Who You Want To Be

It’s always funny to me how a post starts on one blog, then someone else adds their thoughts and then someone else and first thing you know, every blog I’m reading is talking about the same thing. And, it’s kinda funny how I start out writing one blog entry and it turns into a thesis!

Amy had this post on her blog earlier this week. Vicky has this post today. It started with this quote from Be*Mused:

‘This is not who you are but who you want to be.’

I read on this blog that it’s a quote from Peter Walsh. I also found a book on Amazon entitled “It’s Not How Good You Are, But How Good You Want To Be“.

When I really think about it, I’m not sure I really know who I want to be! I do . . but I don’t! I guess at 53, I’m pretty much going to be that person at the end of this road I’m traveling. It’s so easy to just float along, doing whatever comes easy. . just caught up in the routine of day to day activities. I find that it takes a lot of effort to change. It’s kinda like going on vacation. I could just get in the car and go to who knows where . . and that seems to be kinda the way I live my life. Or, I could sit down with a map or trip planner of some kind, plan the route, make hotel reservations along the way, plan the restaurants I want to visit while on vacation and have a definite plan. That’s not so much how I live my life.

If I could do anything I want to do as far as how I live my life, I’d find about 40 acres in the woods somewhere. I’d clear out enough to have a house and a really big garden. I’d have some chickens and some goats. But that will never work for several reasons:

  • Vince has no desire to live out in the woods. Yard work, which would also involve chicken coops, fencing, etc. is something he’ll never be interested in doing.
  • I’m a big chicken. If Vince were out of town, I’d be scared to death after dark if I didn’t have neighbors and street lights. Big dogs and burglar alarms don’t help .. I’m just a real fraidy cat.
  • I don’t like to sweat! Having a big garden sounds fun and I do good til the weeds take over. Planting is fun . . it’s still kinda cool when it’s time to plant. Getting those first few veggies are fun . . nothing like home grown veggies. But then . . all of a sudden, there are beans, and tomatoes, and peppers, and squash, and it all starts coming in at once and I’m having to weed and water and prune and can and by now it’s HOT and it’s work and not fun any more and I lose interest.
  • I’m not much on getting up early. Real farmers have to wake up early and go to bed early. I hate going to bed and I hate getting up. Maybe if I had to do it, I’d be out weeding at daylight . . maybe not!

As far as this wish, I’ll just have to be happy to have a backyard garden when I can and I’m sure I’ll never own a chicken or a goat.


This is a picture of my little garden at the house in town in Kentucky a couple of years ago. I strung this netting around everything to keep the Japanese Beetles from eating the plants. Think my grandparents would marvel at my gardening techniques? πŸ™‚

Yesterday I spent an hour or more online looking at farms in our area for sale. It’s one of those things Vince and I both would have to to want to do and both be committed to doing and that’s not where we are. He wants to live on the water . . like a nice size river but not in one of those waterfront developments. Eventually maybe we’ll find a good size chunk of land along a non-flooding river! πŸ™‚

Maybe that’s not a life that I was supposed to live. Maybe I just remember the days of being at my grandparents’ home where there was a huge garden and chickens and cows and a horse or two and sometimes pigs. Those were fun days for me.

Another thing that I had wanted to do for the past several years is the wheat/mill thing and I just never did it. I went back to my old blog and found a post from June, 06 where I was talking about wanting to mill my own flour. As you know, I ordered the wheat berries and mill this week so now I’m going to do that.

Other than wishing I lived on a farm, I’d have to say that I’m pretty much living the life that’s perfect for me.

While I’m surely not one to give advice (don’t tell Chad I said that!), here are a few things that might help someone else.

  • Think about what you want to be/do and write those things down. Keep those goals in the forefront . . every day. Opportunities that you may not even think are related may eventually lead you to attaining your goals.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a chance. I’m not talking about betting the family farm or going into debt but stick your head out on that chopping block some time.
  • Listen to that little voice in your head. If you believe in God, and I do, then it’s pretty easy to trust that you’re being guided by a higher power. I think we don’t listen to the little voice often enough and sometimes I look back and realize I should have followed my instinct and an opportunity has been missed.

Because quilting is such a vital part of my life, I’m going to share these stories with you about where I used the above things and it made a huge difference in my life.

  1. Most of you have read my story about how I got my first longarm. Having my longarm was not something I’d ever dreamed of doing or had on my radar for my future. It happened purely out of circumstances and I acted on those circumstances. Having a longarm has changed my life! I’ve met wonderful people. I’ve been able to stay at home and was able to be home when Chad needed me, when he got home from school, have meals prepared when Vince gets home from work, etc. While I probably wouldn’t want to support myself from the income made from longarm quilting, I have made enough in the past to pay for my quilting travels to shows and retreats, and I’ve saved enough to pay for Chad’s college (I think!). The way college costs are going up, I may only have enough to pay for half of Chad’s college! πŸ™ If I had never taken a chance on buying that first machine, and then upgrading, and then upgrading again, I don’t even know if I’d still be quilting today. No way was I ever going to quilt all my tops on my sewing machine!
  2. When I enter my quilts in shows, I never truly think I have a Best of Show. I’ve seen Sharon Schamber’s quilts and I don’t even feel my quilts are worthy to be in the same show as her quilts and the other fantastic winning quilts we see at shows! But, I can get a quilt in a show and I love seeing my quilts hanging in shows. When I entered Fall Splendor at the AQS Expo in Nashville in 2004, I never thought it would win but I could have two quilts in the show and I had already entered The Glistening Rose Garden. In 2004, Nashville had four categories and each category had a Best of Category winner and there were no Best of Show winners then. The Best of Category winner got a hefty paycheck. Fall Splendor won Best of Category and that gave me the funds I needed to upgrade to the APQS Millennium which I had wanted for years. If I had never entered that quilt, it would never have won!
  3. For a couple of years, I hosted a retreat at Paducah in June. One year I had taken The Glistening Rose Garden quilt to AQS to be photographed for Bonnie Browning’s Book, Borders & Finishing Touches 2. I mentioned to Bonnie that we were having a retreat out at the state park . . come see us if you have time. I never thought she would come! Do you know who she is? She’s the Director for all the AQS shows and she’s been on Simply Quilts and she’s written 100 books (maybe not quite that many) but she’s like a Super Hero in the quilting world. She came! She just dropped by out of the clear blue. Those 25 or so ladies at the retreat were thrilled. They didn’t say it but I know they thought I was a fantastic retreat leader! πŸ™‚ Bonnie walked around and talked to everyone — every single person in there got a few minutes of one on one time with Bonnie. Several people in the group just happened to be working on a Twisted Log Cabin that Bonnie had shown on Simply Quilts. They had no idea she was coming and that was really funny for so many of them to be working on her project. She gave them some tips and pointers. A couple of them were working on one of my patterns and Bonnie asked me if I had other designs. She went back to my room with me and I showed her some of the quilts I had designed and she asked me if I’d ever thought of submitting a book proposal. Hmmm . . . I went home and had my proposal done and in the mail within a week or so and that’s how Nine Patch Extravaganza came to be.

So, my unsolicited advice – think about what/who you want to be and start today taking steps to become that person!


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    WOW not sure how I ended up here BUT I will say at first I was thinking hey she and her husband have drempt of a farm too… THEN I read about ouru quilts oh man IF ONLY I….. have a great weeeknd and thank you for sharing nice to meet you.

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    Linda H says

    Hi Judy,
    Very inspiring post! So true. Sometimes, we think of the big step to get from here to where we dream of being–too big, it’ll never happen. But really, it is a series of small steps. One thing leads to another and another.
    You have a lot things going on your blog! I enjoy reading what you are up to!

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    Hi Judy!

    Thank you for your inspiring post. Somehow we all get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and forget the dreams we had as children. This is a wonderful reminder to all of us to pursue those dreams!! Farms are fun…and gardens too!

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    Hi Judy:
    Someone e-mailed the story about me visiting your retreat. Thanks for the great plug…since I spend a lot of time behind a computer and supervising our show staff, believe me, it is always fun for me to be out there with the quilters. I travel to teach a few times a year so that I can be in the classroom with quilters. We learn so much from one another. If you have another retreat here, please let me know so I can spend more time there. I know my last visit wasn’t very long, but then it was a spur of the moment thing. Thanks for sharing your story about how you submitted your book proposal. For those of you who are reading Judy’s blog, if you have an idea, don’t hesitate to call me or one of our book editors to brainstorm about your idea. It all starts with an idea.

    From Paducah — Bonnie Browning

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    I had to laugh about you not liking to sweat. I could have written that comment because it is exactly what happens to me. I love to get a garden planned, ready and planted. The first snow peas are always wonderful. Then it gets hot, the weeds start to take over and the bugs bite me when I go out to pick my veggies. I usually end up tilling a lot back into the garden at the end of the season and calling it compost. :cD

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    I did the whole farm thing in another life and you’re welcome to it. I much prefer being a city girl.

    You make some good points in your post. I think it helps to realize we’re all where we are today because of decisions we made along the way. I’ve made bad ones and I’ve made good ones. Right now I’m reaping the benefits of the good decisions.

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    I love this, Judy!

    I have met Bonnie Browning, too. She was a guest speaker at one of our times the guild hosted Quilters Day Out. I think it was 1998. She is a sweet person, and very encouraging. I see her running around at the quilt shows, and being Quilt Show Chairperson for our guild this year and two other years, I don’t know how she does it on such a large scale!

    Congratulations on all your success. You deserve it.

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    I always think that my thoughts will bring me what I focus on. Imagine that it is already yours and you are enjoying it. If you need help with that Kentucky farm let me know. I have unlimited resourses in finding one. Many of my clients are coming here from other states just to retire and own a KY horse farm. Last week I worked with a sweet couple from Vermont for 2 days all over Central Kentucky. This week couples from TN, WI and Fl. I can see why they want to be here. It is the Horse Capitol of the World!


    P.S. Love the quilts. I have my Granny’s oak quilting frame. I miss quilting with her in the dining room.

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    Betty J in OKC says

    I *totally* understand about dreams vs. reality. I’d dreamed that I’d have 4 kids and a wonderful DH and a house by the yr 2000. I *did* get the house, not a ranch like I’d envisioned. Oh well, one out of three isn’t bad. I never dreamed that I’d be a FT caretaker for my Mom, who’s brain is being eaten up by Dementia. Quilting helps keep me sane. I’ve been quilting since I was 17/18.

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    Lots to comment about but I will stick to the ‘goat/farm’ wishing. A farm is a wonderful place for children to grow up (I did) but it was VERY hard work for my parents, and DIRTY, and when I look back with love at the old photos, it really was SHABBY looking with all the dirt. Oh yes, the goats … did you know that goats eat all your flowers, gardens, little fruit trees, etc. They are delightful personalities, but unless you are fully prepared and can KEEP them contained ALWAYS, all young green things, including your garden that you have sweated over for months, ‘go away.’ Farms also don’t have a lot of sidewalks, and water pumps quit, and septic fields don’t drain, yuk, and fields flood, and old farmhouses and barns are fire traps, and all sorts of people come to your ‘farm’ and think it’s a wonderful play area, and your insurance is very high, and you have to do SOMETHING with those chickens that looked so cute when they were little, and sometimes there are animals to slaughter, (HIDE) and the loose animals poop all over the property. And if cattle/horses get out of the fence on the road (because visitors left gates open) and cause an accident, you are sued. Hah, a reality check .

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    It’s all so true that many wonderful things can happen if you just take a chance. BTW my husband is also from Lake Charles (and is also named Vince). Thanks for your thoughtful post!