Monday, April 19, 2010

Pop Goes the Weasel Gets Philosophical

I just noticed these lyrics to "Pop Goes the Weasel:"

You may try to sew and sew
And never make anything regal
So roll it up and let it go
Pop -- goes the weasel!

I love it. It's another way of saying, "Take it easy on yourself!" which is one of my life philosophies.

Lest ye think I am a total slacker, there are areas in which I'm highly driven: mainly my writing, which is why, after I took a summer writing course, my husband (then-boyfriend) said, "Do you promise never to take another class again?" because I was so obsessive about my researching, writing, and revising. I'd stay up til 1am, completely immersed in it, then get up at 6am to ger ready to drive to Fairfield. I loved every second of that physically and emotionally tiring class.

Teaching, I work hard at, but it's an art in which going for perfection is a BAD idea since it involves the precious little souls of kids. For that, I say, Set extremely high standards, give them tons of attention and feedback, then roll it up and let it go. Same for parenting: Give it your all, then roll it up and let it go. You cannot control another person. You can just give them your best.

Caption: my friends sewing and knitting while I organize my iPhoto on our Woodstock Crafting Weekend, Winter 2007. Did I care that I can't craft? Nope, I rolled it up and let it go and did not compare myself to other (craftier) people. Note: my hair is NOT this long any more.

I absolutely adore music- always have. I used to sing in a 100+ person chorus until voice problems forced me to stop (and to take a year off of teaching, but that's another story). The people in this chorus were so good that I was pretty much the worst person even though I'm decent. Anyway, I'm happy the kid is at an age where I can tell he enjoys music, so I've created a "Q mix" for him on the iPod with all of the good songs from the CDs I downloaded from my sister a couple of years ago- the sister with three kids- so I have loads of great music to play for him- and me-, including several version of "Pop Goes the Weasel."

You can try to sew and sew...

Take it easy on yourself. That's the advice I gave today to a colleague who's returning from her maternity leave and is going to pump at work... set the standard you want for youself, and then take it easy on yourself. Hard-working people often don't enjoy themselves like they should, because while it's great to set high standards, you also have to enjoy life, and sometimes that means doing a little less amazing job than you'd like. Now that I have limited time for my writing, I've had to force myself to set lower standards. It's hard, but I'd never publish a darn thing unless I gave myself permission to just do a good enough job.

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