Heidey Ho, I'm back again. I've decided to discuss limitations. Everyone has them. I have them. You have them. We all have them. We've all heard the expression, "Know your limitations." The problem is, we've also all heard the expression, "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."
So which is it?
Recently, I've figured out that I have been an incredibly optimistic person. Incredibly. And I use that word in the fullness of it's literal meaning. There is nothing in life that I cannot accomplish. It's just that I haven't decided what I actually want to accomplish. And why should I limit myself?
So my plastic craft drawers are overflowing with paper and paint and brushes and glitter and popsicle sticks glued to dirty socks. Yes. I saved dirty socks because somewhere I read that you can make things out of them. I don't remember what now. This was before Pinterest.
My bookshelves are stuffed with books and magazines and binders full of Information. And some pots and pans I can't seem to find a good place for. And a pile of things people have dangerously left at our house. I even have a binder containing the 1997 financial records of a company I used to work for - saved deliberately because someday I might want to know how to write an annual report.
My Inbox is deluged with coupons and groupons and unbelievable deals and jobs and pretty, pretty things to buy. And I may just do that someday. If the deals haven't expired, which they all have.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I was leafing through a magazine I was seriously considering buying and I found a recipe to make your own homemade yogurt. I love yogurt. In one of my earliest photos, I am gleefully covering myself in yogurt out of a cute, little, triangular, plastic bowl.
I thought, "Well I'm definitely buying this magazine now. A great chicken salad recipe AND a yogurt recipe! I could probably put the yogurt in the chicken salad. Totally worth it."
Then I began to read the yogurt recipe. First you have to buy some yogurt from the store. And not just any yogurt. It had to be a specific yogurt with the live, active cultures, and not just any old live, active cultures, but cultures from as unpasteurized a product as possible. This annoyed me unreasonably. I do not want to buy the product I'm making in order to make it. This seems unreasonable to me. But this was the easy part. Then they said you had to get a cooler and fill it with water that was 165 degrees. I'm now forgetting some steps. But basically, you had to keep the water temperature at 165 degrees. For a whole day. In a cooler. On the kitchen floor. For a batch of yogurt that would have to be eaten in less than a week. And then there was optional straining through cheesecloth for Greek or desired thickness. And I do like my yogurt thick.
So I stopped and thought about it. I actually had a minute to do that because Jethro had dropped me off at the store while he was getting a haircut and a beer, and he wasn't there yet to get me. So I asked myself, "Am I ever going to make yogurt?" And the answer came back to me as clear as a glass flute on a cold day. "No."
I am never going to make yogurt.
"But what about accomplishing anything you put your mind to? Where's your optimism? Where's your sense of adventure? Where's your love of yogurt?"
None of it mattered. I tried to cajole myself in 100 different ways to buy that magazine and save the recipe "just in case." But no. The Answer was Final. Irrevocable. The sentence was handed down with kryptonic rigidity. You. Will Never. Make. Yogurt.
I laid the magazine down on a table, turned around, and walked out the doors.
Some hours later, I was going through some recipes I had bookmarked. I came across three for homemade yogurt. I deleted them all.
I'm at peace with this, and yet I am a little ashamed. It turns out that I am a terrible hoarder. I am a hoarder of ideas. It's a very, very bad thing. But now I know.