|The quote is by Walter Bagehot, but I have no idea who to give credit to for the creation of this graphic...|
I've searched and searched. I love it though.
The best way to get me to attempt something and to put my whole soul into it is to tell me that I am not able to do it or that it can't be done. "Home school students fall behind in their education and have no social skills." "No one succeeds without a high school diploma." "No one can finish that burrito in one sitting." "No one can scare me." Those were each statements that have been said to me over time, and for some reason my brain hears things like that as personal challenges and something in me must prove them wrong. So I did. If we limit ourselves to only what other people think we're capable of we miss out on so much of life. Don't be afraid to think beyond the normal or to reach beyond your normal grasp.
Where am I going with this? Our Christmas Tree. I was in line at the grocery store and I overheard the conversation the two women behind me were having.
Woman: "We really want to put up a tree this year, but we just can't afford one right now."
Friend: "I know! They are all so expensive."
I felt compelled to butt in..."You can get a free permit from the Forest Service to go cut your own Pinon Pine tree."
Woman: "Yeah, but then you have to buy a tree stand and we can't even afford that. Besides, we don't have a truck to haul the tree in."
Me: "Just find a bucket to put the tree in and then stabilize the tree by putting rocks in the bucket around the trunk. And we have a Geo Metro...we just tie the tree to the top. It's a lot of fun, your kids would love it."
Friend: "That just won't work. Those roads are too bad for a little car and I'm sure the bucket would tip over."
I saw at this point that the woman was convinced by her friend. so I just wished them a Merry Christmas and that was the end of it...I wasn't going to argue about Christmas Trees. But it made me sad that the woman was going to miss out on such a fun part of Christmas because she had been easily convinced that she couldn't do something that I knew could be done.
Last year was our first Christmas by ourselves and we wanted to put up a tree (more than just the little 2 foot table tree left over from our tiny UofA apartment days), but we didn't have the money to just go buy a tree. Luckily my mother jumped in and told us about the free tree permits. We were all over that with the one simple word: free. We went and got our permit the next day and then headed to the grocery store where we ran into some people we knew from church. We excitedly told them about getting the tree permit and they said, "Who's truck are you going to use? There's no way your little car is going to make it!" We just laughed and said we'd manage. Proving people wrong about our little car is one of our favorite things. Why? We drive a Geo Metro. You know...the little clown cars that run on hamster power rather than horse power. We love our little car and it has served us well over the years.
So the next day we bundled up, grabbed our saw and rope and drove up the snowy roads into the mountains. We passed truck after truck pulled off the road, surrounded by families hauling in their trees. They gave us funny looks, but we pushed on. We went as far up the mountain as we safely could, away from where most people get their trees...so we knew we'd have a better chance of finding the "perfect" tree, and started tromping around. Cameron finally found the tree, cut it down, slapped the permit sticker on it, and we tied it to the top of the car.
|He likes making faces when I'm taking pictures...don't most people?|
We loved looking at everyone's faces as we came back down the mountain in our tiny car with a tree tied to the top.
We got home and went to put the tree up and realized that we had completely forgotten to buy a tree stand. Not wanting to make another trip out (especially as the store is 1/2 an hour away) we got looking around the house and yard. I found an old wooden planter bucket and had Cameron gather some bricks from our fire ring and we went to work. We stacked the bricks in as tight as we could, poured gravel out of the driveway into the cracks, and then stacked more bricks on top to hide the gravel. That tree would not budge...it wasn't going anywhere. It wasn't conventional, but we loved it. It gave such a fun look to the tree. I know there are some that will look at it right now and cringe...but we're okay with that. We love it and that's good enough for us. Everyone doesn't have to share the same likes and dislikes.
It's amazing even after you do something that people tell you it can't be done. We had friends laugh that we were going to go cut a tree in our Geo...but we had a marvelous time. This year I found the tree and we went through the same process as the year before.
I love how tall it is! We don't have the lights or decorations on it yet (some friends dropped in right after we put the tree up-and living as far out as we do, that's a big deal-so we all drove up to town for pizza), but I'm pretty excited about our tree this year. Is it the most perfect tree? No. But we love it. It's the memories created around getting the tree and decorating it that matter more to us than how magazine perfect it looks. As Cameron's dad says, "It has character."
So why am I telling you about our Christmas trees and my need to prove that things are possible? Why am I telling you to not limit yourselves to others perceptions? Because that's what our blog is all about. Being courageous, being creative, being adaptable, and being able to laugh at yourself. Pinterest shows you what your homes, crafts, and food should look like and what you should perceive there. Fail sites show you projects that have gone wrong and tell you not to attempt them. Stores show you what your Christmas should look like and what to do and buy. We want to show you that yes, there are bumps in the road and things aren't always picture perfect, but that doesn't mean you have failed or that it's the end. Don't be afraid to try again. Don't be afraid to try something new or different. Don't be afraid to have your own style. Don't be afraid to think beyond the normal or to reach beyond your normal grasp.
Don't be afraid.