As we age, or even just as we get too busy with out lives, there are so many things we forget. There are things we wish we could forget which cling to us with a force that seems unbreakable. Then there are those wonderful things we hope to never forget.
This morning I awoke thinking of something I hope to always remember – a smile. This wasn’t any ordinary smile because the woman of whom the the smile belongs has never been ordinary. When I knew her in person, she was extraordinary; I suspect she still is.
I haven’t seen her in person in nearly 30 years, yet I can still see her smile and hear her laugh as if it was just yesterday we last were together. With the marvels of modern technology, I have seen photos that prove her smile and her exuberance has not diminished over the years. From those photos, it is clear that her family is well accustomed to her smile and laughter.
I don’t know why it was her smile that I saw when I dreamt my last dream of the night. It had been a rough night with unpleasant dreams that I am more that happy to have fade from memory. Upon seeing my friend smile in my dream, I awoke and the unpleasant memories, best forgotten, faded away, replaced by the joy I felt upon seeing her smile.
Confessions of a Crafter
During the holiday season, my world seems to be inundated by inspiring social media posts and videos. So many wonderful new things to try, hidden among some crazy crafting fodder. I enjoy watching videos of projects coming to life, even ones that show crafts that I know I will never take on. Every so often though, I will decide to join the crazy train of a popular craft. Yet, I prefer when my new crafty undertakings are able to overlap with my current arsenal of creative techniques. Finding an overlap is not always easy. Clay work, for instance, is still rather a stand alone. Although, I have made my own polymer clay buttons, so there is some overlap with my sewing projects.
Good organization skills and proper storage techniques come in handy when there are multiple crafty people living under one roof. The joke about the entire house being called a craft room is not much of a joke when so many rooms hold craft supplies. With the constraints of limited space and a need to actually live in the house rather than just craft in the house, I am hesitant when I feel the urge to take on a new type of crafting endeavor. However in the days since I last contributed to this blog, I have finally succumbed to the ever popular world of blinging up a project with gems.
In the past, I have made embraced glass beads for my blinging needs. This was a frugal way to use materials I had on hand, as well as a permanent way to attach bling, but glass beads have their limits. Working with freestanding lace embroidery turned out to be one of the limits. I knew that hiding the attachment stitches on delicate lace ornaments would be difficult. So after many years of resisting the urge, I took the plunge and purchased a hot-fix gem tool and an assortment of gems. When the supplies arrived, down that rabbit hole I dove into a magical world of sparkling light. What was I thinking by resisting this craze for so long?
Fortunately over the years I have learned restraint. So I don’t think my home will be blinged up, nor will my husband worry that his clothing will start to twinkle in the sunlight, but the ornaments I make each year may very well sparkle when the lights of the Christmas tree are turned on.
After taking a couple weeks to rest/play/craft, I sat down and tried something new – a vlog rather than an inspirational mini tutorial. It was not my intent to ramble along for such an amount of time, but I now understand why my favorite knitting vloggers vlog for nearly an hour each episode. It was quite to my surprise that I realized how very long I had been rambling about inspiration, projects completed, memories, and lessons learned. I do not know how many people will ever watch the video in its entirety, but at the end of the day I am so very pleased that this vlog has been created. It is a glimpse into my world, my head, my life, and it has brought me joy. I hope that it will bring others joy too.
Trying to ensure no one is made uncomfortable seems to be at the heart of everyone becoming less comfortable. Maybe we should support fact and encourage people to adjust.
Discomfort can be the motivator of positive change.
Change may take time, but discomfort encourages its continual pursuit.
Regardless of if the event is positive or negative, rather than longing for the past, we should strive to make tomorrow better.
Reposting from 2012. Some things are good to revisit.
Original post – https://pithyponderings.com/2012/03/23/saith-me-gratitude/
The independent, self-sufficient soul may seldom need physical help during a trial, but comfort and compassion rarely get rejected.
A little drop of kindness helps more than all the floodwaters caused by the unkind.
Floods simply get more attention.
Sometimes we live in a bubble. Truthfully, there are times when we need the bubble. Then there are times when we need the bubble to be popped so that we can see more of what is going on than we might be comfortable with on a daily basis.
It is easy to leave the work to others. It is easy to convince ourselves that if we focus on our own backyard, we need not trouble ourselves with the wider world. How often do we recognize the good work others are doing so that we can focus only on our backyard? Do we only notice these globally minded workers when they become embroiled in controversy? When we find ourselves at odds with one aspect of their work, do we condemn all the other good work?
Life is a set of scales, often comparing the positive and negative in our lives. We must evaluate the items tilting the scales in one direction or the other. Even if we need bubble time, we can’t forget that the scales will still need adjusting when the bubble pops. We should never allow our scales to tilt heavily in an unsettling direction due to the weight of unsavory choices made by others but defended due to our own desire to fit in.
Bubble time, the time to recharge and retreat from the fray, is occasionally necessary. Just don’t make that bubble so impenetrable that it won’t pop in time for your life scale to be adjusted before the negative side weighs you completely down.
A person must choose how they will deal with those who offend. They should do all they can to avoid letting the offensive, intended or unintended, control their lives. With this being said, the person who offends, intended or unintended, should be held accountable for their behavior.
Society expects its members to conform to certain patterns and behaviors. Members of society who offend, and even those who work hard to avoid offending, can fall into the misbelief that those who have distanced themselves from the heart of the society, or who have left all together, are individuals who have chosen to be offended by the society or a member of the society. By embracing this belief, those who have distanced or removed themselves become the other*.
There are people who offend regularly, some with intent and some through ignorance of their own actions. Rather than modifying their own behavior in order to be less offensive, they condemn the other as being victims of poor choices.
Personal agency requires personal accountability, but to assume that someone outside the center of the community is there because of wrong-doing or because they are angry for having been the recipient of offense lacks charity and undermines the success of the community; unless, of course, the objective of the community is to weed out all but those who seek power over others.
A community or society built upon charity and benevolence will find itself woefully weakened if it loses sight of the understanding that all who are distant are those in most need of charity, kindness, and acceptance. This acceptance may be simply in the form of respecting the choices the individual has made rather than condemning the individual. Creating the other is never charitable or kind-spirited.
* the other defined – a group or member of a group that is perceived as different, foreign, strange, etc