It's weird, but I can always judge out out of control and on the edge my life is becoming by walking into my son's bedroom.
When I have things "together" I can reasonably find a pair of pants, shirt, and diaper that will all fit him in about 5 seconds.
When things have gotten crazy and I'm scrambling through the day just trying to keep my head above the water, I know it because it will take 3 times as long to do everything.
Every piece of clothing I pick up is 3 sizes too small or 2 sizes too big. Every toy I pick up looks like it might have been entertaining for him before he started teething. His closet is a disaster zone. His room looks like a recently bombed Toys r' Us.
So that's my personal marker for how out of sorts I've let things get. And judging by the chaos I walked into last night, I'd say I was clinging to the edge of the "keeping it together" cliff by one finger.
Needless to say, I decided it was time to stop everything and get back on track. When I see James's room is out of whack, I know it's not just him, it's all of us.
Of course, keep in mind that I'm not a clean person. Yes, you will find all manner of cobwebs and dust in my house. I'm not clean but I am organized.
Knowing where things ARE is half the battle. Worrying about whether everything is also germ free is someone else's problem.
So I declared the house a disaster free zone and started organizing.
Last night I bagged up toys, folded clothes, installed shelves, and threw all manner of broken, useless, and questionable stuff out.
I declared that since my son is nearing 3 years old, it's time to get rid of all the 18 month old clothing we STILL have in his drawers.
I sorted, drilled, and nailed my way to a better organized, infinitely more sane reality and while I was working I realized that this organization stretches beyond my son's room.
I realized that taking the steps to have clothes that fit him within easy reach is not just good organization, but it simply makes my life easier.
So what else could I do that would simplify my life?
One big thing would be to finally fess up about the fact that I'm having a big problem with this beginner dvd.
Even though this is not as evident as a messy kids room, it's just as time consuming. Almost like having a big, giant tree blocking my path, slowing me down.
I realized just how big of a problem I'm having when I told Josh today "yeah, I want to move my tables again..."
So far, I've moved my tables 3 times and rearranged huge areas of our house for days at time to shoot this video. Talk about chaos!
Our house has been in a state of flux since November with the kitchen remodel and as soon as that has finished, I've been tearing the place up insisting on needing a better place to shoot videos.
Josh, ever patient, looked at me and said "Why do you need to move them AGAIN?"
And I started listing the reasons: I would get a better angle, better lighting, the background would look prettier...
And my wonderful husband looked back at me and said "What is the real issue here, Leah? It's not your tables or your camera angles, is it?"
Gotta love the guy. He always knows it when I'm totally driving myself crazy and exactly what to say to make me realize it.
So I started listing the reasons "If I shoot the dvd in here then it will look good and people will like it better and won't email me screaming that they can't believe they wasted $30 on this crap information from this no-talent, 26 year old wannabe quilter."
Josh paused for a minute to let me fully listen to what I'd just said and started laughing. After a minute or two I joined in. We had a great laugh, just sitting there at the table realizing just how silly I can be when left to my own devices.
This whole exchange might sound really insane to you, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.
Sometimes you just have to say out loud what is bothering you.
For me, I've been feeling unqualified to make a beginner dvd because I've only quilted for 5 years, but instead of acknowledging that and moving on, I let it twist and grow inside me, stalling my progress.
But by talking and laughing about these feelings, I feel a lot better now.
The fact is, the dvd won't be perfect. You will probably see shots of my messy living room, and no, the lighting won't always be perfect. The point, I'm realizing, is not perfection.
The point is teaching beginners free motion quilting: sharing my methods for getting started and helping build confidence for trying something new.
Build confidence...I guess I need to go do some of that myself.
So I'm off to get more of my life back firmly rooted back on the ground. My plan: get organized, get a weeks worth of filler designs edited and produced, and get my head back on straight.
Let's go quilt!