|This rose bush was given to me as a housewarming gift when we built our home 12 years ago. It is the most delicious shade of salmon.|
A continuation of the last post…Perhaps you may be wondering what stimulated my latest growth spurt. I can assure you, it’s nothing earth-shattering. In fact, it was a series of small occurrences. Spirit usually shakes me gently at first, urging me to pay attention so it won’t be forced to pull out the big guns. I’ve learned it’s best to listen before things get really ‘messy’! ;)
My first indication that change was necessary was my mounting discomfort with our current homeschooling plan. The girls and I started off the year strong, albeit later than usual, and got in a couple of solid months before the holiday season struck. This typically happens, we tend to go creative crazy, making gifts for friends and family. My girls and I had agreed this past Christmas that we thought it would be so much more fun to have only handmade gifts underneath our tree. Books were the only exception, but those feel handmade in the most important sense anyway, and we can’t live without our new books! The gifts could be made by us, or made by others, but handcrafted all the way. I encourage you to try this, it made for an amazing year of treasures! No junk that quietly found its way to the trash a month later…
|All pictures in this post are courtesy of my extremely talented Jordan|
But, I digress. Once the holidays had passed we usually jump right back in… not this year. We did have one more spurt around January or February but the motivation was still severely lacking. I was spending endless hours on the computer, working in my shop, creating, listing, shipping, photographing, promoting… many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. This seemed to be becoming a full time job, eating up more and more of my daylight hours, but it was bringing me great joy, so I ignored the discomfort and forged ahead. If homeschooling was a priority, I wasn't treating it as such.
While I think that unschooling works perfectly for some, it isn’t a perfect fit for me. I ask you, please don’t rush to judge unschooling harshly, it encourages one of the fundamental things wrong with our schools today (in my opinion). It encourages learning for the sheer enjoyment of learning, cultivating interests that are near and dear to the child. However, while the option was alluring because of the time/hours it would open, it wasn’t a comfortable solution for me. I actually love to sit down and read a chapter in Ancient History. I feel great accomplishment when I’m able to solve a tricky word problem. I adore natural science, feeling a deep connection with nature. I find I learn best in a structured, logical way. My way, but still guided. And since I'm the teacher, I have great say in this matter. :) So, I didn’t push the feeling of unease, I gave it space to untangle, knowing eventually something would become clear. In the meantime, I knew that no one would die from lack of algebra… ;)
|A couple of years ago (when I thought my other rose bush hadn't survived the transplant) Jordan surprised me with this gorgeous rose bush. It was an amazing act of kindness for a little 9 year old girl.|
If school was my first indication, another appeared just a couple of days ago. My husband had come home, after a busy day’s work. Helping out his mom, chopping wood here, he might have even managed to get the lawn mowed too. He came in and had the audacity to walk into the room and attempt to speak to me during my allotted “blog time”. Doesn’t the man know I have work to do? How insensitive, right? Wrong. Something was seriously wrong with that flash of irritation. What was I doing? I’m a fierce believer in marriages (or relationships) needing attention to survive and thrive. Meals together, conversations shared, laughter. Without those, I believe a partnership will wilt and die, a slow and painful death. If Scott was one of my priorities, I wasn’t treating him as such.
I’ve discovered you can talk all you want. “My priority is my family”, you might say. However, if in the grand scheme of things, your family always falls last, after work or chores or friends, then it is not your priority. If being healthy is a priority, than it won’t come after the bag of chips and soda for dinner or the four hours spent parked in front of the tv. I’m not trying to say there’s anything wrong with what you’ve put first, but I impore you to be honest with yourself and accept what is important to you. To me, words are one thing, while actions are another thing entirely. I was behaving in such a manner that put my shops about most all else. Is this where I wanted them?
|We wait for these to bloom each year, they really are stunning!|
Cooking. I love to cook. I’ve never really gotten into our eating habits with you, but the way we eat requires enormous amounts of time in the kitchen. I usually love it. Not lately. It was feeling like just one more obstacle standing in the way of my work. Sigh, seeing a pattern here?
And lastly, there is my love/hate relationship with Etsy feedback. This one may seem kind of strange, but it was actually the catalyst that sent me over the edge, and finally got me searching. I receive a feedback like this and I’m on cloud nine:
I am addicted to these clipboards! You will be so pleased with your purchase, I can guarantee it. As a teacher, I can promise that your kid will be a teacher's pet in an instant if you give this as a gift. They are so well made. I'm enjoying the faces on my friends as I hand them out as gifts. LOVE!
One like this? Not so much.
Looks really nice. Only issue was the paper that the clipboard was wrapped in stuck to the clipboard in a few spots. Seems like it was not completely dry when wrapped. So there is a bit of paper fuzz stuff to it. And since it is a gift, doesn't look the best. But I still like it
I’m not sure if anyone can relate, but I do know one thing. I have mistakenly and quite accidentally subscribed to the belief that my creations are me. It’s one of the very important things that I learned in A New Earth. Somewhere along the line I began using my products to partly define who I am. That organic lip balm wasn’t an expression of me, but rather I felt it was a part of me, and that’s where trouble starts. That's when you begin to take things personally. No one has the capacity to make me feel bad, sad, angry, or disillusioned unless I allow that. I alone posses the ability to become and maintain my happiness. True happiness isn't based on external things, but comes from a silent, still place inside. No one can touch that, unless I allow it. My emotions do not control me, and believe me, that was a hard one to swallow. Especially for someone who spent so many years inexplicably angry. At nothing. At everything.
I have a way of deflecting words now that took some practice to perfect. When someone speaks unkindly or judgmentally to or around me I can feel those words stick inside. They glue themselves to me with their low and negative energy. A web of ‘bad’ that invades my thoughts, affects my body. Well, no more. When the energy of those words comes at me now I picture them blowing right through. Literally, just moving through my body instead of making themselves at home. This is a great help in remembering that each of us has a whole set of thoughts and words we need to propel us on our path. And I always have the option of simply walking away. Huh, imagine that?
So the above mentioned negative feedback (disguised as positive) was sticking. Bad news. Some of my issue with it was clear to me. I always ask any customer to please contact me with any questions or concerns. I truly would like to fix any wrongdoings due to my shortcomings. Not only did she not contact me, but there was a super easy fix. A damp paper towel should have cleaned the board right up. Now that ugly feedback was there for all time. Big sigh.
But, I dealt with that. That is, I dealt with that until a couple of days age, when a ‘neutral’ feedback had me feeling the same way. This one had me confused, it was a pretty straightforward purchase, not much to dislike. I had the distinct feeling that if I didn’t start listening to these spirit guides a pretty nasty negative feedback was headed my way! :)
And so I’ll leave you here for today, that was longer than I intended, with so much more to say. Good thing it's a Sunday and you have nothing better to do… ;) Next post I’ll get into my conclusions, which may leave some of you surprised. They even surprised me. Now I'm off to create a delicious lunch, we will have the pleasant company of my mom and sister joining us on our feast. I wish you all a magnificent Sunday. )
Peace ~ Melinda