I’m feeling a bit down today. I decided yesterday that I am not going to Africa this summer. My job has become increasingly demanding in the last few months, plus apparently I have the inability to mutter the word, “No.” I’ve taken on two new freelance writing/editing gigs this week, along with a new coaching position for a masters swim program.
Don’t get me wrong — I love being busy. It is who I am. I love my job, to write and all things swimming. These new tasks make me smile, and really, I don’t sit still very well unless I am sleeping. And I like my sleep in the 8-10 hour varieties. But when I’m awake, I am living life at warp speed. Lisa sums all of this up so much better than I can here.
Alas, my summer schedule quickly became booked with other foreign travel (Nicaragua, Bolivia) and social opportunities I simply don’t want to miss. I am planning a trip to California to see some friends in the House of Plenty for their outdoor movie series. (My baking has been requested, leaving me a touch smitten.) My brother is living alone in a giant house in Colorado. Giant house + one boy = little to no furniture, curtains, or food in the fridge, although I hear he has found a good local bar. As a Type A controlling sister, I simply cannot stand the thought of my brother living without the basics — ie casserole dishes, moisturizer and pots of pretty flowers by the front door. And really, doesn’t a road trip to Colorado sound like too much fun? [Note to self: A vacation that doesn’t require malaria pills. I could be on to something here.]
So, I told my much relieved boss yesterday that I simply cannot plan a trip to Africa in July as I’d been hoping. He was pleased because the trip hadn’t been budgeted. (An entirely different post I’m avoiding.) I felt immediate relief because I suddenly had a month of my summer back to see friends, get assignments done, teach my summer swim lessons to friends’ children, and water my garden. Try traveling from Arizona during the summer while keeping a garden alive. My plants require daily attention from April – October if I want to keep even one leaf green.
But today I feel like a bit of a sell out. I’ve made other things in my life a higher priority than my work in Africa, when I know fundamentally nothing makes me happier. Nothing makes me feel more alive, worthwhile and satisfied. It isn’t easy work, but I simply love it. And if it weren’t so expensive I’d love to be in Mozambique several times of year.
Alas, it is not meant to be this fiscal year. Perhaps November.
In happier news, I’ve been thinking a bit about what I create that I truly love. I feel like I’m surrounded by women who’ve found their muse — their medium. For Amy, it’s aprons. Jane makes a jelly bean cushion look edible. Lisa’s log cabin pillows are nothing short of incredible. Di’s box bags make me wish I was a gazillionaire living in Australia so I could have a different one for each day. Me? Sure, I knit, bake and sew, but none of my stuff stands out as incredible. None of it is original. I follow patterns, I get inspired by other artists and I mimic with enthusiasm.
This weekend, though, I think I found my thing — wristlets. Granted, this isn’t my pattern, but it was my energy and creativity that put this second crop together. Plus, I’ve tweaked it here and there and made it my own. I’ve embroidered some of these and have filled others with CDs, chocolates and notes. The first crop went out during Lent for CAOK. These are going to be given away during the next month for birthdays, graduations, etc. I’m getting pretty good with my zipper foot and even better at coming up with excellent treats to hide inside these pouches to make the gift personal. And really, who doesn’t want a wristlet?