Thursday, February 28, 2013
I don't always read the flylady emails in my box but this morning I haphazardly clicked on the below testimonial. What a timely dissertation on fabric hoarding! If you are a quilter, enjoy!
This story is about my mother, but maybe it will be useful to some of your other FlyBabies. (I've used the lessons I learned from it myself, and it helped me accept the wisdom of FlyLady later.)
My mother is a True Crafter - she quilts, she knits, she is *amazingly* creative. And over the years, she has collected materials for dozens of projects that, being a busy woman, she has never gotten around to finishing, or even sometimes starting. Adding to the problem is her loving and generous nature - with five living children, and a dozen grandchildren, when she would be working on a project, every now and then she would get "besieged" with requests from all of us to "make me one, too!"
The next thing she knew, her sense of "fair play" would have her buying the material for half a dozen or more of some project or other, and by the time she had made two or three of something, it wasn't "fun" anymore, so it would all get put aside for her to feel bad about not finishing. Plus, she *loves* a good bargain, so, to put it politely, things started looking a little "hoarders" like in the room she stashed things in, instead of being a relaxing and enjoyable work space.
In my father's final years, he went through a series of challenging health crises. My mother sometimes indulged in "retail therapy" with fantasies about "having time to (fill in the blank)", but as his health declined, things were sometimes simply tossed into the "sewing room" as she dealt with the emergency du jour. Finally, after a battle with pancreatic cancer, we lost him, and my mother was left to pick up the pieces of her life without her husband of nearly 35 years.
The sewing room, which should have been a source of comfort, simply became the symbol of how "out of control of everything" her life had become, and that is where I was finally able to step in and help out. I was ruthless with her. We went through her entire fabric stash, accumulated over decades, and anything she didn't LOVE, we put in a pile to find a new home. We went through *hundreds* of patterns - my mother would sometimes purchase multiple sizes of the same pattern to accommodate different size children/grandchildren, and if she had forgotten she had purchased something, would end up with multiples of them if she *really* liked them.
There were five sewing machines in the room (two gifted from deceased family members), and more "UFOs" than I care to count - with me cruelly limiting her to "only twenty-five"! And her zipper collection! She had gotten a "great deal" on zippers on e-Bay, and I had to point out that no human being on the planet would *ever* be able to use 75 red 9-inch zippers, especially when her true passion was quilting/not making clothes. (For some reason, counting them out loud in front of her seemed to help make the point - lol! She only kept ten!) This was *extremely* hard on my mother, but we found a way to make it work. It wasn't trash - it was *valuable* and it didn't belong in the trash, but seriously, no way did we have time to sell it on e-Bay (and there was a good chance that anything that didn't make it out of the house would end up back in the room, especially if she was wiffly about whether she "liked it or loved it" which was the standard for going away).
Plus, it represented hard work - she hadn't just bought JUNK - she bought Good Stuff that had Potential. Who would want to just let all of that go, for nothing except a feeling of "control"? We solved it by making sure her needs were met -- she needed to feel loved and appreciated; if she couldn't get it from people, she was trying to meet the need with "stuff."
I announced a "crafting giveaway" to a dozen friends, and demanded as price of admission "Chocolate and Appreciation." The first time the women arrived, they brought "Hershey bars" but by the third trip, it was Godiva. They sang her praises, while they hauled bag after bag of "treasures" from her house. They fawned over her collection, promised to do good things with the items, and at the end, we *still* filled a van with items for a church rummage sale. Over $16,000 worth of "stuff" left the house - and my mother still had an enviable collection of "the best stuff" worth over $20,000, along with room to put "new stuff" in as she learned new techniques (heirloom sewing!) and discovered new passions in her creative efforts. (The two junky sewing machines, kept out of memory, went away, too!)
The biggest change? Her attitude. We finally worked through the "guilt" of "making the same thing for everyone" and now she concentrates on "one of a kind" gifts, which means she can enjoy creating different things for each of us. The UFO pile reminded her of which things she enjoyed, and she was able to release the boring stuff she really didn't want to do anymore. Meanwhile, the lavish appreciation and tears of gratitude from the recipients of her largess really helped her "release and let go" of items she didn't love anymore. Plus, the Godiva! Lol!
Today her sewing room only has things she loves in it, and it makes her happy. I am *SO* proud of her, FlyLady! She is my inspiration! (And she helped me "let go" of my "someday, I'll get to that!" projects later, when it was my turn, too!) Crafters are givers and dreamers, dear FlyLady. They always seem to be taking care of other people. I don't know why, but they always seem to be married to or surrounded by those who don't see the possibilities in stashes of fabric, but I know that my mother truly felt like her life was back in control when we finished taking back her sewing room.
Just like she had always planned, she made people happy with her generous cleaning frenzy. I hope some of your other FlyBabies follow her example; the local senior center is filled with women whose limited income means they can't indulge in the joy of creating treasures that crafting gives. One boogie in the craft room...?
My Mother's Daughter in Michigan
I learned so much from reading this. Makes me want to go and clean up my sewing room.
You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?
Words can be KIND or MEAN; the CHOICE is yours in 2013!
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Monday, February 25, 2013
Well, my MIL is now permanently at the nursing home as a paid patient. It won't take long to go through her money that she has left and then we have to apply for medicaid. It is scary to think of the costs involved. She is not eating well and has lost 20 lbs in the last couple of months. Yesterday, we had a luncheon at our church and we managed to get her out to go to it. All of her friends came up to speak to her so it was a good outing. I'm sure she was exhausted when we took her back to the home. She asked us how long she was going to be there and we tried to skirt the issue saying it was up to the doctor. I know one thing, there is no way I could handle taking care of her without giving up every other activity I had, including those of my husbands.
On the way home from church she asked if we had seen her mother. Apparently all her relatives are visiting her quite often, preparing the way I guess. She keeps asking us to help her get on the plane and we keep thinking she is delusionary. But after yesterday, I'm thinking maybe she thinks she needs to get on the plane to depart this earth and we should buy into that. She also wants to make sure we take all of her clothing and other things away with us when she leaves. We've been thinking she means when she leaves and comes home with us but now I'm thinking maybe she is talking about leaving this earth. Hard to know.
My MIL has been seeing angels for many years. Someone commented to us that she might be a medium. We've always avoided talking to her about the angels because to her they are real and it gets scary sometimes. Her husband (deceased since 1997) has never left her side even though he has another girlfriend at times. And now, her mother, father and brother are hovering around quite a bit. I'm starting to believe she really does have a connection to the other world. There is one snag, a bad doctor with a hypodermic that comes after her and is preventing her from being at peace. He has been after her (spiritually) for years and we even had to take her to a psych doctor for hallucinations. But if she is a medium, to her it is real and all these years she has been labeled crazy needing meds. Now, when she brings up the subject we try to encourage her that "they" are getting ready for her and that the bad one should go away and leave her alone.
Last night I had a vivid dream that she had died. AS she loses weight, she gets weaker and soon will be nothing but bones. Her ankles, which have been balloon size due to retention of fluid, are now so thin, I am able to get my fingers around them. So we continue. I so wish for her to be at peace, to stop the good fight, to finish the race, until we meet again.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Well, I went to the gym yestrday at the urging of a friend and was supposed to meet her at 2:00. She didn't come and when I got home, she called saying she was running late so we missed each other. I must say how much I ate going to the gym and I will be glad when this biggest loser competition is over so I don't have to feel obligated to go there and can go back to the YMCA.
When I walked in, the most un appealing man was at the front desk, by unappealing, I mean he certainly wasn't interested in my welfare or what I wanted. He just stared back with a dumb look on his face. I gave up trying to converse with him as I was trying to contact my new trainer. So I pedaled on the bike for 20 min and left. I"m not confident in using any of the machines so I didn't bother.
My new trainer is named Rick and he sounds VERY youn on the phone. I'll give him a shot and try to get through the next 8 weeks. I have lost 6.7 pounds through my own efforts, not with any help from them, that's for sure.
I've been reading the diet book on increasing fiber and going that route. really trying to read the fiber content on the packaging and more fruits and veggies. Had a peach after lunch today and it was delicious and lunch was a squash casserole which normally calls for mayonnaise and I substituted plain yogurt and it was just as tasty.
Tonight it is hamsteak, baked sweet potato, green beans and pineapple. Sweet potato has lots of fiber and better for you than a regular potato.
I bought a box of Good and Plenty candy at the store, sugar coated licorice that I liked when I was a kid and at the movie theater. I dole out ten at a time after meals and that is my dessert. Takes a while to savor each one and it satisfies my sweet tooth. Actually the more fiber in my diet has helped me to feel full longer. So That part is good. Can't wait to get rid of Gold's gym though, I hate that place.
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