excellence

Dear Ruthi,

I came home from our meeting, sat in front of these earrings for a long time, and thought about your questions around excellence. I thought about clouds and chasing them. I thought about pillars of fire and burning passion. The thoughts took me many places, and no where at all.

It’s so much easier to say what excellence doesn’t feel like.

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It doesn’t feel like these 28 singleton earrings, or my carelessness, or this other used-to-be of mine, or how I can’t seem to throw them out, or the bin of socks, gloves and tupperware all missing their matches. But it does feel like the sorting, purging and cleaning of these areas, and one less mess, and one step closer to using the pairs I have.

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It doesn’t feel like the bike helmet I drove over and crushed while exiting the garage this morning, nor like the lunch thermos left on the counter to be dropped off on route to our meeting. But it does feel like getting all our helmets sorted and sized and hung accessibly, and like feeding the kids chicken noodle soup for lunch as a treat using leftovers.

It doesn’t feel like this mornings meeting and the weirdness I brought to it. But it does feel like the kindness and concern of a follow up call and text, and how amazing I think you both are, how honest I can be with both of you, and making a bit of progress to the heart of the matter.

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It doesn’t feel like this massive spill of hot chocolate I made not once, but twice today, nor sending the kids to school in runners and sweaters to have them come home in the snow. But it does feel like homemade hot cocoa with two big puffy marshmallows served in Grandma’s Christmas mugs with muffins as an after school treat.

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It doesn’t feel like saying yes to a candy hat (what was I thinking?) or leaving crazy hat day to the very last minute, again. But it does feel like making it happen, offering them help while at the same time stepping back to let them exercise their creative muscles and take some ownership, and all three kids having hats they’re happy with and very little work on my part.

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It doesn’t feel like this pastel pear of mine or all my bad feelings around artistry or my need for encouragement to create anything. But it does feel like getting back to art lessons after six weeks and to be reminded of how much I love to create and how amazing Rachel is, and all the laughs and silliness, and stretching, and special words and stories shared.

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It doesn’t feel like the state of my studio. But it does feel like the promise of making headway tomorrow and the dream of an “after” photo.

It doesn’t feel like this sleepy two hours of sitting here without anything to say while all three kids make there way down here two times each, well after bedtime, undoubtedly just to drive me crazy. But it does feel like reading them a bedtime story for the first time in AGES, and although snapping off at them on most of the late visits, ending each one with good nights and love yous.

Good night and I love you,

Jules

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