Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fraidy Cat

Whew!  The holidays are over, my son is back at school, and my husband is back at work. 

I guess it's time for me to do something!

Yesterday my son went back to school.  I remember those days, when you had to drag yourself out of bed and go out into the cold and back into the school routine.  The hardest part was getting up and getting there, but then, as the day wore on it got easier, and by the end of the day I was glad to be back.

I was one of those kids who loved school.  I was quiet by nature, and sitting still and learning was natural for me.  I never struggled like other kids did with the restrictions of the school day.  The routine was comforting to me and although an occasional change was welcome, I always loved getting back into the "rut" other kids hated.

The fact is I need structure, without it I can't make a decision about what to do next.  I'm one of these people who have way too many things I enjoy and so am spoiled for choice.  It makes it difficult to focus and to finish.  Even now, while typing this I'm thinking, "shouldn't I be....?" I can't even keep track of where my mind is going!

I envy those single minded folks who somehow manage to accomplish so much.  It boggles my mind!  Whenever I see the perfect studio with stacks of finished quilts, quilts on the design wall, and bookshelves full of books written by the studio owner....I'm overwhelmed with jealousy. The thing is I'm not jealous of the studio, or the finished quilts, or the published books....I'm jealous of their capacity to do all of these things and still look so fresh and untired in their photos.  How do they do it????

It's the same way I look at the perfectly coiffed and dressed moms who pick up their well dressed and well coiffed kids in their shiny clean SUVs.  Heck, I'm lucky if I remember to take off my fleece pajama pants and comb my unwashed hair!  And the state of my car, it's like a giant purse on wheels!  I do make sure my son is well dressed, clean, with combed hair.  However, I feel like Pigpen in the old Peanuts cartoon.  There's a trail of dust, fabric scraps, thread, dog hair, and food crumbs everywhere I go. 

These perfect people make me crazy.  I want to be able to pull off a perfect studio, to be able to come home from the gym looking like I just showered, to have my home look like something from a magazine.  Wouldn't it be fabulous? 

But at the same time I don't think I have the patience to maintain that kind of life.  It takes a lot of work and I'm beginning to realize that I just might possibly be lazier than I thought I was.  Either that, or I'm great at distracting myself.  I suspect it's a little bit of both.  I'm beginning to become "The Cranky Non-Quilter" because there always seems to be something standing in the way of quilting. 

The scary part is that I think it's me.

It's a hard thing to face about yourself, that the thing you love most to do is also a thing you avoid doing.  I've been thinking about it a lot lately.  My life is in a weird place right now where I feel it could go in many different directions.  I find myself pulled hither and yon and can't seem to find a steady place to stand.  In many ways quilting was always my refuge, but now that I'm thinking about making it a career I'm balking.  Perhaps I'm afraid that after all of the years of everyone saying to me, "You should do that for a living" it would be horrible if I failed.  And so, I put off doing it, even going to great lengths to avoid it.  Could it be that I'm afraid it's my last chance to really do something creative and if I blow it I'll have no where else to go? 

It's tough to admit that you're a fraidy cat, when you spend so much of your time telling everyone else to "go for it" and "you can do it" and "there's nothing you can't do."  Advice is easy to give, but not as easy to take.

So, this year I'm going to make a real effort to pump myself up, to get myself motivated, and to get to work.  It will be difficult, and I may fail, but the thought of going through my life and not really giving it the old college try is not something I want to live with.

So, those of you who are feeling like me, buck up!  It's going to be the year of "Yes, we are going to do it and we aren't going to give up no matter what!"  And for those of you already on that path, Help!!!!  We need your support as well.  It's time to put on proper pants, and pull on those actual shoes, and get out there and quilt!

Happy Stitching!



Sewjournal said...

I love your Fraidy cat! probably because I'm like you. Perhaps we should start a Fraidy Cat Quilt Virtual Group

Susan Gannon O'Connell said...

I love this idea! I'm going to look into getting it started. It would be great to have a place to go to get support from each other, and see what we're all up to. I'm on it! Thanks!

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