Knitting and thinking.
That's what I've spent today doing. Not the list of things yelling for attention on my To Do list. I haven't even had the stereo on (which is most odd for me).
I'm pleased as this is the state I usually find myself in towards the end of my self inflicted Christmas Closedown. But since I was working at least a couple of days a week through that period (and happily so) and, this year, find myself with a micro business that needs just a little more time and effort than it did a year ago I figured it would take an extra week or so to get to this point.
What also helped was the fact that yesterday marks ten years of me living in this flat. Ten years! I've never lived anywhere that long in my entire life. There are some issues related to reaching this milestone but I'll get back to that.
Then, in my Bloglines catch up after my weekend away, I read several posts over at Get Rich Slowly which resonated with me:
* 7 Tips for Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden
"It might seem crazy to start thinking about a vegetable garden in January. It’s cold outside! But believe it or not, now is the perfect time to begin preparing for a successful autumn harvest.... Plan your garden today to ensure summer success. Decide what you’d like to grow. How much space can you devote to the project? How much time are you willing to spend? Answering these questions will help you to determine your priorities."
This started me thinking about my very random and not very successful approach to gardening: get given or have urge to buy a plant. Whack it into space where I was told I was allowed to have a vege garden (one of the terms of my lease is that I'm not allowed to add or remove any plants. A good excuse not to weed but after ten years here I think I need to discuss this clause with my Real Estate agent). Unfortunately this space is directly under a large tree which I'm sure is getting first dibs on any chicken poo I sprinkle on the ground and also gets a lot of full midday sun.
So my next step is to watch my plant slowly die.
I need to do some reassessing and, yes, some planning. And probably a lot of learning...
* Hustle and Patience: What It Takes to Succeed in 2009
" Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how some people who produce content for the web are Artists, while others are Entrepreneurs. He talks about the importance of Passion. He talks about building Brand Equity. He talks about Transparency, about not hiding things from your users. And he talks about how you need to have Goals."
Goals. I have them. I think. But often get sidetracked on the urgent rather than the important. My days get filled but there always seems to be a few things that never quite get done. I realised today a number of these things were crafting endeavours that I'd promised for friends (or planned to make for friends) on the spur of the moment that I feel guiltier and guiltier and guiltier about the fact they're still half finished or not started.
As I sat today and knitted a (rather time consuming) birthday present for my Father that I started last night (due date to New Zealand: Feb 4th) it slowly dawned on me: I need to stop offering (or deciding to) make stuff for people before I've looked at my priorities and available time. And know that I have the time and resources available to do it in the time required. Especially this year where I'm starting part time study.
I kept getting a mental image of a story I heard about years ago. A chap fills a jar with rocks and says to his friend "Is it full?" and the friend says "yes". Then he pours in some pebbles and asks the same question to which the friend replies "yes" again. Finally the chap pours in a cup of sand and the jar really is full.
I think I've drifted into putting the pebbles and sand into my jar first without noticing it...
* The Razor’s Edge: Lessons in True Wealth
Where JD blogs about his friend Sparky and his attitude towards possessions.
A welcome reminder that stuff is still stuff whether you bought it retail, second hand or were given it. I remember when I first moved in here ten years ago how huge it felt and how empty it was. And now I have a space called The Room of Shame. And it hit me: because the longest I've ever lived in one place was five years there had always been that built in assess and purge caused by having to pack all your worldly possessions into boxes and cart them across the country, the city, or (on one occasion) just round the corner.
And there's stuff I just don't see anymore. Or stuff I keep from habit even though what might have been useful and relevant to the 32 year old me may no longer be relevant to the 42 year old me.
It doesn't help that I'm slightly overrun with stock. But that should be all resolved this weekend. The dolls houses come back some time next week I guess but in the time between those two events I hope to discover that I no longer have a Room of Shame.
At the same time I'll write down some goals for the year, for the month and rearrange how I chose to add things to my To Do list. It's going to be a busy few days...