Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This is Life

Fabric Mutt pillows

My home is Crazytown, U.S.A. this week, as we are having about half of our downstairs flooring replaced. It's going to be gorgeous when it's done, but right now it's a disaster area. My living room is piled high with furniture, my entryway is taped off with sheets of plastic, and my daughters keep trying to sneak downstairs so they can tap dance on the cement before it's all covered up again. The logistics of keeping our dachshund away from our big dogs and our big dogs away from the workers, all while trying to home school the girls in the midst of ear piercing machinery noise, are becoming a full blown comedy of errors. Really, sometimes there's nothing you can do except throw up your hands and laugh.

It all feels like the antithesis of the Instagram life, which I've been trying so hard to keep up with over the past year. I've had little to show in the way of sewing for the past few weeks because I've had my fabric designer hat on, which means hours of researching ideas, poring over color samples, and sketching on paper and computer. I absolutely love it, but it leaves me with pretty much nothing that I can tell you about. Some days I've found myself scrambling desperately to find something new that I can take a picture of to share so that I don't drift out of the good graces of the algorithm.

In the waning days of 2016, though, I came to a sudden conclusion. Sometimes my life doesn't belong on Instagram. Sometimes the things I'm doing are boring or messy or (as hard as it can be to imagine in this day and age) just personal. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who sometimes finds myself living at the mercy of the taskmaster that social media can be. So much has been said about how we all need to keep it real, yet the pressure never goes away to keep it glossy. But really, it's okay to keep some things private. It's okay to not post every day if you don't have anything to share. It's okay to not feel like you have to have two lives -- the online one and the real one. And there is nothing so creatively inauthentic as feeling that we must drum up more creativity for the sake of posting another picture on our account.

Back when I was an elementary teacher, I had the task one year of being a chaperone for our school's annual 5th grade trip to Washington, D.C. I won't go into the many perils of trying to escort eighty 10-year-olds across the country by plane, supervise them in a hotel, and keep them out of trouble while you visit dozens of national monuments, but I think we can safely say that this was a high stress environment. Remember, this was 9 years ago, back before the social media explosion and when iPhones were still new. As a good teacher, I brought my digital camera along on that trip and used it constantly, but something strange happened when I came home. I realized that I had spent my entire trip looking through the lens of a camera, trying to frame shots and get the right photos instead of really experiencing the adventure. How sad, I thought as I looked back through all those pictures. I missed so much.

I don't want my life to be like that trip to D.C. It reminds me of the chorus from a song by Francesca Battistelli called "Don't Miss It" (you can hear the whole thing here):

Don't try so hard to move past the moment
These days go by and they're gone before you know it
So come on, open your window
Let the light shine in
This is life, don't miss it

When I started blogging, my oldest daughter was just four years old. Next month she turns ten. Everyone keeps telling me to enjoy my girls now, because once I blink, they'll be grown up. I can see the reality of that more every day. I want you to know that I love blogging. I love sharing photos with you of what I'm creating on Instagram or here at Fabric Mutt. That's part of the joy in creating, I think, to not just enjoy it yourself but to share it with others. But my soul needs, just as desperately, the pleasure of taking my girls to lunch or snuggling with my husband while we watch an old movie or baking cookies or roughhousing with the dogs or playing in the garden. Taking time off for those things sometimes means that I may go a bit longer between posts on the blog or social media, but I've made my peace with that. Some things are more important.

They brought in the jackhammers today, and it's loud enough that the schoolbooks are going to have to wait a while. So I'm off to the loft with my daughters to try sewing a doll while they play Strawberry Shortcake and practice the keyboard and see who can make their snack last the longest.

This is life...all of this. And I don't want to miss it.

20 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this, Heidi. It came at a perfect time. I've been feeling bad about blogging so infrequently the past few weeks (months) but what you say is true--life is life. It's not a race. Going a bit longer between posts doesn't make you less worthy to share, nor does it impact the inspiration and excitement for creating that is passed along and marveled in through a post. ❤ Enjoy your girls. I'll love seeing what you create whenever there is something shareable!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So well written and will resonate with many including myself. Enjoy all your beautiful moments on and off social media :). Us reader's aren't going anywhere :)
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Somethings are absolutely more important! Very well said x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always love your thoughts and take on things. You are a wise woman. I love that song, and SO get the looking through the lens thing. Take time to smell all the roses and if it matters, I love hearing and seeing the mundane too��

    ReplyDelete
  5. I often wonder how many are going to regret the hours spent at the machine instead of outside blowing bubbles or going to the park, Ive said often there is a reason older gals can spend time sewing, its because they have the time without sacrificing the important things, really hope some see the big picture before its passed them bye :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not posting everyday does keep it real. We spent 10 days over the holidays just being a family and I rarely shared on social media. It was good to enjoy that time. You are correct, those are way more important.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Take your time and enjoy those kiddos. It's true. They are grown in the blink of an eye. While I love and look forward to your posts, I will also take the time to enjoy my own kiddos and treasure the inspiration that you share whenever you can. ��

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love everything about this post!! There are some blogs that I follow that I feel the blogger is trying too hard to post frequently...the posts are repeats, or a bunch of links to other posts, but don't feel genuine. I would much rather see less from you and know that, when you do share, it's something well worth sharing. And knowing that you are living life and loving those girls in between posts? Priceless!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your post is like a breath of fresh air - invigorating and true. Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful song and singer. Quality not quantity is important in all our lives. Enjoy your family life - those little ones grow too quickly

    ReplyDelete
  10. Life is life and family is very important. I myself feel the pull of it and trying to maintain a balance. There are just so many hours in a day. We are but one person. I think it is ok to slow down and smell the flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this post. I am not a blogger but I love following fabric and quilting and makers blogs. And I love following those bloggers on Instagram. But I too am tired of what social media does to our every day lives. I am exhausted by watching people on their phones ALL. THE. TIME. My husband & I made a commitment to put our phone down, to quit taking photos of everything, to sit together without jumping to see what the beep or ping coming through was. And it is working. We are SO much more present in our lives. It feels like a big shift. And we're both so much happier as a result. Less post and less photos from the blogging world also can mean they are all the more sweeter when you are able to share.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And what an exceptional life it is! You write beautifully Heidi. And your cushions look gorgeous stacked in front of the fireplace (so funny to think of sitting in front of a fire; it is the peak of summer here, so my kids just want to live in the swimming pool!) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. So well said, Heidi. Some of the things we experience as families should be kept just to ourselves, so we have those precious nuggets of memories to share, just with each other. I well remember the days you are in, home renovation, home schooling, chaos -- and noise! It seems like yesterday. I'm on the other side of it now, with my two grown and working. The house is much more quiet, but I have wonderful memories -- and so will you (even the home renov will be a fun memory, someday). Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Heidi, I always feel like you must be my sister, I can totally relate. I hope you get out and enjoy something away from the noise during the construction. Being present, as opposed to planning and reliving the other moments, is something I have been working on for the last year, and it is so worth it. Share what you like, folks like me will be here to see it but we are fine if you are busy too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this post! I so agree with you, social media can be a ball and chain. I am trying very hard not to grab my phone every free minute I have and see who is posting what on IG, so afraid I am going to miss something. Enjoy your girls,your husband and life. Design your fabric and relish the moments while you can. I know that I always look forward to see what you have be up to and in saying that if I miss a posting I know where I can find it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hate Instagram and instant messaging. It seems that all I see are faces looking at a phone wherever I go. Don't get me wrong, I love social media. I get amazing information from the blogs I read. I use an app that collects the blogs that I follow until I have the time to savor their content. I love that women like you choose to share but I would hate for you to take time away from things that are more important- like your family. Yes, days are soooo long when they are little that you don't realize how fast the years go by. Do what is right for you with no apologies. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for letting us know your thoughts and feelings. Often bloggers just stop posting without a word which leaves us readers wondering if something bad has happened. I saw on the tv news a while back that the singer Adele spotted a woman filming the concert on her phone. Adele urged her to stop and said "I am here - now - enjoy the moment". So true. You will have few regrets about spending quality time with your family. Deep breath and smile.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post, Heidi! I love that song by Francesca Batistelli too (and all of her songs, really), and it's so true that we have to pay attention to what is going on in our lives rather than just trying to document it. I hope the flooring project is done by now, or at least mostly done :)

    ReplyDelete

Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...