Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What have I been doing all this time?

Wow, I can't believe how much time has passed! In the past several months, there've been two birthday parties

(including a first-time ever sleepover party),

lots of soccer games, art docent presentations, I've watched my oldest daughter flourish with the flute, my middle daughter successfully learn how to sightread music and perform, and seen my son's sense of humor grow immensely. I've also made lots of stuff - more reusable shopping bags,

poodle skirts for the kids' christmas show,

dresses for the girls for Christmas,

hosted friends from Colorado and others from Washington, took a watercolor class, lost and found my wedding ring diamond (yes, found!), learned how to knit

(definitely still learning) and had our first Christmas in our own house!

It's been quite a busy season, and I've enjoyed every minute and every project. Of course, I also went through a period of wondering if I should be more purposeful with my creativity. So far, most of my projects come about when a holiday, school event or celebration happens. So I ask myself, "Should I forge into unknown waters and generate a project on my own? Will I be able to stick with it to the end? Will my confidence falter and I'll give up on it completely? How do I come up with something I'll enjoy but that won't overwhelm me? Is that just part of the process? Why do I always think of projects in terms of its completion? Am I capable of doing something creative and not worry if it ever gets recognition?"

I'm sure you're assuming I'm leading up to New Year's Resolutions. Nope. I've never been one to do that. I try to look at goals in smaller chunks of time. However, as we begin this new year, we (meaning my family and I) have a new perspective and focus for an unknown timeframe. My mother-in-law just found out she has cancer. They're still trying to find out where the origination site is and simulataneously trying to deal with the mass that is currently in her liver and causing secondary problems. She lives in her house across our driveway and we're sure glad she's here and not on her own living somewhere else. Currently she's in the hospital and enduring a lot of tests. Actually, she's glad she's there and getting the care she was lacking over the last month. Gavin's been there after work everyday and they've had a lot of deep discussions and good bonding time. So far I've been able to take care of her dog and cat, clean her fridge, gather her mail, gather more toiletries, clothes, books and other homey items for her during her hospital stay, and done some research on the internet. I've also been able to make an eye cover so she can sleep despite the bright lights in the hall, and I've got a pattern for a chemo cap if we should come to that.

The complementary strengths of Gav and I are definitely in full swing: he's all about being in the moment, and just being; whereas I'm definitely a 'do-er' and I'm constantly thinking ahead for the next thing. The kids have done very well with all this news and although they really miss having Grandma around, they know she's getting help. Today we're going to work on a Welcome Home Poster as well as little notes we'll place around her house. She might come home tomorrow, but it's possible they'll want her to stay through the weekend. It's so touch-and-go right now and each test result leads to more changes.

A lot of blogs are coming up with a single word for the year like 'courage', 'change', 'leap' and 'expand'. All these are great words, filled with inspiration. It's weird for me to be living purely in one day at a time, not knowing what the next day will produce. It's a new perspective and quite an adjustment to this unsurety. Now, life definitely doesn't have to get completely put on hold during my mother-in-law's health issues. On the contrary, my kids especially need to have their routine and fun things to look forward to. Being mopey and worrying all day is not productive and not healthy for them to be involved in. That's helpful to keep me out of that mire too. There've been a few other times in our lives where circumstances have caused us to buckle down, take account of the things that matter to us in life, and get rid of or quit doing the things that are more frivolous. I'm sensing that we're entering into one of those seasons again. My goal will to not get so serious about the situation, and to embrace the laughter and fun things that happen in each day. Gavin and his mom share a dry wit together, and it's helped them to cope with all the stuff at the hospital. It's nice that they can be there together and share their sick jokes to keep the air light.

One short-term goal I have is to post more on my blog. Ugh, now I've set up an expectation for myself! That's ok, right?

On a sidenote, my parents gave me a new sewing machine and it's beautiful!

It's the Magnolia model by Janome. It'll be really great to use when I tackle finishing this quilt I started eight years ago!