Why Make It Simple isn’t as easy as I thought.

I did say in My First Blog Post that I would do my best to own my failures, expose my vulnerable side. Looking at the bigger picture, I’d love to encourage younger people to understand Facebook and Instagram is only a snippet of reality. If people starting something new, or even experts that do their job brilliantly are brave enough to expose the downs as well as the ups then it might inspire others to think they can do it too. A perfect Instagram account, or a perfect life to me doesn’t feel authentic because real life is woven with flaws and imperfections. So this post is my honest rendition of how Make It Simple is going for me.

So now back to the smaller picture and my problems.. writing this is far easier said than done, I have an ego as fragile as a china cup, and my grit and determination turn to dust in the face of self-doubt. My insides recoil from the thought of writing about how I feel and how things aren’t going to plan, but at the same time I’m experiencing an addictive and uplifting feeling of freedom.

One of my internal pledges when starting Make It Simple was to upcycle furniture and write about something creative, interiors related, health related, slow living, furniture or craft related at least once a week. A project a week, a blog post a week, easy peasy I thought. How wrong I was! It’s been so hard, I’ve gone from feeling excited about all the possibilities to uninspired and unmotivated. My particular fail starts when I was so kindly shown this cabinet going free two weeks ago.


I thought “right, I can do this, I’ll make this thing pretty, I’m determined!” But the truth is I just didn’t know how, I’ve laboured over it, scraped off paint, sanded it, got my poor old dad to do a little joinery work on it, I’ve painted it twice and changed my mind on the colour twice, all the while wondering when will it hit me, when will the idea just smack me in the face and I’ll know what to do with it? It’s been two weeks and the idea just never came. Feeling completely disheartened, feeling useless, mardy, uninspired and after sniffing paint fumes in the garage for 4 days I just wanted it over with. Yesterday was that day, I set too it in the afternoon, screwing on hinges, waxing inside the drawers, it was nearly there, it was nearly ‘okay enough’. I was down on it, I wasn’t pleased, I had nothing to write about, no enthusiasm for the next project, nothing to be excited or proud of, but at least it was nearly finished.

All that was left was to deal with was the lock. I used the original lock, it never dawned on me to check that it worked. (what an absolute idiot!) I turned the key, click and voila the bureau is locked and finished! Then panic struck as I realised the key worked in locking it but just would not turn back, vigorously trying to open it back up the key broke off in my hand and is now jammed. So yes, I’m a furniture up-cycler who is now locked out of my project, unable to quite finish it.

It sounds completely over the top and dramatic and definitely a first world problem but I have never felt more disheartened, more like throwing the towel in, thinking why did I start all of this, I’m absolutely useless at it. I can’t think of anything to write about and I can hardly share my latest project, what’s the point? I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this. While feeling utterly miserable I took myself for a long walk this morning, no phone, just me, Otis, and my self-pitying thoughts. That’s when I decided to share this, this would be what I’d write about, this experience is my inspiration and this is what I’ll learn from. Things won’t always go perfectly, as an idealist I need to remember that, after admitting I’m maybe not as innovative as I thought, accepting that it didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d have liked I can now laugh at how ridiculous it all is.

Here’s the cabinet, nearly finished and….locked. Dads going to help me sort this out, he said a drill and new lock should solve it.


Things I’ve learnt

  • Always check a lock and key before installing it.
  • If a piece of furniture doesn’t have good bones then don’t be disheartened when it turns out to be mediocre.
  • I’m very lucky to have such a handy parent.
  • A long, no phone dog walk will solve a multitude of problems.
  • It’s all a learning process, you’ll never start at your best.
  • Admitting where you went wrong is half the battle
  • Allocate a certain amount of time for a project because two weeks later you’ll be frustrated exhausted and nearly crying.
  • This is not my day job, it’s not life or death, food will still go on the table, it is what it is.
  • There’s more to life than personal ambition, stop your projects and your thoughts and enjoy family time.

I asked Nick to read this and I could tell he just didn’t get it. What’s the big deal it’s just a cabinet? But I guess what I haven’t explained is that tied up in Make It Simple is my ego, everything I love and put value on, it took guts to start and if it doesn’t go to plan or I’m not happy with it then it’s difficult to conquer the disappointment.

So, with that all off my chest I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday in peace with no project in mind. I’m going to read a book or maybe get out in the garden.

Written with love.



One thought on “Why Make It Simple isn’t as easy as I thought.

  1. In my life, I have learned several things: 1. That failure is a great teacher; 2 That things go better when you think of each new project as a great adventure: and finally that it is important you give yourself some slack. Keep at it! It gets easier as you go along.

    Liked by 1 person

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