Lessons from Tim Gunn

I admire Tim Gunn so much. I think he’s brave. I think he’s thoughtful. I think he’s present. I think he’s kind. I think he’s a good mentor and compassionate and authentic and dapper. I would like to hang at his place for apps and drinks at the kitchen island and end up staying too long because he was imparting wisdom to me.

He’s known for the phrase “Make It Work”, which has so much appeal.

We love work. We love making things. We love making it work. It’s really the ultimate American statement of encouragement and challenge and grit and character, and it’s what John Wayne did.

On the surface.

Tim Gunn is known for being the mentor on Project Runway and throwing down the “Make It Work” challenge when a designer is lost or stuck making something horrible but time is running too short to completely start over unless you really have it together in the sewing and construction department. I relate, because I went to design school and we did that a lot – your design is really bad until you are up against the clock and you have to pull it together and produce something by the time class starts. Sometimes you get really efficient and focused. Sometimes your ideas come together and you produce something worthwhile. Make It Work is the way forward in those situations – take what you have, no matter how bad or messy and make something out of it.

Really though, sometimes you can’t make it work. And I think that’s where you have to dive a bit into the statement. What isn’t said? What else is in those three short words?

Make It Work For You.

And if it isn’t, then get your hands on something that does. The fabric was a terrible choice? Maybe there is another one available if you look around for it. The design was horrible and unflattering? Conjure up a different design. Your collection isn’t cohesive? Scrap some things and get real with yourself about what does work and else you need to complete the picture.

It wasn’t just an admonition to make the best you could of the bad situation and being stuck with the bad situation, it was evaluating whether the situation was even working for you, and if not, scrapping it in favor of something that did.

It was and is really good advice. Thanks, Tim! You mentored me too.

100 Days of Healing – Day 48

I was at my desk, ready to work this morning by 8am. I wasn’t hungry, despite my juice-only meals yesterday, I felt good and my resting heart rate last night was 65 bpm – probably the lowest it’s been this year.

Looks like the hard work of recovery is starting to pay off.

The Day to Day of a Life, Paused

Or is it?

Everything feels like it’s on slo-mo. I sit in a dim apartment day after day, providing care, working some, on the phone giving encouragement and support. I have no idea where the three weeks have gone since my grandma fell, but they’re gone, and I’m still here, and I’m starting to forget I used to do other things.

That giving free-flow? It seems to be working. Not every moment, but mostly. The laptop needing to be replaced? Not a big deal, just an inconvenience. Needing a new phone? Another inconvenience that will wait until I can get to it. Long, sleepless nights and up at 3 and again at 6 to provide care? We’ll both just settle in the living room and sleep in before I make French toast. Because I can and because it’s nice. Phone blowing up? It’ll wait. I need another hour of disturbed sleep.