Sunday, August 29, 2010

That Balance Thing Again

I was thinking about this blog as I sat in the audience last Friday at The Hollywood Bowl, listening to John Williams conduct the L.A. Philharmonic in a program of movie scores. I was thinking about how I had not posted in a while, and how I should post about how to enjoy what you have, and wondering how long it had been since my last post. Ten months (egad) it turns out.

It occurs to me that maybe it is a little bit wrong that I should be thinking about the blog, rather than being in the moment of lovely music (or at least memorable music; the Theme from Jaws isn't lovely, but it is definitely memorable) in one of my favorite places to listen to music. But that's where my brain went, and it led me back to thinking about how spend our time and how to achieve that pinnacle of accomplishment: Work Life Balance.

We work hard. These days, every one is a little worried about keeping their jobs, if they are employees, or keeping the business alive and growing (or maybe just afloat) if they are business owners. How do we clear time to play as well? For hobbies, for the things that give us depth and breadth?

Personally, I have too much going on, too much that I want to do, and not enough time to get it all done. Maybe if I didn't have to cook dinners, maybe if I didn't have the DD to shepherd, maybe if I didn't ... well, you know that litany and can add your own entries. In truth, I could have all those things done for me and still not have enough time for the projects I want to do.

I am going back to basics. To setting goals, to planning things out. It sounds dull, it sounds boring, it sounds painful, it definitely sounds like I'll have to say "No" or at least "Later" to some interesting things. Like learning to spin or learning to dye. But with limited time, focus is everything. And so I will plan what I want to get done first, what I can use to fill in (because not all projects are portable), and what I will use to add the variety that I need. Just a little, you know. And then maybe, just maybe, I can stop obsessing about what I'm not doing and start enjoying what I am doing.

So first, I'll get the photo albums firmly in control. This is actually well under way, 2009 got finished last month. I started in 2001, now I can pull some previous years to work on while I organize 2010. I have 1998 - 2000 pulled out ready to be sorted before the workshop in October. My friend Valerie hosts a scrapping workshop one Saturday each month, and my friend Kelly has friends over for a get together with room for scrapping (or crochet or knit or whatever) when her schedule allows.

Second, there is the traditional hooked chair seat cover that I can work on a couple hours most Wednesdays at Jane Olsen's workshops. I didn't mention that I took up that craft this January, did I? I'll have to fill in that story another time. But I did, and I've gotten the rose (Tea Rose pattern, pictured on this page) completed and am now filling in the background. I'm using a #4 cut of wool, so it hooks up fairly quickly. Good choice, for once. Jane is a great teacher, and is wonderful at guiding you to making reasonable choices.

Thirdly, there is the POW! scarf that I started last year and have been plugging away on as time allows. This is my portable project; I can do it in the car, or while waiting for the movie to start. I'm not up to knitting during the movie, I'll mess up for sure. This one is half finished, and would be closer but I keep having to unknit.

There is a little penny rug project (Bee Welcome from Bird Brain Designs) that can be finished in a good afternoon, or two shorter sessions, I think, that I will use as filler.

If this sounds like too much, and it may well be, it is still a fairly hard trimming of what I could be working on. There is a pile of other projects waiting in the wings. I am putting off the hemstitch sampler that is 1/3 finished. I have a study course in crewel embroidery. There's a couple of needlepoint projects that will be very pretty once they are done. I have tea towels to stitch, each a pretty small project but taken as a whole, well. There is the lap quilt that I started a very long while ago, and I pull out from time to time.

If I can limit both my expectations of everything taking only a little bit of time, and my exuberance for new projects I can complete some of the things I have going and begin to enjoy them. And that is where I want the balance to be.

No comments: