It is almost the end of another year and it has got me thinking about next year. New goals. Which is tricky, firstly because I haven’t really finished most of my goals from this year, and secondly because while I have an idea about the kinds of things I want to accomplish I am struggling to turn them into measurable goals.
For example, excepting the blocks that I am hand piecing together I have now put all my blocks into tops (30 tops and 33 small objects – I counted them this morning when I was cleaning out my closet), but I don’t know that I necessarily want my goal for the year to be quilting all those tops. What I would like is that by the end of the year I am better at machine quilting than I am now. So the trick is how I measure better. Quilting all the tops doesn’t really work as a measure of what I want to achieve because I could in theory quilt all of them badly.
This year I would like to improve my machine quilting, become better at talking and listening, get the whole business on the side thing going on and finish two of my goals from last year (writing a novel and getting down to a healthy BMI). Just need to find some way of measuring that doesn’t involve saying better than I am now. Though really at the end of the day, since I’m the only person judging, if I feel I’m better at something maybe that’s enough of a measure. I guess it all comes down to how good at self-delusion you are. There are plenty of people out there wandering round thinking they are great at something when in reality they’re not. I don’t really want to be one of those people.
I just downloaded Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography to my kindle in the hope of some inspiration/answers. Apparently at some point when he was a young man someone sat him down and told him that he was up himself, and no-one liked him because of it. In order to fix this he devised a scheme to overcome the up-himself-ness, which I have heard is documented in the autobiography. If that isn’t finding a way to measure the unmeasurable I don’t know what is.
I am trying to cut back a little on spending at the moment, so I can finish paying off my credit card which is still looking horrendous post holiday and start saving up some money for some stuff I need to do around the house. Which is hard because I am really bad at frugality. It’s not so much the frugality that’s the problem, its more the impulse control. Once I think about something that I want I have a really hard time not buying it (or eating it if its food). And there is so much cool stuff out there to think about – Tablet computers, fabric, paints, DVDs, incredibly beautiful pieces of glass (http://www.melbourne-art-glass.com/glass_art.html). Plus I have noticed that my hankering for shopping gets worse at certain times of the month, and at the moment I am feeling incredibly antsy. I want to go out and buy something, anything. I don’t really need anything, that doesn’t really make any difference.
So I have locked myself in the house this weekend, and am sticking to my determined resolution that I will not go to the shops. I keep telling myself that since it is only two weeks to go before Christmas the shops are liable to be horrendous, crammed with people all madly scurrying around trying to do their Christmas shopping. Finding a park will be near impossible, traffic a nightmare and there will be screaming children and fake santas charging said children for the privilege of a 2 minute sit on their lap. I’m much better staying at home really.
I have loads of sewing to do this weekend. I want to get all my machine sewable blocks made into something before I start my week off. That way I can spend the holiday curled up on the couch finishing off some hand sewing.
I have been making odd blocks into small pieces that I can make into journal covers, place mats and bags. The added bonus is they’ll be really good for practicing my machine quilting on before I start tackling some of the bigger quilts.
Here’s a journal cover I actually managed to finish.
I started running again this week and it has left me wondering why we often put off doing things that are not only good for us, but that we actually enjoy. I actually quite like running. I’m not sure about outside running, and I’m probably not marathon material, but I love to have a good plod on the treadmill. Not only is it never as painful as I think it’s going to be, but I always feel fantastic afterwards. I can start running with no energy and feeling flat, and when I’m done I feel loaded with energy, even though it should technically work the other way round.
It’s just getting started that’s the problem. Even though experience tells me that I’ll enjoy it, some part of my brain says no to getting started every time. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Not much else going on here, things are gradually winding down towards Christmas. I managed to write another 2000 words this week, and have finished another 2 quilt tops.
I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last post. However, I never got round to doing much last weekend because a combination of hay fever and caffeine withdrawal kept me lying on the couch in the air-conditioning for most of the weekend.
I have actually been very productive the last couple of days. I did myself a really thorough list. You know the honest kind, where you actually list every little thing you need to do including cleaning the bathroom and shaving your legs. I find if I do that, really list everything, I’m actually more realistic about what I can get done, and I do more. Having lists and plans for accomplishing your goals is all well and good but there are other things to be done too, stuff that keeps your life running smoothly and you need to factor those into your plans. Not to mention planning some down time, space where you can just relax and do nothing, at least for a small amount of time.
So…how am I going on my goals:
100 places I’ve never been before – finished
Quilt blocks made into things – almost done with making things into tops.
Healthy BMI – struggling
Novel – just hit 16,000 words
Loads of stuff left to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it in, but it doesn’t really bother me at the moment. I’m not sure why, I’ve kind of mellowed about the whole thing. I think setting myself some fairly hefty goals has taught me a lot about accepting imperfection in myself, and there were some lessons there that I really needed to learn. Now I just need to learn the lesson about not mowing the lawn without wearing sunscreen and I’ll be right for a while. For now, I am going to take my sun burn away to a cool room where I can spend the rest of the day reading a book and pretending it’s not 35C outside.
I’ve been doing a little bit with single blogs that don’t really go with anything else. This one I will probably make into a bag.
I was going to make this into a cushion, but I think it might be a bit big
This one into a place mat
This is a table runner from a block that I sliced up
…and two biggish quilt tops that I have finished