Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some Bee Work and Some Reflecting

So, I have not posted lately!  That is due to being extremely busy at the moment--to say the least.  Many things are contributing to why I am so busy recently, but happily the main reason has been that my long arm work has suddenly taken off with flying colors and my machine has been humming daily!  Another contributing factor has been that since I turned 40 in April (yes, I realize I kept that a secret!) I've decided to have a fresh new look at my life at what my goals will be for the next 10 years!  I have been thinking about my life and all the things I have accomplished thus far and deciding where to go from there.

In my twenties I spent as much time learning, traveling and exploring as I possibly could!  I traveled far and wide and had many adventures including college in Michigan, studying languages at Uni in Austria, living in Arizona, Maine, Colorado, California, Hawaii and Germany.  I hiked long distance trails like the Appalachian, Anna Purna Circuit Nepal and Colorado Trail.  I taught skiing.  I lived for 6 months on a remote beach.  I spent a winter in a log cabin where my best transportation was by using snowshoes.  I kayaked the coast of Queensland, motorcycled to the North Cape of Norway and sailed the North Sea in a yacht.  I schlepped a backpack on trains around Europe, spent some time diving in Thailand and windsurfed on the Chiemsee in Bavaria  It was never boring!  I'm sure I have some stories to tell one day long in the future when I have some time to reflect on those years. 

When I turned 30, I met my husband again--6 years after we had originally met hiking the Appalachian Trail. I realized fairly quick that I wanted to settle down with him, luckily he was fairly keen! It was hard for me in some ways as I had been so used to being on the move that I wasn't sure if I couldn't stop and be in one place!  I think there were those who believed that I would never settle down!  So my thirties became all about settling down (under--haha) and putting down roots.  I even lived with my parents for two years in preparation (paperwork) for moving to Australia!  Sort of the last hoorah of the life I had growing up in Michigan.  My husband and I built our home--the first part before we got married, the addition after we had our first child Alexander and while pregnant with Oliver!  I moved to Australia, we got married, we had our two boys and I started my long arm business all in my thirties.  I slowed down in some ways, yet life was more hectic than ever!  And now, what next?

The forties!!!  I have been really thinking about what it is that I want to achieve in these years...  Without a doubt my boys (all 3) are my priority.  Being with them and enjoying our lives together is  my main focus.  I want to teach my kids as much as I can, read to them, play with them, hug them and basically enjoy every bit of who they are.  Within that I do want to focus on making the most out of my life.  I have decided that first up is getting myself back to a fitness level that I can be happy with.  After having the two kids, I can say that for me there is a long way to go to get to where I want to be with that.  I started fitness training back in early May and I must say, that it truly is paying off.  It is however taking extra time and energy but adding oh so much more vitality to my daily existence!  It's a long road that I'm taking one step at a time.  

Which, brings me to why I posted these Bee blocks with this post.  The reason why I am posting these blocks is that I had them sitting up on my design wall for the last month and a half.  Not these ones specifically either.  I made a set and was unhappy with their lack of vitality.  I couldn't seem to get beyond drab.  I couldn't pull out a "formula" either.  That is what I have been thinking about since I turned 40.  That there isn't a specific "formula"-- a place, a thing that defines who I am and what I am about.  My style, my tastes, do not seem to be anything specific.  I cannot say what it is that is really me.  This is so reflective of my quilting style.  One day I can be happily working in Civil War prints and the next day I'm diving into a bin of texty Japanese scraps.  The minute I say that I don't like something, I know that the next day it will be the very thing I am obsessed with.  I want to know though, what is really me?  What is my voice?  What is my style?  I know we are always evolving, but there must be something that I basically identify with.  My style might be right there in front of my face and I can't see it???  What has me perplexed is that I made blocks a month ago and could not pick out anything vibrant for the life of me.  Then today I was all about the vibrancy.  Uggh!!!  Who am I?  I am grown up enough now to have a voice of my own.  So that is what I am setting out to find.  That is my goal.  I will find my voice---no more translating (my language studies), no more fitting into the environment (life as a traveler).   Maybe I will not ever have a "formula", but I want to get closer to knowing who I am.  Of course, the quilty part is one aspect of it--a metaphor to the rest of my life as well.  Hmmmm....  Let's see what happens:0


Danielle said...

Wow! You sure have packed a lot into 40 years! So much to look back on and so much to look forward to :)

Katy Cameron said...

I totally know where you're coming from! As someone that has travelled all over, living in and working in different countries, doing many activities outside school/uni/work, I have come to the conclusion that I'm a chameleon, which might not really be the best place to be either if I ever want to settle down with someone! I know I'm a different person at work to who I am with my sewing buddies, to who I am when I'm with musical friends, to who I am when I'm umpiring and organising large regattas, and my friends in each of these walks of life are constantly amazed at the other bits that make up my life because they never see me as a sewer/singer/harpist/rower/umpire/regatta organiser (delete as applicable)

Good luck finding yourself, and if you happen to work out the secret to unlocking it all, give me a shout!

PS, the blocks are fab

Mama Spark said...

OMGosh you have done a LOT! How wonderful. I am feeling the same way as you and I am a decade later! Good luck and if you have any insight into how to find your own voice I'm all ears!!

Catherine said...

Yes, what do you do if you like (almost) everything!

Have fun while you're finding your voice!

Bluquilt said...

That's exactly what your 40s are for - enjoy the journey.

One for a wish.. said...

Maybe not having one distinct style just means you have the ability to find beauty in everything?

Franie-Jay said...

Wow! Thanks for such an amazing post. Reading that makes me realise that I need to take stock, assess where I am going and make some goals. I too wonder who I am sometimes. Occassionally I look back at things I've made years ago and think how good they are but didn't really think so at the time. We are complex creatures so it's hard to find just one label or style. Thanks for posting. Fran.

Total Pageviews