As I say, very mixed results. But I like reviewing my results here with you as it keeps me accountable. Also, when I write out the results for you to read, it helps me see what types of activities I am choosing to complete and what I let slide on by. I’m surprised by some of my choices.
Here’s a funny result of my January Goal to “listen more & interrupt less” that I continue to work on. I am finding as I listen to someone, if I don’t blurt out a thought when I have it, by the time they are through speaking I have completely forgotten what it was that I didn’t blurt out 🤷♀️ (and I’m sure it was a brilliant, just fu*king brilliant, insight!) Oh well, it probably wasn’t brilliant at all and, I hope that person feels I really heard what they were saying. Definitely something that I need to keep practicing.
Ever onward... Here are my goals for March:
MARCH MONTHLY GOALS:
I think February got my attention and I have to put more time & effort into these activities to accomplish my monthly goals.
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts.
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Thanks for stopping by,
Valentine’s Day provides a day for us to truly appreciate the love that is all around us. Regardless of our relationship status or cynicism, we all want love. It feels good to show our love to others and experience love’s sweetness.
Even if you don’t want to buy into the cards, chocolates, flowers thing, how about taking a few seconds to hug someone and tell them what they mean to you? Or calling someone you think of all the time but may not speak with them very often. While a text is nice, a conversation is better.
And while you’re at it, maybe a random act of kindness (or 2 or 10) would be the thing to do. It will make both of you feel good. And prepare yourself, smiles may break out.😁😁😁
Let’s wear our hearts on our sleeves for a day and just be kind & happy. It’s contagious.❤️❤️❤️❤️
Happy Valentines Day.
Thanks for stopping by, Laurie
January was the first month of my new goals & tracking results. A few tweaks were needed. Right off the bat, I changed the monthly checklist. I spiffied it up and made it a little easier for me to understand.
I was going to share pictures of the “before & after” photos but they pixelate when you make them big enough to actually read. Another learning curve for me to figure out how to have legible photos on my website.
Enough housekeeping, let’s get into my January results.
So, all in all, I think I did very well.
Plus I forgot a goal that I wanted to accomplish in 2019.
I want to read 1 real book ( you know those things with pages) a month.
And I did that too. Actually, since it’s winter and very cold where I live I was inside a lot so I had a book binge, so to speak.
I read 3 books this month --
And here are my goals for February:
FEBRUARY MONTHLY GOALS
Once again, I think these are very manageable. I hope I am as successful in February as I was in January.
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts.
These lyrics from the Grateful Dead’s song, “Truckin’”, seem to sum up my Etsy experience. I’ve had an Etsy shop for over two years now. And it’s been less than a financial success. However, I am glad that I opened the shop. I have learned so much: learning all about Etsy, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), photography (those photos don’t just materialize, you know), managing production, etc., etc., etc.
I thought Etsy would be a great place to sell the stuff I love making. But promoting my Etsy shop and keeping it stocked became more time consuming than I expected (or that I was willing to give all my time to) and I didn’t have time to make the art that I wanted to make. That’s a problem.
So... I am closing my Etsy shop. (Wait!!! What???? — my last blog post was all about getting new stuff into my shop. Since then I have come to a decision. I don’t think it is an impulsive decision. I have been neglecting my shop for quite sometime now. This step just puts me out of my misery.)
I will still have stuff for sale on my website, www.WAMLcrafts.com. But it will be the stuff I want to make. I will also take custom orders.
I find I like to make daily posts on Instagram, which I will continue. I will keep writing my blog, which I find very enjoyable. And I will make art. I will post some pieces for sale on my website.
I am going to make the art I want to make when I want to make it. And if I decide I don’t want to make something anymore, guess what? I will stop making it. And if I want to take a break, I will.
I am going to follow my heart. It will simplify my life, give me more free time, & let me enjoy art making again.
Just remember if there is something you would like, I would be happy to talk with you about a custom order. Otherwise, I hope you take a look at my website now and then and that you enjoy my posts about my art projects and my life.
Thanks for stopping by,
This blog post was supposed to be about my new inspiration\meditation cards I am introducing in my Etsy shop. I planned out the production schedule, the photography schedule, the social media schedule...I was so damn organized.
And then two things happened. Life got in the way of my fine schedules. Then the background work of one of the card sets was not to my liking. In fact it was down right awful. It had to be painted over and I get to start again.
So there are no finished cards in my Etsy shop. There’s no great photos of my cards to show here or on Instagram or Facebook. There’s nothing but more work to be done and promptly. So stay tuned for that.
But here are some pictures of what I have so far.
But the bigger question is with all my organization and effort, why did it still turn to sh*t? Well, the obvious answer is that’s just what happens sometimes and I need to go with it, adjust & keep moving. If I get stuck in the why, why, why I’m not going to get anything done.
The less obvious answer is, perhaps, a little less organizational efforts and more production time.
And the part I continue to struggle with is less iPad time and more art studio time. I tell you what. Between games & getting sucked down the social media rabbit hole (Pinterest I’m looking at you in particular) I seem to sit in my chair by the fire and just while away the time. Not that that’s a bad thing unless it interferes with what is really important to me and that is creating little bits of art.
So...that’s it for now. I’m off to finish these cards and get them listed in my shop and here on my website. I hope to have that announcement very soon.
Thanks for stopping by,
One of my “opportunities for improvement” in 2019 is to enhance the relationships that are most important to me. And one of the ways I can do that is to unplug from my screens & engage more fully. It has become abundantly clear to me that I am not a multitasker. I can not have my head in a device and try to give much attention to anyone or anything else. So, as you can see, I have a problem.
But I also have a solution. I am going to unplug from my screens. Whaaaaat????? How in the world am I going to do that? Well........
Have screen free zones & times
In my house, the kitchen table & meal times are device-free times. Cell phones can not be in your lap, or even near the table. Better yet, leave your phone in your bedroom during meals and other designated device free times.
Turn the TV off at a certain time each evening. Also put your phone away (in your bedroom 🤞😁) Play board games. Read a real book. Talk to each other. Work on hobbies.
No phone calls or texts after 9pm
My family & friends hate this one. Most of my family live on the west coast. I live on the east coast. There’s a 3 hour difference. But I have a pretty hard & fast rule I will not answer my phone (calls or texts) after nine. You see, I think after nine, it is time to relax, quiet down & settle down.
No screen time when I go to bed
This is a hard one for me. I use my phone as my alarm. So it is in my bedroom. In the past I played several games on my phone before I turned out the light and tried to get to sleep. I am starting to leave my phone on my dresser, away from the bed and not within arm’s reach. Instead I am reading a real book for a few minutes until I get drowsy and turn out the light.
Turn off all notifications except those that are urgent
I am ruthless about this. I do not have notifications turned on for very many apps. Let’s face it, I don’t have to be notified each time someone posts on social media. I check it two or three times a day. I post once or twice a day. That’s plenty.
I do not need to receive a notice from all the retail sites. That just encourages me to buy things I don’t need. Those types of notifications really prey on FOMO (fear of missing out). If I need something, then I buy it but not because some retailer is preying on my inability to pass something up. Do you know how much time I save (not to mention my sanity) by not receiving notifications from all the apps I have on my phone? I’m sure you can imagine.
When I go to the gym, I leave my phone in a locker. I don’t need it when I am exercising. Not only am I more fully present with each exercise but I am engaged with the process and moving my body in deliberate ways.
I put my phone away & leave it away when in social situations. Better yet, I don’t even bring it with me. This way I can be fully present to engage with other people without my phone calling me to check something or look something up.
So what has all this accomplished?
Besides accomplishing my primary goal of giving my friends & family members my undivided attention in conversations, I have noticed other benefits of less screen time.
I just get more done. It was a real eye opener when I stopped being on my tablet/phone all the time. So much time became available to use in my art studio. Before I unplugged a bit, I never had time to play & create in my studio. Hmmmm. Isn’t that interesting?
I will be the first one to tell you, I am a lousy sleeper. It takes me forever to get to sleep and I am a whirling dervish throughout the night. But, by having an unplugged end to my evening & not playing on my phone when I get into bed, I seem to settle down for sleep quicker.
Exercise is more beneficial. As I mentioned above, without my phone in the gym, I can be more dedicated & mindful of the movements I am asking my body to do. This seems to make the exercise more effective.
It’s a work in progress, but a bit of unplugging seems to be very helpful for me.
Thanks for stopping by,
It must be difficult being a millennial. To have your whole life documented and photographed and on the internet forevvvvvver! Thank goodness the internet didn’t exist when I was a teenager & young adult; when I was making all my mistakes & doing some very foolish things. I am so glad there is no evidence that they ever happened.
According to recent research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed. In fact, study participants who checked social media the most frequently throughout the week were 2.7x more likely to experience depression.
Well that’s depressing.
And all that social media with the curated photos and text is putting so much more pressure on the millennials.
Here’s an excerpt from an online article I was reading that is written by a millennial:
“There is an entire generation of us here — those who are constantly given the message that we can and should have the cleverest couch on the market or have the best item from the fanciest restaurant in town delivered to our door in 20 minutes. It isn’t just a display of wealth; it’s your morality: that you are indeed the Informed Consumer, able to not only afford the best but to know what “the best” even is. It’s a marketing strategy that is not new, of course, but that seems to work particularly well at the present moment.” rebecca jennings: www.vox.com
OMG — the pressure!
Jessica Pryor is a psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University who studies perfectionism in young people. “Right now in the US we have a powerful recurring social message that not only is perfectionism — the perfect item, the perfect life — possible, but that it’s a thing that you should be able to go out and achieve. It’s an absolute myth that leaves a lot of people really, really unhappy
And my impression is there is perceived pressure to have the perfect life and the perfect job and perfect relationships in your twenties. It’s just not possible. Life takes time. There are stages to mature through. Each stage of your life should be enjoyed and appreciated. And the things you thought you needed to achieve in your twenties are just not that important in your forties. Priorities change. The definition of your success will change.
But I can tell you one thing, your life will never be perfect. That’s not how it works. Work at being successful, however you define that for yourself, work toward what you want to accomplish. But life doesn’t happen in the few big moments of our lives.
But the whole New Years resolution thing doesn’t work for me. So last year I made “intentions”. It sounded less intimidating. More of a suggestion than an actual resolution. Resolutions sounded like I either accomplished it or I failed. But intentions didn’t really work out either.
So I already know what is important to me. In the past I had a system of identifying 2 or 3 actions for each of these important areas of my life.
Then I created 2 or 3 tasks for each of the actions that accomplished & supported these important areas of my life.
I had spreadsheets listing each of my goals which then had 2 — 4 activities listed below them and then each activity had 2 — 4 daily tasks. That’s 20 — 40 daily tasks! Yikes!
And that’s where it all falls apart. So what do I do this year that’s different from previous years??
Quite the conundrum.
Maybe it’s the list of tasks that overwhelms me. (Yuh, think?) And when I fail at completing the tasks I just throw up my hands and give up. So here’s what I think I am going to do.
For each one of those important areas of my life that I want to give my energy & time to, I will set one very manageable action. But set it for a month at a time. That would be different than trying to have daily tasks to complete.
Because as we all know, life happens and some days you hang on for dear life. There’s no way even one little extra To-Do will get done. So I’m going to take that pressure off of myself. So my activity list for January might look something like this:
That seems very doable (especially compared to the nightmare of 20 — 40 daily tasks!). To make this work, I think at the end of each month I need to review what I accomplished and what I didn’t. Then I can set the next month’s activities. No beating myself up. In fact I’ll give myself a pat on the back for everything I did accomplish. Then move on to the next month. I think by the end of the year I will see significant accomplishments.
And to hold myself accountable, I will post my monthly reviews here so we can all see how I'm doing. If it’s something you would be interested in doing, you can see how it’s going.
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy New Year
Peace on earth
Goodwill to all
When we moved into this house the kitchen was clean and very usable but I knew from that first day we would remodel the kitchen one day. Three years later that day came.
We decided to use the services of a big box home store because I had heard too many horror stories of contractors disappearing mid job. If that happened (and it did), at least I could contact the big box store and they could help us get our job completed (and they did.)
We researched what we wanted our new kitchen to look like (hello, Pinterest) and selected as many items as we could before we even went to the box store designer.
We joked that any construction job is going to cost twice as much as you think, take twice as long, and be twice as dirty. Well... ours was less than twice as much, it took four times as long and it was not as dirty as I expected.
Let me just say we all intellectually understand that our lives will be disrupted and uncomfortable for a while. I grossly underestimated the disruption and the comfort level. Oh, did I mention we have 4 dogs and 2 cats to keep calm during all the chaos?
Here’s some before pictures. As you can see, very serviceable but just not what either of us wanted. The fluorescent ceiling light, the popcorn ceiling (who puts popcorn ceiling in a kitchen for goodness sake?) and the striped wallpaper just had to go.
One thing about the start of our project it’s a lot of hurry up and wait. Once everything was ordered, we had to wait 6 weeks for our cabinets to be delivered. Nothing is begun until the cabinets arrive. I totally get this. Why have your kitchen torn up any longer than is necessary?
It’s an interesting process. The first week of demolition and redoing was all hands on deck. We had workers at our house everyday that week. By the by, if you expect to see your project manager everyday, forget about it. Other projects other clients — too many clients, too little time.
After that first week we never knew if someone was coming to the house to work, which raised havoc with our day. But things kept moving forward albeit much slower than the first week.
Then all hell broke loose. Our project manager was incommunicado. The company he worked for (hired by the box store to do the work) was incommunicado and I didn’t know what the f*ck was going on. Thankfully the customer service folks at the store kept working with me and, eventually my project manager resurfaced and made sure my job was finally completed.
Here are the after photos. We are over the moon with the new kitchen. At least once a day I walk into the kitchen and just take a moment to take it all in. And I’m grateful, so very grateful that we are so fortunate to be able to afford to remodel our kitchen. And that we and our animals survived the entire process.... and that my husband and I are still talking to each other.
Thanks for stopping by,