Saturday, June 12, 2010

Over The Top (Hats)

In Britian, June 16th is National Hat Day.  Yay!  Those Brits.  Well, being a hat maker, this is a cause for celebration or at very least the making of hats.  It's also, one of "my kids" birthday, this coming week.  We use to work in the costume shop together. Occassionally, the design called for hats.  Even back then, and as a young teenager, Miss D. was a talented designer.  She just recently completed university training.  Needless to say, I'm proud of her. The conjunction of National Hat Day, Miss D's birthday and graduating, ment hats were to be made this week.  My tendancy, is to go over board, make a dozen or so huge hats.
Lately,  I've been taking a pretty hard look at this tendancy in me.  I'm a very expansive thinker.  I love huge and over the top.  I love thinking about endless, limitless ideas and possiblities.  I love bringing some of those ideas to life.  I love generously spirited people, who give freely of their gifts.  I feel like these folks are the hope for our world. Yet in all this, I know I always want to go over board.  Way over board. There seems to be something in inside me that feeds me the message that the more I go overboard with something, especially if it's a gift, the more self-worth I'll have. It doesn't feel like a healthy mind set.  This could have been an opportunity to make a dozen huge hats for one of my kids celebrating a big deal in their life.  I started down that path, and stopped myself.  I know Miss D., she's not going to wear huge hats. She's a hip, petite, fashion forward young woman.   The current trend in hats is for Fasinator hats.  Very small, almost a non hat, more like a hair fob.  I kept thinking, I'll make several of those. Again, I stopped myself.  I settled on two.  Two Fasinators, that I'm really proud of.  When I pulled out all my materials and findings, these are the two that spoke to me to be created.  I'm please with the results.  More importantly, I'm at peace with these creations. 
At peace?  How odd you might be saying.  Here's what I mean by at peace.  Years ago, when Miss D and I would be working for the theater where we had the costume shop, I created big huge over the top shows.  It was not unusual for these shows to have over 100 costumes.  It was not unusual for me to spend 12 -14 days power sewing these costumes.  True over the top creating, and some amazing over the top costumes were made, if I do say so myself.  I actually looked forward to these endless days of creating.  It was more than a passion. It turned into  an addiction.  I say addiction, because, when I stopped doing this about four years ago, I realized that all this over the top creating had taken a toll on my health, my friendships, my house...and everything else in my life.  I was totally disconnected from anything that didn't come out of my sewing machine or glue gun.  People would be astounded by my creations.  In my mind,  I was most proud of  the volume, how quickly all the detail was created, the hours I spend in my studio creating.  Not the costumes and the details. If I wasn't a costume producing machine, I wasn't anything. If I wasn't killing myself for "my art", I felt I had no value.  Really.  I wasn't really a fun person to be around in those days. But really when a person is in an addiction, how fun are they, really?  It was a sad thing to realize.  How could the thing I loved so much be hurting me so much? I stepped back from all that intensity. It was so difficult for months.  It took a major shift in my behavior and my entire life. (you all know that I'm still creating and that part is strong and alive in me), I'm working at coming to peace with whatever I create is enough. As the old self help stuff from the 90's would say.  "I'm a enough. No matter what."  Being at peace with this keeps me in the moment and strongly connected to what I'm creating and the endless source from where all ideas flow.  I call it God and the Universe.  Feel free to call it whatever you want.  All this feels like it's coming from a healthier place and I'm loving what is being created, and more 90's self talk- I'm loving me.  Will I go overboard in the future?  More than likely, yes.  It is a part of me I like, but I want to keep that part of me healthy and vital, not drained and disconnected from the world.  It's a challenge I'm up to taking on.
I do have to tell you that two hats created from a source of love and connection to my creativity, is more fulfilling, than hundreds and hundreds of costumes made at the expense of all in my life.
Oh, P.S. Miss D loved her hats! Happy Birthday, Miss D.   For the rest of you,  Happy National Hat Day.   Wear a hat that day, please.  Yes, everyone looks good in some sort of hat.  (you know you do)  More importantly, take some time that day to acknowledge your unique gifts, maybe create something that honors those gifts.  Something just for you.   It can be simple or simply over the top.
Until next week create to feel great!  35 projects completed 17 to go!

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