It's so hard to break old habits, old thought patterns and old patterns of behaviors that happen in response to those old thought patterns.

I could make a quilt of all the old patterns I'm trying to change.

Maybe I should.

I was going to write a post about lists this morning.  I have so many lists to make…I need to make a list of all my lists.  And then do the lists.  Like, for example, I need to make a list of all the Christmas cookies I need to bake, and a list of everyone I need to send them to, and how many per household of each kind of cookie (some people have favorites, and so I add a few more of them to that house's package), and then a total of how many cookies from each recipe I need to make, which becomes a list of how many batches I need to make, and this leads to a list of how much flour and sugar and almonds and hazelnuts and butter and eggs and other ingredients I'll need.  That's just the cookies. 

Then there's my endless loop of a list of stuff that needs to be done around the house, things on a daily basis, weekly, monthly, eternally, neverendingly.  And I've started writing for (thank you, Susan, for the encouraging shove in that direction) and they want me to put up, on my little page, lists of links.  So now I need to make a list of the kinds of links I want to/should include, and then the lists of links within those link categories.  I don't even know where to begin.  I'm lucky I've done three posts, because for some reason – and you'd never guess it, judging by my amazing ability to blather on and on here on THIS site – it takes me forever to write a few sentences before I post the recipe I'm posting there.  And I'm not confined to just recipes, but I don't have my act together enough yet to write other stuff with any degree of authority.  I'm supposed to become (HAHAHAHAHAHA) a "go-to" person/place/thing for food related stuff in my area.  The only reason anyone "goes to" me is when they can't find socks or want a snack or they want their sibling to get off the computer so they can play on it.

And there's my list of ideas of Things To Do To Make This Blog Better.  I don't know if any of my ideas will improve it, but at least they give me one more list and more stuff to worry about.  I can never have too much of that.

But this wasn't supposed to be about lists.  Well it was, originally, but then it wasn't.

I'm supposed to be writing about other stuff.  Changing patterns and all that.  Which, if I felt like it, could be a whole new list, or lists.

Worrying would head the list.  I always have a nice box of worries I'm toting around on my back.  I keep the top of the box open, so that when I find a new worry, I can just toss it up over my shoulder and into the box so I don't lose it.  Because what would I do without stuff to worry about? 

One of my worries, of course, is money.  It's an exhausting one, and one that I would love to be able to ignore.  And I'm trying NOT to worry about money, becaues worrying sends all kinds of negative energy out into the universe, and instead of just getting lost out there and never coming back, the negative stuff is like a boomerang, and no matter what, it always comes back and whacks you in the head.  So I'm working on that.  Working on NOT worrying about money, and sending positive thoughts out so that when the boomerang comes flying back at me, it'll just fly over me and drop some cash at my feet. 

And I've got my little Etsy store, and every so often I look at it and think "I really suck."  That's all.  Short and simple.  So I switch gears and think, well, then, I should make something else.  I shouldn't be making jewelry.  I don't even WEAR jewelry, at least not much.  I should do something else.

And you know, it would be great if I could sell cookies or something on there, but unfortunately, the laws about food production for retail here are super strict, and there's no way in hell I'm going to be licensed to make food to sell out of my own home because we've got cats, a lizard, fish, and small, boogery-nosed children who don't always cough or sneeze into their elbows, and sooner or later, I'd probably get busted on that and fined and I'd be broke and in disgrace.  So skip that. 

So I'm heading back to the fabric.  I've got projects in the works on that front.  And I've got other projects I'm working on, too, and some of them should actually get posted later today or tomorrow.  And that's all well and good and no one will buy them anyway because (see line in the paragraph two paragraphs before this one:  I suck.)

And there's all that negative thinking again, right, which I need to stop.  So I have been working on NOT thinking "I suck," since that will just boomerang out into the universe like a blinking message on a blimp, notifying all the other boomeranging energy from everyone else that "Jayne sucks, pass it on" and when all the boomerangs fly back to their owners, they'll either bonk them on the head or drop money at their feet, and they'll also say "Jayne sucks," and so no one will buy my crap stuff creations.  And it'll be all my fault.  So I'm trying NOT to think that, NOT to send that boomerang out into the universe.  I'm trying hard, people. 

But old habits, you know?  So hard to break.

I also worry – obsessively and unhealthily, I'm sure, about my blog stats.  My traffic.  My numbers.  If they dip down, I wonder why.  Why don't people LIKE ME ANY MORE???  What have I done?  Did I offend them?  Is my latest recipe unappetizing?  WHY IS NO ONE VISITING ME???  And of course this is all totally irrational, because I'm really NOT the center of anyone's universe, and lots of people actually DO OTHER THINGS besides read my blog every five minutes of the day.  But still.  I check.  I look at the number of visitors, the number of "actions" and where the traffic is coming from.  And then I worry more.  And wonder WHY there's no traffic coming from Tastespotting or Foodgawker or Photograzing and so on, when I submitted a couple different images to all of them recently and WHY HAVEN'T THEY ACCEPTED THEM???  So then I go check the status of the images and look at the rejected ones and the reasons they were rejected, and apparently I have become A BAD PHOTOGRAPHER.  My pictures are crap.  And I feel like I suddenly don't know how to take a decent picture any more.  Don't know.  Wouldn't know how to begin.  Composition?  Lighting?  What's that?  What does this button do?  Dum de dum de dum. 

And I was talking to my sister earlier this morning, which is a very good thing for me to do because when I'm crabby and irrational and heading for a mental breakdown, she goes right along and agrees with me about everything I'm saying.

So I'm telling her about this, how it's been, like, an eternity since Tastespotting, for instance, liked any of my pictures, and I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but it was something like this:

Me: (whine whine whine worry worry worry) and Tastespotting doesn't even LIKE me any more.  I can't take good pictures any more.

Sister:  Yup.  It's over.  You're a has-been.

Me:  But I haven't even BEEN.


Sister:  You're a has-not-been.

And then I laughed, because I get so wound up and ridiculous, and I need someone like my sister to make me see this from the outside, instead of my tightly wound and blinkered inside perspective.

So that's it. 

I'm a has-not-been.

And that's…okay. 

9 thoughts on “Has-Not-Been

  1. I need your sister! You have my enormous sympathy and empathy too, I have said it before and I’ll probably say it again, you are not alone in feeling like this, you describe me down to a tee. Sometimes we can just lift our heads and get over the anxiety, sometimes it sits on our heads so we can’t raise them at all.

    All I can do is shout to the Universe on the days I feel good, “I AM ok!” So I’ll include you too,

    Everyone out there, PLEASE join me,

    “Jayne IS ok! She’s more than OK! She’s TERRIFIC!”

  2. You give people something to look forward to every day! My daughter and I will spend a Saturday afternoon making the Halloween candy cookies because you posted that recipe. We may not be “tastespotting,” but we’ll be making a memory (and some tasty looking cookies too) thanks to you.

  3. Jayne, I may not constitute much traffic, nor am I a trendy food or photo blog, but reading your posts is one of the vertebra in the spine of my day.
    I get up, I pour the coffee, and I look at sites in this order: email, facebook, barefootkitchenwitch and the news. (and now don’t stress about why i look at facebook and email first, ok?) Every morning.
    Susanna is right, you help us make memories with your recipes. And it is hugely inspiring to see that it IS possible to have beautiful kids and a functioning household and still devote time to these amazing foodie creations.
    I know it’s really hard when you feel like the world is crapping on you, and I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say that will suddenly jolt you out of this place. I recommend sleep, and just be gentle with yourself. You have a cheerleader all the way over here in Perth ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Good Lord girl!!! Look at that Cluster Map over there…. yeah that one>>>>>>>. I’m here everyday about this time. Right about the time I’m eating a grilled cheese sandwich and drinking 3 day old red wine, wishing I had something you made for dessert. I’d eat your baked goods, hell I have 560 snotty nosed kids and 80 hacking and sneezing teachers in front of my desk everyday. Like my Halloween shirt said… “you can’t scare me, I work at the school.”

    It’s just daylight savings time kicking in. You’ll be back in full force as soon as you get some flour on the floor and start those Christmas cookies. And don’t worry about money, just keep saying “we have the money” and only buy what you need. I like to pat myself on the back the days I don’t buy anything.

  5. Oh luv. I’ve been a devoted reader for a few yrs now. I admit, I think I was seduced by a Tastespotting or Foodwhatever post (forget now) BUT, you are bookmarked and I come to check in on you daily. You are So. Much. Awesome.


  6. Another devoted reader who is in awe of your writing, photography and certainly all of your cooking/baking talents! You simply create magic! As for those negative thoughts — well — I fight with those too! And listening to great music or baking really helps to break that cycle! Thanks for sharing your incredible joie-de-vivre and your love of home, hearth, family and creating!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  7. I have never commented on you blog before (although I really should have done) but I have been reading it religiously for about a while now. I’ve even gone back and read some of your posts from before I found the blog!

    I am a 23 year old student living with 6 other very messy people in a crummy student apartment, very far away from home, with a kitchen so small it should not be legally correct to even call it a kitchen. I graduate in about 8 months and cannot WAIT to get out of here because I never get to cook or bake anymore. I am living vicariously through your baking exploits until I get out of here and get a place of my own with a nice kitchen I can bake in until my heart’s content. I have bookmarked a ton of your posts so I can go back to them and recreate them for myself and sometimes when I am so bored, homesick, glum & disillusioned with university life and the degree I have just wasted a lifetime’s worth of debt on (but I digress, that’s a story for another time altogether haha) I come here and flick through your most recent posts or some past entries to keep my spirits up. So screw Tastespotting. I love your pictures; your stories about your very awesome family; your insane cookie magic; and the relatable & entertaining way you write each blog post. Thank you for this blog because without it I would be very glum indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Well, count me in as a regular blog reader. I may not always comment, but I am always here. Always. And follow on Twitter. And look forward to new posts. You are one of the first blogs I started to read when I first started. The pictures (and they are all good). The kids (and they are all cute). The food (always wonderful) The projects (that I wish I could do). Old Cliche – Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

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