I was out in my back yard early this morning as usual, mug of coffee in hand, pottering around chatting to my flowers. I enjoy coming out here so much, it's such a tidgey little space with zero privacy (actually below zero privacy), but I love what I have managed to do with it this year. Quite simply, it provides me with a nice place to sit and ponder, to drink a mug of coffee, to hang out my laundry (when it's not peeing down with rain like it is right now), and to grow some brightly coloured flowers and a few edible herbs. And that's pretty much all I want really.
So I was sitting with my coffee trying to practice a little bit of Mindfulness, but my mind was not co-operating this morning. I felt unsettled and jittery, unable to just "be still". My thoughts were all over the place, leaping about like fleas, jumping from one thing to another, then back to the first thing again, then off on a completely random tangent altogether. It was maddening. And so for the first time in a veeeeeeeery long time, I was hit with the idea of writing A List. Yes! I shall write A List and note down all those thought-fleas that keep leaping about and making me feel all jittery and panicky. I shall round them all up and number them and make some sort of order out of it all and hope that it'll a) make me feel better and b) force me to actually get some important stuff done.
I know list writing is such a simple concept, but it is not something I am used to doing. I know lots of habitual list writers, and it always seems to me to be a very good way to proceed through life's busy days. I think I just forget that there is another way to go about things other than the unstructured, spontaneous, slightly chaotic way that seems to be the norm for me. And I can see the supreme usefulness of list writing when time is short and deadlines loom and a serious number of things begin to stack and teeter on my mental shelves.
So I did indeed make a list, it has 11 items on it (excluding caravan things), most of which are Work To-do's. It surprises me on a daily basis that I have become this working Mum. I still think of myself as a SAHM (stay at home mum) but I'm actually now kind of a WSAHM (working stay at home mum). These summer holidays are teaching me a lot about balancing my days (I'm deliberately choosing to use the word Balance instead of Juggle right now, it sounds calmer!), dividing the waking hours between the following ::
1. Mummy/parenting time :: we have been doing a lot of crafting, stitching and baking together, but sometimes all I need to do to fulfill my role is just Be There for cuddles and attention-giving. We have watched films, looked at books, chatted. I am also needed at very regular intervals to provide food and snack material, this seems to be a big part of summer holiday parenting I've found.
2. Work time :: I am incredibly busy at the moment, with various bits of Attic24 work. I am writing (blog content, crochet patterns, magazine column), designing kits, preparing for various forthcoming events. I'm going to be giving a talk on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holymoly, yes it's true! I shall be at Texere Yarns in Bradford, placing myself in front of 50+ visitors, chatting about stuff, I can hardly believe it, but there you go. If you are oop north and fancy coming along, you will be very welcome...I think the first session is fully booked now, but the second session (1-2pm) still has spaces.
I'm crazy busy with Yarndale stuff, we are just finalising the brochure copy ready to go to the printers this week, and I am ploughing ahead with my yarn bombing plans. If you offered to help me with yarn bombing (either via Facebook or Ravelry) thank you very much, it's number 6 on my list and I'll be in touch very soon. The Mandala's are now all in, catalogued and stored ready for their big reveal in September. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who contributed, all 1,182 of you from 49 different countries around the world (wowsers, this project has been incredible!). You can see every single mandala online now (Yarndale Pinterest), which I am very proud of as it's been a humongous amount of work for me to achieve that.
Ahhhh, my gorgeous coastal ripple blanket, it's been fully integrated into our household now as you can see and is being used for daily sofa snuggling. I need to apologise for the Ta-dah being so late and all, I know many of you are getting impatient waiting for it and I am sorry. I had meant to have it all ready for Monday, but then had to prioritise my Yarndale work cos the deadline at the printers was looming and I couldn't change that. The kiddies too needed my time this week, we've been stitching up a storm here (making felt toys, I'll show you the results in a day or two). I had to give them my time and attention with that really, they were so keen (Little Lady and Little B) so we've been on numerous trips to the shops to purchase felt and thread and have really had fun making stuff. Anyhoooo, any time now, after I've published this post, I will get cracking with finishing up the tutorial I am writing (for edging a ripple blanket) and I will try hard to get that out to you as soon as I can. It's high on my list, I'm on it!!
3. Housewifery time :: this is probably the smallest segment of my balancing act, some days it's ludicrously small actually. But certain things do need to get done even during holiday time, namely the menu planning, food shopping, meal providing and the endless loads of laundry. I fling the vacuum cleaner around the floors every so often, empty the bins, load and unload the dishwasher, swish and swipe around the bathroom and perform some basic tidying of well used surfaces.
I've also been doing some essential and time consuming jobs of late, namely purchasing lots of new school uniform, getting feet measured and buying new school shoes, taking the Little Peeps to get pictures taken in order to get all of our passports renewed and a first passport for Little B. All these things eat into the days like you wouldn't believe.
4. Me time :: Thinking about it, I can't recall an awful lot of dedicated me-time this holiday so far, although yes there has been some. I've loved socialising with friends, pootling through Blogland (some lovely summery tales, beautiful holiday photos and great writing/reading out there) and magazine reading in odd snatches of available time.
I wish I had more time to crochet though, I miss my self-indulgent hooky time very much. All my crochet right now is Yarndale related and as much as I still love doing these things, it's not quite the same. I miss my blanket making. I have a tonne of ideas for other stuff. I need to write another list to catalogue the pile of Future Projects teetering inside my creative mind, there are rather a lot of them pinging in at the moment.
Right........now I've got all that off my chest I feel very much better, thanks ever so much for reading. On with the ripple tutorial.........................