Regular readers of this blog know that while I like to keep a certain level of privacy when it comes to family members, I'm fairly open about my personal foibles, to say the least. I've shared financial disasters. Stories about widowhood. Mistakes I have made large and small.
And I've made more than a few. Mistakes. Lifestyle changes. Re-adjustments-financial, personal and otherwise. I've shared with you all how I went back to school full time, and then realized it was not my thing as such (going full time, not school). I could go on.
Sometimes, we retool after a retirement year by looking back and evaluating. This is true of time, money and priorities, and something I do almost every year. Sometimes though, the situation hits you in the proverbial face, as happened to me in the past couple days.
Tonight, I was cleaning up my sewing studio in preparation for heading out for a week or so of family and down time. As I put things away, I realized that I had completed less than a fourth of the holiday sewing I had wanted to do-not because I "had to" but because I love to sew. I started a Washington Redskins scarf for my daughter at the beginning of November and it is still not done. I have not sat down and read (for classes or relaxation) in over a week! (Admittedly I have been baking like a fool). It goes on.
Those who know me (from the blog or in person) know that Ilike to do a wide variety of different things. The problem is, that I also like to have down time-a lot of down time. Liking to do a variety of different things means I still need to prioritize or it will make me crazy. Right now, I am taking a four year class that meets one night a week for five hours and has a good six hours of homework a week. I volunteer for a homeless shelter a half day a week. I provide a casual meal to about twenty five people once a week for a weekly event at my church. And last but not least, I just took on a brand new ministry having to do with social justice. As with all new ministries and organizations, a start up takes time, effort and research.
I also sew, read, knit and plan to learn to weave in the new year. I go to a knitting group, multiple book groups, a weekly crafting group. I have a dog. I have a house that needs at least the basics of cleaning and maintenance. I really want to take that long train trip to the east coast. And I have thought seriously about getting back into sewing for cash, working at my own pace throughout the year to prepare for the selling season. I'm studying genealogy and doing my family history...In other words, what the heck is going on here!!!! I just want to say "good grief, Charlie Brown".
The problem, of course, is that everything is fun. I like doing it all, and I look forward on some level to everything above. Sounds good, I know. But from a reality point of view, it's time to reboot and make some decisions and perhaps step back from commitments. This is something new to me. Although folks sometimes comment about how busy I am when I talk about my week, the truth is that most days I used to have a single thing and then the rest of the day was at home puttering (sewing, reading, things that sound like being busy when they get put on paper but really are things done at my own pace). I am not used to having to set these kinds of priorities.
The next week or so will be spent away from family-visiting my daughter and friends and my ill father in law. Because I have to do nothing for Christmas and my daughter will be working part of the time I am there, I will have time for reflection-and perhaps some prayer as well.
As I sit here in bed typing after rolling my new hand made yarn so I can make something beautiful, I have some initial thoughts. My four year program is a study of the history and origins of the Bible and Christianity. I enjoy it, but somewhere in my heart of hearts I believe that I do better by doing rather than learning-and am fully committed to my immigration and sanctuary movement. Senior college has no classes this semester that hold my interest in the times I can attend. And there are ways to cut back with my homeless women while still serving them-sewing at home for the center, for example. Instead of cooking every night, I can volunteer to do it one or two times a month and let someone else share in the food joy. I'll let these ideas stew for awhile, in "mental computer" as I used to tell my offspring.
Meanwhile, I'm packing light, if you will. I'm taking a tablet/kindle for reading. Yarn for knitting. A journal for writing. Christmas gifts and clothing-all I need for a nice relaxing vacation away from home.
And now, back to winding that yarn. I now appreciate what I thought were foolish photos of men holding hanks of yarn will women wind-do you suppose the dog would sit still for it??