Friday, 30 September 2011

Surviving Disappointment

 I was staying up late. I shouldn't have been. Eve hasn't reliably been sleeping through the night long enough to warrant such a late bed time. But I was excited. I was so sure I was going to make it to the short list for the Celebrate Color comp which I'd entered my drawstring play mat in. Finally I decided to wait till morning and with one last refresh on the laptop, I stood up to go to bed.
Wait! The results had been posted! I nervously and excitedly clicked on the link and started to read the list of names. I read it again just to make sure mine hadn't hidden from view the first time.
It hadn't.
My heart gave that kind of thud it often does when I've been met with disappointing or sad news.
And then I got that repetitive wave of feeling as I processed what had happened.
I had gotten a bit ahead of myself.
I had gotten my hopes up.
This creative thing is a risky business. It's so easy for me to set up each sale, each 'like', each comment or page view as a measure to tell me I'm ok, and each knock back or silence as a personal rejection.
And we avoid disappointment like a cancer in our culture. We are told not to get our hopes up. Not to count our chickens before they hatch. Not to get ahead of ourselves. To prepare for the worst.
Why? (Why bother living through the disappointment before you even know the outcome?)
The other night as I sat in front of the computer, I just let myself feel disappointed for a while. It was, after all, disappointing, and therefore felt like just the right feeling to let myself have.
And after a moment, a little voice inside me asked, "Do you like what you've made, Jodi?"
"Yes," I replied, "Very much."
"Even if it doesn't sell or win prizes?"
And then I felt like I could keep doing this a bit longer. Keep making things that are an expression of me and put them out there to be critiqued, judged, sold. And that I could hope people like them. And I could be disappointed with the outcome. And still be ok.
Because I feel like this whole thing is only going to work if it's a beautiful expression of me and not just one massive question mark, "Am I ok??"
And that way I can enjoy the beautiful expressions of other people, the ones that do get 'chosen' because they are wonderful too. 


  1. Hey Jodi, Every night (which have been cool recently) I lie in front of the TV with the beautiful quilt you made me. So lucky that you had the time and put in the effort because although I have made 3 for other people, I've never made one for me :) I sit in front of the TV and glance every now and again at the beautiful colours and stroke the soft flannelette squares and think "Thank you Jodi" :)

  2. Oh chica! I love love love your drawstring mats! They are so cheerful! I understand about disappointment...and I totally agree. It's perfectly fine to feel upset. That's why we have a range of emotions so we can enjoy happy when it comes around.

  3. Lots of people vote for their friends or blogs they follow so maybe didn't vote for you for that reason! Don't take it as rejection you have done more than most by entering and selling your stuff - carry on being courageous! You will also be encouraging others to give it a go! And how marvellous is that.

    And besides it is gorgeous and a great idea !

  4. yes - great philosophy: do it because you enjoy it and get pleasure from doing it. I think it is lovely

  5. I absolutely LOVE this! I don't have kids yet, but when I do I know that I'm going to need one of these, so don't quit yet!

    And I also want to echo what Nicky said above. This crafty blogging community can be unbelievably supportive...and incredibly cliquey. It can be hard to break in sometimes. I've only just found your blog (via the link-up!), but I think you're onto something great, so keep it up!

  6. I love the mat. Push through the disappointment and keep going, cause your stuff looks lovely! Just happened upon you via small blog meet and I'm glad I stopped by :D

  7. Fantastic post, so honest and true! I ask myself the 'am I ok?' all the time as a mother. I do my sewing because it's what I love, of course I want other people to like it but it's ok if they don't!
    Found you through Lily's SBM and am happily following you now :)
    Lucy x

  8. I think it's beautiful and I'm coming to follow you :)

  9. I felt the Same Way about my scarf! I put a ton of effort into it, it was excellent craftsmanship, I really put a lot of time into the photos and the Celebrate Color Post. And then, flump. I literally went over the short list like 5 times before I believed it. Hahahahaa...what a big head I have!!

    I L-O-V-E this mat. If you'd like to mail it to me I'll happily get pregnant and have a 3rd baby just to use this mat. Seriously. It has most of my favorite fabrics in it AMH, Valori Wells...go ahead...try me...chica...just try me...

  10. I felt your pain. I had put in a quilt that I made for my dad. It was simple (far simpler than your cool submission), but I loved it. I was pretty sure it might not get picked because it was so simple, but I thought the colors might give me a chance. It took me a bit to get to the "I love it. He's going to love it. What does this matter?" place. Not sure I'll submit anything again, though.

  11. It's beautiful and you(we) love it, that's all that matters. :)


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx