Thursday, January 31, 2008


I must have a balance deficiency. Balance is not something I gave a lot of though before coming to college. I simply did what I did and did it with all that I had. I suppose I was one of those 'over-achievers' people talk about, but that's not quiet true. I was just an achiever. I never though: is this too much? am I stressed? do I have good self-esteem? I just didn't worry about it. Things always turned out and failure was sometimes inevitable but not stressed over.

Then some where between the end of my Junior year and Freshman year of college my life fell apart. I tend to blame it on the fact that I started working (outside of school). I would go to school, come home and eat, change, pack a lunch and head to work where I would stay until 11 PM, then come home and fall into bed. Thank God for study halls, they seriously saved my grades because, like the achiever I was, I was taking five Advance Placement classes (most people take two, tops). I cried all the time, alone of course. There was no sense in making a public fuss over something that was necessary. I had to go to school and I had to work so I could pay for college, there was nothing to fix so I shouldn't complain.

Unfortunately, this mood of despair lingered even into college when I wasn't working. I pushed/was pushed away from most of my friends and I didn't really bother to make new ones. I grew to detest school and I resented needing to work. I just wanted to go home. I had no close friends and I was separated from my family, whom I am fortunate enough to have very good relationships with. It was the first time I realized what it meant to be lonely. For an introverted girl who tends to do things on her own, that's saying something.

Balance. My husband, then boyfriend, was the one who put a name to my ailment. I don't think he was even talking about me at the time but he was adiment that everyone needed balance in their life. Balance between work and school, themselves and others, liberalism and conservativeness, everything. At first I though he was nuts. The world is black and white, pick your side and stay there. He insisted it was shades of gray.

I still believe it's black and white but I've learned that even black and white is complex. But that realization has opened up all sorts of things. It helped me realize that just because something is white (meaning respectable, honorable, expected, encouraged, etc.) doesn't mean you have to do everything that's white. I didn't have to be a perfect student, work a million hours a week and be 'successful' in this worlds terms. Yes, these things are all 'white' but that doesn't mean I have to do them all. I can pick.

So I picked homemaking. And funny enough, when I choose, really choose, not just wished, I found my balance. I wasn't running in a million directions any more, trying to please everyone. I had 'found' myself. Which is a phrase I used to hate, how can you find yourself? Does that mean you lost yourself. Well, yes. But I still suspect not everyone does and that most people only loose themselves because people tell them that they still haven't found themselves and they get confused. Read that twice.

But balance. It is a good lesson and a fragile one. It only takes one too many 'yeses' to the outside world for my balance to become unbalanced, for me to loose sight of what I want for my life and the life of my own family.


You know, I'm not really sure how I feel about this template. There's a '03' up there under the tile next to an image that looks strikingly like a battery icon at 50%. Does that mean I'm 50% out of energy? Only have three years, months, days, minutes to blog? Hm....

Cold and Windy

I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world (other than the worst winter weather ever in China) but it's really cold here. I've been putting my scarves up over the top of my head to keep my ears and face from freezing, which means I look like an old-fashioned prairie woman but, hey, I'm warm. I think I've decided that the women of the past must have been much more practical than women today... probably people in general. The more 'old-fashioned' I dress the more comfortable I am, whether that be temperature or not needing to worry about necklines, hemlines, or static.

My advice to all women: wear floor length skirts; yes, in the winter; yes, outside. Wear a heavy over-skirt (corduroy or the like) and then put one of those summer peasant skirts underneath (yes, like a petticoat). It's soooo warm. Not to mention more doors get opened for you :) People seem to think pants are warmer than skirts. In my experience, this is not true. You simply have to wear the right kind of skirt. Also, find a floor vent and stand on it. It'll warm up your skirt and when you sit down it's like having a blanket straight from the dryer wrapped around you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The bread turned out well. It's very yummy... but not very cinnamon-y. Who knows.


I've been having an odd obsession with dresses lately. It seems I can't get enough of them and I hate everything that's being sold right now. There is no such thing as a modern, modest, pretty dress for under $150. It's that such an odd request? I know that slightly higher neckline (you know, so they can't see your chest) and the slightly lower hemline cost a little extra, but that's all: a little. Not $100.

There is also no such thing as a long skirt that doesn't look frumpy. No wonder our mothers have such trouble not looking the dreaded '40'. (Which I also have an opinion on but that's for another post.) Our clothing makers don't make anything for anyone between 25 and 60. You must look one or the other even if it makes you look like a tramp or 20 years over your age. Or wear unisex clothing, which works fine for work but what about those women who don't want men to have to look twice to figure out what gender they are. Our clothes should address that for us. (Again, another post.)

I'm seriously considering buying a bunch of patterns and making my own clothes. It might take more time but it's much more cost effective and I can have every detail I want without searching a million stores over and getting frustrated with everything modest being ugly and everything attractive not being pretty.

Ready... Set... Go!

Today has been a strange day for me. I woke up in a terrible mood, which my poor husband had to contend with. It's raining in January, which shouldn't happen, where's the snow? Oh, well. I sat my morning classes and found out in German that my professor can't guess anything about my personality or where I come from by how I dress (this actually legit-ly came up while discussing cases for nouns). I think he hasn't been paying attention because I wear all sorts of weird and outrageous things.

I am currently skipping my afternoon class and just finished putting my first loaf of Cinnamon Raisin bread in the bread machine and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I can't wait until the quarter's done. There's so much stuff I want to do around the house that I just don't have time for because of school. Food could be so interesting if I had the time to devote to it. Not to mention sewing projects. *Gleeful look. March 22 is only so far away.