Happiness in Making

I’ve got a lot of projects going on. A lot of them are around the house–staining and hanging a coat rack, finishing a table skirt, things like that. Some are other goals, like this blog (which is a replacement for a more personal, private journal, because after 23 years apparently that one just ain’t happening), or things I’d like to cook or sew. Sometimes, especially with the introduction of pregnancies (so tired all the time) and babies (sleep? What is this thing you speak of?) into my life, these projects linger, incomplete, for a while, often replaced by snatches of naps or episodes of Sesame Street (I live a glamorous life, y’all).

But some days and weeks, like this week, I find some extra energy or motivation, and I am able to cross things off my check list that have been lingering. Incidentally, the negative thing about my checklist app is that it helpfully tells me that this task or that has been lingering for 34 days–and I inevitably feel SO BAD about it. Having non-urgent items on my checklist for a long time is embarrassing and frustrating in turns, but today when I stained a coat rack that has been hanging around for quite some time this winter, it was a good reminder as to why I put these things on my list. I enjoy doing it. I enjoyed staining the coat rack, and seeing the beautiful shade that the wood turned. It might not be the best stain job ever, but I think it’s beautiful, and it made me tremendously happy.

And yesterday, Ruby stood on a chair next to me and cup by cup, ingredient by ingredient, she dumped everything into a bowl to make granola. And I realized that I could pass this love of making things–be they food, coat racks, dresses, or anything else–onto Ruby and my other kids. That I can teach her to do these things that bring me simple joys in life, and she can enjoy doing her part in contributing. The granola Ruby and I made was delicious, and when she ate some for breakfast this morning, she seemed aware that she had helped to make it. It was a tender, happy moment for me, and it gave me great joy.

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