A lot of people (particularly on Pinterest and Instagram) frequently say things like, “I’d love to make this when I have the time.” I get the feeling, I really do. Especially in this world where we feel the need to keep up with everything that’s going on around us, the act of making can start to feel like it’s a time pressure. Then there’s the need to make every single little thing, from your homemade yogurt and gluten-free sourdough starter (guilty) to your soap (guilty again) to your sweaters (super guilty).
As the website pinterestfail.com so adeptly illustrates, making isn’t always as easy as it looks in glossy images in magazines or on the internet. Making takes time, skill, patience, and sometimes, luck.
So if it’s so hard, why make things?
For me, it’s part of an essential human drive. I grew up around making, and so I make. I watched as other people around me made curtains, sewed clothes, canned jam, and reupholstered furniture. I knew it was possible to make the things I wanted, and so I did.
As I got more and more into making, particularly knitting, I found myself getting into “flow states” where time changed. When I make, I relax. Fidgets and anxieties ease. Dramas are less important. Distractions slip away. All that exists for me is the thing I’m making.
But what about all the time it takes?
In just a few words, it’s worth it. It’s worth it for my sanity, for the joy it brings me, for the thing I make (whether it ends up being a successful project or not).
So I make time.
At first, it’s not so easy to do. Where to find the time to make when there are so many other important things to do? A creature of routine and habit, I make it a habit to make, so that time for making gets folded into my day just like showering and eating.
I’ll be the first to admit that creating these habits can be difficult, especially at the beginning. It takes patience and practice and persistence to try and try again. And when one habit doesn’t work, it takes effort to try something a little different.
The phrase may be a little worn, but if you want to have time for something, you’ve got to make the time. It’s something I struggle with constantly, as I’m often impatient to move on to the next thing, and the next. But every time I make time for something valuable to me, I come away with nothing but gratitude for having made that time. What I get out of it is so much more than just the time spent making. Besides the thing I’ve made, I have the satisfaction of creating, of experimenting, of playing.
And that keeps me coming back to making, in all its many forms, again and again and again.