Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One Uninterrupted Hour

After dropping my daughter and her family off at the airport yesterday, I came home, cleaned up after the wee small hurricane, and headed down to my studio to sew for an hour. As the saying goes, if you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got SO... this week I am trying an experiment to see if I can develop a new and more beneficial routine.

The plan? Start every day with an hour of sewing. Before anything else. In my pajamas. Complete with timer. During that hour, I don't want to talk about sewing, think about sewing, or write about sewing. I want to sew. Last week's thought - that there was too much pressure in my studio - really upset me. How did the place that nurtures me became so pressure filled that I am subconsciously avoiding it? Bottom line - the pressure could only be coming from me and if I am the problem, I am also the solution.





Although it wasn't first thing in the morning, yesterday was something of a trial run. I couldn't believe how many times I wanted to pop up and do something else like send an email, research a question, change the laundry, call a friend, have a snack or... or... or... One uninterrupted hour is not too much to ask for myself or of myself.

This week the plan is to sew, get dressed, journal, walk, and then write the next day's blog post and auto-set it for the morning. At the end of the week, I'll re-evaluate to see if I want to make further changes. I must get dressed every morning and I want to journal, write, walk, and sew. It seems to me that these can be accomplished in any order and that quite possibly a different order will better facilitate and honor my creativity.





In yesterday's hour - with only two slip-ups where I checked my email - I was able to fuse interfacing around the neckline and hems of the pajama top, serge finish and press up the hems, stitch the shoulder seams, bind the neckline, and sew on the sleeves. All that's left is to sew up the underarm seams and stitch the hems. While I'm working on that this morning, I'll be thinking about which project to sew next. I find knowing that answer provides a smooth transition between projects.





There has been a tremendous amount of synchronicity happening in my life lately. Although I was absolutely not in the mood to make resolutions or to set goals of any kind at the end of last year, they can - apparently - catch up with you anyway. I saw this book - One Word That Will Change Your Life - on Victoria's blog and even though I've heard about the concept before, I decided to read about it from the source to see if I'd been doing things "right". The book - IMHO - was only okay. There was a lot about finding your word and way too much about how to display your word and not nearly enough on how to apply your word. And yet...





... my word somehow managed to find me anyway. Several of the magazine articles in Dream Big along with concepts discussed in both The Energy Bus and Wide Awake - both fabulous books - talked about the need to ENJOY life. Enjoyment.... hmm... perhaps a lack of enjoyment is the reason for all the pressure in my studio, hence the change in routine.

AND YET... this is not a total change. It may in fact be a return to a previous routine. Way back when... when I worked outside the home... I always got up early and sewed for an hour before anything else. It worked wonderfully then. It could just quite possibly work wonderfully now.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - synchronicity

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see. 
- Carl Jung

14 comments:

  1. I like the concept of taking one hour a day focused on sewing. I've toyed with that thought but have not started it yet. I'm still in the 'wait for something to happen' instead of 'making something happen'. I can be such a sluggard at times. First thing in the morning is best, before distractions get the best of you. I usually go to my computer first with my coffee and there I vegetate, then before I know it, my morning is nearly over. Time for change. Thanks for posting this.

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    1. I'm not sure I'd call it sluggard. I find I have to think about some things from a variety of angles until I find what make sense. I gave this change of routine a lot of thought until it made sense/felt right and this morning went fabulous. I'll talk about it in tomorrow's post but - hopefully - that's the confirmation I was looking for. I'd love to hear how your hour goes. Please let me know.

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  2. I do this! I set aside a specific amount of time for sewing each day. Usually, it's 1-2 hours after work. My brain is so fried by then (I work in an office), that working with my hands is a nice way to wind down. Having this routine also keeps me on track with my sewing projects so that I don't get distracted. It's like going to the gym every morning. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's really encouraging. I'm definitely expecting to sew for more than an hour a day but I think this vitamin-ish hour before everything else will be a great start to my day. I know I'm eager to get back to the project I started this morning. It's been a long time since I worked outside the home but when I did I sewed before work, on my lunch hour, and after work and then that was adjusted when we had children and then adjusted again when they were in school and then adjusted again when I started a business and again when the kids were all adults and now I'm at another adjusting period. This is good.

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  3. Creative minds seem to think alike and have similar process issues. My retirement routine has become very casual in one sense and I find that time is slipping away. I have had a habit for a very long time that I must do my daily cleaning, dinner prep etc. before I sew. I think that is a problem. Quite frankly there is no real need and I tend to think it is also a type of procrastination as well. I have a couple very specific morning tasks that I need to tend to but after that I should sew, I want to sew and darn it I am going to sew. You have given me an idea, thanks again Myrna!

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    1. I managed to break that dishes first habit a few years ago. It's definitely worth it. I can those the peat and re-peat chores and they can suck the life out of you. Perhaps you could look at your specific morning tasks like I did and see if they are shuffle-able. You never know. Either way, sewing before dishes is a good choice.

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    2. Remember that I can hear you laughing across the miles...but..I had every intention of doing a similar routine, I had a rough outline....I forgot!

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    3. LOL - try, try again. Let me know.

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  4. Hi Myrna:
    I haven't commented in a while - but am a regular and faithful reader. I LOVE this idea - I get distracted by my day (and there's always so much I "SHOULD" be doing). So on weekends I take an hour for myself. Sometimes it's sewing, sometimes it's reading, sometimes its an extra cup of coffee in the quiet. I'm hoping to move this routine to my weekdays, but we'll see. I'm into school so early....
    I hope this is the change you need. Looking forward to tomorrow's post,

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    1. First - how delightful to hear from you. I'd wondered how you were doing. I totally understand getting distracted by your day and then suddenly it's over and you didn't do that thing you wanted to do. I hope you can move the routine to your weekdays as well. It doesn't have to be an hour. Ten or fifteen minutes is wonderful too. What matters most is making time for you and what matters to you.

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  5. It is so easy to think that you should get other jobs done before settling to do any craft work.
    Particularly if you have doubts about your own ability.
    However, it is comforting to find I am not alone.

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    1. Not alone and I'm cheering you on. YES YES YES... sew ! ! ! !

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  6. Your pj top is pretty!
    I started off the new year with a resolution..."to start, continue to sew or complete 3 clothing items a week for the 1st 3 months". That didn't happen. Of course. So I changed my tactic and blocked one hour a day for sewing...from 4-5 PM. That lasted 7 days.
    I'm not a morning person. BUT, like you said "if you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got." Waiting until later in the day or even at night to sew isn't working for me, so I'll try mornings. :)

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    1. Maybe sewing in the mornings will make you more of a morning person. I hope so. Best of luck. Let me know how it goes.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.