Monday, April 22, 2013

Consider your muchness

muchness - noun : the quality or state of being great in quantity, extent or degree.

These past few weeks, I have felt a slow slipping away of my muchness.  I blame it on the ever-popular scapegoat, PMS, the cold, dreary "Spring" that we've had so far, the monotony of my daily farm chores and the ferocious case of stomach flu that recently took out the whole family.  But whatever the reason, there seems to be a slow leak.  Life is losing its luster.

So what do you do when you know your muchness is fading?  You don't feel like yourself, and you're stuck in that proverbial rut that all too often takes longer to climb out of that it did to fall into?  I stopped to consider a few of the beautiful woman that I know who've not lost their muchness.  They seem to have it in abundance, for all different reasons, and it's taking them in all different directions.

Julie's doing some tig welding
I'm pretty sure that on her tax return this year, in the blank marked Occupation, Julie listed vet technician.  However, in our circle of friends, she's known as the Cake Weaver for her natural ability to whip up a decadent cake out of thin air.  Magic, really.  She and her husband are renovating their 1880s Victorian home so she's no stranger to grout and power tools, either.  On facebook we've seen pics of her re-wiring chandeliers.  And now she can add welder to her list of talents.  Here she's working on a tow hitch for her friend's Shasta camper.  With most things, Julie tends to take matters into her own hands (just ask her husband how that living room doorway finally got trimmed out).  Her muchness empowers her to try anything, to meet the problem head on and move through it.  Most excitingly, she's expecting her first baby.  And as all you moms out there know, Julie will need all the muchness she can muster for that new adventure!

Jessica's campaign photo
Photography by Victoria

For a couple years now, Jessica has been using her precious days off work (she's head of the local post office branch) to spend time helping out in her son's classroom.  Whether she's reading for storytime, supervising the writing workshop or giving a presentation on jellyfish, Jessica is there.  Her two boys are in Kindergarten and 1st grade, and she is determined to see that they start out right.  Seriously, you should see the imaginative snacks she makes for the holiday parties!  She's one of those devoted mothers who actually attends the PTO meetings.  In fact, next year she'll be President of the PTO (a position for which she nominated herself).  But stepping off the elementary school playground, Jessica is also a newly-elected school board member.  She's going to see that her boys have quality education all the way through!  Jessica's muchness is driven by a need to better her community and create a happy, healthy environment for the children in her small town.  We joke that she'll be running for mayor next, and while she claims that a politician is the last thing she thought she'd ever be, there is a glimmer in her eye. 

Samantha's doing the Scorpio
Samantha...this photo really says it all. Some of you may remember this world-traveler from my earlier post.  Well, when she's not navigating the globe, she taking pole dancing classes.  And before you dismiss this as tawdry and cheap, look again at what she's doing.  Now, Sam's no blonde, bimbo, Barbie doll.  She's a 5-foot-7 Wisconsin-born, Antarctica-hardened, motorcycle-riding, don't-take-no-crap kinda girl.  But she's also got a heart of gold.  What she's doing here is not easy at all, and she's got the bruises to prove it.  Sam is so comfortable in her skin, she has the courage to try anything.  Her muchness takes her everywhere (literally), and her friends are never surprised even when she started sharing pics of herself hanging upside down from a metal pole.  We've come to expect nothing less.  Heck, the day Sam sits in an easy chair wrapped in a pink, fleece snuggie is the day we all start to worry.

Lisa's eyeing her husband behind the camera

This is Lisa, my next door neighbor, looking fabulous with her Black Widow hair flower and crazy, curly wig.  In the midst of chemo treatments, Lisa still had enough gumption to do her face, glue on eyelashes, don the wig and dress it up.  Okay, she didn't look like this every day, but over the course of six long months (plus all the months of pre- and post-chemo testing), she still invited me over for coffee.  She still took care of her family and made it out to the chicken coop to gather eggs.  Trust me, Lisa's far too young to have cancer, but she didn't waste time wallowing in self-pity.  Her positive attitude was amazing.  And now her muchness is recharged and raring to go.  Cancer free!  Lisa's son is taking driving lessons this Spring, and she needs to be back on her game.  And then there's that tan she needs to work on for her trip to Hawaii in August...

Now if you asked all these women, I would guess that they'll say they are no different than anyone else.  They're wives, mothers and businesswomen just surviving the daily grind like the rest of us schlups, and sometimes even they veer dangerously close to the edge of that rut.  But maybe the secret they know (that now you know, too) is that even when Life becomes cold, dreary and monotonous (as it inevitably will), you just need to go down deep inside you and rediscover your muchness.  Pick up a new hobby, like Julie.  Let your passion take you to the next level, like Jessica.  Tackle something brave and fantastic, like Sam.  Or simply have the courage to keep on smiling no matter what comes your way, like Lisa.

As so in light of all this inspiration, I am off to feed the sheep, shovel out the hay, water the chickens and feed the cows, just like I do every. single. day.  But I'm smiling!  Well, it looks more like the Joker's sinister smile right now, but pretty soon the sun will shine!  Right?  It will.


  1. I have always thought that ruts are a necessary part of living. A Rest Period. Sort of like sleep. The mind turns off and the monotony takes over to recharge and rejuvenate us and then one day all the creativeness, inspirations and energy returns.
    Just like the lovely ladies you have profiled here. Thanks for the inspirational stories of everyday women. I have a hunch they are quite happy to call YOU friend.

  2. The weather seems to have affected all of us in the North much the same way!

    We woke up to sunshine this morning, amazing how that small thing can bring so many smiles to our household.

    Sending some Cheer your way!

  3. You won't alone in that rut. Thanks for shaking me out of it.

  4. Hope this makes you feel better , you made my day! opened a box , with a beautiful hat, took a deep breath as to smell your household, because a I admire you soo much, and a beautiful card i will cherish forever. Thank you darlene

    1. How did I not know that you were "Mama Dar?!" I'm glad the hat made it safely to you. And had I known that you were looking forward to my farmy, sheep smell, I would have left it all sit in the barn overnight. lol I hope you enjoy wearing it!


Thanks for your thoughts! Come back to visit again soon!