I’m closing the Christmas sweatshop. I’ve made a commitment to myself to get off the merry-go-’round as it spins crazily out of control. In reality, it’s me focusing better on things that are important to me rather than reacting to all the things around me that seem cool at the moment and then just eat up all my time and energy. Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. This all stems from a piece I read about how the category of people I fall in don’t actually consider the amount of time something actually takes to accomplish, and in my case, compare it to the actual amount of time I have available.
The impact of this new direction at this moment in time is that I am not buried in a Christmas sweatshop making every single thing I think others would just love to have for Christmas – everything. Typically this time of year I am frantic over getting it all done, staying up too late, working too fast, and missing out on slow time. When it’s all over, I am left feeling drained and unsatisfied with what I haven’t finished and how I finished what I did. Then I ignore my studio and avoid doing anything creative for too long. None of this is in my favor, and therefore must stop.
I decided to determine the window of time for creating first. This includes considering constraints such as the fact that I have a day job, the time I spend doing household chores, personal fitness (not that much, but some), and the idea of actually getting a good night’s sleep. That leaves about three and half hours a week…seriously, the time I have available for creating relative to the time required for the creative projects I initiate is so far out of alignment I have made myself crazy over the years. Now that I have the time available determined, the second step is to say no to myself and others for those projects and activities that will consume my valuable creative time.
I have come to enjoy slow projects and the nicer results I get when I have time to devote to what ever I’m doing, so this year I have selected only the few things I truly want to make. I’m enjoying my time in the studio and my time outside of it too. The pressure is off and satisfaction is returned. I have time to play around with my new cover stitch machine. I’m even adding a little seasonal magic to the ambiance of my studio instead of having it look like a tornado has arrived so that the door is locked all through Christmas.
It’s nice to do things slowly. The Christmas sweatshop is closed permananty.