Today, I remembered that my legs aren’t tired after all. And if I get tired of walking, I can just start running!
Last weekend, we took the plunge and bought kayaks. We had actually had the plan to buy some in 2014, but I talked my husband out of it. When he ended that year with hurting his back, I was glad we hadn’t spent the money. He spent that next year doing physical therapy, acupuncture, injections and finally, in the spring of 2016, he couldn’t take the pain anymore. He had a lower lumbar fusion. Since then, he has been testing the waters, so to speak; trying bicycling, swimming, jogging and finally golfing. He’s found ways to adjust the way he used to do those things, adapting to his new back’s lack of mobility and flexibility and his tendency to get “stiff.” Now he can add kayaking to his list of things he can still do.
My oldest son, Drew, and his wife, Bethany, came for the weekend. Drew announced that he and Bethany were going to buy a couple kayaks. They, too, had intended on buying some a couple of years ago, but then Bethany became ill. She’s had a rough couple years with a failed surgery, loss of hearing in one ear, lots of pain, and a final diagnosis of Lupus, but she’s finally got some good meds and seems to manage much better.
So as we were sitting on the patio Saturday morning, Mike and Drew said they were going to go look at kayaks. Bethany and I quickly announced that we were going, too.
Long story short, we purchased four kayaks, ran back to the house to pack a cooler and snacks, changed clothes and headed to the river.
I’ve only kayaked a couple of times, but it seems like a natural state of being for me. I’m not saying I’m “good” at it. I’ve still got some learning to do. But as we floated and paddled, I totally felt I was in my element. I told my mom I love it as much as quilting and writing. But just in different ways.
Bethany loved it, as well, but at the end of our two and a half hour trip, she was hurting. Even so, she’s determined to go again.
I’m thinking I need a large “dry bag” to carry quilts in, so I can do a quilt photo shoot in the middle of the river!
Sometimes I wonder what drives people to do what they do. Things like spend more money than they have, dress inappropriately, have affairs….You get the point. I know that everyone is searching for happiness and love, and I have compassion for them, but have felt that I am happily past that part of life.
This past weekend, I was so in the mood to do something new. Tear up old carpet, paint the basement floor in the laundry room and make it an appealing space, make a new sewing table, remodel the kitchen, buy a new vehicle. All of those came to mind, and all came quickly to a halt.
If I wanted to tear up the carpet, I would need to move all the furniture. I may be mighty, but I’m a little fragile in my aging body. I would need help. So….I move on. Ugly carpet will have to stay – even though I know there is oak hardwood underneath it. I haven’t completely given up on this dream; I just need to wait till a day when I am full of energy.
The basement floor/laundry room is pretty much the same story. There’s a lot of stuff just being stored in there, and it belongs to my husband (precious fishing gear.) Not to mention moving the washer and dryer, etc. And the floor needs power washed first (my son informed me that our power washer is too powerful for me and I will hurt myself.) Lastly, the paint needs purchased. I tell myself, Oh, well. Who cares? It’s in the basement. No one ever sees it.
My husband has a “plan” for my sewing table. He is a carpenter/contractor, and he wants to make it “nice.” I’d settle for a usable table with a hole for my machine to sit down in to make the sewing surface level with the table. It is so frustrating when I am trying to quilt, and the weight of the quilt pulls down and causes short stitches or just pulls my muscles, as I try to keep it from dragging. Anyway, it is frustrating waiting for him to get in the mood or have the time or have the money. In the meantime, I pay a longarm quilter or hand quilt my work. I do enjoy quilting by hand.
The kitchen comes down to money and time for my husband to do the work. My son is working on the house he bought. We spent the fall and winter getting the inside livable, and now the outside is getting done. First things first. My remodeling will have to wait. We will be helping him get his house done before winter. I’m excited for him. I love a transformation!
And lastly, the car. I really still love my car, but buying a new car is always exciting – for a little while. At least I realize that buying a new car is just a quick fix. I’m going to enjoy not having a car payment instead!
This all sounds a little whiny. But it was something that just came over me. This feeling of dissatisfaction, of being put last, of not having my desires met, not being supported, having my hands tied. I’ll be honest and tell you that I fought with my husband about it. In summary, I told him I was tired of being told no. No, we can’t do that right now. No, I don’t want to help you do that. No, we don’t have the money for that. It just felt a lot like every time I opened my mouth I was being shut down. I told him that there’s many times I wish he was like Jim Carey in Yes Man, and he couldn’t say anything but YES!
You have to know my husband to realize my frustration even better. He buys what he wants, does what he wants to do when he wants to do it, and pretty much just lives his life for himself. He makes his dreams come true. This all is very commendable, really. I mean, that’s what all the signs and shares on Facebook tell you to do. Make your life the way you want it to be, right? (I just wish there was a little more “us” in his dreams….but, he is who he is.)
Maybe that’s my frustration. I want to do things, but my limitations stop me. I don’t think they are really “self” limiting. Most are not about insecurities or lack of confidence. I think they are just facts. If the money isn’t there, it isn’t there. If I’m not physically capable, then I can’t just pop into a phone booth and come out Super Woman. Even if I could, I’d be hard pressed to find a phone booth.
Where does that leave me? Sadly, feeling depressed and hopeless.
This morning I was looking at a Facebook page of someone who I used to know. I saw her pictures and realized that my life looks pretty good compared to hers. I realized that I have a pretty good life. I need to be grateful. Things may not be “picture” perfect. I may not have everything I want, or I may not get to do everything I dream of, but I have so much to be grateful for.
Today my husband got up, and while I was getting ready for work, he emptied the dishwasher and made me an egg. Some husbands don’t do anything around the house. Some do more. (But we’re not supposed to compare, right? Comparison is the thief of happiness. I have to keep telling myself that.)
Time to focus on gratitude. Change the perspective. Change the things I can change and accept the things I cannot. I’m not giving up on my dreams or projects. I’m just not going to let them defeat me.
Sometimes, I guess I have to sink to the bottom of the murky water to realize just how great the air and light are when I surface once more. I have hope once more!
I didn’t get to do a lot of quilting while she was here, but we took a road trip to Lake Michigan for a “water” fix.
I took along this WIP and sewed on the binding, so my daughter could take it to her friend for her new baby.This is a picture of Audrey, Abigail’s friend, and the quilt made for Baby Etheria.
Although I miss my daughter already, I’m happy that she was happy to go back to her hubby (minus the 105+ degree temps there.) I’m happy to have my comfortable routine back, although having her here brought an extra sparkle to my life. Abigail always reminds me that I need that sparkle, even if I have to find it within myself.
I guess when you get into selling your creations, the rejection factor jumps in there. I mean, if you are an artist, sewist, whatever, you know what I mean. People are always willing to give praise, but it’s when you ask them to get out their wallet that you realize the real appreciation isn’t there.
As an artist and creative person, I remind myself that I create, because that’s what I do! If someone else likes it, then that’s just icing. If someone is willing to pay money for it? Then that’s a great bonus (more money to buy more fabric!) But rejection will not stop me from creating. Creating keeps me sane!
My mother-in-law is back from a month long trip to Florida and ready to get her QAYG quilt done. She’s doing some straight line quilting to attach the back to the batting and front and give it a little more depth and texture. It can be quite frustrating for her, because she doesn’t see as well, and she has arthritis. It’s so tempting to jump in and just do it for her, but she wants this to be her own work, and I don’t blame her. And teachers teach, right? They don’t do!
Last night my niece, who has been busy with college and work, was able to come and work on her wall hanging. After a quick, early supper of salads with all the fixin’s, we headed to the studio. She’s decided she’d rather go with a prayer flag, inspired by an article on prayer flags that I had sent her a while back.
Allie is using the same Mary image as I found in this image on this website: Michigoose’s Gander at Life and Quilts.
Her center flag is the image of the Virgin Mary. We took the pre-printed block and ironed on some fusible. Then she carefully cut out just the Mary image and ironed it on a black print background. She used a gold satin to border the black, which really set it off.
She left with the block, embroidery floss and more fusible, so she could embellish her Mary block with embroidery and prepare other images for the other flags. I can’t wait to see where she goes with it! I’ll share pictures once she gets a little further. This girl has so much creativity and is quite the artist.
I love teaching and sharing my creative passion! It’s just about as great as creating myself!
So, are you a Fixer Upper addict like I am? We watched the most recent episode last night – which I believe is the last of this season. (sniff, sniff). We had DVRed it. Well, I say “we,” but I guess I may be talking about the “mouse in my pocket” and me, because my hubby doesn’t really care about those shows. Surprised? Yeah, me, too. I mean, after all, he’s a contractor. He’s fixering uppering all the time. In my mind, I’m thinking these shows would give him ideas and inspiration. I guess he just wants a break.
Anyway, I almost forgot what I even referenced that show for. On the show, they had this sign made by Jimmy Don, their metal laser cutter, that said, “Be the Change.” I sat staring at that wall of decor with that sign in it, and I thought, What’s that mean? Be the change. Be the change. I pondered, Is there a change in my life that I need to “be”?
I thought about how it seems that most people hate change. Change the placement of the products in WalMart and just listen to the frustration! (I’m one of those b!tchers. I just want to go get what I want and get out. Not sniff it out like I’m some beagle in a rabbit hunting competition).
At work, everyone has been freaking out for the last six months, since we changed (magic word there) software. Yep, the data conversion has required cleaning up; there’s been new ways of finding things; lots of new things to learn; etc. I’ve had my frustrations, as well, but for the most part, I’ve tried to stay positive and enjoy learning and the possibilities it has presented. I’ve never seen a group of people so afraid of things changing. I remember when I first started working here – almost ten years ago – and when I tried to change things up to a more efficient routine, my co-worker let me know, THIS is the way it’s ALWAYS been done! (Don’t worry, I kept plugging way – or should I say, chipping away – till it was done in a more efficient manner – mind you, there’s still so much more that needs to change.) Hey, was that me Being the Change?
Think about the word “change.” Here’s the first definition: to make or become different; alter. (Did I hear someone screaming?)
In this world of sheep, change is a dirty word. Most people don’t want to be different.
How about the word used in “change the baby’s diaper.”? Ugh. We all know what that means. Pee and poop, sometimes contained within the diaper, sometimes NOT. Very unpleasant.
When I was eleven or twelve, I was changing my baby sister’s diaper. She was my pride and joy, and I loved her as if I had given birth to her. She was my mother’s eighth child, so Mom was happy to have my assistance in the daily care. Anyway, one day, I was changing her cloth diaper, and she wouldn’t lie still, so I stuck her with the pin! I know! Horrible!!! Guess that’s why I still remember it. (And I’m not sure of the significance this story has to this blog post, but I thought it was entertaining.)
And lastly, what about “the change”? My gynecologist told me, as she gazed at the results of a pelvic ultrasound last year, “Your ovaries haven’t made eggs in a LONG time. They’re all dried up.” I wanted to slap her. I was actually a person who liked to have a period. It was such a wonderful release. But now that I’ve entered “the change,” I don’t get to menstruate. Oh sure, there’s perks (we all know what they are.) I guess it’s symbolic. Maybe I don’t like change! When I had a period, I knew everything was working as it should be. I guess that’s part of why people don’t like change. It takes away the security of the known.
Bon Jovi sang, The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same. Seems like an oxymoron if you ask me, but I get where he’s coming from. The old spiral effect. Just keep going around and around, and eventually, you do hit the same place again.
I guess I’ve just gone from here to there and back again, and I’m still not quite sure what the change is that I need to be, but I’m sure there’s something to it, or it wouldn’t have got caught in my head. Maybe “Be the Change” is just a clever way of saying, if you don’t like the way things are, then change what you can change. Mom always said, “if you act the way you want to be, you will be the way you act.” Maybe she was saying, “Be the change!”
In Gomer Pyle style, I say, “Well, shazam!” and “golly!”
Well, hope you enjoyed my ponderings. It did give me a little more clarity. If I don’t like the way things are, then it’s up to me to make them different. Or my favorite – it’s up to me to change my perspective (because, let’s face it, there’s things you can’t change.…..)