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Posts Tagged ‘gingerbread’

‎Each year at my office we do a used book sale with all of the proceeds going to charity. It is, without a doubt, my favourite work day of the year. About a month before the big event I start combing through my shelves and drawers, looking for some books to donate. Although I get most of my reading material from the library I still seem to accumulate a bunch I’m willing to part with.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been finding a few here and a few there, but last night I was overcome with the urge to purge and manage to pull together a few stacks. I took some from the kids shelves, ridding ourselves of the last of Dora and Diego, Max and Ruby and The Wiggles. I stopped myself when I got to Franklin. I’m not quite ready to let go of him yet.

I went through the armoire ‎in the spare bedroom (aka the reading room, aka the control your emotions room – that’s a post for another day) and came up with another stack. I sat back and took a moment to appreciate the purge before it hit me that I had forgotten the bookshelf in the basement.

I bounded down the stairs, turned on the lights and made my way to the shelf, crammed with knick-knacks and pictures frames and, squeezed in amongst everything else, a few non-fiction books I had been hanging on to for far too long.

The first one I pulled off the shelf was a Martha Stewart book. Martha’s Homemade Christmas or something like that. The picture on the front was of her from her younger days, holding a wreath she had no doubt made herself. ‎ Just looking at her, smiling back at me, made me feel suddenly depressed. I cracked the book open and flipped through it, past the chapters on how to sew cute little buttons on homemade stockings, or make a gingerbread house from scratch, or decorate cookies with icing that does not come from a tub I bought at the grocery store.

The more I looked, the more depressed I got. Why don’t I make my own wreaths? They look so beautiful and Martha makes it look so easy and yes, dare I say it, fun! I’m a reasonably intelligent person and I’m sure if I just had one of those paddles with wire wrapped around it that I too could make something worthy of hanging on my front door! If only. If only I had the supplies, the time, the desire. If only I was Martha.

But I’m not Martha.

And I could keep the book on my shelf for another five years and periodically contemplate making my own marshmallows, but who am I kidding? I don’t want to make marshmallows. I want to buy them in the bag at the store and take the other three hours and sit on the couch and watch episodes of Scandal. That’s what I want to do with my time. And I’m not going to feel bad about it.

I don’t judge Martha, or anyone who wants to do all of those amazing things that she does. There was a time when I wanted to be her, thought I could be here, and seriously contemplated what path I would need to take to get there.

But not anymore.

So I closed the book and threw it in the donate pile. And then I grabbed its companion, Martha’s Good Things, and added it to the pile as well. Maybe someone else will want them. Maybe someone else will actually make the wreaths and the gingerbread houses and the marshmallows. Or maybe it will just sit on their shelf, making them feel depressed.

Either way, it won’t be me. Out with the old. Time to take a breath, give myself a break, and let myself off the hook. ‎‎‎

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