October 7th


To be baby clothes

For a couple baby girls on the way


I am newly in love with an acoustic group called “Bonobo” — yes, like the monkeys who define aggressively sexual behavior. The group is so very good and I’ve found I’m working at a different pace as they play along each morning. I am also enjoying another new music recommendation — Zoe Keating. Have you heard of her? She plays the cello with a balance of grace and fervor. For Pandora listeners, they’ll come up on the same queue. You can thank me later.

I’ve been struggling a bit lately with loyalty and commitments. Not to those I love — those rules are simple  — but to community responsibility and work. I’ve over-committed in a few areas and decided to end projects that simply weren’t working. The community gardening with the high school kids? Not happening any longer. There was a disagreement with other leadership at the school and I just didn’t have the energy to fight for a project I hadn’t asked to do. Secondly, the SOF group is no longer. I tried stoking the fires at my church and with my friends to talk about faith; ultimately I need to realize that while this is important to me, it isn’t to 90% of my social circle. They are smiling through my requests, but truly not interested. We have different passions and I should appreciate everyone isn’t excited about the same cup of tea, so to speak.

It is hard for me to cut ties. While I say I’m black and white, really most of my priorities remain in a silvery gray mess that keeps me wondering whether I should really give it my all, or walk away. Saying goodbye to both of these projects felt freeing. With people, those lines are a bit more difficult. I’m subject to staying in bad friendships and relationships because I pride loyalty over self-contentment. I think being true to your commitments is far more important than being on a quest for what’s right. For the most part, this dedication to fidelity has worked in my favor.

{And if nothing else, it gives me a great soapbox from which to yell at douchebaggy friends who cheat. There is nothing like a side of moral superiority and a dash of cynicism with your morning coffee.}*

Have you ever felt like you need to stick with a relationship, friendship, job or a commitment even though it wasn’t in your best interest? How did you handle it? Did you ever move on too hastily and then wonder what fueled your burst of impertinence?

Lots of heavy pondering for a Wednesday morning — one that started with a line up of sweet new sewing supplies and a great run with Salty. He has a way of getting me thinking.


*I stuck up for David Letterman this week in complete contrast to what I’ve written. I guess I’d hoped this affairs had happened before he was married or in a relationship with his wife.I also hope not to know the intimate details of the lives of others.

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18 Responses

  1. Great topic, Kel. I used to stay in unhealthy relationships–no more! In grad school, I became great friends with a really cool gal, and we talked about the importance of “cleaning house.” We realized what a difference it makes to surround ourselves with positive people who are healthy for us. I realized that some of my friendshps were only maintained because of my commitment. And, when I stopped reaching out, I didn’t hear from them. But, it was freeing to not work so hard to maintain those relationships. I could then spend time and energy enjoying the company of my good friends and family who did recpiprocate and provide a mutually beneficial relationship. It was hard to do initially, but it felt so good once I made that decision.

  2. Oh, this is just so appropriate for everything going on right now. I struggle ALL THE TIME with overstretching myself, and I’ve had serious issues in the past severing ties with people and things that are far too draining and no longer fulfilling. At the end of the day, your happiness is what matters – it’s what allows you to be a whole person to give to others. Take care of yourself first and everyone else will benefit, because they will see and be inspired by your happiness.


  3. Good for you for ending projects that didn’t have wings — I know that feeling of liberation when you let something like that go! Such sweet onesies by the way!

  4. Jori Brown October 7, 2009

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto! Couldn’t have said any of it better myself! 🙂

  5. Yes, I know what you mean. As the number of chapters in my life increases there are friends who do not necessarily make the transition to my next life. Some friends I really wish lived closer so we could see each other more frequently. Some I exchange holiday cards and birthday cards with once a year and that is ok. Some of the more possibly negative friendships were with boyfriends who were not working out, for one reason or another. I felt a tremendous self-imposed pressure to learn to accept their imperfections as presumably they accepted mine. But, I think I may have gone too far sometimes in trying to accept. I think it is ok to NOT accept sometimes and move on. I think about this topic a lot because I have friends all over the world. I could go on an on too but I won’t. I’ll just say “nice post, Kelli.”

  6. Think of how boring your life would be if you did the same activities, year in and out, for the rest of your life. Change is part of this process, and sometimes that change is painful. But it makes you grow, and you learn from each experience. It’s ok to give up on certain projects because they aren’t working out. It doesn’t make you a failure.

  7. Um, you must only look to my pre-husband relationships to see that I tend to hold on to relationships well past their due.

    I’m a sucker for commitment, too – never wanting to have anyone feel like I stiffed them or didn’t do something I said I was going to do.

    That said, I’ve had to give myself a break on all the stuff that I told myself I was going to do, while not committing to anyone else, and just didn’t have a chance to accomplish. Like not handmaking a gift because I just didn’t have the time or making a call that I just didn’t have the desire to make – even though I told myself I would.

    I just remind myself – quality over quantity is better for everyone.

  8. Do I ever! I feel immense guilt for not participating regularly (or at all) in the craft along this year. Especially since I had so much fun last year. I also want to break up with my book club. Want to so bad. But i can’t figure out how to do it. I actually had to write out an exit plan for it. I don’t see myself severing ties until January. I’m pathetic. Glad to see I’m in good company.

  9. I’m a big believer in following the 4 Agreements. one of which is “Be Impeccable with your word”. That was tested this year when one of my closest friends had an affair with my brother in law. I felt like it would be tough to continue the friendship with someone who had no boundaries. I tried talking to her but never heard what I wanted. My closest friend was struggling to like this other friend also so that fed my discontent. But time passed and now we are trying to work it out. I don’t know what that means. I know I stayed in a marriage even though I knew he was cheating many times over. I struggle with knowing if the problem is my self esteem or belief I can overcome everything. Wow the energy I could have put elsewhere. Good luck

  10. The best I can say is to honor what feels right to you. When I follow my heart and intuition, I am never wrong. It is only when propelled by guilt or duty that I have suffered.

  11. Ending projects that don’t have wings- what she said. Love the wording too. Sometimes it is just necessary to cut branches that don’t grow fruit in order to use the time you are given to the best of your ability. 🙂

    Best of luck with your new freedom.

    Oh and love that flower fabric. Loving my little boxie that is in that cute cute fabric. 🙂

  12. Thanks for making your friends think. I’m so bad at ending things when they seem such a futile effort. I like what Trish said about “cut branches that don’t grow fruit.” I’ll take that another step and say whenever I prune the trees, or bushes, at the house they always grow taller and more lush. Sometimes the things that weight us down are the things keeping us from growing and producing much more. Now if I could just take this advice.

  13. I usually ask myself this question “Does this relationship is worth my time and energy? Do I need this in my life or does this person need me?” If the answer is “no” I let it go, life is too short and difficult in itself to waste time and energies in something that has no future.

  14. This post came in handy today… Trying to make some decisions myself about a frienship. The fabrics are sweet to look at.

  15. Hey! Are you living my life right now?! Man, I stuck up for David Letterman under the same hope too. Also because I am disgusted that this is news on his show or any other. He is not a politician making policy choices for anyone. He is not a religious leader. I so do not want to care. But, I can’t help but be disappointed in some way anyway. Rats. As for the over commitment issues, these are common and pesky problems for can do people. Glad you felt freed up. Can’t say I am surprised about the garden thing with the teens. Red tape and bad leadership is choking public school right now. I hate to say it because for a long time I have stuck my neck out to defend them too. Good news! It’s almost Friday. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

  16. In my personal life, I have an easier time letting people and projects go. It’s at work that I have difficulty knowing when to move on, how to balance my sanity with functional behavior and “good customer service” and legal mandates. Sigh. Life is complicated and so are people, and maybe one day I’ll have it figured out a little better. Meanwhile, it helps me to know I’m not alone in trying to figure it out.

  17. I have had the same group of friends since elementary school, we went to jr high and high school together. They are my family. I picked up a couple of girls in college and another in grad school. These are my people. I’ve made lots of friends. I’ve kept in touch with them through holiday cards mostly. Facebook has been great at maintaing connections too. When they contact me and want to hook up, it all depends on how that makes me feel. If it feels like it’s going to be a chore, I don’t do it. I fairly easily let go of things. The one I agonized over was my marriage. And I suppose that’s how it is for most people in “bad” relationships. It wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t getting anything out of it. When we agreed to separate, I felt so liberated! 6 months later, I felt like I was ready to try again. However, he’d moved on. Within 1 month of separation he had a girlfriend. I was not, am not, crushed. It already wasn’t working. i wanted him to leave and he left. You’ve just got to live with the decisions you make and not agonize over the ‘what-ifs’ later. If thinking about cutting things out is agonizing, think about what it will feel like when those things are gone, and work off of that.

  18. I am SO bad about staying in toxic relationships. Friendships and work, especially. Ugh. It is something I am trying to fix in myself.