I bet you know this story.

The tomatoes had begun to overtake the counter.  Shifting from an “oh look at my beautiful red tomatoes!” to a “NO, leave them on the vine!” shrieked, maniacally to my 7-year eager picker.

In the course of a busy life and a week that starts with so much hope and ends with so much left undone, the tomatoes went from shiny red possibilities…canned tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, oh!, maybe I’ll get out my new solar dehydrator and dehydrate some…to one more thing on the excruciatingly long list that was unlikely to get done.  

They were mournfully giving me the eye, sprinkled with a bit of scorn.  

When exactly did the tomatoes gain the power to shame me into averting my eyes whenever I passed? 

Around the time my hope of having all the time to do all the things started to crash into the reality that it was already too late, that’s when. 

Does this happen to you?  Do your well-laid, excitement-laden plans regretfully join the pile of neglected projects?  It’s why, truly, I try not to have too much of a fabric stash or excess yarn or start too many projects before finishing some.  It stresses me out.  

And, do we have to do all the things?  I mean, can we even?  With joy and love?  

To be clear, I love the idea of doing all the things.  

Make all of my clothes (this compulsion is why I have to do laundry more frequently than I want…I will not buy undies when I can make them dang it!) reupholster the couch, can all the food, start dehydrating too, oooh and the medicinal herbs that need to be harvested and turned into tinctures, the mead making materials that arrived last week ready to be filled with honey and blackberries, yeast and water and the camping box (another one!) that’s clamoring to be built…right, and then the tongue and groove for the bathroom that I have painted, waiting to be installed.  I can do that. I WANT to do that.   

And the living.  The morning routine and my new pilates bands/bar to strengthen my recovering body, walking and driving to school, and working for pay! And moving and laundry and dishes and meals and quality time with my son and my partner and don’t even get me started on my poor neglected friendship. And building a business and, and, and.  

As the saying goes, we can have it all…just not all at the same time. 

Those tomatoes, I couldn’t quite find the time to make marinara or dehydrate them…but the idea of tomato jam?  That excited me.  Peace could be brokered over shared tomato jam.  

And just like that, with a bit of excitement and joy, it slid right into my day and I canned 12 lovely jars of jam that I’m already imagining licking off my fingers.

Follow our joy.  As often as we can.  And it’s more often than we acknowledge.

The rest of the “things I want do list”?   That requires a long hard look at what is most important to me.  See, I want to make all the things, but an ease-filled life is also becoming non-negotiable.  And so maybe that macrame pumpkin kit can stay on the shelf.  I have no doubt it will be so much fun to do and bring me joy in completing, but do I honestly have space for it right now? 

Because to tie those knots, I have to choose not to do something else. 

What I’m loving right now…

  • Ok, seriously, why are tiny little things so delightful?  You are going to LOVE these miniatures.
  • This reel on how Dahlia blooms is so freeing.  Contract – expand – contract – expand.
  • OOOHH!  Right?!  People are so clever.   Is it crazy that I now want a unicycling frog to ride along the top of my TP?
  • and…you’re welcome.  sound on!
  • and last, but certainly not least, Eliza Wheeler (remember when she was on the podcast?) has illustrated a profound and beautiful children’s book that made me gasp.