Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm in the middle of a crazy, busy, catch-up day with four gazillion things going at once. (Hang on a sec. I think I'm burning the soup.) I spent the day in the big city yesterday on a necessary supply run so I'm feeling a little behind and bedraggled today. (Traffic, people and shopping do that to me.) On some not-too-sensible whim, I sat down here at the computer to check e-mails. Just for a minute. (It will only take a second or two, right?)

Fiona over at Rowangarth Farm had a new post up so I had to check it out. It hit me as a warm, fuzzy post about knitting a mitten and Just. Not. Being. Able. To. Stop.

Getting involved with a project such as that which you really enjoy and from which you derive so much pleasure reminded me of the way I am with quilting. I can so relate to her feelings as expressed in the post.

- Okay, I have the background fabric cut so I should stop now.

- But that's the last of all the pieces for the blocks, so I wonder what the block will look like sewn together?

- Hey, the one block is really attractive! What would four of them look like in a row?

- If I do 16 blocks, I'll be able to see more of the whole effect.

- Aw, what the heck! I might as well keep going. Only 64 more and the top will be finished.

So why are certain things we do addictive? (In a good way, of course.) Because we receive joy and satisfaction and contentment from doing them. What better feelings to get out of life?!

Bottom line, being responsible, sensible, intelligent women (ahem) we will still keep our families fed, and in clean clothes along with meeting other needs, but why-of-why can't we give ourselves more time for things like this (knitting, quilting, oil painting, learning to ride a horse, etc.) that nourish our very souls? I ask ya. Why? Huh? HUH?


  1. Guilt. I think that for whatever reason, we feel guilty about time spent doing things just for us- at least I do. A good mother is supposed to always put her children first, right? That's all well and good, but there is not much of a mom to begin with if she does nothing to nourish herself. Once again, it's all about that thing called balance that I find so elusive.

  2. Very accurate post! I was nodding my head "yes, YES!" while reading Fiona's post this morning, too! Right now I have 2 pairs of socks going, a lap blanket, a kitchen towel/washcloth set, and now the QUILTING LOL! I was all set to start figuring out block designs today and then school got cancelled so I gave up and decided to go out and play in the snow with them, not like I can get anything done while they are fighting inside LOL!

  3. I have done that so many times. Part of it is my way of procrastinating and putting off other things I don't want to do and part of it is the desire to see the end result.

  4. You can do it my dear. No one but you is telling you that you can't. You only get one go around on this planet. Make of it what YOU want.

  5. This morning, as I watched the temperature fall from a hopeful 12 degrees at 4a to a miserable 2 below at 7a, I knitted "just one more pattern" on a pair of fingerless mitts. I knitted that one more pattern 12 times! And I could have gone on all morning, but Scrappy was giving me the hairy eyeball.

  6. LOL, total addiction! I always get distracted!

  7. Thanks for the mention, Mama Pea. It's nice to know that my post struck a chord -- and you expressed it so beautifully. And as to why we don't create more time for these "guilty" pleasures, that shouldn't be guilt-inducing in the first place? I'm still looking for that answer. It sounds like many women, mamas and not, are too...

  8. I'm glad I read through the comments first, because I was thinking EXACTLY what Jane said---no one is telling us we can't-we do that to ourselves. Why? I have no clue, but that's one little voice I am slowly learning not to listen to. Life IS too short, more so for some. It's time to have fun.
    We've raised the kids, and tended to jobs and now it's Selfish Sue time for me.
    Enjoy the day! And what a great thought-provoking post.

  9. We lived in Hermantown back in the early 90's - Mill Hill Mall can be pretty daunting LOL

    Glad you got stuff done and can be back home stitching away today :-)

  10. I could answer your question but it would involve getting out several old text books from university so I won't bother. Lets just say we've been trained to take care of ourselves last and since someone is always before us we never really get to ourselves. If we do take time for ourselves we feel guilty.

    Everyone needs time to do what they like to do and everyone includes us women! If you can't give yourself permission then I'm giving you permission to enjoy life. You only have one life so you should enjoy it as much as possible.

  11. Yes!!! I have some addictions too, feeding and watching the forest critters out my window! A (ex?) friend told me I was wasting my life away, nah...I'm living to the fullest, as is my own desire right?
    When I read this: "Just. Not. Being. Able. To. Stop." All I could hear was William Shatner's voice, so whether you intended it or not, thanks for the giggle! :)

  12. ThyHand - But my "guilt" in doing things just for me has carried over to way past the child raising years. I need help I'll admit!

    Erin - Giving the kids the time today is fine and good. Just make sure you get BACK to your "me time" next chance you get.

    Ruth - When you're creating with your own two hands, you just never know how the end product will turn out. That's what keeps us going!

    Jane - I know I am my own worst enemy in many ways. The old YOU ARE BEING SELFISH rears its ugly head much too often.

  13. Susan - Kids, dogs, cats, dirty toilets, husbands. They all want attention. Sigh.

    meemsnyc - It happens so easily!

    Fiona - I know there are some women that are truly totally selfish. But most of us aren't because we've been conditioned by society to be the caregivers (of others), the nurturers (of others), the supporters (of others). I'm trying to figure out who does those things for us . . .

    Sue - But that's the thing, Selfish Sue. ;o) We can't think of it as SELFISH. That's my hang-up in a nutshell.

    Freedom - Didn't get any stitchin' in today . . . just bitchin'. ;o)

  14. Sparkless - And why is it we've chosen (and not rebelled mightily) this role for ourselves? Is it because we feel if we're not the caregivers of everyone else society will fall apart? I'd really like to know why it's so much easier for men to take care of themselves.

    Rain - That's the point I'm struggling with: If it feeds our soul, nourishes us, makes us feel infinitely better, ultimately makes us a better person, why do we feel guilty about it?

  15. Exactly. When you figure out the answer to this, let me know. I'm *so* dealing with this right now... :)

  16. Mama Tea - I just realized that I must be super-frustrating to all you much "younger" gals . . . here I am 30-40 years older than you and I'm STILL wrestling with the whole situation! ARRRRGGGGHH!! Maybe you can all learn from my slowness (stoopidness?) and make the decision to nip this thing in the bud!

  17. It sure would be nice to have more time just to do what I want to do,so maybe I will have to make time for those things and myself! Blessings jane

  18. Well....I think the question is, do you have something to feel guilty about? I have learned (through years of therapy, sigh) that guilt is like a little red flag that tells our conscious that we are doing something contrary to what we think we SHOULD be doing.

    But...on the other hand, is it a false alarm? Have you really done something wrong? Is it completely unrelated to when you sit down and quilt?

    I HATE guilt. It's such a ridiculous emotion, yet it's there. I've talked to a lot of moms in particular, who feel guilt when they start to enjoy their hobbies or passions because of that kind of... residual need to take care of everyone around them except themselves...I had guilt for the last 7 years because I was unable to work and I just couldn't enjoy any hobbies. After I decided to accept that going to work was not going to happen for me, I was able to let go of the guilt and enjoy doing what I enjoy.

    Anyway, I'm just musing here.

  19. guilt - quilt ..... anyone else noticing it's just a mirror image of the first letter of the words? Just sayin' LOL!

  20. Jane2 - You've got the right attitude. Now can you do it?? :o)

    Rain - Great, insightful comment. I think my biggest problem is that I set expectations for myself that are too high. Plus having a husband who pushes himself more than he should and takes very little "time off" makes me feel I should do the same. I think we're both dysfunctional. Your comment gives me much to think about. Thanks.

    Erin - Ha! You have no idea how many times I write "quilt" when I mean to write "guilt" and vice versa!!

  21. Thanks and you're welcome Mama Pea! When I take a walk in the woods, I become The Thinker! :) I call it my "nature therapy"!

  22. Well, Mama Pea, I feel as though I will have a new addiction, your blog! I stumbled upon it really, trying to find information about caring for antique, wooden butter bowls. I loved you post on making butter. I am now going to try , as I have inherited an antique butter bowl. I too feel that there are many dying art forms and strive to keep them going. I am 30 year old and have croched and knitted since I was a little girl. These are thing my grandmother taught me. I have tried my hand a quilting as well. You are an inspiration :)

    Jaeme , Alberta, Canada.

  23. Jaeme - Welcome and thanks for commenting! Best of luck with your butter making. That antique butter bowl is a treasure!