I'm guessing if you don't have kids you may never have visited Lori Pickert's Camp Creek Blog. Or maybe you have kids but you're not homeschooling, so you've never landed there. But no--you need to visit. I'm biased, sure. I like Lori a lot, and I like her book, and I'm using her guidelines and practices with my own children. But now she's begun a series of posts for adults, and I think it's such important reading. Lori feels we all deserve to have the sort of life that some of us are trying to create for our children--one where time is spent pursuing interests and passions--a whole life, I would say. And--and I appreciate this very much--she is not writing lovely-sounding things and leaving the reader to send wishes up to the universe. She's got some concrete steps we can all take. I look forward to Monday mornings because that's when she posts her project posts for grown-ups. And she is saying things I already believe in.
How can you learn to use the time you have? (And you do have time.)
What does your space say about you? Do you need to change it so it reflects the kind of work you want to do?
What kind of negative self-talk do you have going on? Stop it, already.
These things resonate with me. When I'm on my game, I can get quite a lot of my own work accomplished in the nooks and crannies of my day--because otherwise, it won't get done. I don't care if you stay home with kids or have a full-time job out of the house, it takes mountain-moving to get a hour or two chunk of time in which to focus on your own projects. So you squeeze it in. You learn to work in small increments. Every time I see the advice to leave a first draft (writing, or painting, anything, really) and come back to it with fresh eyes I just laugh, because I am always walking away from a work in progress to attend to somebody's needs. I always have fresh eyes. Lucky me, right?
And my house? My house is...cluttered would be a nice way of describing it. This is a picture of my chair, the one that is so clearly marked as my territory that guests rarely try to sit in it.
My knitting is sitting right there waiting for me. If I have a few minutes, I can knit a bit. If I have an embroidery project going, it's usually on the footstool. The binders on the bins to the left are full of printed-out knitting and sewing patterns. Most of my pattern and reference books are downstairs, but the ones I'm using for the current project are piled up next to the chair. My sketchbook is there, too, along with a zippered pouch of sketching pencils. So if I want to sit down in the evening and work out some ideas, I don't have to go far. The basic supplies are right there. It looks pretty messy. But it works for me. (When company comes I've been known to pick up all the piles and just dump them behind a closed bedroom door for a few hours.)
Projects or fabric-in-waiting is often sitting out on the ironing board. Goodness knows I don't use it for anything else when I'm not sewing. (My husband moves my piles when he irons his shirts.)
These two embroidery pieces are waiting for their respective display solutions. I need to get on that.
Downstairs is also where our art area is. Everything I need is within reach. If I--or the kids--wants to start a project, materials are gathered within minutes. We are so well stocked--I feel so fortunate there.
Ahem. That's just some of the storage down there. It's not very...tidy. It's so accessible though!
In the comments of the third post (which is about getting out of your own way) I admitted my personal big negative self-talk hurdle: "If my passion/interest/project isn't earning any income, it's not worth the investment of money or time taken from the family." This is something I deal with as the at-home non-wage-earning parent. It's completely self-generated. I don't hear it from anyone but myself. But always, in the back of my mind, is the constant circular mumble: Is there a way to make money from this but I don't want to figure out an at-home business it would kill my joy I don't have time for that I'm working quite a bit as it is but why take a class just for fun it doesn't benefit anyone but me that's so selfish is there a way to make money from this?
I could probably benefit from the extra brain space I'd free up if I could silence that inner voice completely.
So. No big words of wisdom here. I'm still working this out. I show up on Mondays and read the posts and get reminded that I don't have to have it worked out, that having my own interests, passions, and joys is necessary for a well-lived life, not to mention it sets a good example for my kids. This is how I've always tried to be. I've always had interests and creative pursuits; I've never stopped learning. But there are periods when I don't work at it as hard, often when life is feeling its hardest--which, of course, is when I need these things that feed my soul the most. So this series of posts is serving as an excellent reminder to continue to value what I need, all the time.