Bring out your beads, your yarn, your clay, your crayons. Whatever you do... JUST CREATE SOMETHING NOW!
I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
So, if you are interested in receiving a handmade something from me, leave a comment. The first three will receive something...........knitted, beaded, food? Who knows?
This post actually feeds nicely into a discussion I was having with my mom and then again with a friend today. Presents and gifts should be meaningful. Something you want the person to have rather than some item that will be forgotten a day after the wrapper comes off. It can be as simply as a handmade card to your favorite couple saying you'll watch their child one evening so they can finally have a night out to themselves, or as extravagant as buying every movie your loved one's favorite actor/ess ever made and then creating your own movie marathon (don't forget the popcorn!)
In something I was reading recently, there was a challenge to only spend $3.98 (or something like that) on each person and have the receipts to show for it. What makes the challenge a real challenge is that not only can they not spend more than the set amount, they also can't spend less. They have to spend exactly the sum agreed to. I think one person said they bought a beautiful card and a pack of the person's favorite gum to get the right amount.
For years my mother and I made most of our Christmas gifts and all of our cards, spending months and months getting everything together. One year we were so busy we only did bought presents and cards and several family members and friends thought we were mad at them or something until they realized no one received anything handmade that year. LOL!!!
The point is, the old adage that it's the thought that counts is real. I'm hoping to get back to this sentiment this year and all future Christmases with my family. What I'm hoping to convince everyone to do is that we should have a family trip each year, either before or after the holidays, and make the Christmas presents themed to the trip. Maybe a new camera or journal for the trip or something neat from the destination. Whatever the outcome, I just want present giving to be special again.
Really and truly, I’m back! So grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Nestle down and prepare for a big make up post.
First let me apologize for being MIA for so long. There are lots of good excuses. Well, some are good. Some are just what they are. I do promise however not to go disappearing from the blogosphere again without fair warning. Like, FAIR WARNING: I’m going to be in Configuration Management training (let’s all say Ooooh! Aaaaah!) from 11/27-11/30 and then 12/3 to 12/6 and may or may not have easy access to a computer for blogging purposes.
So let me explain my disappearance in 3 acts.
Act 1: TeAntae promises to not spend so much time on the computer at work doing non-work things. We have a policy at work that states we can go on the internet for non-work reasons but it should be kept to a reasonable minimum and of course, no porn surfing or anything criminal like that. No, I wasn’t doing anything naughty on the computer but I was spending more time that I felt was smart reading blogs, checking out sites like Crafters.org and such. I was getting my work done but apparently I work too quickly and was feeling BORED and completely unenthusiastic about my job! “This is just not who I am!” I screamed inside my head.
[Fade to black.]
Act 2: TeAntae spirals into a deep state of depression but tries to tell herself and everyone else she’s A-OK. Yeah, who was I kidding? All the signs were there. I wasn’t beading, barely knitting, not seeing-call-emailing my friends, not posting, daily psyche-out sessions to get myself out of bed and into the car so I could go to work, staying in a crappy mood more often than not which got dumped on my poor hubby who I adore for being the sweet, wonderful man he is for putting up with me. The list goes on. I have two weird habits when I get like this. I either clean everything within an inch of its life (I hate to clean) or buy magazines and books like it’s the end of the world and just read, read, read. There are piles of magazines and books everywhere right now! And you can only pretend so long that the tears are from something in your eye or from waking up, or whatever the lame excuse might be. Some say the truth will set you free so here it is. The truth is: I hate my job. I’m not doing what fills my heart with happiness. I’m doing everything for all the wrong reasons and I feel like I have no choice but to continue like this because I don’t know what else to do!
[Curtain closes with a collapsed figure on the floor sobbing]
Act 3: TeAntae goes on a much needed vacation to clear her head, sails the HIGH seas, and gets her wedding vows renewed by Captain Stubbing. Sing it with me now! “Love, exciting and new. Come Aboard. We're expecting youuuuu!” OK, I made up the Captain Stubbing part but we did get our vows renewed by the captain of the Disney Magic for our 5th wedding anniversary. Pictures and stories galore in an upcoming post! I put all of the past insanity into the cabin safe until the end of the cruise. Not now, not this time. I was able to sleep soundly and smile daily. I think my body was a bit confused at this sudden change but it loved every minute of it. I sat one day and just grinned until my face hurt as I looked out at that beautiful azure blue, laughter all around me, and felt the stress just wash off me. Somewhere in the back of my brain I knew I’d have to face the craziness again but this time I couldn’t just live with it. I had to make a plan.
[A determined woman sits in a teak deck chair watching the ship sail into the first port]
So now I’m back and though much of the angst has come crashing back onto me (damn tears), I’ve decided to make some drastic changes for myself. You, my faithful readers, get to hang on for the ride and when necessary bonk me on the head when I’m caught slipping.
Change 2: Make time for myself to pursue my artistic side much more seriously. I have an Etsy.com store setup for my mom and me but it’s been languishing unloved and unused for about a year now. What’s the hold up? That damn fear thing. Fear that I have no talent. Fear that no one will like my work as much as I do. Of course there’s no way of even knowing if it’s true until I try so why play the fortune teller? I’ve tasked myself and my mom once again to make 5 things. Anything we want, just make them and make them good. Then we’ll put them up on Etsy and see what happens. Maybe nothing. Maybe something, but we have to at least try.
Change 3: GET OUT OF THIS JOB! I need to figure out a game plan. One I can live with and then just do it. No looking back. No second guessing. Just do it. I have two dreams: being an artist and being a chef or something in the culinary field. I love being creative and seeing people made happy by my work. It’s what has always made me happy; I just foolishly never thought I could make a living doing either and always got talked out of trying by family and friends. No more! I’m leaning towards culinary with the craft/art part on the side, but I will do one or the other and as soon as possible. I’m already researching culinary schools in the area.
So if you’ve hung in this long, thanks so much. The journey ahead is going to be like