My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1085: Building a Foundation

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-18-2013 11:05 AM 1241 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1084: Catching Up Part 1085 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1086: Odds and Ends »

So this is what it feels like to be ‘done.’

I don’t even remember the last time that I could say that. It has to be months.

While it is a good feeling to have everything that I need to do accomplished, it also leaves me feeling a bit uneasy. I am as you may have noticed a ‘goal-driven’ person. I have learned to make good use of my time, but only when there are clear goals in front of me. I love a challenge – and nothing kicks me into a higher gear than when someone doubts me or implies that I can accomplish something.

Vague goals don’t count for much. While it is good to have long term and short term goals, I often find that if I push my deadlines too far into the future, I disregard them. I need to set hard and fast dates to achieve certain things, or I wind up looking at them as frivolous. And then nothing gets accomplished.

What I find as I get older is just how much control we have over our lives and what we accomplish. Many of us complain that there isn’t enough time to do the things we would like, but in really looking at and analyzing things, more often than not things don’t get done due to our own choices. That’s not saying it is bad, as we are the only ones who can prioritize our objectives. If you ever noticed, the really important things are the things that we put at the top of the list. Those are the things that are attended first.

Most of this prioritizing is done sub-consciously, as we go through our daily lives. We tend to make mental lists of what we would like to accomplish for any particular day, week, month or even year. These lists are liquid in nature though and every day events affect the order continually, and we are revising it over and over again. Some things are more stable in their position than others – like going to our jobs or making enough money to pay our mortgage, etc. But many are very flexible and tend to float up and down the list of priorities depending on what else the day or days have served us. These include things like cleaning out the closet or painting a room or any of our leisure time activities. Usually these things aren’t pressing as much as the life-sustaining things and are the first things we bump to the bottom – many times rightfully so.

So when I say that I am “done”, I suppose that really isn’t the case. There are things here that I want and need to do that have been neglected as I have accomplished my recent objectives. There is some general organizing and straightening that has to be done, as well as posting some receipts for the business. (Paperwork such as that frequently slides to the bottom of my list very easily!)

I know I need to design more things for myself and the web site. These past two months or so have filled my time completely with projects for the magazine and my wholesalers. While that will pay off more in the future, and is very necessary to keep my business going, it will feel good to be able to design something for my own site and customers that I will be able to release immediately. There is so much that I am thinking of that I can’t wait to begin.

And finally there is my new ‘hobby’ of expanding my education in painting. My set of new paints arrived the other day and I am anxious to use them and get to know them. While I realize that I can’t just drop off work and play all the time, I need to establish a pattern of allowing myself some down time on a regular basis in order to pursue some things that are important to me. We all need that and we tend to cheat ourselves out of our own pleasure and happiness by putting that priority on the bottom of the list.

But life is short. And I truly believe the key to contentment is to find a good balance in our lives. The other day – after I took the day for painting for myself – Keith mentioned to me that he “liked relaxed Sheila” and he saw a difference in my demeanor. I DID feel better, too. Not only did I feel good because I got to have some fun, but I also came back to work on Monday with a wonderfully positive attitude about my job. As a result, I finished off some nagging loose ends that I wasn’t looking forward to doing very much. And I finished them off feeling good about them and I believe that I did a better job because of my positive attitude. I no longer felt as if I was depriving myself from my free time and the things I wanted to do for fun. No matter how much I love my work, I still need those moments to not be ‘working’ or ‘available’ as it can be exhausting and draining at times.

So today will be a general organizational day. I plan to do a little tidying up, post some receipts and think about some new goals to challenge myself. While I have some ideas of what I want to accomplish, they are vague and not really sharply defined, and I need to bring them into better focus so I can begin working on them.

While looking in it may seem that I am doing little today, in reality I am building a foundation for the next round of accomplishment. As with many foundations, they aren’t always seen in the finished project. But they are definitely there and without them, the project wouldn’t exist.

I wish you all a good day today. I hope you all remember to take time to look into yourselves and do not only what is important to others, but also to yourself. Build your own foundation strong so that you can take on the world!

Happy Thursday!

It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. – David Allan Coe

My cat ‘Pancakes’ – my eyeglass holder! Just because I needed a picture!

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

8 comments so far

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2239 days

#1 posted 07-18-2013 12:28 PM

You remind of the time I told someone I didn’t have time to something and was told that wasn’t true but rather I chose to use the time for something else.

-- Kepy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#2 posted 07-18-2013 12:35 PM

I suppose it all comes down to priorities. Whether we realize it or not, we prioritize nearly everything in our lives. We also rank tasks according to necessity and importance to us. Perhaps at the time you told him that you didn’t have time for what he wanted you to do, you had things that were more important to you that needed to be done. There is nothing wrong with that. As I get older, I realize that saying ‘yes’ to too many things that aren’t high on my priority list can be destructive to me. And that in turn affects all who I come in contact with in my life. There is a feeling of peace and also a feeling of control when you are able to say “no” guilt-free. Overextending yourself or doing something out of guilt is something that many of us do too often and it drains us so we can’t appreciate the things we love. Bottom line is that we need to take care of ourselves in order to be good for others. :)

Thanks for your comment.


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

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 07-18-2013 12:59 PM

Good morning Sheila, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! It is like waking up on Christmas morning before getting to see all of the presents. Rick

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Jay Wells's profile

Jay Wells

58 posts in 1857 days

#4 posted 07-18-2013 01:20 PM

Some hard and fast goals..deadline is two weeks,.give or take a month
Research whether more leaves fall from trees in a meadow or on a riverbank during a picnic..
Time how long it takes a hersheys kiss to completely melt in your mouth…with and without the help of a good red wine…
Find out if there is any truth to the rumor that the average number of boats passing a shady spot on the river is 36 per afternoon.
See if you can keep a cat in your lap while rocking in a rocking chair for at least 60 minutes..
Count the shades of blue in the sky…
Find out once and for all how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop..(I know the answer but can’t tell you :)

These are things we need to know.

Thanks for being such an inspiration…take a break, you sure deserve it.

-- Find your limitations, and ignore them!

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2983 days

#5 posted 07-18-2013 02:34 PM

Morning Sheila, Jay Wells makes some good points on how to enjoy life to the fullest!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2888 days

#6 posted 07-18-2013 02:54 PM

A question…. why do we need somebody to notice that …. we are happy?
An answer…. because everything is done and we notice them too.
The truth is… we dont notice what they noticed if we are not done yet.
Have a nice day.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#7 posted 07-18-2013 06:55 PM

Thank you all for your nice comments. Erwin – you are correct. Jay has some really good points. I sometimes get so caught up in things that I forget to stop and enjoy the day to day. I have been better at catching when I do that though and I really do take some time when I need it.

Bert – I just think that Keith liked seeing me doing something that I really love. I did feel happy after painting my flowers the other day. I really felt good that I had such an amazing life. And I appreciated even the smallest thing, like a couple of hours to just be ‘me’ and do what I want for no other reason than because “I wanted to” We all need that from time to time.

Have a good day everyone. I am glad you stopped by to say ‘hi!’


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2038 days

#8 posted 07-18-2013 11:35 PM

Hi Sheila, there will never be enough hours to do all the things the creative brain thinks of. The important thing is to enjoy what you are doing at the time you are doing it. When I retired I got rid of my watch – never wear one at all now – my stomach and the daylight is good enough to tell the time – unless I have a plane to catch!
Enjoy! Just back from a great photographic day. Will share later.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

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