer matters if people doubt my motives, as long as I know my intentions are good, why should I justify it to anyone else?

There are millions of people on this Earth, most of them stumbling along trying to find their role in life, many of them apologising for their existence.¬† Hopefully they too will one day realise that it is GOOD to hold your head up & say¬† ” This is me, I’m not perfect but I’m proud to be doing the best that I can”

We’ve all got a role to play, never forget that.

Be unique

Be yourself

Be happy & proud of who you are.

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till next time, stay strong,

Rosie x