As I reread my post of yesterday this morning when responding to comments, I decided that perhaps I should try to take some of my own advice.
It is funny to me how it can be easier to advise others sometimes while not adhering to that same advice for yourself. It reminds me of that old ‘can’t see the forest through the trees’ saying that we are all familiar with. Sometimes we are just too close to things to make a good decision.
Things have been busy lately. That is always a good thing and I do always appreciate the challenges that being busy brings, and the fact that if I am busy, business must be going well. All of that is true, but in the last couple of weeks, I feel a bit overwhelmed, as if I am swimming upstream and not really making any progress.
I know that isn’t true, as I have things in front of me to show that I am. It is just that I think I am getting a bit tired of running at this speed and need a short break. I think working at this speed for the length of time that I have is getting to me.
I have one more big and really important deadline looming. Then (hopefully!) I can slow it down a bit and maybe take at least a day off where I don’t feel quite so pressed. That deadline is probably Tuesday, which means if I can hold on for a couple more days, I will meet it and be good. Then I will be able to take a breath.
The funny thing was that last week (and the week or two that led up to it) I was pushing pretty hard to complete those two ornament patterns for the catalog submission. I met that goal, just under the wire. I was thrilled about it and I am still, as it is a great opportunity for me and will mean good things for me this fall and winter.
Within a day of meeting that goal, I found that both the designs I worked on so hard were accepted, and I am thrilled. All the hard work and time I put into them paid off. I am very grateful.
But with that acceptance, came another deadline and more responsibility. I need to get the finished pieces and pattern sent out and have it all the way on the other side of the country by the 18th. It seemed like plenty of time initially, but when I consider how long it sometimes takes to ship things (without costing an arm and a leg) it puts a bit of pressure on me to finish quickly. So I needed to jump right into the race again.
I want it to be clear that I am not complaining. I hope it doesn’t seem that way. I just wish that there were more hours in the day to accomplish everything that I want to and need to and that I could get everything done.
I really don’t feel that it is because I mismanage my time. I try to be efficient and do what I need to do. But lately, however, I have found that I have felt guilty for taking half an hour to eat my lunch. And as I looked at the huge clock we have on the wall last night and it was after ten and I still wasn’t finished with what I was drawing, I felt kind of bad about calling it a night. Part of me thought I should ‘buck up’ and keep going, but I was really getting tired.
I am sure that all designers go through this feast or famine in their lives. While we all enjoy the feasts, there is only so much we can eat and we have to stop.
And then I reread my post yesterday about breaking things down into smaller, more palatable steps and it dawned on me that I should be doing this myself. After all, there is only one of me. While it is quite impractical for me to put a set time limit on working on things, I need to trust my judgment and give myself a little break. Sitting on the deck with Pancakes (my cat) and enjoying a half hour of sunshine while eating my lunch should have no guilt attached to it. It isn’t going to make or break me if I take that time, and in all probability, it will do me good.
I have a long staircase to climb in this journey of mine. If I look at the entire road, I find myself both intimidated and exhausted before I even begin. I just need to take my own advice and take one step at a time, enjoying the journey as much as I will enjoy reaching the destination. As long as I know I am doing my best, I can feel good about things and be happy.
Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other. – Henry David Thoreau
Have a wonderful Saturday. Remember to take time to enjoy your journey.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"