02 April, 2010

Self-Portaits

Yes, I know this is a quilting blog and pictures of the quilter aren't always part of the package. But today's post is about me, so a picture of me in my natural habitat seems appropriate.

This weeks marks the culmination of a lot of effort on my part to realize the life I want. I don't have that life yet and, to be honest, I wonder if I ever will. This week definitely marks my intentional movements in the right direction. Yet it isn't about milestones or defined marks of success, although many of those are there. Rather, it is about my perspective and attitude towards my life.

Long, long ago it became very clear to me that we get out of life exactly what we put into it. I was surrounded by some very irresponsible people. They whined and bitched about how their lives sucked. Any outsider could see that aside from the odd bit of bad luck their lives sucked because they let them suck. They made choices or a series of choices that put them in crappy living situations, bad relationships, or uninspiring jobs. I wanted to scream at them that they'd brought most of it on themselves, but I, more than anyone, knew that was pointless. So instead of trying to change their lives, I decided to change mine.

I'm not going to say that it's always been sunshine and roses and every single thing I decided to do worked out for me. I've made bad choices, Hubby and I have questionable timing with some decisions, and more than once I've been plain wrong. Regardless, I own those choices. They were mine to make. And in the end I've always made it work for me.  Why?

Because we are the sum of the choices we make.

And lately I believe I've had every right to whine a little about a lot of things. And I have done so. You get to the point though where even you get tired of your own whining. Instead you pull yourself up, maybe slap yourself in the face, and decide to change the way you are reacting to the things you have no control over. Because that is where your character comes in, in how you choose to respond to the world around you.

In the midst of all these platitudes I do have a point. My choices of late are leading me to live a truly creative life. From the activities I do with my kids like this and this, to the professional decisions I am making. From the projects I tackle, to the goals I set for myself. And this week I took another step in that direction. I really can't tell you how I feel about this other than to say I am beyond excited and damn proud of myself and my partner in the adventure.

And so what if my house behind me is chaotic and messy? I am happier, my kids are still full of joy, and my family is stronger.

18 comments:

Lee said...

you go girl! I guess you are going to leave us hanging about the adventure aren't you!!

Andrea said...

yippee! I love reading posts like this. I'm on a similar mindset - except exercise needs to be part of the picture and I just can't seem to slap myself into gear.
Can you spill...just a teensie bit to me? I'm far enough away?

elle said...

Absolutely. And there are always choices to be made because our lives flow along and sometimes it even makes a new channel. You are doing good, Cheryl. And that's because you are compelled to be moved by the currents rather than stand on the bank and watch the eddies. Blessings to you!

elle said...

oh, BTW: You look great!

Barb said...

I completely agree about choices. My sister whines about how I have things much easier than she does ~ but I've worked for everything I have while she tries to cheat the system. It's all about choices ~ good or bad.

CitricSugar said...

I know how it feels to make a step in a good direction. Best of luck and success with your new endeavour!

PS - It's nice to see faces as well as projects. :-)

Trudi said...

If you want it bad, it will come! Go for what you really want, now you've found it! Life has to be as happy, contented and fulfilling as only you can make it. It's a great feeling when those decision are fruitful. Good luck!

Lesly said...

Wonderful to hear about folks making decisions that empower themselves and allow creativity to flourish! Hope you'll share your journey - we'll be watching and cheering.

Amy said...

I love it! Whatever it is - I'm proud to know you.

Kris said...

I love this post. Leading an intentional life is something I think about a lot too. It's just too easy to lose track of it. I can't wait to hear about your new adventure!

KatieQ said...

When I read your post on Friday, I wasn't able to comment on it because I had to rush off to Wellesley to pick up my daughter for the weekend. I thought about it over the weekend and it seems appropriate to comment on Easter morning because decisions can be like a rebirth.
We attended Easter Vigil services last night (we're Roman Catholic) and at the start of the service there are no lights in the church. A new fire is started outside the church where the Pascal candle is lit. Everyone in the church has a candle and the light is passed from one candle to the next, until all of the candles in the church are lit. It reminded me of an essay I read once that said God only allows us to see a piece of our lives at a time because we would be overwhelmed and frightened if we saw all that was in store for us, whether it is was beautiful or heartbreaking . We would be able to continue on our journey if only the bits we could handle at that time were revealed to us.
I'm really glad you wrote this post. It's hard to choose which way to go when there is a fork in the road, but it is harder still to start out on the initial journey.
I'm happy that a new phase of your journey is about to begin and that you will be exploring new paths. Your blog continues to inspire and delight me (and that was before I explored all of your food postings). I'm sure the next leg of your trip will be awesome. Thanks for letting all of us tag along.

sulu-design said...

What you said. To it all.

My curiosity is piqued.

HipHome said...

I think I could have written this post. Exactly the place I have come from and exactly the mindset that I chose for myself years ago. I am a firm believer in choice. We absolutely choose how we live this life.
Here's to blazing our own trails in life!

corinnea said...

While you are reaching toward that life you want, (which after reading you for awhile I am sure you will achieve) just remember your last two paragraphs.... cause sometimes goals change and the most blessed part of life is to treasure the present moments.

Sew It UP! said...

Bravo! Well said.

whatktmadenext said...

I've been away on holiday and had bookmarked assorted posts in google reader that I wanted to comment on when I got back. I couldn't remember why certain ones were bookmarked but this one was easy - it's such a good post and it really struck a chord with me.

I've been whining recently about something I have some measure of control over, which is stupid. So instead of whining, I am now doing something about it and am already feeling so much better.

So thanks for posting this and being a virtual kick up the backside :-)

amandajean said...

yay for you!!! :)

Robin: TipToeTango said...

Beautiful post & and create you must! What a talent you have...