Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Lesson of YOLO [You Only Live Once]

Had lunch with a good friend yesterday and over our meals of quiche and garden salad, I complained bitterly (and in my whiny voice) about my always-frantic schedule.  I'm usually up by 5:00am working on the computer, filling orders or keeping up my bookkeeping responsibilities for my husband's electrical business.  Two hours later, it's time for a quick shower and on to my day job in the city, and then back home that evening where my pattern designs, rug hooking and wool dyeing are waiting, not to mention the laundry, vacuuming, a hungry hubby and two schnauzer dogs.

I have to clarify here that even though I am wantonly complaining, there is no way am I willing to give up my day job.  I believe a gal needs mad money, and besides, it gives me an excuse to buy clothes.

So it happened that a couple evenings ago, I was in the back yard with the hubby going over the measurements for a small shop so I can dye wool this winter without the rain and snow falling on my head.  As Paul concentrated on the measurements for the trusses and roofing materials, I accidentally stretched out on the grass and looked straight up into the blue evening sky.  One minute turned into five as I imagined how luxurious it would be to spend summer evenings in our back yard, prone and comfortable under the shade trees or curled up on the patio swing with a glass of iced tea or vino.

And that's when everything snapped and the sky began falling.  It wasn't that I was tired of the long hours or my busy schedule, because if there's anything I know about myself, it's that I continue to create this type of life because I enjoy it.

I realized in that instant I wasn't tired of hooking rugs or dyeing wool or appliqueing and quilting. No, to the contrary, I spend precious life-hours doing those things because I truly enjoy them.  But I also enjoy Jeeping and four-wheeling and our tiny cabin in the woods, and I would certainly enjoy a few minutes now and then to sit on my patio or dig through my berry garden.

And that's how I ended up at lunch with my friend, enjoying some stolen time finished with hot apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  As I ranted to her about my busy schedule, all the while fidgeting and twisting my hair all over my head, she suddenly stopped me and said, "What do you love?"  In that moment, everything stopped and my mouth dropped open as I pondered her question.  She elaborated, "YOLO.  It means "You-Only-Live-Once."  If you could choose to spend your time doing what you really love, what would it be?"  

So I began to ask myself what kinds of things really ring my bell.  At the top of my list is Jeeping with my hubby, camping, spending weekends at our rustic cabin, wild trips to Las Vegas and working in my flower and berry gardens.  Those things were easy to choose; it has never been hard to decide how to spend my free time.  What has come harder to decide is how to spend my business time.  What things do I really love?  I love designing rug hooking patterns.  And wool applique.  And dyeing wool and creating punch needle designs.  But I don't like getting mired down mailing tons of wool swatches or maintaining mailing lists or dyeing wool at 5:00am in order to meet a self-imposed deadline of releasing six new colors that week.  I can name a million things I do each day that are probably not necessary but somehow feel vaguely important.

So my friends, what kinds of things make you happy?  Play time with your children? Sewing or rug hooking?  Spending time with a good cup of coffee?  Think about things you spend life-hours doing that don't ring your bell, and then ask yourself if they are absolutely necessary and what would happen if you discontinue them.

As for me, I'm going to sit down with a glass of cheap vino this weekend and do as my friend suggests--I'm starting a list of the things I really love and things I don't want to continue.  I'm going to make time for new rug hooking designs and trash some old ideas that I'm not entirely happy with.  I'm going to work in time for my hubby and my berry garden and trips to Las Vegas.  Life is short and precious, and it's time to clear out the cobwebs and make time for things that matter.

As my friend says, "Remember YOLO."       --xoxo, Melanie


  1. Awesome! Thanks for the pep talk this morning! I'll be writing a list this weekend... That quote you have here is so true... "where your mind wanders"...

    1. Hi again Moosecraft! Thanks for commenting. I'm headed to the mountains now with my little bottle of vino and my list. I'll think of you while I'm working. :) --Melanie