The Free Motion Quilting Project: Best. Day. Ever.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Best. Day. Ever.

Sundays are turning into my sort of weird post days where I throw anything up here that feels right. Today I have to simply sit, simile, and celebrate the best. day. ever we just had celebrating Easter a week late!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

What made this day so wonderful? It's hard to put my finger on just one thing because there wasn't just one thing that made this day magical. It was partly a choice - my choice - to be responsible for both my happiness and the joy everyone had at the party.

Instead of feeling stressed that the food wouldn't be done on time, snappish at my husband to "help me out in here!" I adopted a totally different, blissful attitude. I loved every second of preparing lunch because I CHOOSE to enjoy it. It wasn't a means to an end, it was the process to relish every step of the way.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Ever attended an Easter egg hunt with a real chicken in attendance?!
Since April 1st, I've been charting about 25 items in a list I call my Happiness Inventory, inspired of course by The Happiness Project. Each day I get a check mark if I've gotten through the whole day by doing or not doing a certain thing. For example I get a check mark for No Yelling, just as I get a check mark for Flossing. It's a way to keep score and build habits for the ways I want to change my life.

Another reason why today was so amazingly awesome - yesterday was a very bad day. I had a long list of X marks because I caved to my temper, yelled my head off, and the whole day, my mood, James's behavior, everything just steamrolled right down the hill.

What I learned yesterday and hope to never forget is that yelling benefits no one and hurts everyone. I felt terrible, James's behavior got worse, not better, for being yelled at, and I just wanted to run and hide and lock myself away so I wouldn't hurt anyone again.

But instead of allowing myself to hole up in the sewing room and get obsessed with a project (yes, sad to admit, that is what I used to do after behaving badly before), I instead resolved to take responsibility for every damn word that comes out of my mouth. And that means no more yelling. Period.

Is this hopelessly optimistic? I don't think so. In just 6 days of charting my list which contain everything from writing 2 pages in my journal to exercising daily, I find I have a much better grasp on what makes a good day a "good" day. That row of check marks is literally a guide to behaviors and tasks that truly make me happier, easier to live with, and in turn make the people around be happier and easier to live with too.

Figuring all this out right now just feels perfect. As I posted last week, Easter and I have had issues in the past, but today stretched out on the quilt I brought out while James hunted eggs, I smiled in the sun with the knowledge that I have truly created the best Easter ever for my family. One of happy memories, great food, and lots of fun.

No, I know this isn't everyone's idea of Easter. I had some comments to my last post about religion that I chose not to publish because they were rather angry and offensive to me. The fact is, like Christmas, I have had to make these holidays work for me, for how I believe and for what is meaningful for myself and my family.

To me, creating a fantastic, special day for my family was the Best. Day. Ever. I can't wait until the end of May when my Mother-in-Law's birthday will give me the excuse to go over the top all over again!

Let's be happy!



  1. That's awesome that you were able to just chill with your family. You found the key, fun. Holidays are a lot like what you say about quilting... the big picture is what matters, don't spend forever ripping out misplaced stitches, shrug and move on.

    PS- I wish we had grass... no luck in the Great White North.

  2. Hurray for you, Leah! Be proud of yourself for taking control and making yourself happy.

    When my 2 kids were adolescents, we found ourselves living overseas with my husband's job in a duplex with paper-thin walls. Not wanting to be loud Americans, we all stopped yelling and it became habit. I can't tell you what it did for our family.

  3. I'm in complete agreement with you! We make choices to be happy and to do the things that will show our love and make awesome memories...not the bad kind. :) Congrats on a system that is working well for you (I think I might try it - is that OK?).
    Wonderful, thought provoking post, and actually every bit as inspiring as your FMQ posts! Hugs!

  4. In the end it is all about how we treat our loved ones and ourselves. You need to do what is right for you and yours. I love that you had the "Best. Day Ever." !!!

  5. Leah, I have been impressed with this journey you are on to choose to have fun. You are taking responsibility for your happiness and helping your child have a happy family life. That is commendable.
    I am sorry that people are expressing anger over your way of celebrating Easter. Ironic, isn't it, that religion doesn't always bring out the best in people. I choose to celebrate Easter from a religious viewpoint, but I admire that you are choosing to create joy in your family, when that was not the pattern with which you were raised. Keep it up, girl!

  6. Well done, find out what works for you and keep on doing it.
    I haven't posted before but read much of what you write and enjoy it. I aspire to machine skills as good as yours and look forward to making progress following your excellent instructions. I wish you happiness and contentment, be kind to yourself.
    Thankyou, Margaret.

  7. Thanks for sharing this! I feel such a parallel to your posts sometimes. I have days with major Mommy regrets. I try so hard to make the most of each day, but it is never easy. I hope you find more happy days then bad and continue to try and make the most of them. Thanks for sharing the good with the bad.

  8. I am so glad to 'hear' of your awesome day! And equally sorry that you received such critical comments. Although your day was very different than mine, I know that each of us are on a journey whose direction does a meander based on choices of the heart. Blessings and hugs to you and your family.....for sure! Doreen

  9. I too vowed to never again lose my temper and yell uncontrollably after a particularly bad episode with my oldest child who was then 13 or 14 years old (he is now 20). Our family life has changed dramatically for the better! We enjoy spending time together. We still have disagreements (it's bound to happen with teenagers!), but we discuss them like civilized adults for the most part. I feel empowered by being able to take control of this part of my life. My kids and husband feel more loved and less judged. In return, I feel more loved and less judged!

  10. Miss Leah, I grew up in a family of yelling. Boy is that a hard habit to break. I feel your pain with that. But what a wonderful day you had with your little boy.

    Sharon in Colorado

  11. Leah I am so glad that you had such a wonderful Easter celebration with your family. You overcame all that you were worried about with this holiday and focused on what matters which is time with your family and fun!!! Thank you for sharing about your beautiful day :)

  12. I am so glad you had a wonderful day. I am very religious but my religion teaches tolerance and love so I'm glad you got to celebrate Easter in a way that was uplifting for you and your family :-)

  13. And I totally misread that... You said Christmas....but it is true the other way too. ;)

  14. Hy Leah,

    Je suis bien d'accord.
    : Faire tout pour être heureux soi-même et rendre heureux sa famille.
    Bonne continuation

  15. Love this post. I had to teach my new 60 year old husband 7 years ago - NO yelling allowed! I did it at times when my kids were young and I was a single mom. But, you are so right. It accomplishes nothing except the recipient tunes you out completely. He actually thought it worked. I wasn't raised that way, and wound up with not one, but two yellers as husbands! Acck! At least this one learned from me and he doesn't yell anymore. I told him it was trashy behavior and that seemed to hit him where it hurt, lol!
    BTW just enrolled in your first Craftsy class and can't wait to get started!


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