Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Cutting corners.


FullSizeRender (39)I cut corners last night.

I know. I know. Bad idea. If one believes the idiom, cutting corners leads to disaster, or at least a poor result.

I hadn’t intended to do it. I thought I could get away without cutting corners, but, after cutting one corner, it quickly became evident, cutting corners was necessary.

Which got me thinking about idioms and taking things at face value.

Cutting corners began appearing in print in the 1850s. It was originally used in reference to navigation with other uses in reference to riders following hounds and the ‘lure’ in the hunt versus taking shortcuts. Mark Twain used it in reference to a gondola in 1869 but there are many references to it even before that.  (Source)

I have never questioned the wisdom of the advice to not cut corners. On the surface, not cutting corners is a good thing. It keeps me on the path well-known, the route most travelled.

But what about taking risks? Exploring new paths? Testing uncharted waters?

Sometimes, you have to cut corners to discover a new way.

Like the corners I was cutting last night. They were on the programs I am creating for our wedding. Originally, I thought I could get away with leaving the corners straight. After testing one with cut corners versus straight, it was apparent that the cut corners give the programs a more finished look.

Except, I’d already completed 16 programs. When I’d started making them I’d considered cutting the corners but decided they were okay left straight. And they were, but…

I don’t want just ‘ok’. I want polished.

Not cutting them in the first place created more work in the long run. I had to carefully do each page individually, after I’d put the programs together.

16 x 5 pages each program x 4 corners each page = 320 corners   versus   (16 x 5 pages cut as one) x 4 corners = 64

Had I begun with cutting corners in the beginning, I could have cut in bulk, saving myself considerable time without impacting the look of the final product. Fortunately, I’m only 1/3 of the way finished the programs. I’ll definitely cut the corners in bulk going forward!

Which brings me back to not testing things I believe to be true only to discover the truth I thought was true, may not be so.

I didn’t start painting until I was in my mid-forties.

I’d always told myself, I am a writer. I have no artistic abilities. When I began painting on a whim one day with my eldest daughter I discovered the ‘truth’ I’d believed all of my life until then wasn’t true. Never having really tested my belief though, I couldn’t know its limitations. That day when I set out to paint with Alexis, my intention was to spend time with her doing something she loved. In the process, I discovered not only did I have talent, I love painting too.

Now, I could have gone through the rest of my life and been quite content with where I was at. But imagine…

Because I love painting, two years ago I built a studio in our basement so I could have my own creative space in our home. That space has been a gift. In that space the muse stirs me to places I can’t imagine until I set myself free to explore new ideas, fresh takes on the tried and true and even, to cut corners.






Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

10 thoughts on “Cutting corners.

  1. You just never know what life is going to give you, and when.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always important to try new things in life, no matter how many X around the sun we’ve already been. Your painting, for example. You wouldn’t have known that your truth was not true until you tried. Awesome post, Louise!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Life is such an adventure we have no idea what is going to happen to us tomorrow or even an hour from now I am someone who just goes with the flow

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE the way you are doing a lot of the design and making of these items for your wedding yourself, rather than leave everything to a wedding planner. I think it is more than creativity, it is adding such a personal touch, making it ‘you’.
    It will certainly be a day to remember.
    Did you do this sort of thing for your first wedding or is this all part of your post-40s awakening to your creativity? The reason I ask is that I too never felt I was creative but am discovering that I am (not in art, but in so many other creative ways). And it is that voice in my head of my grade 7 art teacher that set me against myself for so many years, convinced me that I was not creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elizabeth — and I’m having fun.

      I’ve never really done this sort of thing before — at least not consistently, but since discovering my artist soul in my 40s, I can’t do it any other way! 🙂 and yes — I too had one of those teachers! I think that’s the best part of discovering I am creative – I get to shoo that voice away! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow – this is so thought-provoking Louise!

    Liked by 1 person

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