Years ago in Australia we had this brilliant magazine published monthly which celebrated the art of homemaking - Notebook: magazine...
I only discovered it about six months before the final issue was published and felt like a friend, a kindred spirit, had left my life when the newsagent told me it 'was no more'.
Since then I sporadically scour op-shops, ebay and markets for second hand copies and to date I have built my collection from six to twenty-two issues, with only one duplicate magazine.
The other day, with three fresh copies having arrived in the mail from a bargain ebay auction, I decided that during the course of this year and next I'll 'imagine' I'm receiving a new issue of Notebook: each month and read it cover to cover, highlighting all the good things I want to ponder or attempt, as well as things I'd like to share with you.
So here we go with the first Notebook: blog post for January.
I randomly chose this issue and it just happens to be the final one ever published...
Before opening the cover I brewed a cup of rose petal tea and buttered the last slice of ginger cake.
This will become part of my Notebook: ritual.
Tea and cake and a jolly good read...
"Feel Free to Fail" was the first article that made me want to knock on your door and ask if we could chat about it, if you'd offer your thoughts alongside mine so we could solve this problem together and change the world...
It's all about failure attitude; how we hate failure, feel mortified to fail in front of others, and how easily most of us give up and try something else.
I like the author's statement about the exhaustion of seeking to be excellent...
...and by the time I'd finished her article the page was awash with lime green highlights.
As a mother of seven, having watched my babies crawl, fall, walk, fall, run, fall, the statement below made a lot of sense and I couldn't help but feel sad that I'd not read it before now.
"We're hard on ourselves. Look at a child learning to walk. They fall over, we encourage and praise them, so they get up and try again. If we treated children the way we treat ourselves we'd still be crawling"
I'm guilty of giving up. Sometimes I only have to look at a project, activity or recipe and I quickly step back with my hands thrown in the air insisting I cannot do it.
I have adult children who are guilty of giving up, too - in fact one of them told me recently "If I can't succeed in something at a high level I will stop and move on to something else."
I wonder how many amazing opportunities I've missed?
I wonder how much fun my child has robbed herself of?
Well, the times are a-changin', my friends.
Something I've been avoiding for almost a year, because I don't think I can do it, is drive Mr E's Jeep.
I have a lifetime problem with co-ordination and balance (can't ride a bike, drive a manual car, or close my eyes and stand upright) so I steer away from anything that may require me to tackle these things.
The Jeep is a US import and has a lot of the operational stuff (like indicators) on the left, not the right side of the steering wheel as Australian cars have. This may not seem big to you, but it's huge to me.
And it's kept me out of the drivers seat.
It's also big and a 4WD, and I've never driven an off-road vehicle.
This weekend I'm driving the Jeep.
I may not be great at it, but it's a skill I need in case one day there's no choice but for me to take the wheel. After all, we drive up mountains, over creeks and along forgotten misty tracks. Both of us should be Jeep and 4WD capable, right?
After that I'm going to try free-motion quilting, choux pastry and paper-pieced clam shells.
What haven't you tried because you think you might fail?