Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The quilt is finally pieced! I finished it up late last night and am so pleased with it. Every time I quilt I am hyper-critical and panicked up until the very last second, then all of a sudden, magically, it seems to come together. I will post a picture of it when it is quilted and bound. Thank you to all of you who had such fabulous ideas for the center square - they made me want to attempt them all! It was Johanna, however, whose idea ended up in the final beautifully captured the sentiment I wanted to communicate. Thanks, Johanna.

I have been on a domestic bender lately. This weekend I cleaned out my pantry to prepare for the high holy days, Baking Season. I made sure my foodstuffs were stocked and organized, took inventory of my spices, and purchased all the staples necessary to whip up fall deliciousness. In an act of rare kitchen meticulousness I even took my baking sheets into the back yard, saturated them with oven-cleaner and scrubbed them down to their original silver complexion.

Monday night I made Martha's polenta with mushrooms, but I didn't plan far enough in advance so we ended up having the mushrooms over soft polenta - I highly recommend it. Last night I made Sara Foster's salad of roasted butternut squash with black-eyed peas and goat cheese. We about licked our plates. And pear crisp. How lucky is Peter?

Does anyone else start to feel a little itchy this time of year? Galadriel is so right about September - I'm always glad to see it come and always glad to see it go, so I can get down to the real business of fall. I've also been doing a little investigating into finding some part-time work. I think it's time - I've really sensed lately that Andrew would benefit from some time out of the house, and even more than that - I would too.

I graduated from midwifery school in May of 2005 and then had Andrew in December, so I never got to really practice. Now as I'm looking for clinic work I often feel a little insecure - partly because I don't have tons of experience, and partly because I've been out of the 'force for a while. What's worse than feeling insecure is feeling desperate. I feel kinda' desperate. Like right now I'm waiting to hear about a position at an STD clinic (don't laugh - I would love the job) and it's making me a little bit of a nervous wreck.

I think when you're not out there, it's hard to have a grasp on the big professional picture. Every suitable job presents itself to me as a singular treasure - it's now or never. But of course that isn't true. I have found, though, that while doing the work of mothering, society's thankless job, I am much more vulnerable to any kind of perceived derision of my professional value. I think that's because on my lowest days of mothering, when I question every judgment, every feeling I'm having, somewhere in the back of my mind I know what I am good at. I know this because, daggumit, NYU told me so! It even gave me honors in it! So when I'm not interviewed, or told that I'm not a great fit for a position, my core competencies - that small reserve of certainty - feel threatened.

My friend Stephanie maintains that it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing; most mothers are just looking for balance. I feel this really acutely much of the reminds me of that old commercial where people walked through their day completely tilted toward one side.

But until I'm balanced in that way, I'm moving forward, finding peace in my home.


domesticgoddess said...

Oh Jill, its beautiful! You did such a lovely job on the piecing. I'd love to see it in person once its all batted and bound.

As for the job thing, don't worry- really. Things will happen as they should and whatever job you end up with you'll be great at it (and I know, I've seen you in action!!). Keeping my fingers crossed for you that the STD gig works out.

by Johanna Brandvik said...

Jill, the quilt is fabulous! It's really fun to see and know how much love is going into it! Congrats on your beautiful work!

I wish you a great job hunt and hope that you find something you absolutely love!

ahna said...

The quilt is so gorgeous! You've done wonderful work. It's so original and obviously full of love - I know that it will be treasured for a long time to come. It's a lovely gift.
Wow. I know exactly what you mean about the work stuff - it's sort of an unexplainable limbo. The people in our lives don't always understand that feeling - partly because we are attempting to redefine ourselves, again. We've been a daughter, a student, a wife, a mother - what everyone else wants of us and what everyone else asks us to be. It takes so much energy to find something that makes us really feel like US. Hang in there. I know that this great, beautiful world will take care of you. You will find exactly where you are supposed to be - the place that will let you be YOU, even while you remain all of those other things as well.
I am sending you all sorts of positive thoughts as this part of your life sorts itself out. It is all going to be worth the wait. :-)

Galadriel Thompson said...

!!!Love the quilt! Just one more for extra measure!

Hey, good luck with the job hunting. You will find that peace and you will find that flow and you will love yourself so much more at the end of this road. Love and hugs.

Shandy said...

This quilt is beautiful! I love the birdies and the color palette.

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

This is lovely!!!