The Free Motion Quilting Project: Honoring the Life You Want

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Honoring the Life You Want

It's been awhile since I shared a Light Up Your Life post and today I've created a video for you that explains why:



Yes, it's been quite a busy month with getting James back in school, catching a truly terrible cold, and dealing with a lot of business hassles. I am overwhelmingly thankful I don't have a stack of contracts to travel because right now I flat out couldn't handle it.

For the longest time I've felt pressure to travel, partly because it's a very common thing for professional quilting teachers to do, and also partly because aren't successful people supposed to want to travel? Having read the 4 Hour Work Week, it's easy to forget that not everyone wants to optimize efficiency and reduce wasted time for the same reasons.

So this week I'm celebrating my choice to honor the life I want. I want to be home, making dinner with Josh every night, hanging out with James in the evening, just being a good wife and mom.

Why is it that I feel a twinge of fear and shame when I write that? I almost worry that I will be attacked because that's not good enough, or no longer appreciated as a noble goal to work towards.

I believe that it is the highest of goals, one that requires me to also take very good care of myself. How can I take care of others with a gentle, compassionate heart if I am a seething mass of resentment and anger? It just doesn't work that way!

How about you? What do you know in your heart is essential for your life? Have you been honoring what you want, the life you want to live? In what ways could you do better?

Let's get moving, let's try something new,

Leah Day

30 comments:

  1. I think not making yourself travel when you don't want to probably make you a better teacher. You're not constantly thinking about how long before you could leave, no matter how hard you tried to hide it, your students would probably be able to tell that you weren't fully concentrating on them. For myself, I prefer video lessons anyway as they're so much more convenient, and I live a bit too far away (in the UK) to come to a class in person!

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  2. Good for you! Being home with your son and husband is the best thing you can do. Your son will soon be grown and you do not want to miss the early years.

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  3. Wanting to be the best mom and wife is something you should feel proud of! Our world would be a much better place if more women had that desire.

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  4. Never feel guilty about doing what makes you happy and content and thank you for this post! My plan this Fall was to focus on some things I've wanted to do for awhile and I have to keep pushing myself to put the needs of those plans first otherwise they easily get buried under the day to day tasks.

    It is a great gift to be able to live the life you want and should be honored and cherished!

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  5. I revisit this all the time, it never changes even after the kids grow up. My sons are grown and we have grandchildren, I have a small on line business, and, I don't want it to creep into our evenings together after hubs gets off work too. I love being a wife, mom and grandma the best. Thanks for letting us know we are not alone out here! Yeh! I totally agree with Christa Quilts!!

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  6. Make no excuses for the life you want to lead.

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  7. I'm not one for travelling either. There are seasons to life, not to mention personalities and preferences that make such choices different for everyone. Isn't it wonderful though to have the internet so we can 'travel' at home?

    Loved hearing your remark about needing about 3 weeks to recover from the interruption of travel. It's been 2 weeks since I got back from a week away and the launch of my Craftsy class (within 12 hours of each other!) and I'm still not back to my normal routine.

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  8. Sweetie - you know there is nothing more important than your family. (No matter what the media/others say.) As long as you can make it with out traveling - do it. By the way, one of the gals where I work just turned down a promotion - $400 more a month, to be able to spend time with her family. She doesn't need the extra money like she needs being home cooking and being the pulling her family together. If you want to travel some - or need to, then enjoy it.

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  9. If you would still like to teach but not travel there are conference rooms in hotels that would be perfect for a quilt retreat/workshop. You could teach and be home before school lets out and the attendees staying at the hotel could have the evening to shop and visit local attractions.

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    1. That's very true Tracy! Unfortunately there's not much by way of local attractions in my area. We're known for our yearly liver mush festival if that tells you anything! Lol!

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  10. My husband divorced me because I made my career first, but I thought I was doing what he wanted, what he valued - paying off his debt and paying for a big house. I was happy before the mansion in a bungalow, but our desires started to dictate the life I had to live. He found someone online, took my baby, and slapped me with a huge monthly child support payment. He could continue his life in the mansion while I was left slaving for him and my baby. Feminists have ruined the world and are expecting the government to feed and nurture our children. I didn't know that there was an alternative, to be a mom and wife - and if that was an option, Ibelild have gladly done it.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear your story. I think the hardest thing is finding that balance between what we want and what others want us to be.

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  11. Such a good reminder about honoring one's own needs and priorities! I find myself struggling with different layers of this, as I've been away from a "regular" job for 3+ years. It is really funny because I have my own business and help OTHER people reclaim the passion in their lives and to honor their own needs. LOL Guess the phrase "teach what you need to learn" is very apt! Thanks for your vulnerability and sharing your internal process! Enjoy the Fall season and your family!!

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  12. By honoring your feelings you are being your true authentic self. That is all anyone needs to do. You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Kudos to you!!!

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  13. Good for you! You have your priorities right. I was on the road for close to 10 years vending and teaching at quilt shows. I loved being at the shows and teaching but I missed out on a lot of family things as a result. I traveled to places where I had to go, not where I really wanted to go. We drove everywhere and spending 10 - 12 hours a day in the car four days a week, setting up a booth and tearing it down plus teaching during the day or in the evening was exhausting. I used to love to travel (for fun). I have been off the road for about 18 months due to health issues with my husband. I went from 1 grandchild to 4 last year. I am now in a position to enjoy all of that. Staying home has been my idea of a vacation. I'm almost to the point where I am ready to take a short day or two trip to somewhere just for fun. You are good at marketing your business. You have a lot of avenues open to you that don't involve travel. Keep working at those. I respect and admire your choice. The life of teaching and travel is a very hard life. Your family is more important than that. If you don't enjoy that part of your business, focus on the things you do love. It will all work out.

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    1. Yes, I was quickly able to see this year that traveling a lot for work was going to ruin traveling for fun. I'm glad you're now on vacation and enjoying life with your grandbabies!

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  14. Great video. I loved being a school teacher for 38 years because I didn't have to travel and I was home for my sons. I just retired in June and this morning I started my 2nd career of being an adjunct professor at a college 5 minutes from my house. I was teaching the most basic math but I was still teaching math for a couple of hours and I only have to go in a couple of times a week. My sister is one of those that is always traveling and I don't envy her. You have made a great decision. Keep up the great videos.

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  15. Leah - I applaude your decision to travel less. I see some of these quilt teachers who are never home and I think to myself - are they living their life for others or for themselves and what about their families. You can reach a lot of people through your videos, being selective in your travelling and having an on-line presence. It doesn't matter how much you give - there are people who will think you should devote your life to their persuit of happiness when in fact it should be your pursuit of happiness that is most important to you. Good luck with being a MOM and a WIFE and then a Quilt teacher!!!!!

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  16. Leah, good for you to have the courage to follow your needs and convictions and choose the life that is right for you and by extension right for your husband and son. And good for your husband and son, since it affects everyone in the household. Sad to say after all these decades too many people misinterpret the goals of the struggle for gender equality, which was about opportunity and options, including the option you have to choose not do work requiring you to travel and miss the home life that you value. That said, I am glad there are some quilt teachers who enjoy the travel enough to do it because I learn best side-by-side and face-to-face, and have met some wonderful teachers at workshops and expos, which are excellent uses for vacation days. The beauty of having choices is you can choose another path in several years when James is out of school or at other points in your life. "Keep calm and quilt on."

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  17. "...just being a good wife and mum" . Brilliant! I was fortunate to be able to give up my career in IT to do the same and what a fantastic life I have been able to live. Bringing up my 2 kiddlies (now adults), and enjoying every moment with my husband that I could steal, I have got to be one of the luckies and most blessed persons on this planet. I wish the same for you Leah.

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  18. Good for you!! Don't listen to the naysayers. It can be difficult for us to say NO, but learning to say no can make us happier and better people, for ourselves and for those around us.

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  19. I haven't been able to view your video here on my Kindle but I'll try on the computer later.

    When my children were young teenagers I was working part time as a teacher's aide. I had always wanted to be a teacher and was strongly encouraged to do so by the principal at the school where I worked. I went back to college to get my degree and teaching credential. It was such a struggle for me, working that part time job, driving our kids to school, etc. helping them with school work when needed and trying to take care of everything at home while my husband worked hard at a very stressful job. One day I read something in a Focus on the Family newsletter that changed my life. As I recall this, from twenty years ago, Dr. Dobson was writing about a mother's role. He said something about God not wanting mothers to strive to be everything, God wanted mothers to take care of their children. As soon as I read that I made up my mind to finish out that semester and "drop out" of college. Life was happy once again for my whole family. I also finally realized that I had already been a teacher for years, I had taught hundreds of children to read, to become better readers and to understand math. I was living my dream, I just didn't know it!

    Neither my husband nor I wants to travel. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have things (my quilting and his woodworking) that make us WANT to stay home!

    You and Josh decide how you want your lives to be with James. He is a most important part of your life. Whatever ANYone else might think should not even be given a thought, you are the ones who are living your lives. We all enjoy having you in our lives but we want you to enjoy it too. God bless you three. You really do have "it all"!

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  20. I enjoyed this video. I'm glad you are following your heart and doing what's best for you. When my oldest was born I quit my job. It has taken me a while not to feel inferior to some of the other school mom's when they ask where I work.

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  21. I applaud you listening to your "inner voice"! Many of us wish we had done the same.

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  22. What a great message! I stayed home with my kids and managed our household because it was what I'd always dreamed of doing. There was a lot of pressure, some of it societal, some from people my husband and I know, for me to get a job. Luckily I was able to realize my dream and my kids are now independent adults who we love to hang out with. As for travel, I usually enjoy it once I get over the hump of planning, packing and arriving at my destination, but it's not something I do often because I find it stressful. I think women especially tend to give in to what they feel they should do rather than what they actually want to do. Sometimes it's even hard to figure out what you want because you feel the outside pressure so strongly. Just because "everyone else" likes to travel doesn't mean you should. I'm glad you're setting an example of an alternative lifestyle for successful quilters!

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  23. Leah,
    Congratulations on your maturity! You have found wisdom to listen to what's inside your heart. I applaud your willingness to honestly express your heart on this matter. We are all different from everyone else, that's what being an individual is. Accepting what is best for ourselves leads to a better ability to allow others the same.
    Thank you,
    Luann

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