Editor’s note: I skipped a post. I will get back to light.
As I was sitting here getting ready for bed after a long day, I was thinking how it was a good long day. The laundry isn’t done. The kitchen floor is still dirty. My room is a mess and will likely remain that way until Christmas break.
But the tree is in the house. Santa burner covers now grace my relatively clean stove. And a red stained glass star is hanging in my bedroom window.
More importantly, I made stuff today.
As I started cleaning the kitchen I remembered how I really wanted to get my soap-making stuff put away but before I could do that I wanted to make one more batch of soap–this time with some Christmas-y scents–before Christmas. I almost talked myself out of it, knowing it won’t be cured before Christmas, but decided to just make myself do it. And now the woodsy, minty, candy-y, cranberry chutney-y sample scents sent with prior orders from Bramble Berry are curing even as I type. I also made a tray of gingerbread. All to give away.
Next I finally got around to making glycerin soaps in dinosaur molds for James. I colored them purple, a la Barney, and scented them with kumquat. While not my favorite in the shower, glycerin soaps are fun because they set almost immediately and I will be able to present them to James when he comes for dinner tomorrow.
Finally, I tracked down some vodka–for my first time trying homemade vanilla extract. I had to be selective about whom I dared ask–as I didn’t have vanilla beans enough for a full batch and did not want to purchase an entire bottle for just 6 ounces. I took a little ribbing from my friend Jane about the bishop’s wife asking to borrow vodka. But my courage to ask resulted in a nice visit with Jane and her mother who has dementia (that is a story in and of itself, but it is Jane’s to tell, not mine), the gift of the new star, and 6 oz. of vodka, so all is well.
I was excited to find I had enough beans purchased before the prices shot sky high to make a small batch and now a small jam jar is neatly tucked away in the cool, dark of my sock drawer, and I still have half a bean left over for a couple of batches of my favorite vanilla pudding recipe. I hope I remember to shake it as often as I’m supposed to. I also hope I can be patient for the six months it allegedly takes to get a really good strength flavor. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In any case, I was reflecting on said day and how satisfying it is to make things and I was thinking how I needed my weekends to not all be spent cleaning and catching up because I feel the need to create. And then it struck me, my work during the week–my job–is to create.
I don’t know why I don’t always see it that way. Do I somehow perceive creating for a salary cheapens the creation? I generally enjoy so much autonomy in my work it’s not like it actually feels like work. Is it because no one sees it? (Well, people see it, but generally not people who know me.) That gives me something to chew on for awhile.
In any case, I realized as I was sitting here that I do have something to show for my efforts. This video showcases the work of my primary client–UFRA. I wrote the script and managed the project.
In short, this is what I do for my paid work. I work with great people who make a difference. And I love what I get paid to do:
[Day 205 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]