Women have always gleaned information to improve their lives. We seek tastier recipes, cleaner bathrooms, more flattering clothes and better entertaining ideas. We want to arrange our cupboards, lower our food bill, travel abroad on dimes and raise amazing children.
To gather these ideas before the Internet, we might call friends, go to the library or buy a magazine.
If you couldn’t afford magazines, sitting in a waiting room wasn’t such an ordeal. Many times I scribbled ideas or recipes from those glossy promise-making missives on receipts in my purse. When I was really on the ball, I remembered paper and pen to capture brilliant, life-changing ideas.
The organized women would arrange their ideas in a clip file to tap into the inspiration when redecorating a room, choosing a menu for holiday dinner, or planning a child’s birthday-on-a-budget.
For years this re-purposed clip file has held all my promises of birthday success. Of course, we didn’t use the word repurpose back then, because it was a way of life and didn’t need a title. But, repurpose sounds better than stingy.
When I had enough change to buy a $1.09 women’s magazine, I’d read, reread, rip out the articles I wanted, and file them.
The kids painted and decorated these clothespin clowns and we’ve played Drop the Clothespins with them over 15 years.
And yes, I know that many of you saw this idea and have at least three ways to improve them. Go for it!
I loved the idea of including children’s books in the theme. A trip to the library can make it a themed birthday week, instead of just one day.
Need original gift wrapping ideas? Burlap and sea glass have been the craft material of choice by several generations.
As much as I loved the idea of making a beautiful cake, it rarely happened. Sometimes the clip file produced inspiration, other times guilt.
Sound like Pinterest?
This would have been more my speed. Why didn’t I ever make this one? That’s right, we don’t like coconut.
Kids Magazine, Chickadee, provided a cute decorating idea, a paper chain to cut out and tape together.
After 30 years, it’s still unused in the file. I wonder if that’s today’s equivalent of a pin that never gets used or repinned.
Before treat bags, little goody cups were set at each place setting.
Like kids needed an extra cup of candy while gorging on cake, ice-cream and pop. Maybe treat bags were invented so the party-giving mom could send the extra sugar home with the kids.
Although we gather our information in different ways, every generation of women has had the same passion for their families, to make things beautiful, homey and organized, while saving money and resources. And each generation has allowed this information to make her feel guilty for all she isn’t doing in her home.
The explosion of social media has created a deeper level of unspoken pressure to be Super Woman. Instead of celebrating personal wins, we can become discouraged because we can’t or don’t do all the things other women are doing.
I call it the Pinterest Guilt Syndrome.
Trust me, the woman who turned her fruit into exotic flower creations for a healthy toddler snack, might have a pile of ironing the size of a a compact car. The woman who crafted an entire dollhouse out of upcycled items, might have two weeks of leftovers molding in her fridge. The woman who can whip up a dress out of a pillowcase, a man’s t-shirt or 42 ties, probably ordered pizza for dinner – again.
In the real world we each have a few areas that deserve a cape and other areas that need help. Let the explosion of input build you up and not tear you down.
Reuse the inspiration.
Refuse the guilt.