While working on a particularly difficult project today, I recalled a story I read in the book, “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton some 45 years ago. Bouton memorializes the time he spent as a pitcher for the NY Yankees among other teams. It was controversial at the time because he revealed the dark underbelly of professional baseball. The story I recalled this morning was about Mickey Mantle when after the previous night of heavy drinking, he got up to bat the next day and hit a crucial game-winning home run. After touring the bases, he took a bow from the dugout to acknowledge the cheers from the fans. As he did this, he turned to the team and said, “If they only knew how hard this really was.”
While I am not hitting a home run, it’s anyone’s guess how this project will turn out, and while I didn’t spend last night drinking, I do have trouble seeing things upside down and backwards, probably why I don’t do jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes it is necessary when quilting to see a piece this way to fit the fabric together in order to disguise the raw edges and have the right sides up all to satisfy the intended design. It is mind numbingly difficult for me.
But I persist, many times ripping out and trying again and again, my version of the full count. When I finally get it right the moment is beyond magical. This kind of accomplishment has happened throughout working on this project, but today it was a home run.
When this project is complete and others either admire or don’t, I will stand back and think with a smile in my heart, “If you only knew how hard this really was.”
My strengths here are patience and persistence. I have been consistently patient working on this project and I have noticed a sense of calmness. I am not sure which comes first patience then calmness or calmness then patience, or if they are both the same. In either case it is a preferred state of equanimity, thank you, Ronald. I have noticed I do not take kindly (read annoyed) to interruptions which lead to breaks in patience but I can return to the task with the same patience as before the interruption with relative ease. The strength of persistence has allowed me to carry on without stress.