Make do and mend

I’m helping a friend out this weekend, serving as his pit crew in a 24 hour mountain bike race called the Strathpuffer. I’ve an old duvet jacket that’s been a comfort for many years and has had holes patched up with black sticky tape – I’ve brought it to wear as it’ll be freezing cold through the wee hours of the morning.

The sticky tape is coming off and down is escaping again; it’s also quite unsightly. I could’ve bought a new jacket as they’ve massively reduced in price (and increased in robustness) since I bought this one. Nonetheless, this jacket is a keeper.

I had it with me when I ran my first ultra-marathon. A number of the holes are from accidentally lasering myself (literally) when I was learning the ropes of my creative business. It kept me warm when I went motorcycling in January and slept in a bivvi at the side of the road. This jacket put warmth back into a friend when he was near hypothermic. It has history.

So many things we replace have history, of course. The promise of new and better helps us forget that, and drives a cycle of unnecessary replacement. Not just unnecessary, but perhaps unhelpful. These histories can ground us, lend us the strength of experience, the comfort of some familiarity when things around us are uncertain.

Make do and mind isn’t miserly clinging to the past; it’s growth and renewal for those precious things we’ve come to love.

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