As you’ve probably already figured out, if you’ve read any of my other posts, I’m one of those people, who routinely leaps before looking when it comes to projects. Details, shme-tails…I’ve learned lots of lessons in life that way. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s taught me how to IMPROVISE.
I remember when I was in high school, it was Christmas Eve night, and I decided that I wanted to make a gingerbread train for our annual Christmas Breakfast, that kicked off at ten Christmas morning. I have to credit my parents here, for giving me the freedom to bite off more than I could chew, and to help, when I needed it, to follow through and finish what I started. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these moments were life lessons.
My dad stayed up with me that night. As I recall, I had a structural problem with the cylindrical part of the train engine. The dough kept cracking, or melting off the form I had made. I didn’t have directions or a pattern, it was just something I was designing on my own, based on pictures I had seen.
I’m so thankful that my parents didn’t discourage me from doing it because it was four o’clock Christmas Eve, or dismiss the idea because they could already see that it was going to be far more complicated than I thought it would be. They let me try. When complications arose, dad didn’t swoop in and fix it for me. He offered a few suggestions, but he let me do it my way… I don’t know if he had a solution, but I remember there were many failures that night. As the hour got later, he never discouraged me from continuing to try. He stood by me. There was a moment, probably around midnight, where I was ready to give up. The way I remember it, I was tired and frustrated. I’m sure he was too, but he didn’t really show it. He was all in. We talked about what had been tried, he probably gave a gentle suggestion or two, and some how, some way, I finished it. We finished it.
It wasn’t the first harebrained idea I had, or the last, but it was an important part of an overarching life lesson that I continue to test and learn from. Obstacles and challenges do not equal impossibility or failure. They are simply an opportunity to be creative. Innovative. To think outside the box. In this section, I’ll share some of my adventures in testing this theory. Maybe it will inspire you to leap before you look and challenge yourself. Hopefully my projects will turn out successfully, but even if they don’t, I know there is a lesson to be learned for next time. You can never be sure of what you are capable of, until you try!