Who's Grading?

>You may recall that I said I do not sew. Well actually, on occasion, I've been known to sew----for decorative purposes only. I think that I would probably sew more if it weren't for those horrid memories of Junior High Home-Ec sewing class. I remember unpicking more stitches than I sewed, or at least it seemed that way. I wanted my project (a cotton slip with lace and an elastic band waist) to be perfect so that I could get a good grade. Yes, I unpicked and unpicked and unpicked so much that I dreaded sewing and hated the finished product.
But lately I've been making some changes in my life. You see, I have spent my entire life only trying things if I first knew that I could do them well. I steered clear of experiences if I felt that I couldn't succeed.
But I have finally realized that I have held myself back from so many wonderful adventures in life. Why do I still feel, years and years after graduating from school, that I am being graded on my performance?

The real truth is,
I'm the ONLY one that's doing the grading!

Even if someone else comments on my performance, it's still MY CHOICE to let their opinion influence my life.
And so, with those thoughts in mind, I pulled out the sewing machine, plopped my faded outdoor cushions on top of pretty fabric and got to work. About an hour later I proudly placed my newly covered cushions outside. I had a real feeling of accomplishment! Are the covers perfect? Let's just say that if I was being graded I would not get an A for quality. But I would get an A+ for effort----and that's really all that matters!
My family and friends will enjoy the new seating. It won't matter to them that the seams aren't perfect. They, and I, will appreciate the overall beauty and comfort of the cushions and the memories that we will make on our back patio.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that I created something beautiful. But even more, I have learned that life isn't about grades, it's about
making mistakes,
and realizing that making the effort
to learn and grow is when we
truly succeed.