Improvement, Not Perfection

Happy New Year everyone! Something significant happened for me this New Years Eve. My wife and I were at a friend’s house celebrating the start of a new year with our core group of friends we call our Portland Family.

This is a group of four couples, primarily, although a few other friends join on occasion. Last NYE was spent with this same amazing group of people. At some point in those first weeks of 2015, we all attempted to do vision boards of how we wanted our year to go. I cut out several photos, phrases and words but never ended up doing anything with them because in my perfectionist mind, if the photo or phrase isn’t exactly what I want then what’s the point?

This year we talked about doing another vision board and I confessed I never finished mine from last year. When my friend, Rich, asked me why I never finished, I explained about my perfectionism and not feeling like it was worth doing if it wasn’t perfect. What he said next shifted things for me and affected several aspects of my life. He said something to the effect of, “It’s better to strive for Improvement because things will never be perfect. If you are always striving for Perfection, you will always Fail.” Wow…it hit me right in the gut…he was so right! Why am I always trying to be perfect at everything? I know I’m not perfect, so when I see myself slipping away from perfection I tend to hide and shame myself. Not a healthy cycle for anyone.

I have realized that I have done the same thing with this blog even though it has barely begun. I am in search of ethical and cruelty-free knitting materials but I have to be honest that I bought 6 skeins of wool yarn for a sweater just before starting this blog and I relied on what the owner of my LYS (local yarn store) told me about the company instead of contacting them myself to be sure of their practices before purchasing.

I’ve felt like a hypocrite and haven’t wanted to post anything from that project here because I can’t vouch for the yarn I’m using. And then I did it again! I went to another LYS and asked them about some Alpaca yarn for a hat I wanted to remake after losing the first one I made. The sales person claimed they only carry ethical, cruelty-free yarn. This made me super excited and I bought the yarn. I trusted what she said and I’m hoping to get an interview with either the owner or the buyer of that store because if it’s true that they don’t buy cruel yarn, I want to spread the word!

Full disclosure again, even though I am trusting the sales associate’s word, I didn’t do my own research and haven’t posted about my project due to being scared of showing any imperfection in my quest. But who is perfect?? As I’ve clearly shown, I’m not, even though it’s hard to swallow. 😉 But with my friend Rich’s words, I have felt some release in understanding I’m on my journey and every day I can make choices that bring me closer to my end goals.

Right now, I don’t know without a doubt what yarns are cruelty-free but I want to find out for all of us and I want to share what I learn and experience with you all.

This is reality…no one is perfect. We are all on our own unique journey. This is my story, my journey and I’m going to start being more open about my shortcomings and my triumphs. I hope you can be patient with me as I am trying to be patient with myself.

I have been waking up each day this year and telling myself, “Strive for Improvement, not Perfection!”

Thank you so much for allowing my candor. I hope to get real and meaningful conversations started here on this blog soon.

Have a spectacular Friday and a fantastic weekend! Here is a picture of me exhausted but with a finished hat done in alpaca before blocking with the YOTH Father Cables hat pattern. I’ll try to get a better photo to show the amazing cables in this design.