Have you ever heard of Dr. Gary Chapman's best selling book "The 5 Love Languages?" I'm sure most of you have, but if you haven't, it's a very interesting perspective on how we show and share love. I was first introduced to Dr. Chapman in college while taking psychology classes, and it opened up a new way of thinking about relationships. To sum up his opinion he believes that there are five basic ways that we show and receive love. The challenging part of his perspective is that we should understand what our partner's, child's, friend's love language is in order to understand how they are sharing love. To me, that's the hardest part of relationships- platonic or intimate. Taking ourselves out of our own bubble- so to speak- and really thinking about those around us. It's so easy to get upset when your partner isn't showing you love (the way YOU show love) when in actuality they could be showing love in THEIR way. For example, my husband's love language is acts of service. He shows the boys and I that he cares for us by doing things for us. During the Rona, he's cut down trees to make more sunlight in our house, he's painted rooms, he's redone the flooring in the boys' bathroom, he's helped rearrange furniture in several rooms, he repurposed all the door knobs and ceiling fans in our house- the list goes on. While I'm very grateful for all that he's done, I wouldn't have even noticed (for example) that the baseboards in the living room didn't match. My two main love languages are receiving gifts (which to me means giving gifts) and words of affirmation. Now- if I didn't have an understanding that my husband was showing us all that he loves us by doing acts of service- I would be hurt because he isn't giving me little gifts to show that he cares or giving words of affirmation. The tricky part is that acts of service is the lowest on my love language scale. (You can take a quiz on the 5 love language website- I'll post the link at the end of this blog). While I appreciate all my husband has done for us, and I know he's showing his love- it is REALLY hard for me to show him that I care- using his love language. But I do and gently remind him of my love languages. Wouldn't it be easy if we both shared the same love language? In the ocean of the Rona- how are we sharing and receiving love? Does the Rona make it harder or easier to show and receive love? I guess that's a question we all have to ponder.
Those of you who know me well- know that giving gifts is how I show I love you. Nothing makes me happier than finding or making the perfect gift and giving that gift. I shop for special occasions all year long. During the Rona, I've started projects that will be given as gifts for Christmas and have even started the boys on projects for the holidays as well. Life has slowed down and now we have time to reengage in those interests of ours that got lost in the shuffle of life. If this Rona has taught me one thing- it's that my life was TOO BUSY and TOO CHAOTIC. Too busy to create a thoughtful gift for a love one. Too chaotic to enjoy a hobby that was once a favorite pastime. That's not acceptable to me anymore.... But in the meantime- we do have time to share our "gifts" with each other and share our love languages.
One of my favorite pastimes is sewing and I'm so grateful to have the time to create projects again. I'm also so grateful to be doing something on my sewing machine that is needed, while showing my family and friends that I love them. I know I'm just one of the many people making face masks, but it gives me some purpose, while doing something I love, while giving them to my friends and family as a way to show my love. WIN WIN!! I can't say enough great things about Joann Fabrics. They have done a bang up job in making materials available to create masks (they even have free materials to make a few masks and then they collect the finished product and give them away) If you go to their website (I'll include the link at the end) they have materials categorized by mask making materials, including curbside pick up and videos and PDF instructions on how to make different styles of masks. Before Easter, I made a curbside pick up. It was so easy and quick. The sales person came out to my car with my bag of goodies, but also an extra bag. She asked me if I wanted a free gift (the women whose love language is receiving gifts?) oh heck yeah!! When I got home- and opened the bag- it felt like Christmas. Joann Fabrics showed that they cared for their customers by giving gifts! Brilliant! Maybe today, on this dreary, rainy day we can give some thought to how we show love and receive love, think about your loved ones, co-workers, and maybe even customers (if you have any) and try to show them some love the way they receive love. You may find it harder than it sounds.
Much love and gratitude
My beautiful friend Jen with the face mask I made her (we all having matching masks) Also lots of gratitude to her and all the health care workers.
5 Love Languages:
As the days move on in the haze of social distancing- I find myself feeling like I'm trapped in the movie Groundhog's Day. Feeling the stress and anxiety that Bill Murray displayed in the movie is becoming common place among the masses. So what do we do? There are people who "have been preparing for this their whole lives" and then there's me. I was a latch key kid and a Gen Xer- so yes I remember being forced to stay home until my mom got home. My own mini quarantine.... that included long hours of soap operas, chipped beef on toast, and intense fights with my brother. The other thing that those mini quarantines provided in my youth, was the beginning of my interest in crafting.
There wasn't a time that I don't remember the women on my mother's side doing a craft. It was just common place to me and normal. I thought everyone's grandma crocheted beer can hats or that their mom made their clothes. As a young girl I remember hours of standing still as my mom measured me and the new outfit to make sure it was the best fit (sometimes she even got me with pins)
Was the reason my great grandmother, grandmother and mother (and their mothers before them) did "crafts" because that's how they lived? You need a blanket? Well- I'm making a quilt. You need a hat? I'm croqueting one. Need clothes- get out the sewing machine. Many of you know that I come from the McCoy line from the McCoy and Hatfield feud.... in the heart of West Virginia and Kentucky. I did minor research on the Appalachian history of crafts and it does seem to be "a thing." I'd love to do more research- but had a hard time finding info. If anyone out there has more information about the history of crafting in that area and even more specifically on McCoys- I'd love to hear it- please reach out.
This is the quilt my grandmother, Quinncy McCoy Chambers made me when I got married. I treasure this and will one day pass it to my boys.
How do I bring this all together? A latch key, Gen X kid who comes from a family history of crafting during a lockdown that feels like Groundhog's Day? I bring out my crafting supplies. The first photo on this blog was my first attempt at making face masks. It isn't perfect, but I learned new things and will continue to change the pattern to suit my skills and materials.
Next time- I'm going to share more about face masks (CDC recommends that we all wear them when we go out in public), getting craft materials during the Rona, other craft ideas, and favorite people and websites that I have used during this pandemic.
Today- let's do something that changes the day from Groundhog's Day to something out of the ordinary. It's Good Friday-and if you believe- we can meditate on what that means in our life- the sacrifice that was made for us. When we put all of this short lived discomfort- in perspective- it's ok that some days feel like Groundhog's Day.
Much love and gratitude
Yesterday I was cautiously walking around in my local grocery store noticing many changes since the Rona swirled in and changed our lives. Of course we all know the obvious changes by now- social distancing, plastic up protecting check out workers, gloves, masks, and one I was shocked with- NO FLOUR! But aside from those changes, another change I noticed was people with past due hair appointments. In our house we are all past due on hair cuts and colors- except my husband who shaves his head. Graciously (not) my boys like to tell me when it's time to get my hair done- and it's way past time. I like to call those (gulp) grays- sparkles.. They are my sparkles and boy am I sparkling right now. Over the past few days I've been reading on mainstream news about women who are embracing their gray. Good for them- I haven't wanted to embrace my sparkles until the Rona hit. Previously, I was so embarrassed about these sparkles, and if truth be told, I'm still quite embarrassed. To post a picture of my sparkles and flakes on my site would NEVER have occurred before the Rona.
A few days ago I was sharing my next blog post with a few of my friends ( less than 5 and 6 feet apart). Most of us are in the same boat with the sparkles. They shared some ideas about their hair care and how they are dealing with the sparkles. One of my friends uses a tinted spray to cover the sparkles, another has a powder, and one may think about box color. My response was- I think I'm going to just let it go. Gasp- let it go and grow! Why? I'm typically not a person who must wave a sign and get others to join my cause or agree with me. I quietly hold my opinions and causes- for the most part- to myself and my closest friends and family. This Sparkle Issue is my proverbial sign. I'm wearing a sign, on my head, every day that says- STAY HOME! It's uncomfortable and it's aging and it's difficult- but it's necessary. I'm not judging anyone who box colors or cuts their own hair or their child's hair- I'm not a judgy person, but for me- I'm going with the sparkles. When you think of the word sparkles- what do you think about? I think about celebrations and light and hope. Sparkles remind me of what our Christmas tree looked like when I was younger. A full tree of tinsel. That's what I am- a tinsel, sparkling tree. Standing in the storm of the Rona that WILL end and so with it- the sparkles- maybe. Who knows- maybe I'll like the sparkles, but one thing is for sure.... I can be a sparkle. I can choose to bring light, celebrations and hope to my family and friends when we are all looking for a little light.
Sparkle On my friends- Sparkle On!!
Much love and gratitude
This is the Year.....
I've never written a blog- never considered writing one, but I'm feeling compelled. Why? Well, I think this would be a great place to blog my forty ninth year. Yep- 49. I keep telling everyone that I am having a hard time with this age, but the person who I feel the worst for is my mom. She will have a daughter, that in 2020 will turn 50.