I miss blogging, I miss quilting, I miss having family fun and I know I do and I know I constantly over extend myself in spite of the fact I am in pain all the time. Why?
Well, I think the best way to explain it is to have you jump over to Sugarlane-Designs and see this amazing post by my friend Wendy who is an awesome designer, but also brought a whisper from God into my ear with her post on busyness!
I have in the past two years over extended myself collecting, cataloging, photographing, packing, counting, dividing and delivering quilts to disaster areas in my state. Sadly, it took my husbands frustration with me springing a trip on him this week for me to look around and admit to myself, I do this!
I grew up with a mom who worked 2 jobs before she married my step-dad and I was in charge, I took care of my siblings. Growing up I was the one who protected the mentally disabled child down the street from kids who tried to pick on him. Helped those who couldn't read, read. When I got old enough, I began volunteering!
Why? Because my grandmother did and she always told me I can always find someone in need. My grandmother was a seamstress and she made coats for the children in our area who needed them. I got to go on the deliveries.
I was a PTA president when my kids were growing up, a den mother/leader, Sunday School/Nursery teacher, Vacation Bible School Teacher, when I was working full-time, raising grandchildren and going to school full-time, I volunteered once a week for a women's organization and of course I have my charity quilts.
My family is proud of Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and how it has evolved. My husband brags me up, but what amazes me, is how how much my grandchildren tell people, my Ranny has her own business helping people who have no homes with quilts to keep warm.
I try to tell them a business makes money, however, my 14 year old granddaughter tells me, then you are a non-profit because you don't make a profit. I am NOT a non-profit, but she is right!
My husbands take last night was look around the living room, our grandsons room where is your sewing machine? When was the last time you weren't busy with these quilts? When was the last time you sat down and relaxed to quilt? He told me he misses seeing the joy on my face when I finish a quilt and how proud of me he is.
Then he let me know, I am only one person and this is a huge job and task I have taken on for being only one person. He knows I can do the job, but it is also he feels taking a toll on me and sadly, I must admit he is right! Read my post about it here!
After reading Wendy's post, I realized in the past 2 years, I miss participating in apron swaps, holding giveaways on my blog for quilting and fun items, reading other blogs, sharing my own creations and hearing my granddaughter play piano.
Sadly, I sold her piano due to a family emergency this year and I have regretted it because she looks at my cutting table and sewing table where her piano used to be and I know she is sad. Yes, she was getting tired of lessons and yes, she plays Trombone and is in every sport offered at her school, but a friend gave her a keyboard and I know she misses her piano!
So, what is it about us that say YES to everyone? For me, I made a promise to myself when I quit working I would become more involved in community and I feel I can do that when as disaster hits. Or when a local mom asks if anyone can pick up her child from school, I am right there even though I have to drive all day with the grands here and there.
For me, it is like, if I say NO, who will say yes? I have been told by parents that are not even 40 yet, 'Why is it I never see you volunteer at school?' How about the fact I will be 60 next year, I have raised 4 sons, worked all my life, am running a charity, donate time during the year to my church and I am tired!'
I have asked for help during disasters. I have contacted many news agencies, Good Morning America, our local Jesse Jones to help me get the word out. NOT one of them contacted me back.
My husband wrote an amazing letter to one of our local Christian stations and they put it out over the air and I received so many offers of quilts and loved it. However, no one wants to do the grunt work.
I must realize I am only one person and while I will continue to probably say yes to our 'Unseen Heroes, the 911 Operators,' I am probably going to in 2016 scale back to those roots and allow larger organizations to help with disasters.
Unless, of course it is very local...then I will step up.
It isn't just time, for Oso, I made 4 trips to the area to deliver quilts, volunteer, meet those affected by the slide and that took gas for my vehicles, meals on the road and time. All of which was partially funded by those who donated either quilts or fabric or a few dollars.
My husband is right. I rarely ask him for monetary help. But he pointed out my organized area and said, 'you are only one person, I see you in pain, I know you are hurting, you have to take time out for you. Go back to the roots of Layers of Hope and stop thinking you can help the world!'
I tend to escape by helping others or hiding. When we had family issues during my college years, I would take extra classes to keep busy (hence graduating with my BA in 2 years and Masters in 1 year).
There are so many needs and as Wendy points out, we have to learn to stop being addicted to busy!
I want to spend time with my coffee cup and visiting more of you in 2016. I want to get back to joining an apron swap, cookie swap and I want to learn to say, I can help where I can, but it takes a team effort to get it all done and there is no I in team!
Thank you all!!!!