Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Thoughts about Happiness

Awhile ago I published an essay about "Happiness" and what it means to me. Today I came across a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt that says a lot about the subject in just a few words:

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of the creative effort."

In terms of quilting, whenever I have attempted to do something I have never done before, such as making a miniature "Double Wedding Ring" quilt, and have succeeded, there is a certain "joy of achievement." Anything difficult or new is worth trying. We all have our own learning curve and are on our own journeys as quilters.

"Double Wedding Ring" miniature quilt

I was thrilled when I succeeded in making a final quilt for the Embroiderer's Guild of America's "Master Craftsman Program," a testing program, not a class. The creative effort I put forth was great and was a reward in itself for the "thrill" of knowing I did a good job. I was very excited in the year 2000 when I received an e-mail with the coveted word, "Pass" for my quilt "Sunset Serenity at Mt. Fuji." Just one word of praise was sent but that was enough. The long nine year journey toward seeking the title was over!

One does not have to be a quilter to find fulfillment in achievement. Tonight on the television news there was word of an octogenarian who is going to receive a college degree shortly. She had started college but had quit due to becoming married. It was always in her heart to finish and now she will get her wish.

Life is always about starts and finishes. Tonight I am feeling happy to have finished writing a memoir about my own life. There were troubled and turbulent times but I never gave up and never gave in and have had much success in quilting, writing and publishing.

Achievement takes a lot of hard work but achievement is at the heart of happiness. We do not have to measure success in grand terms. Baking a fantastic cake can be as satisfying as climbing a mountain.

Franklin D. Roosevelt knew a thing or two about achievement and the happiness that it brings. Just look at his record of "overcoming" his handicap to be one of the greatest presidents America has ever seen! He lifted America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s and used his creative imagination to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps whose work we still enjoy in the National Parks system.

Doing a good job is what life is all about. Sometimes we are paid for our creativity and work and sometimes we do work just for the satisfaction of producing something tangible that is ours alone.

I hope that you will think about happiness and what it means to you. If you have any ideas you want to share, please feel free to comment!

Happy Quilting!

Patricia Cummings

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