Thursday, April 5, 2007

A little inspriration...

I was moving some stuff in the basement craft room yesterday when I came at a some visual journals I started when I was in high school. I used to jot things down in it, and sometimes I taped images that inspired me, or made me laugh. One journal's cover reads something to the effect of: "Life is a Guided Dream." This thought sat in my head all evening. I woke up, and it was one of the very first thoughts I had. What a wonderful concept, right? We have all had a dream in which we wished we could control what happened next. Perhaps we should think about life that way? You hate the situation you're in? Change it. You can't change your situation immediately, but you can change how you approach it. People ask me all the time,"how do you have time for all that (insert random task)?" Well, I make time. I always think to myself, "You have time for what you make time for." I make time, by staying up late, multi-tasking, or sacrificing. I don't clean something as well as it could be cleaned in order to have a photo session with the kids. I don't put away the laundry RIGHT AWAY so I can take a night to scrapbook. I keep my scrap supplies mid-task on the shelves in the living room even though it doesn't "look nice" because I enjoy my art, enjoy the process, and I don't really give a rat's petunia if my house looks like a magazine. Country Living isn't knocking on my door any time soon. I always think of this Oprah episode where she just showed up at some woman's house mid-day unannounced to do a show on organization or something to that effect. The woman was excited, but mortified. I think, everyday, if Oprah walked into today, I am proud of what I have to present. Little messes, full diaper pail and all.
Last night I grabbed the computer from Theo to look something up really fast. Here's the story: I let my Country Living subscription lapse, and I missed the March mag. My mom sent it to me b/c it was all about crafters. I NEEDED to see this issue. I did! It's about female enterpreneurs. Inspiring women. I looked up a few of these ladies, and found a 24 year old, Halligan Norris, running her own hand crafted jewelry business. I read the little blurb in the mag about her, and she says she surrounds herself with things she loves. She affectionately referred to herself as a "hoarder." I can remember a time when I would frown on this. Oh, "stuff" is not important. Well, you know what? Today I think stuff is important. I am an artist. Colors, shapes, textures are important. They inspire me. And they remind me of the past. A lot of things in my home have a rich and interesting history. Photographs, pitchers, china, the Kmart candle holders Theo had displayed when he proposed, a beautiful wall hanging that belonged to my Grandma's Aunt, a necklace, I even have some of my dad's old oil crayons (whatever they are called?) I come from a long line of pack rats. My Grandma Ivy burried herself in her belongings, almost literally those last few years of her life. My mom is a collector or the most extreme sort. Even my step-grandma Chris is an avid flea market buff. My Grandma Helena even has notes her daughters wrote on the back of receipts in the 70's about the simplest things like "I stepped out for milk. Love you, Mom." Those notes warm her heart. They fill her up. They keep the memory fresh in her mind. That is history. Those are artifacts. That "stuff" is important. I love my stuff. The trinkets and shit all around me makes me who I am. It makes me happy, inspires me, reminds me. It's good for me. Screw that mean British guy on Clean Sweep. So what if it doesn't all match. Break the rules, and surround yourself with stuff you love. I do.

Another adage that pops into my head more than once a day is, "Grow where you are planted." I love this concept. I feel blessed to have programmed myself to think this thought all the time. You know, you're life isn't always what you imagined it would be. You may not be on Broadway, or running your own TV talk show. You may not be a prominent lawyer, or a famous chef, but out there somewhere you are what someone else always wished they could be. You need to make the most of where you are. Be the best (insert anything) you can be. For a small time I worried about not using my degrees right away. Something like $80,000 later (don't worry, a lot of this was grants and scholarships), and I'm a housewife? Today, this statement sounds absurd to me. I used to beat myself up inside for not jumping into scientific research when the theories and tools were fresh in my mind. I was angry with myself for not trying to publish my body image performance communication paper. But you know what? Life had different plans for me. I had to succumb to the plans God, or whatever higher power is in charge today, had for me (sometimes I like to think my dad or Grandma Ivy are running my show, as if God has passed down the responsibility of me to them b/c I was too much for him to handle! When I think like this, lots of strange occurences in my life, such a luck, make more sense). I weeded through all that feminist bull-garbage my school books shoved at me only to find that the self-taught sewing, the glue sticks, the scrapbooks, the freshest laundry this side of the Mississippi, that is me. I make a pretty good woman. Or "wuh-mee" as Theo calls me. Those house-wifey feminine tasks are not archaic, but rather more important than ever with so many women in the workforce. Those previous dreams I had? I'm YOUNG. In response to turning 50 Oprah once said something to the effect that "50 is when you become what you've been meaning to be." Sounds great to me. I've got some time to work on it.
Right now, I've been given the gift of love; the gift of a fabulous husband who makes me laugh and feel so loved; the gift of childbearing; the gift of child-rearing; the gift of art. Gifts like the ability to read. A roof over my head (and in our name at that!). Good chocolate. The ability to create art. To take walks (when it's warm enough for the kids, argh!). I have a decent eye for photography. I can keep a plant alive and thriving for years. I don't spend time on what I didn't do anymore. I channel my energy into what I can do, and what I love to do. I like the way I see things. And I don't like rules. You know, those little voices in our heads saying, "You can't do that... ." I despise the concept of "I can't." I can do anything. I know, I've pretty much tried.
I say what I'm thinking to whomever I'm thinking it. I have lost 100 lbs before! I have taken 4th in the nation in persuasive speaking. I have sang in front of thousands. I have spoken in front of thousands. I have had a poem published. After a college English professor told me I would never write an acceptable paper I contributed to a article published in the Journal of Family Communication & received writing compliments from some of the most well-published authors in the Communication field. After getting only 10% of a college entry math placement exam correct I went on to pass several college level statistics course. I have baked bread from scratch. I have grown plants from seeds. I've eatent from my own garden. I have had two successful childbirths, entirely natural! I have created a passionate life for myself, filled to the brim with the things I love. Like I said, I don't dwell on what I have not done. I'm plenty pleased with what I have done. I feel like I'm guiding this life, this dream. And I'm so happy. I had to share. Do you ever have those days?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Jaime, I just have to say, "F--- Yeah!"