Momstheword posted today about the choice between "making it from scratch or just buying it" and described herself as falling off the wagon for NOT choosing to have her husband pick up a pizza on the way home from work rather than making a pizza herself that night. I would argue that, at least right now, where she finds herself on her journey has prioritized other areas above "making it from scratch" and that is just fine. Knowing that other people makes things from scratch shouldn't make her feel badly about not doing the same. They aren't better than she is, they are just at different points on their journey. This doesn't negate the value of "making it from scratch", but instead, recognizes that right now other things are more important to her.
Two years ago I decided to start making our bread at home, but I have to tell you, I almost certainly wouldn't have made that decision if I'd still been working full time. I still would see the value in home-made bread, but it wouldn't have been valuable enough to me at that time and place to have made it a priority in my life. My life has changed a lot since I worked full-time and I've reached a place in my life, however, where knowing how to do these things has become a significant priority in my life and I've been making it happen. It is that simple and that complex. Instead of speaking longingly about it, or admiringly of those who could do it, I've reached a place where I can and need to become one of those people. So, I'm constantly learning to make more and more things from scratch.
But that is just me...for now...and it has its limits...
I'm learning to sew more and more things, too, but I'm not even close to wanting to follow in Amy at Angry Chicken's footsteps and start making my own lingerie. Frankly, I'm not even tempted to try. At this point, I'm curiously reading her blogs about the experience and I'll even admit to be intrigued by the idea, but that is it. Yes, the fabric would cost less than I pay for a pair of panties, but I don't think the hassle is worth it...yet. Maybe someday I will want to give it a go, but maybe I never will. Who knows?
What I do know, is that we need to be careful of the shoulds... Reading Angry Chicken's blog and deciding that I should be making my own lingerie and that I'm a failure because I don't would not be healthy for me and it probably wouldn't be Amy's goal. Instead, I read her blog with a sense of wonder because, until she posted about it, it never occurred to me that I could sew my own lingerie. One more limitation has been removed and one more possibility introduced. How fun is that?
There are so many shoulds attached to our lives these days that we need to be vigilant. Possibilities are exciting, shoulds can become burdensome quite quickly. Whether child or adult, our lives seemed defined by the things we should do. Children should be in sports all year long, children should learn an instrument, children should be in student government, children should do community service, children should be active in their churches, children should be home for dinner every night with their families. Parents should participate in their children's sports activities, parents should do fundraisers, parents should volunteer, parents should go back to school, parents should provide a home-cooked meal for their families every night. Everyone should be focused on college and buying a home and being green and being organic and so on. Also, let's not forget that we are all (children and adults alike) supposed to be calm, cheerful and attractive while we live the frenetic pace set by a life of shoulds. The list of shoulds is endless and exhausting and trying to fulfill them all makes us crazy and, inevitably, feel like failures. It is simply not possible to do everything we should do.
Rather than making ourselves feel guilty about what we should be doing, it seems to me we need to focus our energy on the things that really are on the top of our priority list. If we really feel that we need to be doing something we're not, or falling off the wagon of our own stated goals, we need to look at our real priorities, not what we think our priorities are supposed to be. Once we figure out what we're really doing, we can understand better why our actions aren't actually following our stated goals. Digging deeper helps us uncover our real motivations for behaviors that don't seem to jive with our priorities. Maybe our goals are just that: stated goals, while our true goals have not been acknowledged. Maybe our shoulds are in the way of our real goals. Maybe it is some combination of both.
Using Momsthewords' example, perhaps the simple desire for internal restfulness and unhurried interaction with family and friends after a hectic day was more important than saving money on pizza. That doesn't mean saving money isn't important to her, but it doesn't mean it wasn't important enough. If she finds herself making that decision more and more, maybe something in her life has gotten out of balance and the busy-ness is interfering with her real priorities. For me, the feeling of guilt for buying pizza can end up masking frustration over some other aspect of my life having gotten off track. Maybe I overbooked or maybe I'm not feeling successful in other areas, but whatever the reason, I feel like I need something to give.
Maybe, just maybe, buying the pizza was exactly what she should have done...