Earlier this afternoon I found myself hanging over a porch railing with a staple gun, cussing at a holiday garland. It seemed no matter how I positioned the gun it refused to catch the end of the garland and secure it to the post. “Is this really worth it?” I hissed, “I mean, who do I think I am – Martha Stewart?”
Ironically, Martha Stewart made a career of home making. But I never wanted a career. In high school I toyed with the idea of becoming a graphic artist but that didn’t happen. In lieu of college I took off across the country with my thumb in the air.
I loved messing with horses but didn’t aspire to reach the Olympics. I was content to know I could take my faithful horse, Jesse to the mountains and place his feet precisely where they needed to be lest we tumble off a narrow bridge or shale ledge. I read countless books and we practiced dressage for hours in arenas, fields and pastures. By the time he was six I had a couple thousand hours in his training and yet we never stepped foot in a show ring.
Joy of Cooking taught me how to cook in the 70’s and Raquel Welch how to stay fit in the 80’s. I happily drew and wrote for myself, no audience required. I found competition unnerving and avoided situations requiring panty hose. Obviously, I wasn’t career material.
Instead, I made a career of living well. I chose order over chaos, fresh air to board rooms and routine over novelty. You could say I was a slacker or lacking in vision but I’ve chosen a lifestyle that suits me.
Happily, Bob is on the same page. He appreciates the restaurant quality meals night after night, nestled in our comfy chairs watching Netflix. We get excited about tackling a new yard project and line-dried bed sheets, sourdough pancakes and a walk in the woods. “We’ve become my Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Hank,” he says, “Set in our ways.”
Bob has never pressured me to get a “real job” preferring to shoulder that burden himself. I’m extremely grateful for the life we have put together for ourselves and find it challenging enough, what with uncooperative garlands.
I think you get the picture so I won’t belabor my point. Besides, it’s time for me to get in the kitchen. Those Christmas cookies aren’t going to make themselves and neither is that pot of borscht!