Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Letting Go

Thank you for your book suggestions, and keep them coming. (We have the Maurice Sendak nutshell library, three books each from my childhood set and one I bought for M--all of which I adore, especially One Was Johnny!)

I was going to give you my second installment of the Christmas Cookie Countdown today, but something has come up and I need to talk about it. The Universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe several things. I think it's trying to remind me to "underdo" and let go.

I hurt myself yesterday in yoga class. Because I decided that along with everything else going on this month, both at work and home, now would be a good time to pick up where I left off a year and a half ago with yoga. And in a pose, my wrist collapsed, which levered my arm in such a way that, as the rest of me collapsed, I could feel my upper arm literally pull out of my shoulder joint with a frighteningly rubber-bandy kind of sensation. It went back in by itself, but it left me shaken and very sore in my right arm, shoulder and neck.

Perhaps part of the problem (other than being out of shape, and trying to support my arm with my fist, rather than a cupped hand, on the suggestion of the instructor), was that I had woken up around 1:00 that morning and, when I hadn't fallen asleep by 2:30, got up to make Lucia buns for breakfast, since it was December 13:

(note the dreidel in the background)

I think maybe this was a bit louder of a yell because last week I didn't listen when I woke up one day and my thumb suddenly didn't work.
Pain shot through my wrist when I moved it in a certain way. I moved my mouse to the left, bought a wrist compression glove and carried on, knitting like a madwoman.

There have more subtle messages too. Last week, on our snow day, E and Z decided to set up winter villages in their room. Z got right to work and made this creation:

I lent E a hand and put together this:

An hour or so later, I noticed the village had been ransacked. When I asked what happened, he said that was not how he wanted it. He remade his village like this:

Of course, what I had in mind was this. Hmm, perhaps it's best not to overlay images of bloggy-land utopia (blogtopia?) over one's children's creative urges.

And then there's the fact that I just really haven't felt like doing all the things I had planned--there are a few projects I've been excited about, but otherwise, I haven't been able to stir up much motivation.

This time of year sends me into overdrive in the unrealistic expectations of how things should be and look and how much I should do department. Thus the six-hour cookie-baking sessions. The all-night gift-making marathons. The need to celebrate EVERY holiday that takes place in December. Slave-driving my children to make gifts and produce adorable holiday art.

I realized yesterday that I would have to let go of some of those plans and expectations. Let someone else do some of the work (Hello, Etsy!). I also realized that I have to stop trying to keep up with the stay-at-home, homeschooling, craft-blogging moms. Which is in no way meant to minimize the hard work of staying at home with kids; it's just there aren't enough hours in the day to do all that and go to work. But still, I don't want to be the get home from work and throw Lean Cuisine in the microwave and congregate around the TV and surround ourselves with mass-produced crap mom, either. There is so much that appeals to me about the handmade/homemade life, and the thought of letting go some portion of that breaks my heart a little bit. I'm not even sure where to begin.


  1. Blogtopia! You have to trademark that or copyright it or something. I know EXACTLY what you mean. Hope you're feeling better. xo

  2. I love Maurice Sendak's nutshell library too AND, think about maybe not reading those blogs that get you to feeling like who you are and what you do is not enough.
    There was a blog I used to read for my daily flogging of self-doubt. And then I had to make myself stop reading it. Maybe this blog gives others inspiration and warm fuzzies, but for some reason it made me feel crappy.
    You make beautiful things with your boys, they are lucky to have you as their Mama.

  3. Thanks everyone.

    Rachel--I'm sure you're right, and I should give up my daily dose of self flaggelation (if we're talking about the same blog; and I'm 99% sure we are!).

  4. it is also mercury retrograde right now. if you're into that type of stuff. (i am all for putting it on the stars/planets.)

  5. Hey Andrea. I'm really sorry to hear about your wrist/shoulder. I hope you are feeling much better by now.

    I can totally relate to what you're saying here. We working moms can't compete with the blissful lifestyles depicted on some of our favorite "perfection" blogs. I feel confident that even the perfection bloggers can't compete with those images. For whatever reason they feel good about putting that out there without much balance. That is their deal and that is okay. I just try to enjoy the eye candy and get crafty inspiration and stay firmly grounded in my own reality which is very much being part of the real world (as much as I think I'd prefer sometimes to be less so).

    That said, I hope no one feels bad when they read my blog! I just like showing what I'm up to and having someone to share that with, since I don't really have any local friends who are into what I'm into.

  6. Oh poor you, I hope your wrist is feeling better. I concur and am going to adopt your new word! I've begun to view some blogs a little like magazines, where everything is perfect and aspirational rather than true-to-life. Once I did that I felt better. I'll e-mail you something I received which summed it up perfectly.


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