In 2014: Resolve to do something that terrifies you

scary_resolutionsOr maybe you’re one of those people who resolve to do the terrifying as a matter of course. If so, we hate you. Nothing personal.

Seriously -when’s the last time you stretched? Comfy in your complacency? Yeah, me too. Comes with age? Gosh I hope not. What is different about the close of this year? For whatever reason, I’ve done (or begun) a few things that terrify me in the last two days, and since it seems to be a theme, I’ll appear holier than thou by saying it was planned and I came through. Ha ha. So fake.

I finally opened a 401K for my business; I feel like a grown up. And sure, you could say I should have done it years ago (anticipated or perceived criticism being one reason we avoid doing what we should) and truth be told, all I did was sign the papers. Mr. Fashion-Incubator (who is off work for 2 weeks) did all of the work. That’s a lesson too—get help with your terrifyingness.

A second terror inducing thing I’ve done is launch a retail pattern line. The official announcement will be the subject of today’s second post. I had a retail pattern line years ago when I first opened my business. It was an abysmal failure. I should qualify that; sales exceeded my wildest short term expectations and I couldn’t scale to meet demand—are you starting to understand why I preach as I do? Been there, done that. In my opinion, if you have a lick of sense, you should expect tepid response and you wouldn’t be disappointed, undermanned or under capitalized. But anyway, I’m hitting the reset on that one. I’m not sure what this pattern line’s theme will be about except that it is whatever I want to put out (although I would be delirious with joy with your suggestions) and that it will studiously avoid the lowest common denominator. No $1.99 patterns or easy ones either. All of my patterns will be hard* and or designed for folks with an IQ of 110+. It’s called Savant Patterns. Re: the name; horrors if I appear to join the cult of chest thumping, self exaltation self marketers, I figure I can use the term legitimately having been diagnosed with autism nearly 15 years ago. I may as well get something out of it.

So how does fear work into that? Insecurity I guess. People are hypercritical out there, MSGs (Mean Sewing Girls) live to criticize and I make a great target. People expect perfection from me if for no other reason than that I expect it from me too. So what will I do differently? I’m not sure yet, it is evolving. There is a rigor to how I do things that is probably not obvious so I aspire to make it so. For example, I keep a bugs list for every style to track problems and issue corrections. It is possible that other retail lines do the same but I’m not privy to it. [Before I forget, anyone will be permitted to use these for manufacturing and no royalties. Yay me.]

But I digress. The summary is that I’m coming off of a marathon work schedule—this is our busiest time of year in the industry so I haven’t been posting much—and even though I took a few days off at Christmas (Mr. F-I disagrees that I did), I’m only starting to come down now. After I write post #2, I’ll pad into the house and warm up some leftovers for dinner and we’ll drink a bottle of wine we’ve saved for a special occasion. Then we’ll probably watch a DVD; DH got Firefly and the first season of Games of Thrones for Christmas. Such is excitement in our part of the world. When I was younger, this would have rankled. I had a set of tails and fish net hose I wore dancing every New Year -that was before I had The Boy. Being older now, it is good. No one close to me is gravely ill. We are all (as far as we know) healthy. We have gainful employment. We have so much to be grateful for. I sincerely hope and wish for you, similar peace and contentment for you and your family as we move into the new year.

PS. Don’t forget to plan to do something terrifying in 2014. Options are boundless —whatever will you do?

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28 Comments on "In 2014: Resolve to do something that terrifies you"

10 months 7 days ago

i have not seen a more inspiring and useful site than yours, kathleen. you have given women like me a Dream – i hope you have all the success in the world; i dont doubt that it will be immensely popular, i just wish you all the best wishes in the world to manage well your success.

1 year 5 months ago

Hi everybody;) I have only just had time to check back in… Wow! That was an incredibly long post- probably something I should have saved for the therapists office lol! Thank you for taking it so well ladies;) thank you as well for your internet *hugs* and very true advice.
Kathleen, you are SO, SO right! I am incredibly lucky! I live in a fantastic country with amazing resources and you are just so spot on!
I also read that you have started your own pattern line- how amazing! I wish you the very best of luck xx

1 year 6 months ago

Olivia, In spite of your very significant challenges, I’m thinking how truly fortunate you are. You know what you want to be or do when you “grow up” and you have the liberty to pursue that. Some people never know. As far as being older than others, you’re going to get older anyway. You’ll still be 34. Do you want to be 34 and doing what you want or 34 and still living with the ghost of a dream deferred?

1 year 6 months ago

Hallo Olivia,

Many of us have been through something similar and if you join the forum you’ll see many members making a midlife career switch or even moving into business as they approach retirement. So it’s not too late.

If you aren’t taking meds, talk to your doctor. You might think that you should be able to handle all this on your own but I can tell you that “all this” is a lot easier to handle if you aren’t worried about falling apart. Make use of all your resources, even the ones that feel like cheating.


Paula Hudson
1 year 6 months ago

Kathleen, the hardest decision I made in 2013 was that in January, February 2014 at the latest, I would fulfill all my sewing/costuming obligations and put that away to pursue my heart need to write again. I published six fiction novels quite a long time ago, but long story short, put that away to go to college and pursue some other life needs/goals. But writing has always been the song that sings in my soul, and I have let fear keep me preoccupied with other things for too long. The “problem” is that I love sewing, and I’m very good at it. I’ve enjoyed all my costuming. For grins and giggles, you can see the costumes I did for world champion powerhouses Gary McIntyre and Susan Kirklin at – Not that this is amazing costuming… just that I have reached a level of which I’m very proud. Gary is also my coach, and I made my dress and modified a real Navy dress white for Gary in my recent showcase… I’m not even in same atmospheric orbit as far as talent!!! But I’m very proud all around … … ANYWAY… I’ll continue to dance, and costume for myself and a very select few people, but I’m going to put away fear and tackle fiction again. I’ll always stay on here, and stay on top of tips and techniques because I’ll never not sew, but I have to put away my (albeit very small) entree into sewing entrepreneurship. Should things go swimmingly, and I get to quit the day job, I may go back to a dual life of writing and sewing, but as long as I have the ‘day job,’ I just can’t. Anyway, maybe more information that you wanted, but I’m very scared/excited, and look forward to what 2014 has in store!! (With that said, I can’t wait for your pattern for a structured blazer as I’ll be getting that in a NY minute!) And I don’t want “easy,” either. I’m ready for a F-I challenge! I won’t say “best of luck” to you, because I don’t want to insult the incredible amount of hard work you have invested, as well as the incredible well of your talent which you are sharing. I will wish you every good thing and enormous success (however you define that!!!).

Best, Paula