It is all in the mindset
It has been an extremely busy year for me this year with extra hours at work and my little business chuffing along, not to mention the requirements of parenthood, so things have been a little crazy around here. The house looks horrific, particularly since my studio is currently in my lounge/living room while the actual studio is under renovation. There is junk everywhere. My front garden has lost the war with the weeds again and it is time to prune so people can actually get to our front door. So yeah, things are a bit of a mess.
However, due to motherhood needs and a lack of In-laws to collect the kids from school I am taking some leave from work next week and will be home for six weeks. As you can imagine I have been looking forward to this time for ages, hanging on like it is the light at the end of the tunnel. While we are going to miss the In-laws as they scamper across the UK and France, during those six weeks, we are going to have fun as we have a short holiday planned, the school holidays are in there, so the kids will be home for some of it and I will have some time to myself.
This leave does not start until next week and I still have three days of chaotic mad rush work to do (the lead up to leave is always chaos), but yesterday and today, despite having business work to do, I feel like I have started holidays already.
It is all in the mindset. Because the year has been so busy, I have been jamming work into all the nooks and crannies I can find and this has led to personal time being cherished and grabbed when I can. So if I had a spare half hour, and a choice of what I should be doing, it is either do more ‘have to do asap’ or grab a moment to myself because I can’t guarantee I will get one later. And if I choose the latter, hell rains down on what or whoever interrupts that time.
This leads to snatches of guarded time and no true relaxation. And certainly no housework, because where there is a niche of time, who wants to waste it doing that? Other things have suffered as well. I have sold every painting I have completed this year – sounds fantastic until I reveal the number. Even my health is letting me know in no uncertain terms that I need to take a break (three colds in six weeks, what the hell?)
Until now. Yesterday I painted, prepared some boards, did some bead weaving, emailed the tax office, did some business bits and pieces, finalised a logo concept for a client, relaxed a little. Sunday I even made pancakes for breakfast and did the dishes (yes, I who never do dishes, actually did – it was Fathers Day). I’ve felt relaxed, taken things a little slower and am actually looking forward to tackling both the house and the garden, but without putting pressure on myself.
Because I feel like I have time. There are six weeks stretching out before me that I can utilise pretty much any way I like. Sure, I have projects due during that time and I have no doubt I will fill that time up with various ‘have tos’. But at the moment it feels freeing and relaxing and I can stop working without guilt. I can do the housework without depriving myself of ‘me’ time. It is almost like by thinking I have less work to do, I will actually manage to do more.
I actually sat down with my daughter last night and we read a book together. I don’t do this enough! I have guilt issues! Bad mother!
When I go back to work at the end of the six weeks, my hours will be increasing out of necessity, so it will be back to jamming work into all the nooks and crannies. I want the work, both the employment and my business, I love what I do. It is challenging and I’m being creative and learning all the time, they are the perfect jobs for me. But I’m going to have to look at how I do it. Crazy should not be the norm. I should be able to come home and sit in front of the TV at night and not worry about whatever piece of work I haven’t yet done. I need to give myself permission to have time to myself.
So I’m looking at strategies. None of them will be perfect. I can’t have everything, but I can try to manage things in a less stressful manner. And a little less beating myself up wouldn’t hurt either.
I’m in the perfect position to achieve anything I want, I just need to make sure I don’t stuff up what I already have in order to get it.
Anyway, rambling aside…on my easel:
Almost finished. I still need to fix up the sides of the canvas and give it another eyeball over to check to make sure all the highlights and shadows are in the right spots, but, yeah, pretty close to finished. And then I can start a new one! Starting is always so much fun 😀
On my beading mat:
I am completely in love with Delica beads at the moment, in particular these gorgeous citrus colours. This is a bracelet in design mode. This is what I do sitting in front of the TV at night. Last night it was Hitch and Maid in Manhatten, a couple of happy romantic comedies to occupy my brain spaces while my hands play.
And it is 29 Faces month! I’ve joined up, but am so far behind it is ridiculous, but at some point I will be drawing some faces, maybe I’ll even tackle Sherlock again. I have had a request from my eldest daughter to draw her, so you might see some of that at some point.
So what strategies do you use to make sure you get enough time for yourself and yet manage to get all the ‘have-tos’ done in your life?
The painting and other projects are looking great, Liz! And yes, completely agree with you re: mindset adjustment.
Keep up the great work. Hope to catch up with you again soon! xo
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