Hello lovely ladies – it's been a long time! There hasn't been much sewing going on here because of, well, "When I'm 80 . . .?", but we'll get to that in a minute! I've made a bit of headway on my "Cherry Cheesecake Lite" – and I'm really enjoying the hand applique!
Oh, and I found this incredibly easy pattern for maxi skirts (just 4 pieces, no buttons or zippers – just a comfy stretch knit fold-over waist)! So, I've (almost) made one – and will be making more.
On the sewing front, I think one of the best parts about the craft is passing it on to our friends and family. You all remember the Jr's girlfriend, Hannah?
Well, she has taken a great liking to embroidery, and I've had a ball sharing my goodies with her, and guiding her along the way.
And, Linda, over at Linda's Lines and Loves, well, she made an adorable version of my Wee Ones Baby Quilt (free pattern link to your left), and was kind enough to send me a picture!
So made my day!
Now, for those who enjoyed my old inspirational posts, here's a bit of "Soul Food" for ya!
Okay, so do you all do the "When I'm 80 . . .? " thing or your own version of it? I do it when I have to make the most important decision of my life – which is, well, every day.
I think my favorite scene in "The Lord of the Rings" is when Frodo is so overwhelmed by the task before him (getting the ring to Mount Doom to destroy it) and unsure of his ability to complete the task, says to Gandalf "I wish the ring had never come to me – I wish none of this would have happened." And, Gandalf, in his great wisdom replies:
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
You see the question of what part of life is divine fate or destiny and what part is our human choice, or phrased another way, where does the Sovereign Arm of God meet the free will of the hand of man – well, it's always been a mystery to me?
But, the one thing I do know for sure is this – I do have the free will, the human choice to decide what I'm going to do with the time that is given to me each day – in fact, the older I get, the more I come to believe that Gandalf is right, that this is the only true free will of man, the only real choice we have, that that is truly ALL we have to decide.
Now, if you've been here long, then you know that I didn't go down on the whole "I'm Super Woman and I can do it all" (be both June Cleaver for McStudly and the kids and uber-successful career woman at the same time) without a nasty fight. It has been a tough pill to swallow, but I lost that battle. I have to (almost still on a daily basis) not only recognize, but come to accept and stop resisting the fact that I am a finite human being, with a limited amount of time and resources to offer. I simply cannot do it all, which means I have to make some difficult choices, like all of you lovely ladies, because, like you, I love my family deeply and they need me, but I also have career aspirations and long to make a difference in the world, and I love to sew and be a part of blogland, too!
And, that is where the "When I'm 80 . . .?" comes in. You see, for me and maybe some of you, too, it is far too easy to get caught up in the notion that I have infinite resources and I can do it all, to get caught up in the craziness and busyness of life, and the insane, insatiable drive to do more and be more – so much so that I forget to ask the most important question. Assuming I live that long and I have my mental faculties about me, when I'm 80 years old, and looking back on my life, among the hundreds of things that I'd like to do and that "need" to be done, what will I wish I had done with this day – how can I spend my time today so that looking back, my heart will be filled with peace and joy, not regret?
When I can get out of my masculinized mind that is always driving me to be more and do more, driving me toward career success, and losing weight so I can be pretty, and toward accomplishing more and more things for the sheer sake of accomplishing them . . . , when I can get out of that line of thinking and connect with my feminine heart (that knows what truly matters for me), well, the answer goes something like this:
When I'm 80, I won't be wishing I got that quilt finished (in fact, I won't even remember the dang thing), or that I was more successful in my career or that I made more money, or that I got that pattern designed, or that I lost that extra ten or fifteen pounds. Nope, honestly, I don't think I will.
What I hope to say, when I look back on these days is that I'm so grateful that I chose to spend the time I did have loving my husband and my children. I'm so glad that I chose to really be present with them. I'm so grateful that I realized (better late than never), that as the wife and the mother, I set the tone in our home. And, given the choice to create a hectic ("gotta get everything done now"), anxious environment or one of peace and calmness (which my hubby and kiddos need so deeply after being out in the hectic, crazy world all day), I'm so grateful I chose the latter. I hope when I'm 80, that I'll be saying there was no amount of success in the career world and no amount of money that could replace the joy I have right now because I chose to spend my time creating an environment of love, fun, gratitude, forgiveness, and hope. I'm so glad I used my time to help them as they sought to overcome their challenges and struggles, and to nurture the beautiful, unique talents and gifts that they've been given to offer the world.
Now, much of that time is spent on the very practical gifts of love: keeping a clean, nice home, being sure they have clean clothes to wear, cooking them mostly nutritious meals, and terribly unhealthy (you gotta enjoy life) desserts. That's why I find so much joy in all things "domestic" – they are not a chore for me, they are a gift of love from me to the people I hold most dear in my heart. Sewing can be a very practical gift of love, too, but it comes lower on the priority list for us right now. Much of the time is spent just being with them, talking with them about how they are doing – what's going well and what's not in their lives (and mine), etc. and some of the time is spent just getting away from it all and hanging at the pool, going to the movies, playing games. Sometimes there is time left over, time to work on my career, time to sew and blog – and other times, well, if I tried to cram those into the day, we'd be back to the old, hectic, anxious environment . . . which is not only not good for them, it's just not good for me.
In the end, for me, when I'm 80, if I loved the McStudly and the kids with everything I had to give, if I nourished them in practical and spiritual ways, if I laughed with them and planned fun times for them, if I cried with Kate and for the McStudlys' (they're not criers) when life temporarily knocked them down for the count, and jumped for stinking joy when good things came their way, if I forgave them when they hurt me deeply (I mean really forgave them – as in I opened up my heart to love them passionately again from the bottom of it – risking being hurt again), if I humbly apologized when I've blown it or I hurt them deeply, if I did my best to understand and appreciate, to adore and admire all of the ways we are so very different from each other (especially with the McStudly – him being of the male species and all), if I did all of these things, and I wasn't distracted from doing them by all of the things that don't really matter, that will have been the greatest of all successes. In the end, for me, that will have been more than enough, I will have done and accomplished more than enough with the time that was given to me.
And, if/when there is time left for my career, and sewing and blogging, well – that's just icing on the cake (and I promise you all – I'll be here with pictures ;0)! If I'm not here for a few weeks, here and there, just know that my heart is happily and in the most fulfilled way, preoccupied with these awesome people, who by an incredible and miraculous gift to me, were entrusted to my wifely and motherly care while we're all here on earth!
I know this makes for a terribly "unsuccessful" sewing blog sometimes (sorry girls) and a very "quiet" blog at times (how many family stories and pictures can you all take? ;0), but on the "When I'm 80" thing, well, I think I'm doing alright . . . at least far better than I used to ;0)!!