My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #173: A Breath

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-23-2010 02:54 PM 4057 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 172: A "Talkie" Part 173 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 174: Getting Ready »

This is the time of the year that just goes by too quickly. In looking at the calendar, there is the realization that Christmas is just a few weeks away. For me it is even sooner, as I have to mail several of my gifts out. If they are to arrive on time, they have to be ready to go in the next week or so. It is easy for me to get caught up and feel harried.

I am torn between continuing to create new things for my business and making other gifts for the people on my list. I love to make many of my Christmas gifts because I do think people enjoy them. Many times I have many new ideas that spin off of something I made for someone. I like my gifts to be something special. Something that is given with the recipient in mind and inspired by that individual.

There are so many people that have touched my life that I would love to give a gift to. Even if it were a small token. It is sometimes difficult to decide where to draw the line. When I think of all the good people in my life, it is sometimes overwhelming. For that reason, I like to do small things throughout the year that show my appreciation for others. I like surprising others with small kindnesses and tokens of appreciation. To me somehow it is more fun than on one single day when everyone is stressed.

I used to get quite stressed out myself during this time of the year. My family was larger then. My kids were with me. For several years when they were small I hosted a large holiday dinner which included my best friend and her family. Although those were great times and cherished memories, they were quite busy and my friend Cari and I worked ourselves ragged in the weeks leading up to the event only to see it pass by too quickly. It was as if we worked right through it and with the blink of an eye it was over.

Things are different for me now and much quieter. I won’t be able to be back in the States for the holidays and I will be spending it with my adoptive families here in Canada. It is much less fanfare, but I can see sometimes that even that can creep up and make me anxious. I am good at spotting it however and I have found that taking a little time off every day is a wonderful way to stay grounded and not let it get the best of me.

It did snow yesterday, although most of it is gone now. When I took my walk in the woods, many of the small streams and puddles were beginning to freeze over. The trees are all bear now too and you can almost see through the bare branches to the river from the path on the other side. I find it odd because in some ways you don’t feel as isolated but in other ways, you feel even more so because of the quiet.

As I walked past the place where I had picked blackberries only a few short months ago, I couldn’t help but notice the difference. In August, the area was overgrown and lush and the sound of birds and insects could be heard buzzing. And that silly rooster. But now it is barren and quiet. The berry bushes are mere twigs. You can hear the river rushing more now from the path – probably because there are few leaves left to buffer its voice. It is a peaceful sound though, and quite mesmerizing.

I didn’t take walks in the winter last year. But this year I am prepared. I know the area much better and have my layered ‘walking clothes’ that I wear to keep warm. I enjoy the time to think and plan. It gets me out and clears my head and in the long run is good for my creativity. There are three different places that I would consider my favorites – all within walking distance. They all have slightly different terrains and each one offers a different type of beauty.

I think that taking time out for yourself is very important to being creative. There were many years when I didn’t realize this and being busy every single moment took its toll on me both health-wise and creatively. I have found over the years that taking care of one’s self is an essential ingredient in remaining creative and not burning out. Even half an hour a day makes a huge difference. Be it taking a walk, listening to some favorite music with a nice cup of tea or even writing. Do something you love to feed your soul.

In these busy weeks to come, I hope you all don’t forget to take the time to stand back and take a breath and enjoy the day and your life in general. After all, what are we doing all this for anyway?

”Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

4 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3141 days

#1 posted 11-23-2010 07:19 PM

Hello there Sheila
don´t worry so much becourse you ain´t have the time to make those presents
remember to run a business you work twice the hours that others do
and they still havn´t the time to make gift to there closest beloved once they
just rush out and buy the first thing they see on the shelffs in the stores
and don´t even think about what it is and if it is the right gift to them ( use and throw away) .. :-(

and about the holliday dinners well I know its wrong to think like this, but think it anyway
you have done yours over the years now its there time to do a little time in the kitchen
you can always payback with a grande party next time you round the next scary scharp corners
in the years of life.

remember the terain isn´t look what you are used to in the winther with all the white snow
covering the ground and change all
so I hope you have learned to read a topic map and use a compass , anyway just remember to have
it with you when walking away from streets
sorry just the boyscout that came to me :-)

have a great day

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2882 days

#2 posted 11-24-2010 01:52 AM

Sheila, it is good that you are taking some time for yourself, It gets the creative juices flowing.
I can be so easy to get into a rut and work on auto pilot.
Suddenly you look around and the season has changed and you miss the transformation.
My favourite gift to receive, is a happy smile.

Be well

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 11-24-2010 07:50 AM

Christmas is a sneakin’ up on us alright :-)) Glad you are out of the snow. I had to drive about 80 miles out to the coast for a job yesterday. By the time I got home it was snowing. We had almost 7 inches and traffic was a nightmare, but I missed it :-)) By 8 PM the power went out and the temps dropped to about 20 F. LOML was reading by kerosene lamp light when I went to bed.

This AM, I built a fire to warm up the house and had a service call to go to. Before I got back to start the generator, the power was back on ;-)) I was afraid it might be another one of those 2 or 3 dayers :-(( Was out of a week about 15 yrs ago and 5 days another time. the legislature passed a law saying you are responsible for the damage if you stop the power company from trimming your trees. That helped keep the power on a lot ever since!!:-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#4 posted 11-24-2010 02:37 PM

To all of you – Thank you for your comments. :)

@ Dennis – I think you are right. I am in a different stage of my life and it is times like this at the holidays that I tend to reminisce and think back to when my kids were all together with me. They are grown now and have their own lives and I sometimes wish it were possible for us to all be together again for the holidays, but sometimes it just isn’t the case. The important thing is that they are happy and healthy and living good lives. I do miss them though.

I walk on the path most of the time and don’t stray far from it – especially when I am walking alone. Once this summer my partner and I wandered off and were deeper in the woods than we bargained for and it took about an hour or two to get back. I wasn’t really scared, but more uncomfortable because the trees got pretty thick and it got to be difficult to decide which way was the ‘right’ way to go. I don’t get that adventurous when I am on my own, and usually stay just on the other side of the river which is a 2km walk and good enough.

@Jamie – you are also right in saying how quickly time passes. I do slow down from time to time to reflect and enjoy things. I know I am getting older because I appreciate things so much more. I look back to my 20’s and 30’s and it isn’t that I didn’t appreciate things, but I just didn’t expect time to pass so quickly. Suddenly your kids are adults and living their own lives and it seems like yesterday that they were small. Such is life, I suppose. :)

Wow, TS! – 7 inches! It certainly is coming our way. Part of my shopping trip was to get ‘winter supplies’ of food and stuff, knowing that I won’t have my car. I even have bottled water here in case the power is out, as my water is brought in with an electric pump and when the power goes out, the water does too. We only had one long day of no power since I have been here, so they are pretty good for being in the country, but it is good to be prepared. I have extra canned goods and dry goods and the freezer is quite full. I know I won’t starve! The hardest part will be no computer if I lose power, but I can always paint or read. At least I feel ready for anything. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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