My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #720: Keeping Things in Balance

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-02-2012 11:31 AM 1281 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 719: Hard Work Can Bring Good Results Part 720 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 721: New Printers »

I must admit that I was a bit unfocused yesterday. I didn’t have my usual drive and ambition and saw myself moving at a much slower pace than what I have become used to.

Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. I don’t really think it is anything permanent, but just perhaps the after effects of the last several weeks of working at full tilt.

While I know that this is only temporary, when I really thought about all the things I still have to do I realized that this slower and easier pace couldn’t last long. The other things on my agenda just can’t wait. But as I looked around me and saw things were a bit messy, I knew that I needed to take a breath and regroup and once again tidy thing up around the house before I could continue and move on to other things. It is just the way I am.

After the gym, we came home and I had intended to get right to work. But walking into the house, there was just a bit too much clutter for my liking. It wasn’t terrible, but there was enough stuff here and there to make the place look messy, and it didn’t feel right starting in a new direction without first giving the place a once over and putting things where they belong. That included my computer, as it sometimes amazes me how the desktop of my computer becomes disorganized in direct proportion to the rest of my environment. Even there things needed to be filed and put in their proper places and organized so that I would be able to find them.

I also needed to catch up on my emails, and am going to finish doing that this morning after I am done here. There are some correspondences that need attention, and while I got through many of them yesterday, there are still some letters that need a response. I try to keep up with them every day, but the past week or so I was only able to take care of those which were most pressing. As my inbox was filling up, I realized that I needed to take the time to attend to things there. Mainly I do so first thing in the morning or last thing at night, but I was working at such a pace that I wasn’t able to keep to that schedule and things fell a bit behind.

I did accomplish a lot yesterday even though it was at a slower pace. I spent some time posting the many receipts that were piling up and I got my finances completely up to date. That feels great. Keith and I both have spread sheets on our computers and we have been very good at documenting all our expenses and income for the business. Usually, I do this for the first few months of the year, and then trail off and wind up doing it only when it comes time to prepare for paying my taxes. That turns it into a much larger task, and with the addition of Keith to my business, much more complicated. This is the first year that I have used a computer program to keep track of things and it is making it quite easy. I simply have a folder of unposted receipts and periodically (ideally every couple of weeks) I post them to the income and expense sheets. Once they are posted, they are put in an accordion file which is divided by month. Next April when the taxes are due, it will be very easy for me to run reports and all the back up documents will be in one place. This time that I am spending now will save me days of sorting and trying to remember things when I am preparing my taxes. I am glad that I am finally getting into the habit of doing things this way. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out.

Today I will spend writing instructions for the two projects that will be in the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts. I don’t know if I will be able to finish them all, but I will try my best to get them at least close. I want to work on both the new bird cage ornament set as well as the instructions for the two ornament sets that I just painted as soon as I am done with the holiday projects. The box of projects arrived at the magazine yesterday and writing the instructions is quickly becoming a top priority. It will feel good to be able to finish those up.

So you see, there is quite a variety of things for me to do to keep busy. It was supposed to rain this weekend, but I woke up to a bright and sunny morning. I am not yet sure if that will be helpful or distracting for me. We will just have to see . . .

Sometimes, I feel that it is quite a balancing act to keep everything going. Most days I can handle it though, and it is only the odd time that it gets to be overwhelming for me. I only need to keep my focus, and I should be able to do fine.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday.

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

3 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3948 days

#1 posted 06-02-2012 01:58 PM

Hi Sheila;

When I was about 19 I had an eye injury, and of course I had no insurance. I figured at my current rate of pay it would take 10 years or more to pay for the surgery I needed, so I decided the best thing for me to do was to quit my job and start a business. (careful planning, huh?)

I asked advice from a previous employer, who was pretty successful. He told me running a business was a lot like riding an elephant. As long as you’re riding him, things are ok. But when he starts riding you, you’re in trouble.

Turns out to be a fairly accurate assessment, and I have the feet prints to prove it. Staying on top of all the details, like doing your books and clearing off your desktop, helps ensure you do the riding.

Well, I have to go clean up some elephant poop.

Have a good day.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 06-02-2012 02:40 PM

Wow, what an apt analog by Lee! Puts everything in perspective and him mentioning the cleanup at the end is representative of lots of the kind of work we have to do! (unpleasant!) Well said, Lee!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2888 days

#3 posted 06-02-2012 03:20 PM

Wow, Lee. I agree with Erwin. It is a great analogy. So many times we allow things to take over and run us, forgetting that we are the ones in charge. Ultimately, it is up to us to take responsibility for ourselves and do what is in our best interests. Sometimes that is a difficult line to draw for ourselves.

It took a lot of guts for you to start your own business at 19. When I started my business, I was married and only the secondary income of the house. There was not nearly the risk that you had to take. Later on, when it was up to me to fend for myself, I better understood why I wasn’t making any money. (I wasn’t all along, but because I wasn’t counting on the money for a living, the losses were not as evident.) Now I know that it is up to me to provide for myself. If I don’t make money (or even lose money) then I can’t continue doing what I am doing if I want to survive. That has helped me develop as a business person and sometimes even though the decisions are hard, I have to refuse certain jobs or favors.

Staying on top of things can be challenging. Doing the ‘grunt work’ is one good way of looking at things realistically and doing just that.

Thanks so much again for your input! :)

Onward we go!


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

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