Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Reality check

I got a catalog from Mary Maxim Needlework and Crafts, touting Over 400 New Items! plus 21 Pages of Exciting Christmas Crafts! There was a time when this would have set my lil ole heart to pitt-a-patting, but today? Not so much. No, it isn't because I'm now an atheist and therefore the Christmas holiday hasn't the same meaning it once did. I still "do" the holidays. It's just that my interests are changing. No, no - that's not it, either. It's that ... I've had to narrow my interests down to what can actually be accomplished in Real Life. (Oh, and that reminds me of a great cartoon I recently StumbledUpon. This will only be funny if you've spent any time in VR... But I digress.)

I used to have a craft room full of stuff, with hundreds of projects tabbed and indexed in hanging files. I used to have boxes of patterns for clothes and drapes and Christmas projects. I used to have tons of fabric and yarn. I used to spend summers crafting everything from afghans to ornaments, from decoupaged footstools to clocks.

Then, several things happened. One, I started writing, and that took up a lot of my crafting time. Actually, now it's like everything takes up my writing time.

Another thing was a bit of arthritis in my hands, so I had to give up thread crochet - no more lacy bookmarks for friends at Christmas. Then I had to give up all but Q-hook crochet - that's the huge hook that can be held comfortably, but you can only make afghans with it, and after a while, meh.

Here's the thing. I'm getting older. Not old, mind you, because that doesn't happen to us Boomers. No, it doesn't. Stop laughing - it does not happen to us! See, I'm getting older ('course, not as old as Hoss), so I'm more aware of the fact that chances are, I'll never get around to doing those hundreds of craft projects. I didn't come to this realization just now - that was a year ago when we were going to sell Maxwell House and make our alleged move to North Carolina - hah!

It was back then when I realized that instead of packing all those nicely-indexed projects and craft supplies, I should face reality and only keep the things that I (1) enjoy doing the most (and can still do), and (2) that I might actually get around to finishing.

That left ... needlepoint.

And writing.

I and my creative muses will be perfectly happy concentrating on those two things. See, when you're young, you believe you really can do it all because you're not thinking about practical things like time. And maybe some of you overachievers (like my in-laws) out there actually do get it all done. I applaud you as I mutter under my breath.

So, the Mary Maxim catalog goes into the recycling pile, and until the day that I do the same, I'll be here happily writing and needlepointing (hmm, there might even be a way to do those at the same time...)