Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

‎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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The voices were soft at first, barely above a whisper. I had to concentrate to hear them and make out what they were saying.

“Come over here, look at me, I’m beautiful.”

What? Who is talking to me? I shake my head and move on.

Over the next few days they got louder though.

“Come look at me, you know you want to, you know you can’t resist. I will help keep you organized. I am a home for all of your brilliant thoughts. I will look amazing in your purse.”

It was then that it all slowly began to make sense. It is September, time for the annual call of the daily planner.

Every year I buy one, certain that this will be the year that I actually use it. I will write down all of my to-do’s in one handy place – no more random post-its junking up my purse. I will keep track of writing ideas, birthday lists, clothing sizes, doctor’s appointments, and library book due dates all in one stylish package.

And I do. I do all of that and more.

For about a week and a half.

Then I switch purses for some reason and decide it doesn’t fit in my new one. A week goes by and I don’t write anything in it. I have to make a dentist appointment and realize I left it at home. I write the info down on a post-it instead. And just like that, the spell has been broken and another planner sits, barely used, on my shelf. An unkept promise, another small failure on my road to becoming Martha.

You just know she uses a daily planner.

One year I decided to give up the dream and get with the times, in-putting things directly into an “app” on my phone. What a perfect solution (I thought at the time)! I will have everything at my fingertips. And yes, it did turn out to be very convenient and yes, it did help manage things but, to be honest, it wasn’t very much fun. I was all function and no form. Something was missing.

I didn’t get the thrill of pulling it out of my purse and running my hands across the smooth pages any time I had to write something in it.

I didn’t get the joy of spending an entire lunch hour picking out just the right pen to use with it. Smooth writing? Check! Not globby? Check! Doesn’t bleed through the pages? Check! Hmmm, should I go with blue or black ink? These are important decisions people.

Okay, maybe just to me but whatever.

Going digital was a practical choice but one that left me feeling hollow. Organizing wasn’t fun anymore.

So now I’m back at square one. Every time I walk past the stationary store the planners continue to call to me and I continue to try and ignore them. But I’m not that strong and I’m not sure how much longer I can resist.

Hey wait a minute, look at that pretty one in the window – it has a purple cover! I love purple!

Maybe I’ll just pop in and take a peek. It doesn’t hurt to look, right?

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