Elections aside, it’s been an interesting week all things considered. I started out strongly, completely unmotivated but forcing myself to do stuff just by sheer will power. I finished a quilt and got a few other things ticked off my to-do-list. Tuesday I pottered along and then Tuesday afternoon we had a massive hail storm. Still managed to stay on task Wednesday despite excessive heat (and another big storm) and semi-finished another quilt which has been sitting in my cupboard for over 5 years because I wasn’t sure how to quilt it. Now the binding is on and ready to hand sew down at my sit and sew group on Saturday.
Today, woke up with a cracking headache and then spent way too much money buying new toner cartridges for my printer. It’s a good printer but getting to the stage where it would be cheaper to buy a new printer than buy toner which is not a good place to be, especially since I swore I was going to stay on budget this pay cycle. Other than that I am struggling to focus today even though the headache has started to clear up. But after a week of hot, we topped out at 37C today and my aircon is struggling to deal with the humidity so I am feeling hot and sticky. But I think most of my lack of productivity has been due to indecisiveness about what my next project is going to be. Do I start something new or finish something old? Do I want something by machine or by hand? Do I sew or read or work on the house? Do I try to learn a new skill or go with tried and tested? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.
What I am finding is that I need to narrow the field a little. Plus, I think I need to decide my projects the night before and get everything set up and ready to go so in the morning I can just get up and get started.
Back yard hail
Came down in quite sizeable chunks
…and in big mounds
One quilt finished
How is it I can have an entire week off work and still feel like I have way too much to do? Obviously its possible because I have just had a week off and I have spent entirely too much time watching tv and lazing around, plus a couple of days shopping – one for fabric and one for new work clothes. None of which was a good idea because I have a uni assignment due in a couple of weeks, and I am supposed to be saving up for a new roof. And…while I can read articles about business research and watch cooking shows at the same time, the five pages an hour reading speed it gives me makes it hardly worth my while.
I wonder what it is about motivation that is so hard. Are your levels of motivation an ingrained part of who you are or can they be changed? How is it that some people can make a plan to exercise more, eat healthy, stick to a budget or study more and stick to it, while others make a vow to eat healthy and study more and 5 minutes later are sitting on the couch watching tv with a bar of chocolate? Maybe lack of motivation is lack of commitment. You tell yourself you will do X, but only because you think it is what you really want. Deep down you really want something else more.
Or maybe it comes down to pure impulse control. I remember reading once about the ability to delay gratification and the fact that either you have it by a certain age or you don’t. I think though, that it is always best to proceed with the idea that change is possible. There is still so much we don’t know about the brain and neuro-plasticity that we can’t assume we are fixed mentally in some intractable state.
So…it will be the frugal and efficient me from now on in. Especially, since in addition to the new roof my pipes just started banging this morning. I suspect my water heater is on the way out. Super frugal it is then.
Everything is just a bit blah at the moment. It’s cold in the mornings and I am not really enjoying my job very much, which makes getting up in the morning all that more difficult. I keep saying I will apply for jobs but I never seem to find the motivation to get round to it. Part of the problem is a complete lack of focus. I’m not, and don’t think I have ever been, very career minded. I don’t really know what I want to do as a job, I have no career plan. I look at an advertised position and ask – do I want to do that? Am I going to be happier doing that than my current job? The answer is usually – I don’t know. So its a lot of effort to put in for a lot of uncertainty, particularly when they want a full response to selection criteria.
I guess it all comes down to how you frame it. Is it ‘better the devil you know’ or ‘a change being as good as a holiday’. If you take a job and you don’t like it, you can’t usually go back to the one you had, but I guess there is nothing stopping you starting the process all over again and looking again until you find something you like. It would be nice to have a little bit of a plan though. Something along the lines of I want to be in this job within 5 years, but what are you going to do.
In the interest of sanity I have decided to remove somethings from my to-do list. Namely, some of the things that have been on the last three to-do lists, which keep getting carried forward but never get done. I know…to-do list scrubbing can be a bad thing if it is something that is really important which you are putting off – like getting a nasty mole checked out. However, I think in my case it’s more removing things that are desirable but non-essential. Things like answering all 53 questions at the end of each chapter of my uni textbook. The course outline says you should try to do them all but I think there has only been one week where I have actually managed it. It would be nice if I could do them and catch up has been on my to-do list for a while but how necessary is it? I am doing the reading, listening to the lecture, getting my assessment in on time and the results I am getting for the assessment say I am doing well enough. So going back and finishing the last 20 or so questions for each week of the term so far? Off the list. However, it is done with the proviso that I start each week with the intention of finishing the current weeks set of questions. If I set my self the goal of only doing as many questions as I could, I would probably do far less than if I set myself the goal of doing them all.
As well as procrastinating about study I have also been putting off machine quilting. I think the one thing that has been letting my last couple of mini quilts down has been the machine quilting. I decided to do a couple of small samplers to practice and try out new patterns. I got as far as marking the first one up but then nothing. So I went to the library this morning and got a DVD. Hopefully it will inspire me.
Marked up mini whole cloth quilt
I had doing a blog post on my to do list today, so I am making myself do one; even though I would be much rather sitting on the couch with the air-conditioner on, reading my library books. I figure I need to remake the habit of regular posting. Which means I am actually going to have to go do some stuff worth posting about. I’m not sure how likely that is, I sewed myself out pretty much at the end of last year, making lots of last-minute Christmas bags. Now all my sewing stuff is packed away in the sewing room, except for the TV hexagons, some knitting and a cross stitch kit. I found the cross stitch when tidying all the other stuff away and thought I really must finish that, so It has been added to the pile of stuff to do when watching tv.
Because I like a crazy challenge I am also in the process of applying to do an MBA by distance education. At one point I had all my degrees, my transcripts and my high school records in a package but when I went looking I couldn’t find them. I can’t remember if I lost them in the flooding, or if I have just lost them. I have been waiting for a replacement academic transcript from my last uni, which I received last week. Now I just need to get a certified copy and I can finish my application.
So, I am starting to get organised for the year ahead. Now I just need to do something about the crazy heat (43.9C here yesterday) and find myself an intriguing sewing project.
With only a quarter of the year left to go, I decided that I would have to dedicate today to making a plan. A rest of the year plan. Instead I have cleaned my house, done my washing, got groceries and dyed some fabric. I even cleaned the filter on my airconditioner. To top it all off one of the gloves leaked while I was dyeing. So now I have no plan and purple fingers.
But…it is only 1.30pm. So there is time for planning yet. Particularly if I resort to bribing myself with chocolate cheesecake.
On a more positive note, after months of being uninspired by my sewing machine I managed to actually finish something.
Aagh, it is almost 2 and 1/2 months into the year and I am feeling very much like I haven’t accomplished and awful lot.
I did manage to finish sorting out my photos. Well, they are half-sorted. I have managed to whittle the collection down to a folder of photos that I can actually use. I still need to organise that folder some how. But I have transferred the photos onto my laptop, so I can probably have a good go while watching TV in the evenings.
My second accomplishment is I managed to grow beans. They aren’t beans yet, but I am fairly sure it is a bean plant. And… there may also be a pumpkin plant and a pea plant. How? You might ask. Easy peasy. The weekend before Australia Day, I was admiring the blank holes in my herb garden when I thought “I know, I’ve got all those packets of seeds in my cupboard from when I decided to start the herb garden I might as well chuck them on there”. So I did, and then I forgot about them. Then it rained, and rained, and rained some more. And then it rained even more after that, and my beans grew (along with all the weeds and the grass, and more weeds and more grass).
Anyway, here are some pics of my beautifully growing plants and I promise that I will be slightly more motivated this week so that next week I actually have something quilty or philosophical or motivational to blog about. Really, I will.