I was tidying up around my house yesterday, a typical Sunday activity. Earlier in the week, I had purchased a wall calendar for my daughter. It had come inside a protective envelope of sorts, made of a linen cardstock. The envelope featured an enlarged image from the calendar, and Jade had put it with the recycling. It caught my eye as I gathered the piles to take to take out to our trash bins.

In the span of about five minutes, I had turned the sturdy illustration into the front and back cover of a small paper notebook, which I had stitched blank pages into with a bit of scrap pearled cotton, much to the delight of my little big girl.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an affinity toward making things with my hands. I taught myself how to cross stitch when I was seven years old by requesting supples and a book of patterns for Christmas and taking it from there. A self-guided chef, I prefer to make as much as I can from scratch. Tonight’s dinner included homemade salad dressing, garlic honey butter, and soup made with the stock I’ve been simmering since yesterday. (The honey came from my son’s beehive!) One of my goals for this year is to learn to make my own clothing by attempting to create one new garment a month. Last month, I made a pair of pants which I have worn at least twice a week since snipping the last threads from my sewing machine.

I’m insanely fortunate that my day-job is centered around working with my hands, and inspiring young children to work with theirs. When I became the full-time Handwork teacher, a part of me was worried that because I’d be working on so many school-related projects throughout the year, I would not have enough time or energy to devote to my own personal projects. In reality, the opposite is true. I have been more prolific in the eight months since assuming this new position than I have in years.

Earlier today, as I was preparing for my first class of the day – soft sculpture sewing with sixth grade students – it occurred to me that maybe this is what it feels like to have a career. Not just a job, or work, but a profession which is also a passion. It’s a sweet, sweet gig and I’m loving every single second.

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