Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yes, ruts.

We all get into them. And some are worse than others... But some can actually be good. Think irrigation ditches. I find that so many times in my day-to-day, I get into many, many ruts. You would think a few hours isn't enough time to get into a rut, but it is with some things. And ANYTHING can produce a rut.

I was watching MythBusters the other day and watched as Kari, Grant and Tori tried to use dental floss to break out of jail. Of course you think right away, 'no way, now how, no chance.' But after hours and days of running that floss across the steel bar, you could see a noticeable rut! Of course the method of flossing was mechanized and there was a ton of control over the experiment, but it still proved plausible. Amazing. A dental floss rut in a steel bar.

I just got a new computer for my birthday and the transferring of data and music and learning the new system has been very time-consuming. I find my normal daily activities suffering and my children eating lunch at 1:00... all because of this particular rut I have gotten myself into. Thankfully, I am almost done with the music transferring, and the data transfer will commence upon the weekend, so that there is less time-killing during the weekday.

But this all got me thinking along the lines of ruts and how useful or useless they can be in our lives. It seems the things we can fall into that are not beneficial are the things that are made of the softest substance--easily rutted. And the things we should be happy to fall into habits with are made of steel--and we only have some dental floss to make the impression.

There is one thing MythBusters has taught me: it IS plausible. It takes hard work, determination and precision to make those ruts, but it CAN be done.

So this is my new goal: to make dental floss ruts in steel bars. Doing useful and productive things with a lasting result. And not the things that eat up my time with no lasting fruit.

Dental floss ruts in steel bars.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

how it all began

So I have been noticing how many friends and influential people within my circles have begun to blog... Whether the topics are health related, journaling, or just to blow off steam, I find myself hooked into their world for those moments, and feel more connected.

I like the idea of a blog now. I used to despise them... But it seems to me that with the right attitude, this can be a great way to not only lay out the day's issues, developments or hardships, but also to keep my mind sharp and to look forward to something worth organizing into my own little piece of the greater cyber-world.

So here goes...

I like beginnings. Love them in fact. A beginning is one of the most exciting things I can imagine. The first day of school. Ahhh.... the smell of a brand new book--the kind with the shiny pages and the smell of the binding and printing ink. Moving into a new house... (hopefully won't happen that often, but still...) The first day of spring. Seeing the first delicate yellow bloom in the back yard. Just excites my senses! Something BRAND NEW is about to begin, and I get to be there to experience it! What a special feeling. A feeling of importance. I was THERE.

Here's where I fall short: Although I love beginnings, I seem to lose interest somewhere in the middle, and very rarely in my life, have I seen things through to the ending. I guess somewhere in the recesses of my sanguine mind, I feel that not many things are as cool as I have built them up to be BEFORE the most anticipated and wonder-to-behold beginnings, and I simply walk away. Sadly, this can be seen in many projects I have begun over the years, and failed to finish.

There is one thing, however, that I have never begun and not finished, and that is cooking. Here is one place in my undone world where the rules change. For me, cooking is my outlet to creativity, and also one way for me to provide something wonderful for my family all in one. I love to experiment, and usually things turn out pretty good. I also love the old stand-bys, and the family does, too. I love, love, LOVE when my 4-year-old applauds me for bringing my garlic-infused broccoli to the table, and that all three children will choose my veggies over the potatoes!

Other things in life are beginning to take this same pattern as well--the pattern that includes finishing. I will not even begin to describe just how many things I have left undone. I will, however, clue you in on one example...

Before I got married, I learned how to crochet from a college friend. I used to tease her relentlessly every time I walked into our college house and saw her sitting there, like an old lady, crocheting. Finally one day, she did the only thing she could do to get me to stop: she taught me. It was exhilarating! This granny-task I had formerly mocked was AWESOME. I loved it! And of course, my first project would have to be something that no beginner in her right mind would pursue: an afghan. Not just any afghan, but one that signified the forever-togetherness of marriage, with interlocking circles ALL over the place. If it wasn't advanced, it was certainly intermediate. And I was neither.

It took lots of trial and error, and my mom to help with the circles, but I finally got all of the squares completed, and started sewing them together. Of course, when crocheting with more than one color, and then making squares, and then sewing said squares together, you tend to get lots and lots of little ends poking through the beautiful work that took hours and hours to complete... You know where I am going with this, right? Yeah, I technically completed the afghan... Technically. I think I even finished before we were married. Good job, pat myself on the back, and so on. Well, it will be 10 years in June that we have been married, and yes, many, many of those annoying little ends still haunt me on our afghan. I still have not woven them into the pattern, because it's not fun. It's tedious, hard work, and it's not--in my mind--creative.

A decade. Yes. And that is my story. Those little ends are older than my 8-year-old. And yet I can't seem to finish the task. It does, in some crazy and probably far-fetched way, resemble a picture of marriage... It always needs to be worked on, and the annoying little things are what need to be worked on the most, or they turn into a large conglomeration of annoyances that leads to me not wanting to even look at the blanket anymore... It gets packed into the cedar chest and only looked at as another failure, when I open the chest and push it aside while looking for something else--something that wasn't left undone.

So, I guess it's time to finish the afghan. Thankfully, our marriage is always a work-in-progress, and we haven't stopped weaving in the loose ends. With the grace that has been extended to us, we will remain and grow closer together, weaving as we go, till death do us part.