It has become obvious that I need to cut back. It is always difficult to lay everything on the table and try to prioritize things. So much of the problem comes from trying to please everyone. There is the pile of things that I do for my family, there is another pile of things I do for the church, there is a pile of community service, and there is the pile of things I do for myself. Recently, someone asked me how I managed with my plate overflowing. I responded that I had picked up a second plate. So here I am trying to juggle two overfilled plates and not lose my mind.
As I look at the different activities that fill up my days, I see the absence of things that I have already let go. Embroidery is one of those things. I began learning the art of embroidery when I was five or six years old. My father made me a sewing basket and my mother filled it with little squares of fabric with iron-on images, embroidery floss, and needles. It didn't take me long to pick up the skill and realize that I loved doing it. As the years passed, I tried different styles of embroidery and increased my skills. One thing I realized was that embroidery was more than just something to use up my time. It became therapy for me, and I loved having something beautiful to give as a gift or decorate my home.
Since I began trying to balance working, writing, mothering, serving, and all the other things that demand my time, my favorite hobby has slipped away. Now I never pick up a needle and thread just for the pure enjoyment of it, and it makes me sad. It has left a real void in my days. I know I can't do everything, but I also know that I have to allow myself the time to do the activities I love.
That is why doing more embroidery is one of my biggest goals this year. It means I have to trim down my schedule. I have to realize that I can't do everything. If I can figure out what the priorities need to be and find that delicate balance between work, service, and family, then I can allow myself an hour a week to relax do a little bit of handwork. When that happens, I'll know I've accomplished my goal. Who knows, if I get there, some of you may even get something handmade for Christmas next year.