Partnerships, Teamwork – Maintaining a High-Maintenance Life
I put everything on hold yesterday and attended a soap and lotion making class held through The Goat Farm. OMG I had so much fun. Was like a play day with several lady friends. My hairdresser told me about The Goat Farm, and I intended to schedule a meet and greet sometime soon with Mindy and her husband, who own the farm. Then I discovered she was having two classes on making soap and making salves and lotions – I got in and Ta Da! Another new world has opened up for me.
You already know I do paper collage. And I love to quilt. I have been an organic gardener for over 40 years now, and I have a big local family, a business to run, helping with the family business occasionally (my former career in Real Estate), and on and on and on. I’d always thought I would make a wonderful grandmother, staying home to knit, sew things, make collage art, decorate the house, make candles and soap, write romances and garden.
Well, my life is sort of like this. Today, I will be taking my expecting daughter on a little mother-daughter shopping. Her baby is due in October, and her shower is next week. Then I spend a week partially in Las Vegas for some real estate things, and then off to Ottawa for Romancing the Capital, Eve Langlois’s wonderful event, where I hope to see some great dedicated readers I’ve never met in person before…
So this week is about finishing, getting my instructions ready for the garden watering so that doesn’t turn into an epic fail, making sure everything I need to get done gets done this week. And so why not take a soap-making class? Meet some new friends and indulge myself in scents and beautiful soap and lotion art?
My long term plans are sort of turning out. The part that isn’t is I forgot to meditate and dream/look forward to the deadlines in my life. The trick, for me, is to float through life, doing all these things, and make it look artsy, effortless and soul-affirming, while making sure I keep to my commitments to others. After all, I am not independently wealthy. I didn’t marry Prince Charming who has a trust fund and unlimited resources. And I’m the primary bread-winner in our family. So I can’t piddle and dawdle too long. But I have to trick my brain into thinking I am living the life of ease and luxury, the life and soul-affirming things of my every day, so that the stress doesn’t get in the way of me actually doing anything.
I have several partnerships. First, and foremost, I partner with myself. Am I getting healthier as I age? Am I doing what things I want to do while I can do them? Am I managing my finances and my time in such a way that there is more life at the end of the month instead of more stress? Do I live in a house of my design, a place where I enjoy being and where I can feel my soul growing? Or, does it limit me? And is the cost (time/emotional energy) worth the result?
I partner with my husband. Not everything is perfect all the time. After some 46 years of marriage, we’ve done a pretty good job of balancing the urgent and the necessary, with the folly, leaving time for creative endeavors and explorations. I think we do best at the explorations. For me, that’s travel. Part of being a good partner is learning and telling the truth on what we can and are willing to bring to the table. I’m no Cinderella either. But partnerships don’t do very well under stress or chaos, and a lot of our time is spent making sure these things happen only on a limited basis. Gardening, traveling, going on soap-binges or shopping (in moderation) helps with this, too.
I partner with my other family members. I am nearly the oldest woman member of my little tribe. That comes with it some responsibilities to pass on what I’ve learned in a way that doesn’t make my family feel like I’ve hit them between the eyes. I want to give them memories they can laugh about when I’m gone. And yes, I admit, I’d like there to be a big hole when I leave. I’d like to be missed.
Partnerships with others in my real estate or writing community, in other endeavors I’m involved with requires telling the truth and learning who and what I can trust. I have some partners I’d love to listen to but would never count on in a crisis. I have others who I can count on for different things, but not for all things. I sort and pick, and yes, occasionally dead-head my friends and associates. No sense trying to make or keep a friend who is drifting, or not wanting to reciprocate, or for whom I have to do all the heavy lifting. As I get older, I’ve been better and better about discerning those things. And I’ve made some major screw-ups along the way being too trusting. But the lessons have been massive, and the circumstances have taught me a lot about myself. Just like raising children, being long-term married, growing a garden or starting a successful business — failure is part of the story.
I guess I could sum up my life as a patchwork of things, some found, some discovered, some worked for, some gifted and some lost, or lost and re-found. It is a blend of highs and lows, colors and blandness, determination and creativity, art and science and a little magic thrown in along the way.
I guess these are all life skills I’ll need some day when I take my next great adventure into the unknown. I take that hole that hopefully will be made here and bring that value to wherever else I’m going. And then give it all away again.
Because, in the end, all of it is a series of giving everything away, in various stages of our lives. It’s not about receiving all day long. For me, it’s about watching how my gifts change the world around me. My gardens. My books. My loves. My family. My quilts. My spaces.
What about you?
This Post Has 13 Comments
Enjoy every moment Sharon. Life is precious, family and friends are needed in ways , we don't realise until the unexpected happens. I'm all for doing things to release pressure. Sometimes it the little things in life, that bring the most joy
I agree wholeheartedly. And once again, sorry about your Mum. It is the little things in life that are the most important.
We are all still absolutely devastated. Many thanks Sharon
Don't know how I missed this, Julie. My apologies. I should have been there for you. You've been there for me so many times. Hope your family heals with loving memories…
I love how involved you are and that you share it. I feel encouraged to be brave and try new things. Keep being you. You are awesome.
Ahhhh, thank you, Judy! What a lovely thing to say. We are a patchwork of light and dark, miracles and mistakes, aren't we?
Enjoy the little things. I know you do. I love your posts. Congrats on the new grand baby on the way.
Hey thank you Aline! Jaime and I had a wonderful day today and she's got some pretty things to teach in, go to sleep in, and play in. The baby will be getting all the gifts on Saturday!
Thank you for sharing your books, your life, and your heart. Bless you and yours.
Thanks, Rachelle. That means a lot to me.
Well said my angel. You have a beautiful well balanced life that anyone would be envious of. Thank you for sharing your life situation and your pure heart of gold. xoxoxoxoxox, YP
JD, Sometimes I think you get the best part of me, the whipped cream at the top. I so enjoy living that fantasy life with you as a central part of it. As two creatives, we know we can't live there forever, but the now and then and abiding friendship that has brought us together is priceless and worth every disappointment that it isn't more. Again, I'm looking at what I feel grateful for, and not what is lacking. But I'll take all the you I can get.
What a beautiful entry, Sharon! I just love your outlook on life… and mostly I love the fact that you are LIVING it! I bet the soap making class was so awesome! I would love to do that one day! Also congratulations to your daughter…that grandbaby must be coming very soon!!! How exciting!!! ����❤❤❤ I love ya lady!! Keep being amazing!! ������