Last week I posted about noticing that I horde craft supplies and don't end up using them because #1 I'll use them up and #2 I might waste them or my time if the project doesn't turn out perfect.
Well this past week I've challenged myself to overcome this fear and start using up as much stuff as I can get my hands on. I spun both green and blue roving I've had sitting around forever:
I learned about epoxy clay from Debbie Simmon's Epoxy Clay Artistry class on Craftsy. I absolutely loved this class and Debbie's gentle, yet reassuring tone as she plays with countless materials I would have been way too intimidated to play with before.
After watching how easy it was, I began hording supplies. But having 8 colors of epoxy clay on hand, but not actually DOING anything with it is pointless! Pulling it out made me realize again just how silly it is to buy stuff and not use it. I wanted to make pendants, so make some pendants Leah!
As I was working on these pieces, I began listening to a new audiobook I'd downloaded when my brain had the munchies. The audio book is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Basically Gretchen set out for a year to become happier in all manner of ways, and kept track of her progress with a happiness chart where she scored herself every evening.
I relate to Gretchen in SO many ways. Yes, I snap and lose my temper too easily with my family. Yes, when I start behaving badly, I'm like a roller coaster headed straight down the mountain, I can't easily pull out of a funk once it has set in. And yes, I understand the great responsibility of my happiness - it definitely affects everyone around me.
This is kind of along those lines of that saying "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Often my small frustrations with work or a quilt project are carried through the whole family, and this simply isn't fair. I've worked hard to overcome my familial cycle of passive aggressive verbal abuse, but even still...I could be nicer, I could be happier, I could make my home a happier place.
And one of the major tenants of this book is the simple question - what makes you happy? What makes you feel GOOD?
The point is to ask the question, then go DO IT!
So yesterday, for the first time in 5 years, I pulled out a quilt, grabbed a pillow off the couch, picked a book, and headed outside for a reading picnic. James soon joined me along with lots of his stuffed animals, and eventually we ended up napping in the sunshine.
Why don't I do this on every sunny day? This made me monumentally more happy! I was still feeling poorly from my stomach flu, but the sunshine and fun with James soon made me feel 100 times better.
I have always loved picnics on sunny days. I used to go on them all the time when I was a kid, but as an adult, I never made the effort because Josh wasn't into it. Working on my Happiness Project, I realized I needed to stop waiting and DO the things that make ME happy because my happiness and good mood will make everyone around me more happy.
Is this selfish? My mother's favorite taunt rings through my ears at those words, but I don't think so. I think in the spirit of Express Your Love, you have to first nurture yourself, give yourself that hug or that sunshine or that time on the sewing machine so you feel most balanced and happy, and that good feeling will then be easy to share with everyone else.
If anything, it is my responsibility to do these things that make me happy because to wallow in bad feeling and spread discord through my house is about the most irresponsible thing I can think of.
So here's to more sunny picnics! Here's to using up supplies to make pretty, shiny things! Here's to spinning a new thread and finding it's not so scary to use something up if it means you've had a good time.
Let's go quilt,