My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #593: A Much Needed Break

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-25-2012 03:36 PM 5144 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 592: Done. (complete. through. ended. ready. finished) Part 593 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 594: A Milestone for Me Here on Lumberjocks »

Sometime around noon there was a knock on my door and the delivery man was here to take the package which contained my calendar project. As I saw the truck drive away, I felt a sense of relief that it was finally on its way. I had done all I could to make the project look good and it was now out of my hands.

I still have to finish up the writing of the instructions – but that was the easy part. My camera (and subsequently my computer) contained probably seventy pictures to choose from and to refine to include in the step by step directions and while that would take the better part of the day to accomplish, I felt confident that I had all that I needed to really and truly complete the assignment.

I was tired though, and after spending some time tidying up the house a bit, I had some lunch and decided that I was going to take a day off. It is difficult for me to do that. There always seems to be something calling at me that I either need to do or want to do or both. I am starting to figure that if I waited to have nothing to do to take some time off, I would never have a break. So I made the decision.

Many people say they wouldn’t like to do woodworking (or painting) as a “job” because it would take the fun away from things if they have to do them on a daily basis. I know that I am a bit different, because usually I wake up each morning and can’t wait to get to working on things – be it my blog here to show what I accomplished the previous day, or talking to customers and answering questions or starting something new. I truly love it and it is rare that I feel trapped into having to do something that I don’t want.

But sometimes, I do get tired and feel the pressure of having to have things done by a certain time frame. While most of the time it pushes me to a higher level of accomplishment, there are some isolated times when I feel a bit anxious because I want a break and just can’t take one in good conscience. These times are few and far between, but they do occur and I found that the way to safeguard myself from ‘burning out’ is to follow my own feelings and just let go every now and then. This was one of those times I needed to do that.

In the summer time, we are able to take off in the convertible on one of our ‘day trips’ and get away for a day without computers or phones or the like and get a change of scenery. It does wonders for both Keith and myself and usually upon our return we are fresh and inspired and have lots of ideas and energy to devote to work. In the winter months however, it is not as easy to put the job behind us, and it takes a bit more of an effort to refocus and let go of the day to day responsibilities of the business. But it is every bit as necessary (even more so I believe) to do so periodically in order to stay fresh and motivated and not feel bogged down by living the lifestyle that we do. (By that I mean eating, sleeping and breathing work.)

So yesterday, I spent the majority of the day making puzzles and other nonsense things of that nature. I found some beautiful photographs of cats and organized my computer and themes for my desktop (I love the Windows7 theme feature) and semi-watched some mindless TV while I did a couple of puzzles. I wasn’t totally delinquent, as I still filled orders, answered the phone and answered emails, but I didn’t do anything above and beyond. And I survived. And all is well.

I never made it to taking the nap yesterday, but that was OK. I got to catch up with a friend on the phone for an hour and I made a wicked pot of chili which was yummy on the cold, dreary and rainy day we had yesterday. I went to bed at my usual time, and I slept until almost seven, which is unheard of for me. My usual time that I get up is around five. But I feel it paid off. I awoke today feeling refreshed and good and I truly look forward to writing the instructions for the project and buttoning it up for good. It is going to be a great day today.

I want to share with you too some pictures that I took yesterday of my little all season tree. I think it looks incredible!

From My Valentine Tree 2012

From My Valentine Tree 2012

From My Valentine Tree 2012

From My Valentine Tree 2012

From My Valentine Tree 2012

I used all of my hearts to decorate it, along with some shiny red bead garland. Along with the white lights, it looks quite festive and romantic. I left it lit yesterday, and it brightened up the dreariness of the day. I am glad I decided to make the effort to change it and decorate it for the seasons. It really adds a lot to our little place. I plan to make something for the top of it in a Valentine theme. Perhaps a cute cherub silhouette. But that may not happen until next year. That’s OK though. No hurry.

I think that yesterday was a good lesson for me in taking care of myself. As a parent, business owner, and self-reliant individual, that isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But a little time off can go a long way both physically and emotionally for our own well-being.

I hope you all remember that when you are feeling frazzled. It all begins with being kind to yourself and taking care of your own needs too. So often we forget about ourselves and while it is sometimes perceived as being ‘noble’ to continually take care of those around you, in the long run being good to yourself and doing what you need to do for YOU is a far better way to live, as it allows you to have the reserve you need to be your best all around. It doesn’t take much most times, and you will be amazed how quickly you will feel refreshed and again ready to take on the world.

Have a wonderful day!

-- 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 Leldon's profile


67 posts in 2869 days

#1 posted 01-25-2012 03:38 PM

Your tree looks awesome Sheila! Have a wonderful day!

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 01-25-2012 04:41 PM

Know what you mean, even though it was 6 above 0 yesterday morning, the sunrise painted the sky a
beautiful pink, and I just had to put on the gear and go cross country skiing out the back door for a hour
or so. Made for a wonderful break, and relaxed me for spending the day in my small shop playing with
the finish on some small bowls and doing some carving on some small figures that have not decided just
what they really are yet. I no longer worry about a business, but keeping the mind sharp and functioning
is necessary no matter what you are doing. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you, your cats & family
have a wonderful day.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3032 days

#3 posted 01-25-2012 05:38 PM

Try to relax, you’ve earned it, Sheila.

Me, I can’t stop the idea coming either.

I wish you well with the hearts.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2916 days

#4 posted 01-25-2012 08:07 PM

Yes, I feel pretty good today. Refreshed and good about things. Nice to change the pace for a bit. Even if it is just for a little while. :) Thanks guys!


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

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