How Big is Your Don't Like List?

When I was younger, I made a lot of my own clothes.  I liked the solitude, the quiet contemplation of sewing, the creative outlet.  Most of the time,  I liked the finished product, too.  But one day I realized that I didn’t actually like the process overall.  So I packed away my sewing machine and took up thrift shopping instead.

I still hauled out the machine when we moved into a new place and needed curtains or bedcovers.  Have you priced these things in stores?  Crazy expensive for something that’s so easy to make.

Sometimes, Alan would see me at work on the latest set of curtains and say,  “I thought you hated sewing.”  And I’d say, “I do.  But this is OK.”

Strangely, for a person with my analytical skills, I never really sat down to sort out  this contradiction.  Until one day, I was looking through a book of sewing patterns, designed by a woman who hates making buttonholes or putting in zippers.  And I thought, “Hey!”  Because those are the two parts of sewing that I, in fact, hate.  Which is why I was able to make curtains and duvet covers all those years – no buttons or zippers required.

I’ve started making some of my own clothes again and I’m actually enjoying the process.

I’m not telling you this because I think you should take up sewing, but because I think we would all do well to be more analytical in our decision to like or not like something.

Because every time we move something, be it  a person, activity or food item into the Don’t Like column, our world gets just a bit smaller.  The longer that Don’t Like list grows, the narrower our horizons become.  Eventually, we’re not going anywhere or doing very much and we wonder why we’re bored and lonely.

I’m going to be much more careful about what I add to my Don’t Like list.  I want to keep my horizons as wide open as possible, while still avoiding the aggravations of sewing buttonholes.

What about you?  Have you tried something recently that you thought you wouldn’t like?  What was the result?  Are you willing to edit your Don’t Like list?

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10 Responses to How Big is Your Don't Like List?

  1. john mcmahon says:

    I thought, for most of my life, that I hated winter.

    A couple of years ago I had occasion to be off work for nine weeks in, as they say, the dead of winter. Since I didn’t have to go to work, I was under no obligation to do anything except read, shovel snow (sporadically), and get on with the day.

    I loved it.

    What I’ve found out is that I DON’T hate winter per se. I just hate driving on bad (icy, whited out)roads.

    Winter itself is beautiful.

    Soooo. You’re right. Analyse what you don’t like. It may not be as big as you think.


  2. Barb McMahon says:

    Thanks John! Great analysis on your part. Glad you’ve learned to love winter – now we won’t lose you to the sunny south for a good part of the year!

  3. manskirt says:

    I had working out in the don’t like list for a long time. I’m former military – so I guess I sort of saw it as “work.” Four years later a friend of mine lost 60 pounds in a “biggest loser” competition and asked me to go work out with him. I grudgingly agreed – half to help him and half because I was probably 60 pounds heavier than I really wanted to be.

    Can’t say I “like” it again – but I definitely see teh benefit of doing it. Like you – I’ve been avoiding the parts I hate (at least until I get back in the swing of things running and sit ups are my buttonholes and zippers)… and that has helped. But I’m finding a certain mindless zen to long periods on the elliptical machine – and that’s something I need in my life right now.

    Not sure how much I’m editing my “don’t like” list – but it’s certainly something to think about!

  4. Barb McMahon says:

    I’ve always found that the biggest part of editing is the thinking….

  5. heidi says:

    Roller Coasters. I’ve never liked them because I don’t like the thought of anything that leaves me with absolutely no control of my body. Other than not getting on them in the first place, that is. We were in the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Studios (long story!) and the “family friendly” roller coaster loomed large in my 8-year old’s eyes. “You have to try it once in your life”, says he. So I did! Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Can’t say it’s off my “Don’t like” list, but I guess it’s not something I need to put on my bucket list anymore!

  6. Barb McMahon says:

    It’s good to know for sure.

  7. Pingback: Finding Balance | Happy Simple

  8. Zernike says:

    Hi, Barb
    What is the name of the sewing book that changed your mind about sewing? Thanks!

  9. Melwyk says:

    I love sewing — but there are those things (like buttonholes) that I avoid as well! Glad you’ve discovered Christine Haynes, I think she’s fabulous, and her website is great too. Hope to see some of your handmades sometime soon!

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