This morning I opened a new jar of homemade jam. Specifically, it was Brandied Vanilla pear jam that I made late last summer from the seckle pear tree in my backyard. I had taken a break from jam over the holidays and today’s toast was like dying and going to heaven all over again. I was amazed by myself. I made this? Really? This is AWESOME! I literally would marry myself if it meant I could keep eating this jam for the rest of my life. Since I made it though, that is thankfully not necessary, because I’m sort of a bi-…uh, not very nice person.
I remember the excitement of tasting my jam for the first time and I wanted to share it. I held the toast out for my husband (at the time) and watched with disappointment as he took the smallest bite with a mere speck of jam. Then he nodded enthusiastically and said “Mmm, that’s really good!” I called him out on it and his excuse was that he wasn’t hungry. Apparently he must think I’m dumb and unable to notice these things or he thinks he’s a much better actor than he actually is.
This is not the only occasion that he enthusiastically tries to pat me on the back and yet never eats another bite, leaving me to eat an entire cake made from scratch by myself. Then out of the blue asks me when I’m going to make the box of cupcakes sitting in the pantry. I almost think he had a secret mission to make me gain weight.
The jam for me was a source of pride. After watching the pears grow and fighting with the wasps to pick as many as I could as they ripened. The hours spent peeling, chopping, cooking and canning. My first attempt and hoping for success. Questioning myself if I’m even doing it right. Then finally tasting the finished product and ending up with a home run. Success like this makes you float just a few inches above the ground. You want to share this little ray of joy your labor has created. Instead of spreading the joy, you’re met with duplicity and fake enthusiasm.
I have to remind myself: ‘I have something good here. I do amazing things.’ I must foster my own appreciation and be generous to others who also appreciate craft, even though I might like to keep all the jam for myself.