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Why It Took Me a Long Time to Get Over Martha Stewart

Back when my kids were little, Sunday mornings meant pancakes with real maple syrup and my one indulgence for the week--watching the Martha Stewart show. I loved the idea of growing my own vegetables, creating fabulous Halloween decorations, and making beds with fancy linens and pretty pillows. Until I saw what each of these dreams entailed....

When planting asparagus, Martha Stewart was up to her thighs in an eight-foot long trench sporting a shovel. The instructions on creating her Halloween decorations included using a jigsaw, which I didn't even own at the time. And finally, when I added up the cost of the linens and pillows for making the bed, it was way north of $600. Back then, and perhaps even now, none of those things were realistic for me. I was a wanna-be Martha Stewart with none of the resources to do so.

Over time, I realized that shows like that one, and many other things we come across in life, have the ability to make us feel inadequate. And nothing does that better than social media, where everyone is happy and having the best time of their life. We see what others have and wonder why we don't have it too.

It took time, but eventually I discovered I could do all the things I wanted to, on a scale and budget that worked for me. Instead of 8-foot asparagus trenches, I built raised boxes. Thrift stores and flea markets gave me endless choices of retro Halloween decorations. And while the tissue paper turkey centerpiece on my table might not meet Martha Stewart's discerning eye, it reminds me of the one my grandmother used and that makes me feel like a little part of her is with me during the holidays.

At the end of the day, I do love all the things Martha Stewart does. She inspires and delights and still, all these years later, I look forward to her magazine LIVING. But now, instead of reading the articles and feeling deflated, I look for ways I can incorporate her ideas into something realistic for me.

As we go through life, it helps to look at the achievements of others as an inspiration of things we want to consolidate into our lives. We create our own goals, we create our own reality, and in the end, we create the world that we wish to live in. While it might not be Martha Stewart's's the perfect one for us.

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