Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Gotta Be Me

This is a picture of me in bliss. Let's dissect it, shall we?

First obvious point: I'm sitting in a mess of fabric, and there is no family to be fed, so I don't have to clean it up to clear off the dinner table. Instead, I have half of a living room in which to spread out any and all projects I am currently working on -- for days at a time! My friend who is taking up the other half of the living room won't be mad if she steps on a pin (it's just as likely hers as mine), so I don't even have to be careful with my sharp objects.

I have with me my sewing machine (obviously) and my cd player (okay, I'm old school, I don't have an i-pod).

On the table next to my machine is a cup of coffee. And behind me, if you look closely, is a bottle of New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale (left over from the night before). It's noon when I took this picture, but I'm still wearing my favorite red pajamas that Hubby gave me for Christmas. I'm also wearing scissors around my neck and my quilting gloves.

Absolute best thing about this moment: draped over me is a completed quilt that I made purely for joy, to give to a friend as a surprise. Behind me is a quilt for my very first nephew, due next month, and it is at about 60% completion.

Bliss, bliss, bliss. At least once a year my friend Molly and I leave our daughters with their daddies and run away to San Diego, where we hole up in her parents' empty house while we quilt to our hearts' content. We set up our machines on big tables in the middle of their tract home's living room, face to face like a couple of dueling musicians in a piano bar. What beautiful music we make. We eat tuna melts and French toast (not together) instead of going out to eat. We leave the house only to run to the local fabric shop if we run out of supplies. I know it sounds crazy weird to some of you, but we two mommies would rather experience the joy of completing our creative projects uninterrupted than spend an all-expense-paid day at Burke Williams (though if any one is offering, we'll take that too).

I am a wonderfully fortunate woman because my husband gets this about me (perhaps because his mom is a quilter) and can handle the kids on his own for a few days. I feel like a new person when I come home, and Daddy bonds with the kids, so it's a win-win.

Mommies out there, be inspired: if there's something you love to do, make time to do it. I love my kids desperately, and I have an incredibly fun and interesting life. But inside my kids' Mommy is a woman I still like to refer to as Me. Sometimes, I need to be Me and no one else. To be free, just for 48 hours or so, from meeting the needs of small people.

This principle isn't just for moms, though. Readers out there, all 23 of you, make time to do something you love. Doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, it just has to break the routine of your every day and help you experience some joy. Life is too short to forget who you are. Don't put off doing the things that remind you who You is.


  1. Good advice! You look beautiful there among the things you love doing, wearing, drinking, and creating. Love you!

  2. I love that you quilt...as I've told you, the one you made Eryn is one of the items I'd save from a burning building. It brings me joy every day.

    And I agree with you about being OneSelf. I wish I quilted, but as yet, I do not.
    I finally found acting again via improv (ComedySportz) and cannot stop feeling like I'm ten years younger and ME again. Yay!