Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quilt Therapy

After a weekend spent trying to squeeze in a celebration for my husband's birthday, selling Christmas trees for a hockey fundraiser, and driving my sons all over the state of New Hampshire for their 5 hockey games (yes, I'm a hockey mom), I awoke on Monday morning to chaos.  My husband was out of shaving cream, one son had run out of his flavored toothpaste, the other couldn't find comfortable pants to wear on his field trip (the horror!), and while writing a check for school lunches (one week late) I discovered that I had neglected to make note of the last 4 checks I'd written and that I had absolutely no memory of writing them.

We left the house late and had to follow a bus all the way to school only to discover upon our arrival that my youngest had forgotten his saxophone.  I did manage to remember my dentist appointment (don't know what I was thinking schedule a cleaning on a Monday morning), but during the drive there I came to the shocking realization that Christmas was less than three weeks away, that I had yet to send out Christmas cards, that I'd barely made a dent in my Christmas shopping, and that I'd made even less progress on my Christmas quilting projects.  After my appointment (and the scolding I received for not being more consistent with my flossing), I drove home for the saxophone, delivered it to the school and finally returned home to start my day at 10:30 with absolutely no energy, a pounding stress headache, a to-do list the length of my arm, and only 4 hours before it was time to pick-up the kids, supervise homework, and get to hockey practice.  Pretty standard stuff.

I managed to call my sister (I'm a master procrastinator), clean the kitchen, and start a load of laundry before the panic began to set in and I found myself roaming the house asking:  What should I do next?  How am I ever going to get it all done?  Why doesn't my family help more?!?  And then in a brief and unusual moment of clarity, I decided to sew.

The minute I plugged in the iron and sat down to my sewing machine, I could feel myself beginning to relax.  My breathing and heart rate slowed, and instead of running in circles like a headless chicken, my mind grew quiet.  As I focused on the pieces of fabric in front of me, I finally calmed down and the horrible feeling of being overwhelmed began to recede into the background.

Forty-five minutes later, the phone rang and the spell was broken.  It was time to get back to reality.  I still had more to do than I could possibly accomplish in a single day, but everything was different.  Just a few minutes of quilting had stopped the downward spiral that would probably have ended with me drowning my sorrows in ice cream and wine (post 5:00 pm, of course) after having accomplished nothing all day but talking on the phone, surfing the internet for crock-pot recipes, and plucking my eyebrows.  My little session of quilt therapy helped me to regain my footing and I was able to return to the demands of my life with renewed determination, a sense of humor, and maybe a bit of optimism.  Not bad for a few minutes of quilting.

But I still can't remember writing those checks!


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