Don't worry--OPAT isn't some awesome blog challenge you haven't yet heard of and need a button and a deadline for RIGHT NOW. In fact, it's the opposite.
OPAT stands for "One Project At a Time", and it's my anti-challenge to myself to relax, stop beating myself up, and just enjoy whatever I want to sew--and can sew--in the time I actually have to sew it. To stop measuring myself against the Sew Weekliers and professional seamstresses and just relax.
Which is what you all have been kindly telling me to do (see "I WANT to Make This; I SHOULD Make That"), and I am now needing to tell myself. Elizabeth kindly reminded me that "should" can be a really painful word. And I especially loved StephC's comment:
When I was a teenager, I had a job pulling coffee at a popular coffee shop.. I'd get so upset on Saturday mornings, the place would be packed with people in need of a caffeine fix, they were usually rude once they got to the counter, and I'd try to make three orders and once and mess them all up...
My boss said to me- "Don't look at the line. Take a breath, make the first drink. Then take another breath, and make the next one. Only look at what's in front of you, keep moving, and you'll get there in the end." Stuck with me, it applies to so many other things...
This SO resonates, because I had a similar job as a teenager, working as an ice cream waitress. And there was one hot July 4th where I stood at the window scooping ice cream cone after ice cream cone for 8 hours straight without stopping whilst wearing a giant straw hat and a plastic lei... and then there was the time I worked at UPS loading giant trucks and one package after another would come shooting down the belt and I had to keep calm and just stack them one at a time and I was wearing steel toe boots and...
OK, not sure where I was going with that.
And so the above outfit--a quite typical Mikhaela work outfit for my awesomely casual nonprofit workplace--contains no actual me-made items. And I'm OK with that, because seriously, people -- this isn't a high-stakes competition. Unless we want it to be, and at this point in my life -- where sewing is what I do to RELAX in the evenings -- I do not.
I'm also ok with the crappy non-natural lighting for the same reasons.
Anyway, the outfit:
- "Dashabout" vintage (1970s?) floral cotton sundress with shirred elastic back, princess seams, half-circle skirt, thrifted for $14 in San Francisco years back. I at first assumed it was homemade due to the unfinished seams, but it has a little label inside reading "Dash-About." It's super-comfy and I've even gone (light) hiking in it. (See also "Some of My Best Dresses.")
- Pink silk tank, ancient Ann Taylor
- Turquoise cardigan, ancient Ann Taylor
- Faux-leather navy belt--required as the dress is a bit big in the waist.
- Turquoise necklace, lent permanently by my mom.
- Print bag that can hold the universe (or a breast pump or books or a large knitting project), Brooklyn Industries, gift from my mom. (discussed here).
- Orange peeptoe heels, Tsubo, a birthday gift from my husband in 2010 (blogged here).
I should note one thing I'm NOT wearing here--makeup, which I rarely wear in real life but almost always wear for photos. I recently had a freakout when I discovered that the FDA found lead in many brands of lipstick, including my beloved Revlon lipsticks, and I started reading up on all my beauty products on the Skin Deep database, and... well... any recommendations for natural toxin-free makeups in cute colors (especially bright red lipstick) but NOT containing sesame or nut oils would be awesome.
Oh, and here's the dress in natural light, shortly after I first bought it seven years ago (that's my sewing cabinet in the corner):
And now another night to relax, knit and watch old Fringe DVDs with the husband. I'll get back to my Mad Men Challenge dress... when I feel like it. And no sooner.
So: what are you doing to be kind to yourself lately?