Monday, June 16, 2014

When in Doubt, Sew an Apron

I've been going through a sort of existential crisis--since before Christmas actually.  It's just the same question that plagues everybody at some point: what am I doing with my life?  There are basically two philosophies about finding fulfillment in life:
  1. Do whatever to earn your living and find fulfillment outside of the workplace
  2. Don't sell out; follow your dream. (For the record, I hate the term "follow your dream" but can't come up with a decent substitute.)
There's merit to both of these philosophies.  I don't think there's anything wrong with working in a job purely for the income and following your dream in your free time.  On the other hand, if you can create a career out of doing what you love, then you are truly blessed.  The problem starts either when your day job is so stressful and soul-destroying that you can't enjoy life at all, or when the activity you love simply can't generate a sufficient income. 

I've been thinking a lot about what I would like to be doing if there wasn't this annoying need for money, and this is what I came up with.
  • Travel writer.  Just send me around the world and I'll write a book about it, I promise.  All I need to get started is a patron, or a big win at the lottery. 
  • Return to Cape Town, research local recipes and write a cook book for Americans.
  • Urban farmer.  With some beehives, chickens, a couple of goats and and some very efficient vegetable beds, we could probably turn our property into an urban farm.  It would mean an enormous amount of work, which is fine, except that I hate hate hate gardening. 
  • Rural farmer.  Just chuck it all and move to Nebraska or Wisconsin and raise sheep and goats and be a sort of midwestern Tasha Tudor.
  • Baker.  I love to bake and I'm actually good at it.  Unfortunately the local market is saturated with bakers.
  • Potter.  I've never thrown so much as an ash tray, but I have a feeling this is something I would enjoy and possibly even have a talent for.  I'm contemplating taking a class to see if my feeling is correct.
I feel like I'm right at the point of discovering the answer.  If I could just sit quietly for a moment and, it might come to me.

Meanwhile, I made this apron.  I KNOW it's totally hokey and Holly Hobbie, and the pocket is not aesthetically pleasing, but it is my first attempt at sewing (other than the couch covers) in YEARS and it's made entirely from scraps I had on hand.  I got the basic construction from a book, (A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu)  but the pattern mixing is totally mine.

If you could do anything, what would you do.


  1. Totally adorable! I love a good apron. Yes, take that pottery class. Sign up now.

  2. I'd work in a bookstore. But that's as silly a dream as becoming a blacksmith, isn't it?
    I could see you as a travel writer. You'd be SO GOOD at it.

  3. Travel writer does sound like a good one for you --I've certainly enjoyed your posts from your travels.

    I'm having trouble seeing how urban or rural farmer made your list if you hate gardening? :-)

    I'm one of those lucky ones who ended up in a career that is my passion. I love teaching --I don't plan to retire until forever. I like my hobbies, which include making art and gardening, but I wouldn't want them as jobs. Teaching is it.

  4. I love the apron! That looks like it took quite a lot of sewing, what with all the lacy frills.

    If I could do anything, what would I do? Oy, I don't know how to answer.

  5. The apron is great. Nice work.

    If I could do anything... Well, I don't know. That's the problem I'm having these days What do I want to do and who do I want to be?