Mar 13, 2015
I am totally option gal. I hoard options like it is my given right as a free person. I love choices, love to multitask, and am multi-talented. I am also a child of the media generation. Homework with the radio and/or the TV on at the same time? No problem.
But as an adult with a multitude of mandatory jobs as a parent and a wife, and many other creative endeavors I aspire to experience and learn, I have long been overwhelmed by my possibilities.
I write again and again about my brimming to do lists. And have gotten to the point where I long to have a good long crafting day without worrying about how dirty the toilets are. Because they are dirty right now. And how could I possibly think of doing anything fun when I have a potential health safety issues to take care of in my bathrooms.
When possibilities become a problem, it’s time to take a hard look at why you’ve collected them and what it is that you need to let go of or embrace to make a how to move on plan.
If you can, separate them into different categories after you spill them. Perhaps you see a pattern of visits with people and cards to write. You could be in need of people intouch-ness. Crafting projects galore? You may need some creative time. Cleaning and fixing? You need a space that’s in order and unbroken. There’s nothing at all wrong with any of your needs. They’re asking for your compassionate attention.
Somehow, I have an unwritten rule book in my head about which things can happen before the other things happen. It’s a conscious unquestionable choice that I must have my kitchen cleaned before I get on with the rest of the day. Dirty bathrooms would make my Virgoan Grandmother roll over in her grave. But I can call myself on it and choose differently today. Because I am actually in charge of this vehicle called family and life. Don’t anyone try to tell me different. I can also say no thank you to anyone else trying to throw stuff down on my to do list without me choosing to put it there.
Now is the only time you’ll ever have. Make it possible to have the things that are most important happen in a “now” coming soon to you. Schedules and lives and priorities change. If the time isn’t now, do not however doubt that there will probably be a time in your future when you’ll be able to sit and knit. Or write your novel or just read a book. Mine. Sigh. A little faith here on the knowing-there-will-be-a-time will allow for the release of the anxiety of not being able to do so now. You may find that this perspective change will shift you into a place of permission to do it sooner. Or you’ll revel in the knowledge that you are not giving up, just allowing this to be a two-year from now goal.
Plop that bad boy right into you schedule. My husband says it’s harder to make an appointment than break it. When you get to that moment in your life, that day with that activity scheduled, it may be entirely possible that you may have to cancel. But it’s equally possible that you’ll have opened up a door to make progress.
Even the smallest activities can be scheduled as opposed to waiting for the “right time”. On your phone calendar or your wall calendar, you can write tasks in at 30 minute intervals. A half hour to clean/clear a closet. A half hour to wash all the fan blades in the house. A half hour to read. Keep your expectation about that task at that time and you may surprise yourself with your progress with this method.
I find when you are not actively involved in any of your possibilities, it can make you feel anxious. Take one action step towards any of your goals/activities, and you’ll feel so much better. Even one work-out always makes me feel proud. A half hour with some paper, glue, and markers to work on making a card for a friend and I’m invigorated.
When there’s too many important tasks, nothing’s important. When you overwhelmed by your options, or your obligations, you lose your priorities and your clarity. Perhaps it’s partly about the permission we give ourselves to move on. And maybe it’s also about our lousy methods to organize our thoughts and our time around what we feel we want to do and what we must do. I do think we can outsmart ourselves and using the above mentioned tasks as guides and inspiration, there’s more than a little chance that our possibilities can become the probabilities we want them to become.
Mar 11, 2015
So we made it to and through Fiona’s second birthday. And the party was a smashing success despite conceiving of it only a little more than a month beforehand. All of our efforts and plans payed off as 20 something of our closest friends and family came to celebrate with us.
For me the party planning consists of theme planning, food planning, and project completion. Because duh, you partly have the party to complete that project you’d be ashamed of not having completed since the last time they were here. In this case, the project was Fiona’s bedroom which I’d struggled with for some time. But the week before the party, I was hustling to finish up all the little details and photographing the room during a snow storm. See the room redecoration post here.
Mark and I made the lasagna together. His request was not my forte. So I fussed over the meat sauce for two days. He said he was looking for that taste of hot Italian sausage. So I said you can go get some but you need to put the lasagne together.
We were a sight in the kitchen fussing over proportions of this and that. But let me tell you, it was scrumptious lasagna. And we used the no boil noodles much to everyone’s surprise. Because they boil in the sauce so why wouldn’t you. Yum me.
Also made the homemade egg rolls because they’re just easy. And vegetarian.
The invitations were made from a blown up ¾ profile picture of Fiona which I then used clear frosted acetate to simply trace over the basic lines of her face. Then I scanned it on the copier and put it through a Photoshop type program so that I could have it colorized.
Then I put it back through a photo program and printed it on photo paper. I really love the simplicity and sweetness of it.
As for the decorations, I wanted to keep it simple.
So I used the same picture and took it to a copy place and for $4, I had it blown up to maybe 20” x 30”.
And continuing the theme of pops of hot pink from the bedroom, I made little tissue cheerleading pom poms.
They were supposed to be tassels but they were fuller than I’d thought they’d be. Tutorial coming soon.
The birthday party flowers are an annual treat I give to myself. I was rather stunned this year when Patty, the owner of Patty’s Petals here in downtown Denton, Maryland where I order my flowers from, charged me their wholesale price. She knows I’ve worked with flowers and said she wanted to see what I’d do with them.
I got dark pink ranunculus, light pink spray roses, white Shasta daisies, pink freesia, purple stock,
and yellow Solidago plus some tree-fern and a tiny handful of pussy willow.
And the cake. Oh the cake was stupendous.
Courtesy of my new neighbor Steve Konapelski the accomplished pastry chef ,
I asked for plain with pink, he laughed at me, and he got that vintage vibe going which is so lovely.
He lent me the hobnail milk glass cake stand and I had the sweet vintage table-cloth. Perfect.
And that Birthday girl, she loved her a birthday party.
It was warm outside for the first time since forever so I let her run around in her bare feet as she prefers. She was so sweet in the Minnie Mouse dress. She never napped but took a time out on the couch with Elmo and then kept going.
She loved being sung to and she loved the cake’s decorations most of all.
Her cousin Emma was the best guest.
She was right in there opening presents…
…and blowing out the candles…and running around with the balloons. They were so very sweet together.
They are our miracle girls with the same middle names.
It was a lovely day for a lovely little girl. And I remarked to my husband that really, all those people were here because they love us and our children. That is kinda humbling and I’m happy to be part of a community that shows up for my kids. And for me through my kids. Love to all of you.
Mar 9, 2015
My friend Sandra, a photographer who resides in Vancouver and has a blog called Rainforest Cottage Salon, brought up an interesting thought in her recent newsletter (which is always really thoughtful and interesting). She pondered how much of our lives is in our control and how much of it is really due to luck?
She remarked,”It’s quite fashionable to imagine that we can control so much of our lives. I mean, that’s what drives a lot of the click bait on social media, right? The 10 ways to do this or the 20 ways to do that. Adopt the flavor of the month and you’ll lose weight, avoid cancer, make money, find a mate, sell your work. “
Yet how much of life’s ebb and flow is dependent on so much of the world’s workings and the ebb and flow of the unseen. It seems both of us have a specific memory of a line from a television production that stuck with us on this subject. She says years ago, she saw “a Masterpiece period piece called “Any Human Heart about the life of Logan Mountstuart in the early 20th century. At one point his father says to him, ‘enjoy good luck when it comes your way. It’s all luck in the end’ “
I had a similar Aha moment on this subject watching a show in 1991 called Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. The amazing actor Ray Watson of My Favorite Martian fame, played the wise janitor named Augie. I remember them being on the school’s rooftop at sunset and he offers,”You’re never down or up for too long before you’ll go the other way”. I have since tried to remember this when I am in the midst of a crisis. I always say, soon this will all be a nightmare.
Sandra concluded her thoughts by saying, “Things happen. Good luck comes our way. And that’ll end and there’ll be some bad luck too. Of course we have an impact on our lives – I can recall many times where I made good choices and some less than good choices and suffered the consequences. But there have been many times too when things have just happened. Good AND bad.
I can choose to rail against the bad luck. I can give myself all the credit for the good luck. Or how about this – why not just ride the wave, do our best and know that it’ll change again at some point. “
I am grateful for like-minded friends keeping me grounded and real. And I’m trying super hard to keep up perspective on what truly is happening at any given moment. And am going to try to hedge my bets for the Good Luck side as much as possible by giving the best of myself and my hardest most honest efforts to the world and my family . And be extremely wary of that which I really can’t control.