Sunday, October 30, 2011

Motivation

I hesitate to write this. Will it be too personal, or self serving? It is both of those I am sure.

But I have to tell you this, so here goes.

I am standing outside my self, looking at the changes that are happening in my behavior and my thinking.
The me I used to be is fading and then again, I am letting go of that old me and waving good bye without regret. It seems I have finally found peace or satisfaction or something intangible that makes all the struggles seem to be ending.
I have for so long been motivated by the need, desire, desperate striving for some kind of recognition, or fame, as an indicator of success. Look at me, look at what I made, look at how good I am, like a five year old wanting the attention of adults. I got what I thought I wanted by perseverance, hard work, single mindedness, and overall ambition. And then what?
I discovered it wasn't success that I wanted after all. It was a desire for acceptance. And that very success prevented acceptance, in my case. The need to attain it meant I had to be working to be outside of everything and everyone and eventually to try to top them. And that made me alone out there, which is no fun.
This pattern of ambition led to lots of applause, but no intimacy. Who wants to be close to someone who is so competitive?
I tried to quell my competitive nature. Sometimes it works, and other times it rises again, destroying relationships. I am telling you, it is a bad habit I just had to break.
This is one reason that I have recently been stepping back a bit from quilting. If I am not competing, then what drives me to make a quilt? You may think it would be because I enjoy it, but then you don't understand my motivations. Quilting isn't a hobby for me. It is a gauge of my competitive nature. Not pretty, I know.
If I could disengage my ambition from quilting, I might relax and enjoy doing it, but at the moment, I am at a loss as to how to do that, although I am trying. Really trying.

On the other hand, I am knitting. I am not competing to be the best knitter, only enjoying the process, figuring out the puzzle, and hopefully liking the finished product.
While I knit, I think. This thinking has led me to this realization: I am satisfied, no, thrilled to be just out of the race. My relationship with my dear husband is so precious and wonderful, and I have growing friendships with the gals at knitting, and my sister and I are closer than ever, which counts bigtime under the heading of having family. I won't even mention my love affair with the Dawgs. This is all leading to the fact that I am no longer so lonely.

Loneliness was my constant companion for so many, many years. I started the blog because I was lonely and kept it up because I was still lonely. And now I am so much less lonely than I have ever been.
The blog was my 'boss' to please, which was you Dear Reader, and I so longed to please you. And it gave me a deadline to complete projects to keep your interest. It gave me a place to showcase my work, and get feedback, and to squeeze drops of love from you. It was an outlet for sharing what I learned and passing that information on to those interested. I still get that from this effort.

But I fear that if I don't remain the productive artist I once was, I will lose all that I have here. And I know I am not cranking out art the way I once did. I just can't. I don't 'have to' anymore.
I am becoming more healthy and normal everyday. Not so driven, or competitive, or needy. I never thought I would feel this way.

I want to pass the torch, mostly to my sister, who is not so neurotic about quilting, but ever so talented at the same time. I would be truly thrilled to see her working as a full time quilt artist, and I can help her, if and when she needs my help. And applaud her triumphs, be her cheerleader, and smooth out the inevitable disappointments.

In conclusion, I have to be honest and say that I am breathing a sigh of relief at ending my fanatical race, and enjoying being in the moment, loving the people in my life and giving aid and comfort wherever I can.

I am not quitting anything. Not even quilting. I am just letting go of striving for some unattainable goal. It feels so good.

84 comments:

  1. Hi I have loved all your work, your posts and your dawgs (I often send on their pics to my daughter who also has an adorable pug. I feel I understand where you are coming from in this post, I have never competed but have always wanted acknowledgement, I kept taking City and Guilds courses to try to prove myself, I have always wanted to get a degree in textile (not been able to) but I too feel that this is no longer necessary - I create textile art for myself now - like you knit. Just as and when it happens. Good luck with whatever life brings you now. I hope that you will not give up this blog.

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  2. I also love your work and your posts. I am so happy for you that you have found peace and in your life and that you have added friendships. There is nothing better. Selfishly, I hope you continue writing your blog. It always makes my day better.

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  3. Bravo for you! I know exactly how you feel and perhaps I am in the same situation right now, I'm not sure. All I really do know is that I'm in a huge funk and don't feel like doing a thing. PLEASE don't give up on quilting though! YOU are TOO GOOD to quit. If you want to just do things for fun, you are welcome to send your finished stuff to me. LOL

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  4. Just don't quit blogging! I enjoy your neighborly, chatty self. Not that I don't love your quilting -- I certainly do! -- but maybe because you live nearby and I can identify with weather/planting/etc, or because I love your color choices (that's a biggie for me!) in both quilts and knitting, or because I get a kick out of the "daily dawg" or all of the above. It's nice to stop by for a chat, even if occasionally.

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  5. Dear Melody,
    I think you are to hard on yourself, although I applaud your introspection and finding peace. I have always enjoyed your blog, and admired your talent. I hope you will continue with both.

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  6. I read your blog everyday. You can get things done at an amazing speed and I am quite opposite. I like the process and rarely finish anything. It is also maddening. I love the pictures of your pugs, as Ihave one two. I still wish you would make a pug calendar of your pictures. I would buy 5 copies!
    My pug is 11 and has lost most of his hearing and some of his sight. I am envious of your life in the country.

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  7. So many of us could learn from what you've posted here - and will - so thank you for sharing.

    And thank you for sharing your journey so far. I'll enjoy reading about where you go from here.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your very personal thoughts. We have corresponded off line about a year ago, and although I have continued to read your blog daily I haven't made any other comments. I do enjoy your blog as others do, and use it often as a source of inspitation. We share a lot of the same feelings then and now. I am happy for you!

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  9. As a reader, I love seeing your gorgeous creations, colorful home, and adorable dogs. It's fun to hear about your life too. Do what pleases you and don't look back. There's so much more fun to be had.

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  10. Wow, that must have both wonderful and very difficult to write. I applaud you for being able to put it down in words. I know others feel the same way.

    I read your blog every day. I love the riot of color, the silly stories of dogs and fish, the chronicle of a life so different from my own. I do love your quilting, your knitting, but most of all I love your view of life. I hope this does not mean the end of your blog - I would miss it and you.

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  11. But, but, but ... your quilts are so breathtaking and vibrant! Please don't stop making them. (You don't have to win ribbons to share them with us.) I love your recent excursions into the modern quilt movement. I so enjoy getting my daily color fix from your blog, whether it be from your quilts, knitting, garden or food. I'm also glad you've found peace in letting go and enjoying life in the country.

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  12. In a world that yells at us daily that we *are* our physical beauty or accomplishments or wealth or lack thereof, and our imposed worth depends on those things, it is no small thing to let go of all of it and have the courage to see what truly remains.

    We are so much bigger than all of it. And all those things shall pass. It is the greatest gift of all to discover that to love and be loved is not dependent on any of it.

    Shine on, my dear Mel.

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  13. I applaud you but don't quit blogging. It's fun to peek in someone else to see what you are up to.
    Best to you.

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  14. I am always checking to see if you have posted a new page in your blog, i admire your talent and you have given me so much through inspiration as well as instruction. It doesn't matter WHY you do it. I truly understand the need for recognition.

    You are so right about your sister. (I bought one of her quilts) She is unbelievably talented just like her big sis.
    Please keep your blog, i look forward to it everyday.

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  15. Glad you are coming to your terms of who you are, and are happier in the process of it. But as for the quilting world, you can look at it just like you look at your knitting world......"I am not competing to be the best quilter, only enjoying the process, figuring out the puzzle, and hopefully liking the finished product."
    Blog when YOU want to, blog when YOU feel like it, blog about what YOU want it to be about, it is YOUR blog.
    Whatever you do, make sure you stay happy. Life is too short to be unhappy, and no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

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  16. It feels good to speak the truth. You are not alone at all. Thank you for sharing your personal self. I enjoy your blog. But, I also understand the need to be authentic. I bet you feel like a ton of bricks has left your shoulders. Good for you and good for your art! Hugs!

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  17. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Hi Melody, I've been following your blog for a couple of years now and I have to say that you don't at all come across in the way you've just described yourself.
    You're too generous with sharing your skills and experience to be considered excessively competitive.
    From reading and re-reading your "advise for artists" pages, I got the impression that you are a professional quilt artist. Don't we all want to do our best at our job. Gain the praise of our employers/customers. Feel validated in our choice of career. Know that we have something to offer?
    Of course, if you feel that you need to make adjustments in your focus, I'm sure that you're right. But please, don't be too hard on yourself.

    Regards D

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  18. Well, I'm selfish, too. And even when I have to wait until the weekend to catch up on the week's blogs, and even though we've never met, I feel like we're friends. I hope you'll continue the blog, no matter what artistic changes take place in your life. I'm glad you're finding more comfort in who you are rather than what you do. But, you know, WE like who you are, no matter how often that may change, and we want to keep in touch with all things Melody. That's my thought for the day.

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  19. Wow Melody, Love your post today. I agree with so many of the comments just keep doing what you are doing.
    As for your sister is that her dream?

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  20. I am semi-new to your blog, only a few months. Your creativity is amazing to me. Your post is so reflective and honest. I applaud your being so candid. I am not competitive but I have certainly been lonely. I retired from a long career in education and foolishly thought I would keep those friends. I discovered quilting and it helps with the loneliness. I think as women we tend to put ourselves down. Give yourself credit. You look at colors and shapes in a very unique way. Thanks.

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  21. Mel. I've been reading your blog ever since you decided to retire and started looking for Le Chalet - and I have enjoyed all the things you post. Your quilting, your knitting, your cooking, gardening and decorating, the news about your sister/family/Dawgs/Dave.

    It takes real courage to state publicly such revealing and intimate realizations about yourself - I applaud you! Don't think, though, that I only read your blog for the quilt making. You live a vibrant and very different life from my own and I would sorely miss the color hit and daily goings-on if you stopped!

    :) Linda

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  22. We are all getting smarter as we get older. Really, I believe it.

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  23. This was very interesting to read. It is good, I feel , to get some personal insight into what or how people are thinking. it makes us feel not so alone.
    I am not at all competitive (it stresses me out), only with myself, but I do sometimes have that feeling that I must post something on my blog.
    i hope you'll continue to blog about anything you are doing. You have such a way with words (you really do) and I enjoy all of your posts, whether they be about your yard, knitting, food, painting and especially the dawgs.
    It is nice to see that you have relaxed and can enjoy life more. There's hope for all of us.

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  24. Getting to know oneself is, at times, a very painful and long process. Some people never achieve peace of mind. They are searching for something that eludes them. Sometimes they don't want to look at the things that made them who they have become. We all want to be accepted and loved but some people find it difficult to "let go" and just be who they are.

    I've been in these shoes for most of my life, so I know how you're feeling. I wasn't shown love as a child. I was criticized and put down by a mother who should have protected me and loved me but she didn't. She passed away in 2006 and I find I've been able to analyze and dissect why I did the things I did over the years.

    It's not an easy thing to look at. I take the blame for a lot of bad choices I made and that drove my mother even farther from me.

    However....that's the past and that's what it should be...past. There's only today and tomorrow and what we do with those is more important.

    I've never been a competitive person because all the self-confidence was driven from me at an early age, so I don't understand that mind-set, but I can understand the turmoil.

    I'm glad that we're both finding peace of mind.

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  25. I like what Terry said, we get smarter as we get older. Life is too short, so we need to create as much as we can, but HAVE FUN doing it and don't worry about the rest (praise, winning, success). Selfishly, I hope you continue to create and also to write your blog. Good luck!!

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  26. Melody,
    I'm so glad you took a risk on being 'too personal'. I think this is one of the most important blogs you have shared. You have given me quite the look behind the curtain and I found it extremely thought provoking. I was surprised to hear your perspective but it makes sense to me. I don't think you are putting yourself down at all. I think you are simply honest about the selfishness and loneliness that comes with making art.

    I am in the early tracks of my journey as an art quilter. Your open sharing has made me take pause and consider my own driving motivation.

    Every night I write what I am going to do the next day on an index card. It is very task oriented and has provided focus. On the back I write my vision. It sort of morphs daily as I quickly jot it down each night before bed.

    But now, more than ever, I question the vision part. I think of all the grand places I want my art to go, the venues I want to teach at and the feeling I crave of fitting in with other professional artists. There is a price. Years of studio time may take me there but it also takes away from the people in my family and in my life. I struggle to find balance between the two. I do feel like I am in a race. I want to 'get there'. There is a drive inside me that asks to be served.

    Your hindsight may help me balance that seesaw better and to slow down.

    Thank you,
    Kathleen

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  27. Blessings on you and your family. Thank you for sharing all that you do.

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  28. Melody,
    I understand what you mean about being competitive. I had some local success a few years ago and have since had to think about what it is I want to accomplish with my art. I am working full time now but I have always planned to make art a priority when I retire. Recently I lost a best friend who was my art mentor and I really had to think about my life and what was really important. It turns out I needed to fix my relationship with my son. I'll spare you the details but this area of my life is much better because of paying attention to what is more important. I also joined more art and quilt groups so I wouln't feel so lonely. I still like recognition but, I don't have big aspirations for entering big shows anymore. I appreciate what people do, but, my plan is now to donate much of what I do to charity or buy art from other artists to encourage them.

    You have shared so much of yourself through your blog and all of us out here have really learned many things from you. I have always admired your work ethic.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. You've done more good than you know. Keep up the good works you do!

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  29. Love and best wishes and thank you for this
    ...

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  30. Mel, that was beautiful and ever so generous of you to share with us! I am so happy for you that you're finding what's important to you and what has faded into the background. Your quilting is/was fabulous and if that's all there is, so be it! You've left beauty in the world, even if it was to feed your competitive self. Onward to knitting for the pure joy of knitting, where more beauty is bound to spring from your needles!

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  31. Good for you! The older I get the less I'm inclined to do things because I'll get recognition or anything but the pleasure of doing and the pleasure of the company of those I love. It's a great step to stand back and see why you've done what you've done and decide that you want to follow another set of motivations. Be happy in this world, Melody. You'll be amazed at how many of us stick around because we love your thoughts, the way you approach life. Your knitting got me to start knitting, too--something I'd always wanted to do, but never tried. Just living your life is a grand inspiration to others because you are who you are, all the way through, like the beautifully saturated colors you use. Brava, lady!

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  32. *** STANDING OVATION ***

    Twinnie Carol and Terry are right. We do get a bit smarter and mellower as we get older. (and grayer!) Party on, girlfriend!

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  33. Bless you Melody, thanks for your sharing.

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  34. Randi7:57 PM

    Thanks for sharing that....mostly-thanks for writing your interesting blog! I've learned so many things from you way beyond your quilting adventures-gardening, cooking, color theory and on and on. You make me happy and I thank you!

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  35. Just don't quit blogging! We started together and I need my Melody. You make me smile and energize me.

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  36. Mel, I still tune in to your blog from time to time, and it warms my heart to read about your metamorphosis! Blessings on your newest journey.

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  37. Thank you for sharing this insight with your readers. While your art has been a tremendous inspiration to me, it has also been enjoyable just sharing your life, especially since your move. Your readers don't have to be "entertained". We just love being allowed to follow your life. It's been a lot of fun. I look forward to each day you post, even if it's just about the old dawgs. I'm 67 years old now, and I have been through much the same shedding of a competitive nature, and in my case, it has brought a peace and joy in my work that I did not have before. Of course public accomplishment is exciting and valuable, but, as you say, friendships and relationships are so dear and precious. They are what really make us happy after all the applause dies down.

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  38. So glad that you have found your way to peace and contentment doing what you want to do and leaving ego out of it. Enjoy you the things you choose to do and the love and friendship of your relationships, but please don't stop blogging. You have so many friends in blogosphere who would miss you.

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  39. Dear Melody,

    I took a class from you once years ago, and then I just recently discovered your blog. I love checking it every day for the colors and the dawgs, and just marvel at the garden and home you have carved out for yourself.

    I so get what you are saying. Years and years ago I showed dogs. I was/am very competitive, and I realized it did not bring out the best in me. So since then I have tried not to indulge that part of me, either in my spinning/knitting 'career' or now quilting. As a blogger, occasionally I am tempted to try to be a bigger better blogger. I have to admit to being in awe of your consistent wonderful blogging. But then I remember, being a bigger better blogger will not actually fulfill anything.

    Still, I hope you keep blogging. It is a fun way to start my morning!

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  40. I wish we could sit in the garden and discuss the meaning of life. When I am reading the blog I am sure you can't hear my side as I reply but know that hearts connect over time and space.

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  41. What a lovely post! I so enjoy reading your posts because I'm inspired by your love of color. Sure I love your quilts but I'm also intrigued by your knitting and painting. Your dogs are delightful to see and I'm in awe of your gorgeous garden. Work on what makes you happy but please do continue to blog. Smiles are created here.

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  42. We all love you Mrs.Mel, whether you quilt or not. It's your wonderful joy and talent we love to participate in. Heck you even inspired me to knit socks for god's sake! You are an inspiration in living in the moment, and I love that I can share just a little bit of that in your blog. So please, keep blogging! Plus I love the dawgs....and the knitting. And if you ever want to divest yourself of some of your hand dyes- I could put them to good use ;).

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  43. Hey Mel,
    All I could do was smile as I read your deep honest thoughts... So Melody, so honest, so, so, so you.
    You bless me.
    Cathy B

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  44. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Whew!! Thanks for writing that. Reading your blog and seeing how prolific you are almost stamped every bit of creativity out of me. I am a hand quilter so it will take me a year sometimes to finish a project. You made me feel so inadequate... I have some fellow quilter friends who wonder how I can be so slow. Well, I just enjoy the process. I tell them that my snail's pace makes quilting an 'affordable' hobby for me since I am not always out buying fabric, etc. ;) I do love your zany colors and talent. I don't envy your drive though. Please don't give up blogging. Funny how writing makes us discover ourselves, isn't it?

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  45. I just recently became a follower of your blog and after reading this post and all the comments that followed I am so GLAD I have found you and your message of HOPE and LOVE! Thank you for being your authentic self and telling it like it is - we must first HEAL ourselves if we are to be a GIFT to anyone else. God Bless the journey that awaits you. ~ Sandra

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  46. I do hope that you continue blogging, but as Ricky Nelson sang "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself." You'll probably never know how many people you have inspired over the years through your quilt art. (And garden, cooking, photos, knitting, and decorating projects...) Thank you for all that you do and for sharing your many talents.
    I wish you continued happiness and peace.

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  47. Beth P.7:23 AM

    Thanks so much for your honesty, Melody. Do what is right for you. We'll still be here when and if you want to share your life, and your art.

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  48. Life and all of it's phases--just like the seasons, we all need to be able to step back and evaluate what is working and what is not--and be honest with ourselves. I have found myself with a "real" job for the last 7 months and while difficult at times, it has truly been a blessing. Take a break, do what you love and love what you do (from the life is good folks) and I would add, be with the ones you love and love the ones who are with you!!!

    Big Hug!!

    Ava

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  49. I love those "AHA" moments when we see things clearly, and are able to adjust to the changes in our lives! I will confess the first time you switched your blog topic from quilting to gardening, I was temporarily dismayed... until I started to see what you and Dave were doing! Then you started blogging about painting, and I was riveted! You don't need to compete, but please keep posting! You are one of my faves, and I feel like I have made a friend who I love keeping in touch with! So no matter what the topic, know that you have lots of friends who love to hear what you guys are up to, and adore the dawg pix!
    Enjoy where you are and what you're doing... in my book you are a true winner!

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  50. Good Morning Melody. That was quite a post.

    When ever I show my work to another quilter they suggest I find a venue for a "show", send proposals to magazines etc. Like that is the only way to validate what I do and create.

    That route is way too hard. I make what I make for the joy of the making. Period. And if you like it and want it I will probably give it to you. I earn my money in another field. Far away from art.

    I took a class from you once. You vibrated with ambition. Talked a mile a minute, never sat still. You made me anxious. It was all Me, Me, Me. Even as you shared everything you knew. I never wanted that for myself and always hoped you would find what you were looking for. Glad it was right there at home.

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  51. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Haven't read the previous 51 comments (my bad!) Just want to thank you Mel for your incredible honesty! You are such an inspiration to me, and have been ever since I took that class with you and Laura team teaching years ago. I hope you keep writing, that is my favourite of your many art forms! thanks so much for sharing your artistic life so fully and well.
    Anne Moore in Saskatchewan

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  52. Eventually, I think we all get to the point that we decide to just relax about it all! I used to be "Do it fast, get done! Now, it's like why can't I enjoy the process. Even if it's scrubbing the floor, there is always some aspect to enjoy! You managed to get on your knees, or you got that spot out that you didn't know was there until you were on your knees, or just a kid or cat runs up and climbs on your back!

    Like you, I am reevaluating my life, and I have decided to find, maybe not pleasure, but certainly comfort? Satisfaction? Enjoyment? in all those things I used to rush through. There are aspects of everything that can be a source of satisfaction.

    And, yes, I have to really work at it when cleaning the toilets...mine or the cats'. And, I still rush thru things like quilt backings and peeling potatoes and whatever.

    Life is a process and progression. At least I have a reasonable goal now. And I don't have to be perfect any more.

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  53. Thank you, Melody, for your beautiful blog piece. You have been an inspiration to me even though I have known you for such a short time. I started quilting "late in life" and found that I enjoyed the process and that process was a meditative adventure for me. I am very focused on what I do but I have chosen to do only the things that give me peace and joy. I applaud your openness in sharing with us your innermost thoughts and feelings. I wish you much success as you "live life and explore the journey ahead".
    hugs, Sandi Suggs

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  54. I agree with Melissa's comments.

    Perhaps you were driven to succeed because you have so much talent that was bursting to be expressed? (And I do think you are immensely talented).

    I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your thoughts. I am glad you are less lonely and are finding contentment. That isn't easy to do!

    I keep a list of quotations that I refer to from time to time, and I wanted to share this one with you:

    "Success - To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded."

    Peace be with you.

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  55. Anonymous10:29 AM

    It's wonderful to hear your happiness in your words. Like so many others, I hope you continue your blog. Your personality shines through. Your house and garden are spectacular. I grew up in East Tennessee and your blog takes me back. You seem to be a fantastic person - full of creativity. Thank you for sharing yourself. It must have been hard.

    Maggie in AZ

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  56. Anonymous11:19 AM

    What Joanne S said. It is funny how things come full circle sometimes. I find you to be very competitive, from where I am sitting reading your blog. I found it disturbing sometimes that as soon as your sis produced an amazing quilt, you got to work to produce something similar and placed it for sale. I admire your work and I am a fan of your sister's work as well.

    Didn't you write a similar post some time way back when? I hope this is not a repeat only to go back to your old former self. I used to hope you'd be selling your quilts to help out your sis and her family in the financial arena.

    Anyways, I don't want to chastise you with my post, just want to mention my observances.
    Wishing you all the best for the future.

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  57. Thank you for sharing this Melody. I know it must have been hard. I enjoy reading your blog every day. I think I enjoy your pugs as much as you do as well as your delightful quilts, and outdoor adventures. Your blog makes me smile!

    I can understand your feelings and the excitement of being past the things inside that have been troublesome. I have been in the process of finding peace with myself too. It's awesome to let go of things!

    You know how we look back on special times in our lives and say, "Those were the good ole days?" Well, I realized recently that right now, I am in the midst of those "good ole" days! These are the days that I will look back on and say, "Those were the good ole days." I'm thrilled to be aware of them while I am actually in them! Perhaps it makes me enjoy them even more. It certainly sounds like your'e in the midst of "good ole days" too, and I wish you the joy of savoring many, many more good ole days!

    Again, thanks for sharing, and have a good ole day! D~~~~

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  58. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Melody
    I was drawn here first by the colour and awesomeness of your quilts,and I have stayed on as a daily fan, learning and inspired by All you post. Thank you for todays' honest and moving words .... they make me happy.
    Linda M in BC

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  59. peace. . . . hang onto it!
    <3 judi

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  60. I know exactly what you are talking about and how it does not feel good. I have friends who are supportive, engaging and help me become a better quilter without competition. I have others who bring out the worst in me. I sometimes feel like I am making something just to top them not because I want to make it. I am getting rid of the people who make me feel that way, it's all good as long as we grow. I appreciate your honest post.

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  61. hilary5:27 PM

    You've inspired and enriched us through showing your work and sharing your knowledge in person and through the blog. Whenever you wish to say something we, your readers, will enjoy it. But no, don't let it be your "boss". When it comes to producing, retirement is the post-deadline phase of life. Breathe deeply and enjoy!

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  62. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Perfectly said! Thank you!

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  63. What a great post, Mel. And I breathed a sigh of relief when you said you are not quitting anything. I get so much enjoyment and learn so many things from you; not to be afraid of color, to live life to the fullest (DH retired a couple months ago and I retire on Wednesday!!) I want to learn to knit because of you.

    Just do what you enjoy and be happy. Everything else is secondary. And thank you for sharing you with us!

    Hugs,
    Cathy

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  64. Wow to your clear & well-expressed insights, and to your courage in sharing. This is one thought-provoking post!

    I've known women who were similarly competitive and driven in most aspects of their lives. Exhausting to watch! Meanwhile, I've felt the (perceived on my part) criticism of family & other observers who don't understand why I keep making stuff that is rarely if ever seen outside my home. Because I'm just the opposite of you -- innately non-competitive, secretly hoping for small moments of recognition, but too painfully shy to do anything that might bring attention and threaten my comfortable private world.

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  65. Turning ourselves into the people we mean to be is not easy!

    Good for you for taking the time and trouble to figure out who you mean to be, and for doing the hard work it takes to get there!

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  66. Thanks much for the insight. I can totally relate. Art is a personal expression of our view of the world. Art that is created only to sell, with little or no personal emotion involved, can be quick, and even bring income, but in the end it leaves emptiness and longing.

    Process, process, process - it is the answer! Thanks for the reminder!

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  67. Melody, thank you for being so personal and honest here.

    Everything you say, I can relate to as well. The blog I keep, does help me to keep producing, and maybe sometimes as you say, it does become the boss.

    However, you have a knack in your writing to bring your own life into the process, and this ability to share that personal journey and not get too boring - hate to use that word, but that's true - share your personal journey along with your huge creativity and that is inspiring to so many.

    Your blog makes evident that we all are creative and that it is as necessary as breathing. Recognition and acceptance are also necessary I think...and keeping a balance with family and inner self - it's all mixed up.

    The reason I keep coming back to your blog is to read posts like this one. Very brave. Thank you.

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  68. ... maybe now you're ready to give Yoga a try...
    =-)

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  69. So many comments and they were all so true and your comments are so inspiring.

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  70. Thanks for the honesty and the opening of your heart to us. I am also too competitive for my own good and am constantly talking to myself and asking, "Are you doing this because you want to express yourself or impress someone?" I took a class from you several years ago and i found you encouraging and had the ability to draw out creativity in each of us. The person who said you made them anxious in class didn't understand you, your personality or your teaching style. I just found you amazing. So Thanks!

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  71. Anonymous3:56 AM

    I just happened click on a link today to see how you are getting on. Used to be a big fan but the competitiveness that came across was too much and I stopped reading years ago. I love your honesty though and really admire that you are prepared to open your heart in public. I remember a post about your mother and I think if we are never loved fully by our parents, especially our mothers, then we have a vacuum that will never truly be filled. I understand that need but you are a wonderful, creative, inspiring, caring person, don't be too hard on yourself!

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  72. How insightful of you to acknowledge your place in life right now. There's something that tells me that you are packed with creative genes and will forever go on making fiber pieces of all kinds. Just know that your blog is the only one I read daily as you are a fountain of positive energy. Your color and spirit lift me up.

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  73. I have been tuning in for several years now. This is an interesting introspection...I would not have guessed you were driven by a competitive spirit. May you never stop growing and evolving. Age and wisdom will do that to you...

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  74. Thank you for sharing what so many of us feel at different levels. Finding what & where you want to be in life is a blessing. Be blessed.

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  75. I read your blog regularly and feel like I know you. I like seeing what you are up to. You do so many things so well.

    It must be so freeing to announce to the world that you are getting off the track and will watch from the sidelines now.

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  76. Judy from Northport11:27 PM

    Dear Ms Mel ~ Who knew?
    I am glad you're in a good place now and happy and content in your life.
    I love reading your blog, but can understand that it is a big responsibility. Certainly, I could never take on something of its scope. You give so much of yourself in the blog that I have marveled many times at your generousity.
    I hope that you continue with your quilting - you are so good at it. But then, if you want something else at this time of your life, then you should have it.

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  77. Well, retirement and this move have truly been good for you!

    I was drawn to your blog by your quilts, and have stayed with it because I enjoy it so much. I love the pleasure you find in your creations, whether it be quilts, knitting, gardening, cooking, painting, (oh, my...you do a lot!), etc., and sharing it with us! I love your sense of humor ("Mexican Chalet" and self-nudging "la tee da" type comments) as much as your sense of color.

    However, I hope you find some of the joy in blogging that so many of us find in reading it, and not just from these pats on the back. If you should slow down in your posting, I will know that when you do post it is because you have something to say.

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  78. As a quilter and a knitter I love reading your blog. I'm moved that you were brave 'enuf' to share with the class. With age comes wisdom and I'm glad that you have found your new self. Hope you will continue to share your journey with us.

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  79. Dear Melody...
    I love popping in weekly to read your thoughts and see what's going on. Thank you for sharing these moments of your life.

    Reading your blog is like a good book that never ends...and that my friend is a very good thing.

    Cheers to you from Lee in Kentucky!

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  80. Anonymous4:21 AM

    Well, I do not actually imagine it may work.

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