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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How busy does a person have to be?

I know, I know.

You are on vacation and as you get near the end you make these promises to yourself.

When you get back home you are going to be different. You have been leading the simple life and you are going to pack that away and unpack it at home and be someone different there too, a person with new perspective. 


Until you open the door.

You stand, your coat still on, and read the mail. You play back the messages. You negotiate who is going out to get milk and bread this late at night. It's like the windows of the house that's your head are suddenly open and the outside world starts pouring the stuff back in and you are standing up to your knees again, just like you were before, just about when you decided you needed a holiday.

Or you become one of those people like I have met here who decide not to go home. Instead you spend time trying to plant flower beds, not rocks and beach grass, in lawns and sit inside and wonder where the neighbours like in Buffalo is are. Or stand at the end of the driveway waiting for the grandchildren.

I remember once seeing a man sitting on a balcony in Daytona. Shorts, street shoes and black socks, staring at a sign on the other side of the highway "New York Deli."  He wished. He knew it wasn't.

But still.

Maybe you can't make vacation your whole life but you can check out just how busy you as a person have to be, and take that home knowledge home with you. Or use it to understand where you are now and why.

And I don't mean simplify

There are millionaires who got that way telling us to de-clutter and simplify and there are lists on how to do it. There are pamphlets in doctors' offices telling you to reduce stress by learning to say no. There are years of living sustainably and more mindfully blogs, there are pledges to not buy anything forever, and support groups to help you get through that.

There are foolish women asking you to sign on for ten white shirts and there are even folks who pack away Chanel jacket components when they leave town.

At the end of May I will have gone three months without having seen my house and being on my streets. 

I was thinking about my house last night, trying to remember it, when I realized that there are only a two things I have missed since I have been gone.

My serger and my interfacing.

That's it.

I have my dog with me.

I have my husband with me.

I have had my daughter and grandchildren with me and tomorrow my most wonderful son-in-law flies in and we are all excited tonight.

I have talked to and Skyped my two sons, my mother, and my sisters. I have spoken to friends on the phone and emailed some more.

I talked to my students today, locked in the bathroom away from toddlers, teaching my course.

I haven't missed anything about a life I work hard at to keep moving.

You know why?

I have gone lazy.

That's it.

I have done a few things well that mattered, my people and my course. But my Chanel jacket is on a hanger and I have been making loud shirts. When I felt like it.

Try lazy.

Try looking at a pattern and saying "do I want to work that hard?" Try not being bothered to go shopping. Try cutting it up and eating it in a bowl rather than turning it into a recipe.

The question is how lazy can you be and still keep your head on the upside of the water?

You would be surprised at how lazy.

Lazy people have more time to do things that make them happy. And you know what? Nobody notices much.

The first day I came here I decided to get fit and counted my steps on my beach walk to calculate distance, and then divided that by the time on my watch.

I have since lost my watch.

I am not sure I am even going to look for it. 

I may even go home without it.


shams said...

You are definitely in a vacation state of mind. Maybe that's common in Florida? :)

Mary said...

We call this state of mind "coastal".

rachel said...

And if today you were back here at home in Halifax you'd be freezing, soaking wet, and watching your grass and dandelions growing visibly.

Calypso Flowers said...

The trouble is, that in the Old Days, pre-internet, it was never any trouble to NOT watch TV and sew instead, but now it's just a little bit harder not to get caught up in Blogland.
I still don't have any problem in not watching TV. How do YOU discipline your time on the internet ?