So I’ve been talking a lot about cleaning out, letting go of stuff. I realized this morning that I am letting go of guilt, old plans, old views of myself. The best example of this is that last night, on my way home, I dropped off some things to my friend Val, who is an avid quilter/seamstress. The things I gave her were a BIG box of children’s sewing patterns, fabric from all the special outfits I smocked for the kids, (I had saved leftover fabric from their outfits thinking that I would someday make a quilt out of all of it…what was I thinking??? I don’t quilt, and don’t have interest in learning!), and my smocking supplies. I had kept this stuff for 20+ years, thinking that when I had grandchildren I would use it all again. I enjoyed heriloom sewing when Stephanie and Alex were children, and I knew without doubt that I would enjoy smocking for new little ones.
For the past year I have worked on a smocking project that I started for Riley. I chose fabric, a smocking design, and I put several hours into it. But I didn’t enjoy a minute of it. My vision has changed just enough that something that was once a pleasure is now
a chore. At first I had planned to make the little dress as a gift to give Stephanie at Riley’s birth; then it became something that I was going to do as a Christmas gift…then a first birthday present. This morning I’ve decided that I am going to give that fabric to Val also. Just because I did that for my children doesn’t mean I have to do it for grandchildren. My love for Riley is not defined by smocking special things for her. Maybe I’ll be the cool grandmother who’ll teach her about camping, or cooking, or blogging, or something I haven’t even discovered for myself yet. But I won’t be smocking. That isn’t my skill any more, and I am letting go of the physical tools and the mental guilt of that change. I am celebrating that change…I feel so free, realizing that I need to look at everything I own with this same filter. I’ll keep plenty of stuff. But it will be the stuff of my life now, not from 20 years ago. I’ve cleaned out a lot of things over the years. But I’ve kept some sacred cows, and now I realize that those aren’t really sacred….they may just be a remnant of who I used to be. As I drove away from Val’s house, I had a smile on my face and in my heart. What a release!