Jennifer and I have a tradition of wearing signs when we run our marathons. It started with an idea that she saw in a book, if you wear your name on the front of your shirt, then some of the spectators will cheer you on by calling your your name! Somewhere in our training we realized that while the spectators were reading the front our your shirt, the runners were in prime position to read the back of your shirt. As the appointed sign maker for our group I think I was left to decide on the exact wording. I wanted our sign to give fellow runners something on which to comment or congratulate us. And so we began wearing signs saying "Today I will FINISH my 1st (or 2nd or 14th) marathon." We were congratulated and cheered on by runners who passed us and by runners whom we passed. When we settled into a pace with another runner, we were often coaxed into a conversation about what races we had run. The sign served it's purpose, and then some.
What I hadn't realized was how much that positive affirmation would end up meaning to me. Throughout the race, whenever I struggled, there was that positive message on my back (and in my head) that I WOULD finish! Years later, when planning for the birth of my daughter, I remembered this little trick and made signs for my hospital room stating "Today, I will meet my daughter." Again, when laboring without medication became difficult, I had that mantra in my head to help me focus on the reason why I was working so hard. Flash forward 4 years, and today I am heading out of town for what I am sure will be a challenging, but hopefully rewarding opportunity. Today, I am nervous and excited. Today I will find it hard to focus and think of creative ideas.... but that is EXACTLY what I am being challenged to do! So today (and throughout this weekend) I wanted to wear another positive message to help me focus on what is important and accomplish my goals.
I won't be able to wear a sign on my back or to tape messages to the walls. I had an idea to work a message onto a bracelet. That way, when I look at my hands (which I tend to do a lot while being crafty) I will at some point catch a glimps of the message on my arm. Even if I can't read the whole thing, I will know its there and be reminded of what it says. I was just going to write on a piece of paper and use packing tape to laminate and attach it into a ring, but my sister laughed at how ridiculously un-crafty that sounded. Instead, I found some soft leather cording at the craft store. I cut a piece that fit around tested out different messages to see how they would fit. When I was ready, I just used a fine point permanent ink pen to write directly on the leather. I tested a spot first by getting the ink wet and it didn't run. It is more permanent than I expected, considering that I was OK with just writing on paper!
I bought some findings from teh jewelry aisle of the craft store. This one has a loop on one end for a fastener and crimps closed on the other end. It was PERFECT for finishing off the leather strip.
I used needle nose pliers to bend the metal down over the leather.
Here is the finished end.
And here is the finished bracelet, or at least what I will see of it. My affirmation for this trip is "Today I will enjoy this amazing opportunity to play." While I am stressed and watching the clock and worried about a million minute details, I am hopeful that this sign can help me remember that I was chosen and this is a fun and interesting opportunity. PJ and I get to do something that we enjoy in an area that we have been given talent. AND we get to face this challenge together. Sorry that I can't go into details about what exactly we are being asked to do. more information will come eventually, but for now if shouldn't matter as long as I can focus my sign and remember to enjoy the ride!