This is the Year! Do the Unthinkable!

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And just like that, April is now over…I don’t know about you but it seems that there is never enough time to get everything done.  I have so many sewing and quilting projects that I want to do (& quilt shows on my calendar) that I started a list so I wouldn’t forget about them and mainly thinking it would help me focus on getting them done.  If anything, I’ve been adding to the list.

St. Mary’s Quilt Show 2019

In addition to the birthdays, anniversaries, and other such engagements my family will have, May starts a new chapter for many…graduations will be here soon and so will the parties.  Don’t forget about Mother’s Day either…I have that on my agenda as well.  I need to find the perfect gifts for the mothers in our lives and I have limited time to do it in.  Remember Easter?  I just got that packed up in my house.  May is also a hot time for quilt shows!  (I’m working on a post of sources for you find quilt shows near you…watch for it next week!)  I love a good quilt show and there are MANY coming up that you will want to add to your schedule!

I was at a guild board meeting last month and while we were discussing a new task that needed to be done, most of everyone looked in my direction to do it.  I did the unthinkable: I told them my plate is full.  I heard snickering and someone commented “We all have full plates” under their breath thinking I didn’t hear it.

Well I did, so I said  “I also have a two year old at home” not in daycare, but at home with me.  She makes my schedule for me, know what I mean?  Another response was “We all had kids” from the same person (insert eye roll here – key word “HAD” her kids are grown and now have kids of their own).  Some people will never be happy with any response you give.  I get that.  She’s going to be one of those people…

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Why did this even have to come up?  Why did she feel compelled to say that?  I don’t know for sure, but it tells me she feels like she has given so much to the guild/organization and she’s ready for someone else to do what she did so she can relax and enjoy the guild too.  She’s tired.  She’s burned out.  When people feel the need to make comments that have to be made “under their breath”, it’s meant to be rude and offend.  Why add this hostility to a guild board meeting?  No idea.  We were making progress and arrangements were getting made and finalized and then wham.  Which kind of leads me to you never know now who has a blog and who may write about you.  Remember WWJD?  People use to think about that before their actions, or at least say it…

I digress.  This moment froze in time for me at this meeting and I found myself looking around the room wondering.  There were only about 20 people who came to this board meeting, when over 350 members were invited…This is the group of people who have invested their time, money, and energy to this guild.  They were going to ensure the guild was successful at all personal costs.  Dedicated, to say the least.

As I looked around for a second time, I noticed most were retired – not all and every single one of them had grown children.  They looked tired and ready for someone else to start doing as much as they were doing.  They couldn’t say no.  I could.  I used this moment to tell them that they need to invite their friends to come to more meetings and to get involved…to do activities together if they were tired of doing it alone.  One response was that they were tired of doing it altogether.  I replied and told them to encourage the new members to get involved.  How many of them called and welcomed the new members?  None.  Including myself.  But there was a solution for them and it didn’t belittle anyone.  I didn’t make a rude comment under my breath…I just told them a possible solution.  One they never thought of.  Why not?  Because they are burned out!

Take the time to enjoy! 

I want to encourage you to go to a guild meeting and help where you can.  One guild I attend needed someone to mail out birthday cards…so I do that.  Literally takes less than 10 minutes a month.  Another guild I attend needed someone to take over Block of the Month for them…uh hello?  I already do that here so why not?  It’s little jobs that can make a big difference…it also shows you a lot about the personality of the guild – when you get involved.  I have been able to make great connections by doing these small jobs and have now been asked to volunteer as a board member for two different quilt shows!

Next time you go to a guild meeting or any meeting for that matter, look around the room and take a moment to be in their shoes.  How long have they been doing the position?  Do they look tired?  Is it something you could do?  Could you fill in for a couple years and pass the position on to someone else?  Could this be a volunteer role that fits your family life and your schedule?  Could you enjoy doing this?  Help where you can.  Helping others & serving others…gives you great joy!

I don’t feel the need to explain what fills my day hour by hour, but I know when enough is enough for me.  I keep a calendar to help remember my events and to plan as well as I can, when I can.  I get up early and have coffee, sew, or write a blogpost, research sewing/quilting in some form…I keep my me time.  I learned this not long ago…if I keep my me time then I’m a much happier person.  Then my family reaps the benefits.

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I know that my plate is full.  I acknowledge it.  I accept it.  Why would I feel the need to just say yes and impede my family’s home life with doing work outside the home and have my family suffer for it?  My family requires a lot of time…a lot.  My home requires a lot of time.  I just said no.  Hubby and I agreed that I would not work outside the home, but my work would be the home and the family.  I have accepted some volunteer work — but it’s something I enjoy doing.  This is our agreement.  

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There was a time when I would have said yes.  I would have accepted as many tasks given and I would have found a way to do it all while working full time with 20-40 hours of overtime on top of it.  I did that.  At one position, I held 7 different hats within the agency.  It’s too much.

If you don’t  have the time to do it right, you are too busy.  I got burned out.  Burn out is not good for the soul.  Burn out can lead to poor mental health which leads to a poor quality of life.  It becomes a cycle that may never end….unless you learn how to say no.  Break the cycle.  Poor mental health can lead to so many things!  Take care of your mental health!  It’s so very important that you do.

I know what you’re thinking…I just got finished telling you to volunteer and now I’m telling you to say no…I’m not trying to contradict myself, but I am saying if there is something you can do to help someone, perhaps as a volunteer, that will make you happy and meets your needs (family work life balance), then by all means do it!  If it doesn’t – say no.

Here’s an example – as Block of the Month Coordinator I am responsible for finding a block, finding the fabrics, cutting the fabrics, printing directions which often means I have to re-write for copyright laws, put the fabric and the directions in kits, pass out kits at the guild’s monthly meeting, accept the previous month’s blocks and keep track of who is participating.  It’s a lot.  So, about twice a month I receive an email from various people, sometimes the same person offers to help month after month.  These emails are from people who want to help but don’t want the job.  So they offer to help find fabrics we can use in the guild’s fabric closet or cut fabrics for the blocks.  It’s a HUGE HELP!  They don’t have the responsibility of it every single month.

You don’t have to always volunteer to help.  Sometimes you need to take care of yourself.  You need to give yourself time every day to recharge.  When was the last time you did something for you?  When was the last time you sewed or quilted something just for you?  I’m guessing it’s been a while.  I’m not talking about the new tablecloth, or table decorations you made for the holidays – those are items for the home.  I’m talking about strictly something you can enjoy.  A new dress for you, a new top, or perhaps–yes, I’m going to say it…the quilt you’ve always wanted to make for YOUR own bed!

#quiltingismytherapy  This hashtag is no joke for me.  I thoroughly enjoy it.  I found a sewing bee for Featherweights in my area and join them monthly.  This has been a wonderful experience and truly gives me time to recharge.  I don’t always sew the whole time, but just being there and socializing with people (adults I might add) who have the same joys as I do just brightens my day!  If you don’t find one in your area, you may want to see about a small sewing bee with your friends.  You could rotate houses as the location.  I know a woman who has a small 4 person sewing bee who does this and it’s with her closest friends.  She treasures this time with them and looks forward to it!  You could do this too!

Sewing Bees do not have to have a lot of people to be successful.  

One thing I have learned or noticed about people in our quilting community is that we are a GIVING one.  We like to make items for others….make Easter dresses for our kids or grandkids, make quilts as wedding or birthday gifts, make Christmas stockings, or even scrunchies or hair bows for those on the cheer team or dance squad.

This is the year to take of yourself.  By doing so, you will have happier families.  I have already seen the fruits of this come from my own family.  The fabrics I’m choosing for the My Charmed Cabin Life Block of the Month – are for my own sampler quilt that I’ve DESPERATELY been wanting for MY own bed.  I get up early and have my me time…usually sitting beside my white/celery Featherweight named Fiona.  I went to a quilt show last week (St. Mary’s Quilt Show) with a new friend of mine and hired a babysitter to do it.  Guilt free.

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I’m not saying to stop volunteering….
I’m not saying to not go to your guild’s board meeting or stop participating in guilds, because I have found some great creative minds there and I thrive when I’m with creative people.
I’m not saying you can’t work outside your home and have a happy home life…

What I am saying is to take some time for yourself…and do it every day.  It could be time to read the Bible, prayer time, sewing, Pinteresting for inspiration (I just used it as a verb, that’s right!), downloading sewing patterns, going to a new quilt shop, participating in the MCCL Block of the Month…it could be anything, as long as it gives you time to relax, you’re not rushed, and you enjoy it.  It could even be a NAP!  Yep, I said it.

Some people may find that they need more time than others to be recharged.  I’m one of those people.  I have a two year old who wants to do everything with me…everything.  She is literally touching me 97% of the time and I need time where she’s not.  I get up earlier than everyone else in my house – which is pretty easy because they like to stay up late and they sleep in.  I’ve had to be at work at 6 AM, so getting up at 7 AM, feels like sleeping in.

It took me a while to figure out what worked for me…what helped me relax and what made me a better person.  I found getting up before my family gave me several hours to read, drink coffee, sew, quilt, write, prepare for my day, and recharge for my family.  Sometimes I go for walks when the weather is beautiful outside…your options are only limited BY you and what you are willing to do FOR you.  #DOYOU

So here we are just before May…Plan to do something just for you.  Make something just for you.  Do something just for you! …and not because it’s Mother’s Day.  Post your comments below of what you are planning to do – what are you going to do for you?  Share to on Instagram and Facebook using hashtag #mccldoyouchallenge !

Do the unthinkable!!! #DOYOU

If you or someone you know could use assistance with mental health, please get help.  


Or, In a Crisis? Text NAMI to 741741

Need to talk?  Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 1-800-273-8255.



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About Sew Much Charm

I enjoy gardening, quilting, sewing, & cooking as a relatively new stay-at-home mom of two girls.

I make custom handmade quilts for clients and recently decided to learn how to sew garments for my little girls.  Watch my journey & learn from my mistakes.

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