I am not my habits

31 May

WEEK TWENTY ONE (may 22-28)

A trip away, with thinking time away from normality, (into dream thinking?), has also helped me be able to look, and to critically assess where I can make real changes in how I spend my time.

There are plenty of small efficiencies to be made – tiny changes that I would like to make before the end of the financial year, and yes, some of them are financial but they are mostly assessing what has changed over the years and include re-writing boring but important things such as how I break up and label the incomings and outgoings in MYOB.

Realistically though, I need much more than small efficiencies to change many facets of daily and weekly time consumption.
I think about this problem daily. I am not my (current) habits! I am ready for change in many areas of my life.

Basically I am assessing and choosing priorities and I have to let go of other things, to let them slide. My resolve is high and it is getting stronger weekly.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to time myself. How am I spending my hours? Where can savings can be made? Even though I did not keep anywhere near perfect time it was still disappointing/shocking how little can be achieved in a day taken up with the mundane AND how much time was ‘wasted’ by it.

This last week was different. I have been slowly cancelling little things such as email subscriptions, magazine subscriptions and even some memberships.
All of a sudden my inbox is so much leaner, my thoughts clearer because of it. I am also less drawn to the urgency of it.

I am grouping computer tasks into blocks, where possible, rather than being reactive.
Admin has become much more manageable in both time and head space.

The little changes include core tasks such as writing this blog. I’ve always enjoyed doing it at the start of the week, Monday, as the previous week is fresh.
A decision to work on it slowly, to give myself a chance to think more deeply with no deadline is free-ing. I am producing it over at least three smaller sessions – often at night – when I feel like it. This has to work best for meas I am my planned recipient – any readers are a total and wonderful bonus.

I now work, very happily, on the nights that I can, some times just for a bit, sometimes for many hours. The not working at night thing is a throwback/a habit from spending a load of nights, weeks and accumulative months away from the family for many years.
When I was home I liked to stay totally with them.
Now, the bloke can do his own thing at night with my total blessing.

These bit-by-bit changes not only give me ‘extra’ work time but a better/clearer head space.
This time and task shuffle is leading to making ART hopefully becoming my dominant workflow without any ‘should be upstairs being responsible’ guilt.

I still have a big list of responsibilities and projects that I am way, way, way behind on.
For example, The Quilt Study Group of W.A blog is very close to uploading, and it has been that way for quite a while. A little more dedicated time, and some technical help, will be the fix needed there…..when I am ready.

Lovely bods have told me for a very long time that I should ‘be on Instagram’ but that would have certainly broken this camel’s back. It will likely happen….when it fits.
I am trying to lose responsibilities not gain them!

As I write this though, leaving perceived responsibilities behind, it is the total pleasure of making that I have been enjoying as KnitOnePurlOne #2 progresses. The fabrics, and the piece itself, is directing me and I’m thrilled with the slight but appropriate changes in direction. It is slog work, iron, stitch, cut, iron, stitch cut…all with woollen fibres flying around the studio ‘atmosphere’… but with music and my podcast company I am kept inspired.

So the rest of the week;
A class was lovely as always. I have decided to cut down the places available, six is just a bit too full – so five filling the studio tables and design wall and spilling next door will be so much nicer for those attending.

It was a long Flick day/Friday that included Esther and her dad with us – he could work remotely – while Mum slept at home between night shifts. Esther’s daycare had an outbreak of all things contagious which meant four of us had the day together. The day was shortened by a trip to Scitech – a place I have had no interest in going to after being bored by it when my kids were in primary school. I have happily now lost that prejudice – at one stage when I was ‘showing’ Flick how to do the marble maze I looked over and Chris was also totally absorbed in some ball thing. Only for the kiddos…I think not?

Two more highlights finished off the week;
First was the opening night for a slew of exhibitions at Fremantle Art Centre. We stayed in town especially to celebrate with our very talented friend Marcus Beilby. You can see some of his photo-realist paintings on this page. The paintings are such a celebration of Fremantle….. vendors and pubs and one of our favourites – a view of the North Fremantle railway station – is similar to our view from the home. We were lucky to continue viewing his works at his home with pizza, a glass of red, old friends, and great conversations.

Rounding off the week was my chore of moving firewood at our little house.

From the truck dump in our backyard – three tons that should last three years mind you – I have moved two of the tons, in my barrow, whilst I kept the bloke at the flooring in the girls shed.

I must say that I am VERY proud of myself/ my body. I could not have done it last year but I’ve regained the strength. The first stack is looking great.

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Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Act/Craft (Textiles/ Sculpture)
Living in Perth, Western Australia
Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher.