In answer to a couple questions in the comment section, I just need to get a few things off my chest. Iâ€™m sensing that there are some misperceptions roaming about that need to get nipped in the bud.
So first of all, by way of background information, I have and have always had, a terrible urge to make things. It really is something I canâ€™t help, and I frequently get myself in WAY over my head in ridiculous projects. For me, this itching inside to make something, anything, is like a beach ball that youâ€™re sitting on under water. You can keep it down for just so long and then suddenly and without warning it comes rocketing out and you find yourself, oh say, making a mosaic on your kitchen floor or tearing the moldy upholstery off of a chair that you found in a hedge and trying to reupholster it in a matelasse bedspread that you have stuffed in the top shelf of your hall closet because you knew it would come in handy one day. But first you have to dye the bedspread because itâ€™s the wrong color and one thing leads to another and suddenly you realize instead of getting the sheets washed youâ€™re actually dying a bedspread in the washer, and that you forgot to put the roast in the oven at 3:00 like you were supposed to . . . . and the bathroom didnâ€™t get scrubbed because you were so busy spritzing down the chair frame with the mold killer that you were supposed to be spritzing in the shower . . .
What Iâ€™m trying to say is that balancing household duties with extra curricular activities like starting a clothing business is a perpetual juggling act that is loads of fun but often has one or more beanbags getting dropped. I think the trick though is to recognize which beanbags are the most important ones to keep in the air, and which ones are ok to have sitting on the floor for a second until you can work them back into the routine. (Ok â€“ weird analogy I realize.) What Iâ€™m driving at here is that the â€œdinnerâ€ beanbag is the one that is more important to not drop . . . and that Iâ€™m trying just as much as every other mom out there to remember which ones are more crucial than others. Unfortunately, thatâ€™s a bit of a trial and error process. And now, excuse me while I run crank out some dishes and scrub my bathroom, because Iâ€™m seriously getting myself convicted as I blog away about priorities!
Right. Iâ€™m back. And what Iâ€™m getting around to saying is this. Everyoneâ€™s little situations are completely different and the beanbags that must not get dropped might differ, not just from person to person, but they might differ at different phases of the same personâ€™s life. For instance, when Ben and I first got married I was up to my eyeballs in wild projects. (Meaning, he knew full well what he was getting into beforehand!) And then, as we started having babies coming along at a rapid clip, and we bought a house, my extra projects started to become more and more of a burden and less and less fun. Keeping the dinner beanbag going is much harder when thereâ€™s a deadline you have to meet and someone else is paying you and itâ€™s a bridesmaid dress and so itâ€™s really important to not mess it up and the baby needs to be fed . . . itâ€™s just not fun. Somewhere in there â€“ I think it was at baby number three (when the oldest had just turned three) that Ben pulled the plug. I wasnâ€™t working full time or anything â€“ but I would frequently take on projects that people asked me to do for them. But I remember the moment that Ben said enough is enough! It was fabulous! I had plenty to keep me busy at home, numerous piles of laundry to try and keep ahead of (and never quite succeeding), and when I needed to go to the grocery store it was a full hour and half just to get us from the â€œok itâ€™s time to get ready to goâ€ to the moment we walked out the front door! So all the extraneous beanbags got removed from circulation and I felt much better about life. But both Ben and I knew that they were being temporarily stashed until I was in a different phase of life . . . like maybe the moment when I was not pregnant, and also nursing a baby, and also chasing two toddlers.
But the thing is, my personal extra beanbags happen to be the desire to make things that I mentioned at the beginning. But everyoneâ€™s extra beanbags are different. You might be a fantastic gardener, or a French teacher, or a violinist, or a writer. And if you donâ€™t have time for it because youâ€™re never caught up on the laundry and the kids are little and require loads of attention, then donâ€™t feel like youâ€™re failing if you set a couple beanbags down for a while. Just make sure theyâ€™re the right ones! Only you know what your own duties are, what your gifts are, what your desires are, and how many hours you have to fit it all in. Analyze your own situation and decide if itâ€™s time to set some beanbags down or if itâ€™s time to pick some up – but resist the urge to compare yourself with other people . . . they are in a completely different situation than you are, they are at a different phase of the game, and they have a completely different set of beanbags.
14 thoughts on “Beanbags”
I’ve recently realized that the house cleaning beanbag can lay there a whole lot longer than I thought it could…..
Excellent! I can totally relate. With me~ the problem is that I have lots of beanbags. Crafts. Sewing. Crochet. Gardening. Photography. Canning. Those, by the way, are the HOBBY beanbags. Those are the small things that keep me being me.
Thankfully, it seems most women who enjoy doing so much are often reminded (DAILY) that they can’t do it all, all the time. SO, it doesn’t bother me (too much) if I can’t participate in ALL my “fun stuff” at once.
Your honesty is admirable. But so is the fact that you are starting a business! 😉 Rebecca from http://www.zeahrenaissance.blogspot.com
Thank you Rebekah! The bean bag analogy works very well indeed. The trouble comes when you don’t want to put ANY of those bean bags down because somehow you’ve convinced yourself (or the world has convinced you) that you can do it all.
Hilarious and true! I love it when my husband helps me with my priorities (usually when I’m buried under a pile of beanbags ;o) ).
Great advice and excellent analogy. Thanks!
This post is fantastic! I am storing it away in the mental archives for future reference. 🙂
I was reading along thinking “This sounds like ME…” and then I got to the bit about “baby number three when the oldest had just turned three…” and I remember that I had just the same epiphany at just the same time.
And lots and lots of moving only makes it worse, don’t you think? We moved six times and had five kids in 7 years.
All that project paraphernalia gets mixed up by every move.
It is all great for growing us up! And now when I start a project, I have (almost) learned to start ONE, and to impress upon my kids that if we can just finish the one before beginning the next, I will get better at it and they will learn it too.
I think that having this partricular personality disorder makes me a more humble mom, and that is good news for us all.
Thanks for sharing that.
Our entire family had the flu last week, and I dropped…um…all the bags. I picked up one called “put the oxygen mask on yourself first,” called my mother, and got in bed. After a week, I missed the dinner bag most of all. Picked it up yesterday, along with some decent steaks. Very nice.
Thank you so much for your encouraging response. It was very helpful! My beanbags get dropped for the urge to bake. I’m still dying to try the scone recipe posted earlier, but at this phase of life I haven’t been able to tackle it. I do apologize for comparing my life to yours.
How nice to see there are other women out there that have the same uncontrollable urge to make things and quickly get in over their heads. It’s so glorious! I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling to keep things going in the perfect juggling act, it is hard to paint and remodel a room while changing babies, dying fabric in the washer while drying bedding in the dryer, then putting new hardware on that antique dresser all the while reupholstering the dinning chair you found in the dump…and then supper by six! How encouraging.
I feel like one of my bean bags is sleep. And, everyone keeps knocking it out of my hand.
Thanks so much for sharing this – I’m also filing your beanbag analogy away in the “mental archives.” I am really interested in hearing how other Christian women manage the home/work balance, since God must have given us that drive-to-create for a reason. I’m trying to get my little online business going before we have babies in hopes that I can get through the startup process while I’m working at a desk job and manage to coast through the nursing and toddler-chasing years. But I’m sure that, despite my best intentions, I’ll have to drop some (= a lot) of things in the future, and I want to be prepared with a good attitude. It’s so relieving to know that not doing it all is a possibility that other women have cheerfully accepted!
I don’t know exactly what “high jacking” a blog is, but I have read the term used and I think I am about to do it. But it’s for a praise worthy purpose.
I used to live in Moscow, and one of the wonderful things I saw while I was there was many, many amazing and talented women faithfully expressing all kind of God glorifying “Arts”. Bekah was definitely one of these ladies and she is “Amazing” in the minds of many women, including myself… and for good reason. But she is also very humble, which just makes her more lovable. It may be possible that she is not aware of just how talented she really is. Sometimes a creative person does not realize just how incredible their gifts are because the gifts are just that, gifts. They are God given. So it is not like pulling teeth to get the creativity to flow. God has truly blessed Bekah in her ability to express His image in her “projects”, which really could be call Art.
I saw that mosaic floor Bekah mentioned, and it was nothing short of FANTASTIC! I mean we are talking an entire kitchen floor, at least 12ft by 12ft if not larger, swirled with tiny pieces of tile in a wonderful pattern. Not to even mention the counter tops she made out of slate. Slate that used to grace the walls of a school class room, you know… as chalk boards. 🙂
I am sorry, but come on, that’s pretty creative.
You know I have learned something over the years; â€œGod draws near to those who draw near to Himâ€, (okay, James actually says this in the Bible so it’s not like I came up with it on my own) but I have seen this in men and women who are faithfully expressing God’s image in their lives and living in obedience. God really does lift them up and make them able to accomplish outstanding things. Often more able than others who are not diligently seeking Him.
I see that in you, Bekah, and truly I see it as God’s glory being expressed through you. Itâ€™s like our expressions, whether in Art or any other form of living, are singing back in response to the Creator. I only assume this is why we all have these desires to create, we are all made in God’s image, so we are all little creators singing back to God. May we reflect Him well.
I apologize for this lengthy entry and I hope I am not taking away from the great counsel you gave in your last post. I just think it glorifies God to say that HE has really blessed you and you are an incredibly talented woman because of Him. I have been inspired and encouraged to work hard many times because of you. Thank you for your faithfulness and for your humble and hard work. The bean bag analogy was a great lesson, thank you. Keep fighting the good fight and making the world reflect the great beauty of God, one bean bag at a time. Bless you, Crystal
The whole bean bag analogy tickles me exceedingly. It sounds like picking up dropped beanbags is an excersize in itself, with lots of beding over backwards.