This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mirror, Mirror, On the wall...

How I see myself is vastly different from how others see me, well, at least some "others", those who buy me Christmas gifts. In particular I received two gifts this year that are "me", only the "me" from 10-15 years ago.

The first gift was a book on sewing aprons purchased by my mom. Only problem is: I don't sew. Now to be fair, Mom's gift is not without basis, I used to sew. I used to sew quite a lot. In fact in a complete underestimation of time involved and overestimation of my sewing abilities I once handmade stockings for everyone in our family, including my mom's partner and her family. That foray into sewing nearly cost me my marriage and my sanity. Not one to learn quickly, I continued trying to sew: for myself, for others, for "fun" but each attempt ended the same way: me crying in front of a jammed sewing machine at 11:oo at night while Steve looks on in despair and frustration wondering how I could have done this to myself again! Finally I accepted a truth about myself: I am not detail oriented. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of seamstress and that always leads to fabric cut too short, seams not lining up and tears. I am more of a counted-cross-stitch kind of girl, preferably with the pattern printed on the cloth to reduce counting. Steve is grateful the sewing machine is still jammed and I cannot torture myself or him any longer.

The second gift was gourmet salt purchased by Steve's aunt. This gift makes an assumption about my cooking interest and skills that is completely removed from reality. Sure, I cook. Every night, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth I manage to put something on the table. Steve and our daughter stare balefully at my offering, courageously dig in, chew thoughtfully, and end up just eating the salad. My offerings are always healthy, whole grain and/or organic, but completely without interest or much taste. I am not interested in cooking. I have no flair for cooking. I used to cook. When I lived in Cincinnati and had a kitchen the size of many people's homes that was flooded with natural light and tricked out with all the latest appliances and gadgets I was pretty interested in cooking. That was 10 years ago. Since then I have had to make do in poorly lit, cramped spaces with appliances that didn't work properly. It kind of killed the cooking buzz. My family eagerly awaits my return to cooking.

I am a work in progress. I am constantly changing. I like gifts like these because they help me to get in touch with who I was years ago, remember why I changed, evaluate whether those changes still work for me, and feel grateful that I can see movement in my life. I'll keep the book on aprons, who knows, maybe I'll feel like whipping one up (using fabric glue, mind you, I'm not completely masochistic!). I'll keep the salts, I am planning on using them in my new-found interest in creating homemade bath salts. They'll be a fantastic addition.

I appreciate the gifts and the givers. I hope they appreciate me as I am now.

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