Thursday, March 11, 2010

When Good-bye Means Hello

ADD girl has three separate pieces started for this week’s blog. Fortunately, the other two will keep because they aren’t going to seem any less current in a week or three from today and y’all will never know next weeks idea didn’t spring forth from my forehead the second I sat at the computer. (Oh don’t I wish!) I’m on day three of three off and I’ve kept myself busy with projects in the drafty, dark basement I ironically refer to--when I’m feeling expansive--”the studio”. We celebrated my birthday in fine style at my favorite drinking hole. Nothing like starting a dreaded birthday in a whimsically decorated room sipping a breakfast martini with two of your very favorite people on the planet.

I finished organizing all the lace, trims, linens and fabrics I have been collecting or inherited over the years this past week, too. I refurbished a few tee shirts, sweaters and made a dress this week, too. I’m not such a great seamstress, very slow and can’t get it perfect enough before frustration sets in but this week, I swear I was channeling my mom; a talented seamstress and designer. I was doing things I didn’t know I had forgotten how to do. It was very cool and Zen.

For about a minute.

So for the last month I've been working on repurposing clothing, using bits and pieces of antique textiles on reclaimed/used clothing. I thought I would love it. I thought I would just love love love designing the clothing, doing the handwork, piecing them together. The Girl thought she would just love love love the grunt work at the sewing machine.

Um no.

And that’s ok.

It felt like a chore except for that minute when I fixed a waistband the majority of the time I was discouraged or bored or both.

But this is the first time I have abandoned a project and didn't feel like a failure or that I was quitting because I was too lazy to finish what I started. Quite to the contrary. I feel liberated in the knowledge that I'm really not meant to design clothing from scratch.

Tis the week for beginning new things or putting to rest old things. A Happiness Project was launched by one of my new Facebook friends (love this woman. Love. Her. Sister of a guy I went to high school with. He was cute and wild and sort of dangerous back then. Apple doesn’t fall too far from that tree or so it seems.) Another friend is meeting with a group of architects and designers to discuss the feasibility of starting a career in design in this economy (I have one word for her: Slim) Finally, I know I have yammered about this to death but my father is getting married! I can’t wait to get to know our new family. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming, it’s grace at work. Besides this I have a great excuse to go to Texas Hill Country as many times as they can stand me.

I'm still putting together an Etsy store (if I'm satisfied with this spring's work, I'll open in July and the few pieces of clothing we did will be there. I have a feeling the store is going to be a mish-mash of all sorts of things I like to do. My biggest fear is I will end up on regretsy.

Today is the first day in a few I’ve been really happy--at the bottom of my soul happy--in about a week. Growing older was weighing on me; my exhaustion with nursing is at a critical point; and my son’s frustration with joblessness and boredom is weighing on me. Apparently, it’s so hard on him he can’t bring himself to clean his room or empty the dishwasher when asked…but that’s another blog, isn’t it? And OH. MY. GOD. his utter lack of sound judgment has me closer to running away than my job! The good news (?) I’m not alone in this and know more mother’s with kids like this than I care to think about with shutter over the future of the planet. His underdeveloped cerebral cortex is making me wish for a lobotomy or running away some place no one think to look for me like Vegas or Pittsburgh.

But isn’t it wonderful I know what makes me happy? Playing with words, ideas, paper, glue, paint, and little bits of stuff makes me happy. Cooking, nagging, and taking care of sick people: not so much.

This made me really happy today:

The Discipline of Joy

Joy's a choice. Joy's a discipline. Misery's easy. Sometimes, you don't feel like you can handle the burden of joy, so you slouch and frump and sigh and feel exhausted. Joy can be a real pain,like doing elevated push-ups on your TRX system in the basement. Right now, the joy doesn't want to ignite. I'm feeling the pressure of writing against the schedule of outside things. Inside vs. outside. I have to rush back to school today--my writing day--to sit in a PhD oral defense. Tomorrow, I have to teach, though I can get in some writing after. But Friday, I rush away to Tucson
Festival of Books. Love Tucson, love my friends there, love the festival, and I
love fancy hotel weekends with Cinderella. I can't get it done. So my decision
today is to embrace the discipline of Joy. Capital J. Because I'm feeling a li'l
Luis A. Urrea

It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it this burden of joy.

Find some joy. Like me, you might have to look in the spaces between the words or the space between the beat of your heart but it’s there. I promise.

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