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Not always pretty and perfect

amy smart sewing room

First of all, behold the clear, tidied-up sewing table! We were having neighbors over Friday night and since this table is right off my kitchen, I was feeling motivated to not scare the neighbors by the disaster that was there. (Just please don’t go look in my basement where I relocated most of the aforementioned disaster.)

IMG_1763I’m glad to say we enjoyed having our neighbors over (I really should do things like that more often) but the rest of the weekend was kind of tough.  Saturday afternoon was the funeral for a sweet, long-time friend who lost her battle with darkness. She was one of the most truly good, kind people I’ve ever known. It broke my heart that she suffered so much in her life. I grieve that she carried those burdens and find peace in knowing she will not have to carry them any more.IMG_1972

Then this was my Sunday night. Not the best thing ever. I really debated whether to share this because A) I’m so embarrassed that it happened and B) I tend to only share the pretty that’s going on in my life. Because I think beauty is good and inspiring for all of us.

But I don’t want anyone for one second to think my life is only “pretty.”

It’s the scary, rough, disconcerting, difficult stuff in life that makes us so much tougher and deeper and more compassionate – if we let it. That hard stuff is the very thing that brings clarity to what really matters most. This weekend has been a poignant reminder of that.
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And there is still so much “beauty for ashes” if we look for it. I drove by this wall last Friday. It was on the side of an abandoned, old school on a pretty blighted urban street corner, and yet look at that beautiful color! I made a u-turn so I could pull over and take a picture.

I am beyond thankful – and do not take for granted – that I walked away from that accident with only bruises and that the other involved was not seriously hurt. And spending time with other sweet friends following the funeral was such a poignant reminder that our relationships with each other are such a beautiful gift and what really matters the most in this life.

So be kind and love each other. And embrace the growth and deepening that comes through the hard, not-so-pretty- parts of life.

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Just like cleaning out my sewing table before my neighbors come over, I think I do that a lot on my blog for you friends. I put up the tidiest front, when really there’s a spot in my basement that would horrify some of you. I don’t share that spot because it’s not that pretty or inspiring to look at or dwell on, but rest assured that it’s there. The same goes with my life. I mostly only share the good parts because I figure you all have your own load to carry and I want this to be a happy inspiring place. Just rest assured that no one’s life is perfect – especially mine.  I hope I can find the balance between keeping it real and sharing good. (Because I love good!)

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86 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 10, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I assume no one was hurt in the car accident – they do happen and as long as everyone is ok – its alright! sorry you lost a friend from experience that is rough. pretty sunset!

  • Reply
    Alicia G
    November 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    What a rough weekend. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Reply
    Julia
    November 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Dear Amy I am very sorry for your friend. The car accident pic scared me because I was worried for you. I really appreciate your wise words, you’re right. Wishing you only the very best

  • Reply
    debbie
    November 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Love this post about real life.

  • Reply
    therese
    November 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Hello Amy, beautiful honest post. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. It really does remind us of what is truly important in our lives, as it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of life. I am so thankful that you or your family were not hurt in the accident. Here’s to family, friends, happiness and a bit of fabric thrown in! Therese x

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Me too! I’m beyond grateful that no one was seriously hurt. And thank goodness for the good things that make a difference!

  • Reply
    Doris
    November 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you for showing us life is not always perfect and we can still appreciate all the good!

  • Reply
    Julie
    November 10, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing both the beautiful and the hard

  • Reply
    tisha @ quiltytherapy
    November 10, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Glad you aren’t hurt too badly from your accident. Don’t know your friend, but based on my previous experiences in my life, I’m sorry. You may not understand their pain and burden. There are lots of great resources out if you need coping help. What does the work table look like now?

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you. I’m happy to say, the work table is getting used – I’m putting borders on quilt tops and piecing backings to get them off to the quilter! It’s the best therapy for me. 😉

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    There is so much beauty in the mess even in death there are memories made, ones that will give us tender moments and smiles through the grief…I thank God for the messiness of my life I’ve given up wishing for perfect and find a perfect peace in the mess…most days anyway!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Good for you! What a beautiful perspective.

  • Reply
    Lisa E
    November 10, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing the good and the bad. Your post was truly thought-provoking.

  • Reply
    Diana
    November 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing~I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and for the accident. Life is full of beauty and sadness~it’s all part of the journey.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      So true. Beauty and sadness often walk hand-in-hand.

  • Reply
    Brittany
    November 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Thank you for being vulnerable about your weekend! It’s hard to do but it’s so true that no one’s life is perfect.

  • Reply
    Annie
    November 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing this blog post. Life isn’t perfect all the time but baby life is still good!

  • Reply
    Sally
    November 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I am so sorry you lost your dear friend. Many of my family have struggled with the darkness. So very hard to understand. Thank you for your honesty and trust.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      My family too. It is such a real and difficult thing with many lasting effects on the entire family. Sending much love your way.

  • Reply
    Brenda Ackerman
    November 10, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I am sorry to hear about your dear friend and your accident. I feel the way you do, I only try and share the good, but am honest and share personal feelings and thoughts along with some of my life. I truly love sewing/quilting and hand embroidery but life is far from perfect or beautiful all of the time. Thank you for sharing and I hope that you have a wonderful creative day!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you Brenda! Aren’t we lucky to have something in our lives that bring us so much happiness?

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    November 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Thank heavens no one was hurt in the accident besides your car! I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s hard to watch someone suffer, but when they pass on, it is not any easier to bear.

  • Reply
    donna
    November 10, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I hope you can heal from the loss of your friend, along with her family. Thank you for sharing the sadness and beauty of life, which sometimes share the same space. This life is rough but we have to be thankful for all the good that comes out of it. Thank you for your thought provoking post today, it helped me to remember to be thankful.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment. I agree- there is SO much true good in the world – and sometimes it’s even more meaningful because of the difficult path to get to it. And I truly believe that good will conquer in the end. xo

  • Reply
    Rike
    November 10, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Oh my dear, what a hard weekend! But I am so glad that no one was really injured. You are so right! Live is not always as easy as many people around think of. And I think that we need this valleys of feeling to love beeing on the hills of love, joy and fun.
    All the best!
    Greetings from Germany, Rike

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      So, SO true! Thank you Rike!

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    November 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Yikes! That IS a rough weekend. I’m sorry it’s been so hard. I think there must be something going around, because this is the 5th post I’ve read today of something similar – how life is much more difficult than our carefully curated online versions. Just know that we’re over here reading in our own messy real lives.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      That is so interesting! I would love to read those other posts. I think we’re all getting a little burned out by the superficial stuff that bombards us. Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply
    Ann
    November 11, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Thinking of you.
    Thank you for sharing today. Life isn’t always perfect, it’s how we deal with it that makes us all stronger.
    Today my sewing table will look just like yours -briefly! X

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Yes! I once read something like, “Trials help us to find ourselves because they stretch us, giving us so much more to find.”

  • Reply
    A. bouwman
    November 11, 2015 at 1:18 am

    This blogpost is so familiar, I prefer to share the good thing and keep the sad things for myself. But sometimes it is good to share. And like you I hide the mess where it can not be seen…
    Condolances for your loss and hope nobody was seriously hurt in the accident.
    Big Hug

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much! xoxo

  • Reply
    Rima
    November 11, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Thanks for your post, it was very thought provoking. I suppose it all comes down to how we deal with the “pretty” and “unpretty” things that crop up in our life. I appreciate the prettiness that your blog brings to the blogosphere.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Aww, thank you for your kind words, Rima. And so true. Adversity can make us bitter or make us stronger – the choice is totally ours. much love. xoxo

  • Reply
    Jenny faasavalu
    November 11, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Best post ever. I lost my mom to suicide 20 years ago. The best advice ever is to love each and be kind. You never know. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Oh, I’m SO sorry about your mom. My immediate family has also been touched by suicide. It is such a tough, tough thing. Thank you for your sweet words. Kindness and love never hurts, do they?

  • Reply
    Ginny
    November 11, 2015 at 4:17 am

    I am sorry for your loss. So glad you were not hurt, and thank you for sharing both the inspiring (your Swoon is looking great!) and the hard parts that life has. We all have them, and I agree that while we look for fun and inspiration, we should remember there is a whole person behind the blog. Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Reply
    Sigi G
    November 11, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Thank you for sharing Amy! I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. My heart hurts for you.
    Yes, guests help us to ‘clean-up’ and organize. Remember though – you might be horrified at your basement, but someone else just sees a wonderful nest of ‘fabric’ :)!
    I’m so thankful you were able to walk away from your accident.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you. And, my mess actually does look like a litteral “nest” at the moment! lol! I’ve got bins emptying and doing some sorting so that I can destash!! 😉

  • Reply
    Sherri
    November 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for sharing your real life Amy. I’m so sorry for your loss and for the tough weekend. I would rather hear about your whole life, good and bad, than only the beautiful and pretty stuff. Your creativity and compassion for others shines through. And you help me to accept that life is full of ups and downs.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you Sherri. That means a lot. xo

  • Reply
    Judy Hudgins
    November 11, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I understand what you went through with your friend and presenting a ‘perfect’ face to the world. That’s as I sit here in a NyQuil stupor watching the 3 year old grand daughter…

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Oh bless you! Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Melinda Meehan
    November 11, 2015 at 6:51 am

    So sorry for the loss of your friend , and thankful that nobody was hurt in the accident. Personally (not that I want to see anyone going through a hard time at all) but nobody’s life is perfect…I wish more people on social media kept it real.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Me too. It’s so encouraging to me to know I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes. All the time.

  • Reply
    Helen
    November 11, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Glad your ok, life is full of ups and downs.

  • Reply
    hopflower
    November 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Good post. I think we know about the darker side of life; every one of us. We all have our crosses to bear, so the speak. Personally, I enjoy your blog because it is so upbeat, and the world sometimes can seem a pretty grim place. But it is good to be reminded once in awhile of the values we should share. Thank you; and I am so glad no one was hurt in the accident. My condolences in the loss of your friend.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. xo

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Sorry to hear about your friend. Also sorry about the wreck, but I’m glad you are okay! It’s amazing what cars can take these days. Thanks so much for sharing, I hope you are having a good week!

  • Reply
    Carla
    November 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I think we all have a basement corner like that. Thank the Lord everyone is ok. I’m sorry about your friend. Depression is such a hard thing. I do enjoy your blog because it IS a happy place ; )

  • Reply
    Debbie
    November 11, 2015 at 7:54 am

    So glad you’re ok! What a difficult weekend! Peace to you as you move forward. And yes, we all have rough times and truths we don’t share, but I do feel overall we’re there for each other no matter what..

  • Reply
    Kati
    November 11, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I adore you Amy. I’m sad for your rough weekend, but your post resonated with me. Thank you for writing it. Life isn’t pretty, yet social media leads us to believe that everyone’s life is amazing and ours is pathetic. Life is hard.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    November 11, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Hi Amy,
    I am so very sorry for the lose of your sweet friend. I’ve been in darkness myself and it’s soooo oppressive and consuming.
    Thanks for keeping it real dear lady, amazing how the light is greater isn’t it? We are blessed to see it.
    Colleen

  • Reply
    Hedy Hahn
    November 11, 2015 at 8:34 am

    So sorry for your losses. I think this is the best post I’ve ever read of yours, so honest. No one has a perfect life, absolutely no one. We have times that we think it is just about perfect and then bam ! Something happens and we realize that’s this is life and stuff happens. We pick ourselves up and go on. That’s life. I love your pictures today, so beautiful.

  • Reply
    Lindsey Brake
    November 11, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing. I really needed to hear that today. xx

  • Reply
    SuzyMcq
    November 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Thank you. I think it’s difficult for many of us to read blogs where the sun always shines, kids and home are scrubbed and perfectly dressed, and their hubby is amazing in each and every way. That’s just not life, but it still makes us wonder and somehow feel badly about ourselves.

    I am sorry for your loss and accident, but praise you for being real.

  • Reply
    Laura V.
    November 11, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. Glad your accident was a walk away and that you are sharing these experiences. Not every day is rosy and happy, but you make the best of it and go on. Enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Sheila
    November 11, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post. I’m sorry to hear about the death of your friend. And about your car accident. Relieved that no one was seriously hurt. Please take care. Hope this is a better week.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    November 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

    What a great post – I can really relate to your message, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jenni
    November 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Such a great reminder during this beautiful time of year! Thanks for sharing and always uplifting your readers.

  • Reply
    Donna Murdock
    November 11, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I hope you let yourself have a good cry or two and that your husband hugged you so tenderly when he saw the car and thought of the “what if?” The car is just a thing. You know your friend is in a better place now but how her family must suffer. Please mess up your sewing table or do whatever you need to do to put your life in its happy place.

    Everyone faces such touch experiences because that is why we are here. I still wish we could grow in delightful ways without so much agony. It wouldn’t work but then I am such a child at heart. Alas. Now, where did my morning go that I was going to use for exercise and sewing? Oh, yeah, I cleaned and cooked.

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 11, 2015 at 11:24 am

    well said. I always do expect brightness and inspiration from your blog but appreciate the “real” that always comes through. This post confirms it. I have several chaotic areas in my house.

  • Reply
    MISCHELLE
    November 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Amy,

    I’m so glad everyone involved in the accident were able to walk away without any major injuries

    I’m also for sorry for your loss. We never know what kind of burden someone else is carrying. We tend to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we sometimes don’t realize how much pain others are masking with their smiles.

    Thank you for reminding us that what we see on social media and in life in general is what others want us to see and us not necessarily the entire story.

    Mischelle

  • Reply
    Diane
    November 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Thank you for showing the “real stuff” It is the only way to go.

  • Reply
    Vicki
    November 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Our son-in-laws parents were involved in a car accident last week. His mother was killed on impact and his father just passed away last night. We know only too well how life can change in an instant.

    I’m so glad you’re ok and sorry about your friend.

    Vicki

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      November 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Oh that’s so heart-wrenching! I’m so sorry. Sending many prayers and well-wishes your way. xo

  • Reply
    Mary ann
    November 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    So sorry about your friend Amy but thank you for being Illini to share it with us. I was in a similiar accident a few months. It also helped remind of those real life truths, it can also quickly change in a moment. Thank goodness for sewinG and creativity.

  • Reply
    amy
    November 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    So glad you are ok. Would hate not being able to continue reading your blog. You are right in that the older I get I realize how precious friends and family are. Nice things, clean house, fine cars aren’t what it is all about. I continue to love quilting and keeping in touch with you. I grantee everybody has a place somewhere that they don’t want people to see. I know I do. Glad all is well

  • Reply
    Mary
    November 11, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for a lovely blog message with meaning. Sorry for your loss, but sew grateful your ok.

  • Reply
    kathyinmn
    November 12, 2015 at 5:44 am

    I love that you keep your blog real. That’s one of the reasons i’m drawn to look at your blog content, good or bad. Accidents, death, love, life-it happens to every one of us. I hope this week is better for you, that you are left with good memories of your friend, your car gets fixed and that you are physically ok.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 12, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Thank you for your honest post Amy. More people need to keep this in mind while viewing social media…that what we see in others is just their highlight reel of the pretty and happy things. We all have the ugly and dark stuff going on at points in our life. Also, so sorry for your loss in a good friend. I pray she’s finally at peace! (And that wall is amazing…I would have had to take a photo too!)

  • Reply
    Amy
    November 12, 2015 at 9:12 am

    1. Don’t apologize for not sharing the untidy bits, 99% of us do not know you & as a consequence shouldn’t be allowed to intrude. We really should only be dealing with our own untidy (or the untidy of those that we know). I’m against all of the tabloids that share this kind of stuff too. Seriously, we all have enough on our own plates, we don’t need to add the burdens of celebrities (blogger/quilt world/Hollywood, etc.) Anyone who believes otherwise should take off their rose colored glasses.

    2. I really like where you are headed with your swoon quilt.

  • Reply
    Donna S
    November 12, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Sorry, rotten weekend!! Glad you were not hurt badly!!

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Amy, please be comforted by the fact that your friend treasured your presence in her life, even if she could not be helped in the end. Some of us are lucky enough to be caught in time by those who love us, as I have been, and some of us sadly just cannot be held to life in spite of care and love, and slip away. Be gentle with yourself–you’ve suffered a tragic loss, and it will take a while for you to be back to yourself. Take care and love to all of you.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    November 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    It is amazing how life’s hardest trials do truly refine us and help us focus in on what matters to us most. Never easy, but now, more than ever, I try to find the sparkle and glitter of ordinary things. Yep, keeping it real – that’s one of the many things I love about you! Thank you for daring to be vulnerable and honest…the world needs a lot more of both.

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