I originally posted this last October on our family blog. I found it when I was surfing around today. I have a couple of projects on the go, and so I was wondering what my Friday post should be and I found this. It is interesting looking back, even if it is only looking back a few months. Take note of the language I use. This blog has been percolating for a long time.
John is going through a grouchy teething spell, so this morning, after Darren and the two oldest had gone out to a birthday party and to run errands, I was supposed to nurse John to sleep, eat breakfast, and take a shower.
It is 11:30 and I have eaten, but John is sleeping in the Ergo carrier on my chest and I am nowhere near as clean as I would like to be. So, I have spent the last half an hour or so on Pinterest looking at all the beautiful things that people have tagged.
I love beauty. I love order. I love to see things that have been created simply to be visually pleasing. Even more, I love beautiful things that are functional! I aspire to that kind of life – a life that reflects my visual sensibilities. I know that there is an interesting subtext here about beauty being on the inside, etc, etc, but let’s just forget all of that for now. I know it is there, and it comforts me on days like today when I am smelly and greasy in front of the computer. Hey, all I need to do is look down at the kid on my chest to see perfection and beauty!
I think that external, visual order and beauty can be a reflection of divinity. Purple and yellow contrast, green and blue compliment. Three is harmonious, four is structured. Our eyes are drawn to certain arrangements, certain colour combinations, certain fonts, certain expressions because there is an underlying Beauty that tells us about a greater purpose for our lives. It lifts us up, draws us to new heights, challenges us to be better than we actually are. And in the process, that Beauty enables us to reach those heights because in taking in that Beauty, it becomes part of who we are.
So here is my quandry.
One of my blessings/curses is that I am a very well rounded individual. That generally means that I can do a lot of things well, but I don’t think that there is any one thing at which I excel. This has benefits (I am competent and I can learn how to do a wide variety of things) and downfalls (sometimes I can be really unfocused because I don’t know which way to turn).
Being a mother adds to this distractedness, simply because there are three little humans who are, to varying degrees, dependent upon me for all their needs. There isn’t a lot of time in the day for anything other than meeting those needs and keeping the house from exploding.
I have found over the past year that I have the time and discipline to begin a lot of projects, but then I don’t have the time (or, perhaps, the discipline) to finish them. Life intervenes. The immediate tyrannizes. And the wonderful ideas that are partially brought to life sit on the desk gathering dusk, a constant reminder that I haven’t finished what I started.
There is so much that I want to do (here’s where the well-roundedness and wishfulness comes in) – sewing, refinishing furniture, visual design, learn more about fonts, paint, get back into pottery, sculpt, write a book or two, learning to be a better cook, and the list goes on. Websites like Pinterest can be great and inspiring, but they can also be discouraging because they remind me of things I want to do but can’t. At least not right now. I feel like I have all this ability, but no time to indulge it.
Right now my job is to be a Mom to three young kids, and I love it. Watching your children grow is one of the great joys of my life. But I am still trying to find my niche, figuring out the practical outcomes of being a mother and a “well-rounded” person who cares about Beauty in her surroundings. What is the medium that most suits me, my stage in life, and who I am? How can I find that medium and use it for Beauty, for my family and to lift me up from the everyday into the Eternal? Does it have to be just one thing? How can I balance all of this out, how do I prioritize?
So. Goals for the day. Look at my surroundings and be thankful for what I have. Take a shower (eventually). Look at what is already beautiful in my life (hello John!) and make one thing better before I go to sleep tonight.
Make one thing better before you go to sleep. I think that is really one of the reasons why I started this blog, to hold myself accountable to finishing the things that I begin and to remind myself as I am struggling through the tyranny of the immediate, that you can always make something better.
Here’s what I did yesterday. We removed all the dust jackets from our books on the main floor, and now we have a rainbow of books. See? Just a little thing, but it makes a difference. Have a wonderful weekend.
(This is what it looks like in the daytime, decluttered. I am planning on painting the pink boxes mossy green or brown. Those are the pictures that still need to be hung. And just to keep it really real, here is a shot of all the extra stuff that was living on the shelf.)
(I’m not very good with house plants. Anyone need a Calathea?)