Isn't it amazing how things happen and they shake you up something rotten and then you look back and say "I'm so glad that happened" because they help you to stop, reflect and move on?
In the last fourteen days I've been shaken to my core as you know by some criticism. Then seven days ago one of our kittens got knocked over in front of our very eyes and we spent most of Sunday crying. On top of that Amber said something which hit me like a bolt. I was telling her off for shouting at her brothers and she said something like, well what about you, you shout at us about the most trivial of things. I sat with that comment, and cried over the cat last Sunday and to finish it all off Ali sent me a list of questions about why we blog which set me thinking on that front.
It all went into the great big melting pot that is my overactive brain and for the last few days I've really been reflecting on who I am and what I do. It occurred to me that for the last year or so I have been living out of integrity. What is integrity? To me it's honouring my word and my commitments. It's being true to my principles and to myself. You see fourteen years ago I made a commitment to stay at home and bring up my children and somewhere along the line I forgot that. Because I forgot to make a commitment to myself at the same time, to nurture myself in the process, the last few years have left me drained and empty.
I noticed (as I reflected) how I was desperate to have time to myself these days and to do things that were just mine. Cue the crafting and the blog - both served to fill an emptiness in me. They were things that I did for myself and were separate from the family. They gave me a sense of individuality that I had lost being at home. All was fine at first. My priority was still the home and I crafted after the children went to bed. Then I started selling at the christmas fair and during the autumn term I sewed madly whenever I could but I always new that it would stop at the beginning of December. It meant that I was free to concentrate on a great advent and christmas and in the new year the children and I played and mucked around with never a sight of a sewing needle. I had time to read and knit in a leisurely fashion too.
But then came blogging and like most of you I threw myself into it with gusto. What a world there was out there and so many like minded people. What crafts and patterns and ideas floated around in blogosphere. Hungrily, greedily I lapped it all up and for a while it filled the void that had developed over the years. The balance was fine at first but when you have a blog you need something to write about don't you and as mine was a craft blog I found myself making things all year round. That was great at first. Look at what I've learned and done over the whole eighteen months of blogging - the plant dyeing, all the softies I've made, the dolls, the felted jumper bags, etc etc. It's been wonderful to have really stretched my crafting skills and to have discovered other talents. But more than that look at the great connections I've made through the blog and all the lovely comments I get. Let's not forgot my amazing holiday either.
However, I began to find that thinking about what to write, the words to use, actually writing a post, reading my comments and replying to them and finally reading other blogs and commenting began to take over my life a bit. I also made myself a craft room and whereas once I sat at the kitchen table and sewed, chatting with the children all the while, I was now often esconsed in my room. Suddenly the balance shifted without me noticing.
The events of the last two weeks then have thrown all this up in my face and thank goodness too. I've realised that I've been spreading myself too thinly and that I really need to re-assess my commitments and then to find a balance in my life. I'm not sure what I'll decide about blogging and crafting to be honest. At the moment I just need a break from it all. I can't imagine not making things anymore so I guess that I may just slow down a bit on that front but as for blogging .........hmmm. I'm not sure whether to stop or continue.
I'd be very interested in hearing your comments on that and also to know how you find balance in your lives. Thank you friends for reading my mid-life whatever and sorry for the lack of photos ..............