Year 2

Posted by Brette in Food | Life

If you’ve been following along with me, you know that I started this blog and my Martha project a year ago. My mission was to do one Martha project a day for an entire year and see if it changed my life. The year is up.

I have lots of thoughts on how it has affected me and my family. I’m going to share just a few here. One of the biggest changes is that Martha has made me pay attention to details and thus I’ve found that the details really do matter. I’m nowhere close to Martha-perfection on anything, but I find that when I make a little extra effort in whatever I am doing around the house (cooking, cleaning, organizing, crafting, decorating, etc.),  it almost always pays off.

Another important lesson has been focus. Martha has an incredible ability to focus on things. I’ve often heard her practically squeal with excitement over how orange some carrots are or how a loaf of bread turns out. She’s able to find the sublime in the everyday and I’ll always thank her for showing me how to do that. If you can find happiness in the small things, it carries you through the harder parts of your day.

I’ve had a lot of failures (recipes that were just plain awful, crafts I murdered and organizing jobs I didn’t quite complete) but I’ve also tried so many new things (corning my own beef, eating celery root, using glitter). I feel as though this year has been a complete education for me, like going to culinary school, apprenticing in a new trade, and practicing to open a shop on Etsy.

It has also been exhausting. In the midst of all the Martha lessons, I’ve had a busy year. My grandmother passed away, we went to the UK on a two week vacation, husband and daughter continued the balancing act required with rheumatoid arthritis, I wrote a book about the history of cookies (coming out next fall), I did massive numbers of indexes and wrote several book proposals, my daughter had swine flu and pneumonia, I struggled with an ongoing infection, my son started middle school, my daughter applied to and visited colleges, and I continued to be daughter, wife, dog owner, and mom to the people I love.

I’ve been contemplating what I would do when my one year of Martha ended. On the one hand, I’m tired. I’m tired of cooking Martha food all the time, tired of pushing myself to craft, and tired of spending a large portion of my disposable income on food for Martha’s recipes, supplies for Martha’s projects, and on Martha’s favorite products.

But on the other hand, I can’t see a life without Martha. I admit it – I am slightly hooked. I’ve already decided I’m ordering one of Martha’s turkeys for Thanksgiving and I’m giddy at the thought of her new line of cleaning products. I’m already looking forward to the December issue of Living. So, I don’t think Martha and I are going to part ways. Instead, I think we will reach a compromise.

So, my plan moving forward is to continue to experiment with Martha’s recipes, crafts, and projects, but at a slower pace. One year of doing Martha every day has been plenty. Instead, I’d like to see what sticks. I want to try a slightly different experiment – move forward with my life and see what Martha lessons and projects are truly me. I need some time and space to find what really works for me. So, I’m going to continue the blog, but may not have a post absolutely every single day. It almost kills me to write that, since I’ve come to depend on my loyal readers! I love coming here every day and reading your comments and knowing you’ve been on the journey with me.  I might take a weekend off! I do plan to post regularly and to continue sharing my results with you and hopefully sharing my thoughts with you about how I’ve incorporated Martha into my real life.

I also would like to show you some non-Martha recipes – my own creations. Martha has certainly influenced me to try new things and enjoy new things, so I’d like to show the direction she has steered me as I move forward.

Martha Mondays will continue and I’m still going to do the MS Cupcake Club. But those are my only required assignments. As for the rest, I’m going to do what really interests me and excites me. At this point, I’m not even sure what that will be – I’ve been so focused on doing Martha, I’ve lost sight a little bit of what I want to do.

Many of you have asked me if I will be writing a book about this experience. The answer to that is I hope so! It’s started, but it really wasn’t something I could write until I got to the end of the journey so I could have perspective on it. If you would like to read such a book, I would love for you to comment and say so.

I can’t thank you enough for the support, cheering on, commiserating and just general interest in my project! It has meant so very much to me to know that every single one of you is reading along. So, stick around and come with me on year two as I discover where I go from here and what lasting influence Martha will have on me!

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