Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Personal pride and predjustice....

and I'm definitely OLD enough to have opinions about both. As usual, this is what is on my mind today..it's taken most of the day to 'jell' into thoughts I can write down. I believe the human 'condition' almost REQUIRES us to 'tell our stories' to share our humanity in spoken, written, painted, sewn or dance form. I've probably missed something there, but you get the idea. Today I'm sharing a little project, recently begun. It's NOT a big deal.
A $1, spiral bound journal is on it's way to becoming an outward sign of a PRIDE that is new to me, a pride in what I 'do'....*VBS*
These are tops that I pieced for Wrap Them In Love, 'Bama Belle's group in particular. Linda J.is kind and is willing to take my tops and finish them for her groups donation projects. It allows me to continue piecing quilts. Physically I'm not able to complete as many quilts as I can piece tops for...sad truth. I had almost given up making anything new, and mostly played and dabbled in new ideas that never saw completion. Now they do, which delights me.
I'm aware how SMALL a deal this is, but it has taught me things I didn't know about myself. Until the project sharing with Linda J, I didn't know I didn't take pride in things I do. In my childrens accomplishments, yes, or those of my ex,but not in my own. Because they "don't count". I was only doing what needed doing, what I wanted to accomplish or what I had no choice but to take care of. Things I made were made with love, but DUTY is what rang out at the end. Satisfaction....but not pride. You'd have to wonder why??? First, you'd have to realize it was the norm for you to see it that way. So, why?? Family. And I think it might be that simple. I grew up without being told I was doing a good job, or that someone was proud of me. I was "checked on", but only to see if the job was complete. Teachers in the 40's and 50's(at least in my schools) were NOT big on praise, not encouraging comments. Nothing written on my report cards was ever terrible, but something prompted me to destroy ALL of them, and I had them a;; the way back to Kindergarten. "Sylvia doesn't live up to her potential", "Sylvia doesn't use her time productively", "Sylvia spends too much time looking out the window when she should be working".
It seems performance is all that mattered, not how hard you tried or if you did a good a job. And then I met and fell in love(?)with a guy whose family was totally lacking demonstrations of affection. They didn't hug, they didn't give birthday presents, they didn't thank each other. Life was duty. He and I were a bit like oil and water. Trust me, oil burns hotter *VBS*,water is flat,often stormy and is almost always deceptive.
Luckily by the time we adopted our first child, there wasn't a force on earth that could have kept me from saying I loved huou, or that she was doing a good job, or how clever she was in whatever task it was. It isn't just that children need reassurance that they are doing well, I believe ALL living things need do. Maybe the trees don't need it as much as the crews who clear away the snow, but are you sure??? I'm not.
In my late 40's, when so much was going wrong in my marriage and life, it dawned on me that I longed for someone to tell me "you're doing a great job", and even more, "my goodness but you're clever(or smart, or pretty, or something?). What was missing, was 'family', I think.
Years later. when my oldest DD said to me(one year at Christmas time) "Mom, how on earth did you do it all?", I was quite stunned by the question. I asked what did she mean? She meant 'taking care of home, 5 kids, my dad and being an administrator's wife....and making sure the kids had enough each Christmas to be happy'. Apparently just Christmas shopping for 5 kids(plus adults)had just become something she noticed...LOL Later, as I thought about her remark, I realized how much it meant to me,the maturity to see what "walking in my shoes" was like.
Anyway, as an Honorary Bama Belle, I was thrilled when Linda sent me pictures of the quilts made from my tops *VBS* I chose to make the little "book" of them, and I did so with PRIDE...each gets it's own page, and today....I added Winnie the Pooh stickers here and there. Just because I could and I wanted to...DIDN'T I DO GREAT????
Predjudice is another whole post I think....

21 comments:

KCQuilter said...

When I was still teaching 7-year-olds, I always felt it was important to find something positive to say about each kiddo--on report cards and in parent conferences. I tried really hard to give each student that little emotional pat on the back every day. Funny, but education has taken a nose dive in that department...all in the name of the almighty TEST SCORE. I wish the Powers That Be could read your blog post today! We all need a little boost from time to time. Thanks for sharing.

Quilting Journey said...

Oh Finn, Your post makes me want to cry! How, you of all people cannot see the beauty and worth of your own being...or could not, for so very long! Thank the stars that you have seen the light, dear friend. For your value is deeper and has so much more worth than all the shiny, glittery, lahdeedah stuff in the whole world! And thank you to the Bama Belles for being the medium for which your shine could be reflected back to source so deep in you... so you could truly see who you are! Hallejuah! Pass Finn, her beautiful, bountiful scrap bag. She's got a lot more love, a whole lot more quilts in her, yet! AND. Never forget for one single minute, just how dear, how meaning filled, how NECESSARY you are to all of us, here. We all sit at your feet and learn. No humble pie and no kicking! You glow, woman...just glow!

Norma said...

Finn: Some of us are VERY proud of the work you do and the leadership you provide to the rest of the quilting community! You are a great inspiration to many--me included! Don't change a thing, keep on doing what you do knowing that you are a role model to many!

Christine said...

Sylvia???

...thought your name was finn....

it's all about the "doing for others" that moms usually do, and so many just accept it

now ist time for YOU.....and the quilts are always beautiful.

....oh, and you got the orphan train going....something else to be proud of.....

Jenny said...

Does it get any better than having your children tell you you've done a great job?
And what you're doing for other quilters is great too.

cher said...

Finn, Finn-I know you didn't write this post for all of us to tell you how truly wonderful and inspiring you are-we have already done that! however, isn't it something to realize how much we long for our worth to be affirmed by those that "love" us-I have walked in those shoes myself-I know exactly what you mean my friend. I am so glad your DD spoke up and now what a gift LJ has helped you realize-that your light shines far brighter and further than mere duty ever could.
you have indeed been successful in making the world around you a better place. big hugs

QuiltMom said...

Finn, I loved your moving reflection about your life but I also loved that you found the voice and courage to express your thoughts on paper.
I especially liked that you have this collection of some of your work. May it continue to be a source of pride that affirms the beautiful work that you do.
One can't keep all the quilts that one makes but photos are great rememberances of a process and a idea that reached fruition.
Continue to celebrate your gifts, Finn! They are many...
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
Anna

joyce said...

I think you do great work. I spent years teaching primary kids and I learned that the best discipline is praise. There is always something you can praise and they rise to it. I used to start the day by having them give each other compliments. It's amazing the positive effect that can have on the day. It also taught them how to recieve compliments which most people don't know. I guess we don't get enough of them along the way.

Gail said...

Yes, you did do great. Even greater are your thoughtful commentaries on life and your ruminations. I am always amazed at how deep and insightful they are.

Libby said...

'a little project, recently begun. It's NOT a big deal.'

It really is the little things, a kind gesture, a little smile or reassuring word that fuels our spirits and urges us to continue on our path. If only you could see the little smile I have each time I see a new post from Finn. You never fail to delight, encourage, or just make me think a little.

Anonymous said...

You certainly did "do great", I think you are one fabulous lady!

Annie
: )

Katie said...

Ah, the path we walk to get to where we are. Sure glad Sylvia gazed out that window and choose to make her potential something more than the task assigned. Only that girl could become Finn, my wonderful blog friend. HUGS, Katie

Linda_J said...

Heck, Finn, I didn't do anything but quilt those beautiful quilts or assembled them from your components. I need to send a picture of those pink bowties, and those Ohio Stars need to be added to your album--call it a colloboration! All I did is finish them up--you provided the scrappy Finn "bones" that inspires us all.

Whenever you are ready, I'll take it from there as I appreciate so much what you send down for us to work with. I am getting caught up a bit this week with the quilting and will have to get some more "ammo" pinned up at our meeting next week.

Julia said...

Once again Finn, you have such a beautiful way with words. Makes me reflect on my own childhood, the good and the bad.
Well, I for one say that you came out the other side of your trials a beautiful, creative, wonderful person.
I think that we should all make a little scrapbook of our hand crafted creations. Great idea!!!!

Dawn said...

I love your little book with the pictures of your quilts in it! And I"m so glad you took some time to take pride in your accomplishments!

Carol E. said...

Your journal of quilts is fantastic. Coincidentally, just this week I started a similar thing of my works, but it is digital at the moment. I plan to put it on a CD. I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Oh how precious are the little children who have much deeper feelings than we callous adults ever imagine. I have been thinking about the same things... my own childhood, what I loved and what I missed out on.. and about my own children and where I did well and where I messed up. Wish I could have had my current wisdom back then. But I, too, had a wonderful comment from my son: "Don't worry about it. You raised two good people." Oh the heart swells to hear such words!!! And it's true! My kids are wonderful people. Thanks for all you do and for sharing so much of yourself. I am humbled to be given the Nice Matters award! :-)

Pam said...

You did do great! And you should be proud of yourself. What a good idea to have a little books of the quilts you made - you can then remember each quilt and think of how the children are enjoying them. Thanks for the little bit of inspiration!!

Beth said...

I'm VERY proud of you! And I love the quilt journal. I give 90% of my work away, so I have kept one for years. When someone says,"What DO you do all day" I SHOW THEM!

Tazzie said...

You should be proud of yourself Finn, you are a very special woman, never doubt it.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

I'm coming late to the party, so can I just say ditto? You are marvelous and wonderful and creative. I'm glad you're taking pride in your many accomplishments.

Sue in western WA said...

Wow, Finn. You may have helped me to understand myself better with this post...

And you would have been my first choice for the Nice Matters Award if it had been my place to award it.