Do you ever feel like you are waiting to get that one thing done so you can move on to the next thing? It feels good to cross it off your list, but then there is always another task sitting behind it. There is a bit of dissatisfaction with the unrelenting “to do’s”.

I believe there is a bit of this in all the members of my family. For some, it runs stronger than others. It is what drives them. There are also some perfectionist tendencies in our family. So much so that it is hard for them to relax, to give in to the idea that it is ok to take a break.

My son, for example. He practices the piano for hours every day. He continues to work at it during the break because there are gigs, recitals and auditions for which to prepare. He also read three books, a rare indulgence that I truly enjoyed seeing. I believe everyone needs a break. But a break, for driven, perfectionist personalities can be hard.

I enjoyed my break from sewing over the holidays. I sent my machine to the shop and it still isn’t back because, the sewing machine shop took a well-deserved break! Just when I thought I’d kick it into gear, the deep freeze descended on us and the kids had three days off school. Life, then, became a balance of studying for finals, getting organized, and getting outside. It also included feeling like we were not doing “enough.” Not studying enough, not cleaning enough, not getting outdoors enough…like being in limbo.

So much of life is out of our control. Take our ice rink. We were skating before Christmas but then every last bit of snow and ice melted. We have been waiting to skate and when the arctic air covered us, it still took a week to get the rink back into skating condition. We finally got out last night. We also managed to cross-country ski one night at a local park. As tired as we were to head out on a Friday night, we were so glad that we did. It was a cold, crisp, yet quiet night and we skied under the lighted trails.

As our family of six spent time together this break, we experienced many ups and downs. The highs of the holiday…the fun of gift-giving and getting, family gatherings, fun activities with friends. But we also shared some lows…rejections, tensions, tiredness, slumps, squabbles.

I told my family that my dream is for everyone to be happy at the same time. I know that is an unrealistic dream because that is life – a series of ups and downs.

Thinking about what and how much we want to accomplish, but also being mindful of what can be accomplished is a balancing act. You can become overwhelmed or, every once in a while,  you can feel the wind in your sails.

I am looking forward to whatever 2014 brings. I have some goals that I’ll share next week. I’m organizing my studio and my upcoming custom projects while my sewing machine is getting serviced. I’m hoping to say “no” to survival mode (more on that later). I’m looking forward to two graduations – wow! – and also the planning stages of my niece’s wedding.

Mostly, I look forward to experiencing all that life has to offer – the highs and the lows. But when the wind fills up the sails, I’m going to lift my face,, close my eyes, and let it carry me for a while.