Sunday, July 7, 2019

New Beginnings...

I can't believe I've been doing this Year of Projects thing for four years now!  And I've only missed a few weeks of  posting in all that time.   Casually looking back I can see how much my life has changed in the last 4 years - not necessarily in looking at it from the outside, but things (good things mostly) have come my way and I have greatly benefited in embracing some changes in my life and activities.   

Well, change is in the air again. Hubby retires later this month and I have no idea what to expect - though my mind gets away from me from time to time and I'm tempted to worry about what he's going to do with his newfound free time!  That said, this change is coming whether I'm ready or not, so we'll figure it out like millions of couples who've gone before us.

Speaking of change, I've been thinking that I want to make some changes in this Year of Project thing, but I still don't know what those changes will look like.

What I will do...

I will continue to not create a goals list of what I want to accomplish in the creative department.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand the value of setting goals and making lists.  I'm actually a great list maker.  And for work, or things where others will suffer the consequences of lack of organization or communication, lists are important and useful tools to prevent one from exasperating others.  And even personally, for jobs that need to get done, lists and deadlines are immensely helpful.  But for crafting... for me...not so much.

That said, I get enjoyment from and find inspiration in others' lists!  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I will continue to make whatever catches my eye, delights the senses, fills a purpose (even if that purpose is simply joy).

What I won't be doing...  

I'm not going to remain super focused on whittling down my enormous stash.  And internally apologizing and justifying if I buy more yarn or thread.  While it's always fun to bust through stash, and I imagine I'll have some posts joyfully proclaiming stash busting, I don't intend to keep track of it all as fastidiously as I've been doing for the last year or so.  At least not publicly (i.e. I  won't be reporting on it here on my blog). 

In truth, that's kind of a hard thing to give up.  It's fun and motivating to see my stash numbers change every few weeks.  And it was very satisfying to find myself (mostly) respecting the limits I put on myself about buying new yarn.  So it was very good in that way.

But how it is not so good for me is that crafting that way had become too much about using the stash instead of the joy of making.  That one isn't so obvious because I've enjoyed all the making I've done (and each thing I've made), but in hyper-focusing on my stash and whittling it down, I've recently begun to realize this isn't what I want life to be about.  Maybe I'll write about that more as I solidify my thoughts.  At the moment, it's just a seed that's started taking root.  All I know right now is the exercise was great while it lasted.  And I'm good with giving it up.

I'm no longer going to be motivated to craft because of wanting to share something in a YOP update on Sundays.   YOP posts will still be about sharing what I'm making, but if I don't have something that I feel is worth sharing, I'm getting free about not feeling like I have to make a YOP post.  So obvious, isn't it?   

Here's the thing... I've never felt like HAD to post a weekly YOP update, but I didn't want to break my record, or didn't want to miss out on the fun.  The end result is that I had turned something fun into something more like work.  It was actually fun at first (even for years), but I'm realizing that crafting for the sake of posting is not what I want crafting to be for me.

Again, I don't know what that will look like.  It may not look any different on your side of the screen.  Or maybe it will!  I'm just hoping to change the way I think of crafting or making things as it relates to blogging (or vice versa).  Such a simple thing, really, but it's a bit of a paradigm shift for me.

I've been wrestling with how to make these changes for the last six months or so.  Turning 60 in the spring, no doubt, has helped prod me toward changing my focus in some ways.   But at 60 I'm still a work in progress, so hopefully it will be interesting to see what all this means for me and YOPing, or even blogging this year.

I'd like to figure out if there are other topics I'd like to blog about.  Or even just other ways to share my life here.  I'd like to get better at photography.  I think I'd like to continue to expand my creative pursuits.  I'd like to share the ordinary, but have it be important somehow.  I don't know...  Now I'm just thinking out loud.  And that means I need to move on along.

You're welcome.  ๐Ÿ˜

Since this is a YOP post, I'd like to share a new project I've begun this weekend.  It seems "Christmas in July" is once again buzzing around in different circles, and I've finally joined the fun.  I've always wanted a Christmas afghan, so this is the year it's getting done.



The pattern is called Christmas Dazzle and it's from the book, A Year of Afghans - 1998 (one of my many old crochet books I've picked up along the way).  


And that's all for me this time.  Thanks for popping in and thanks in advance for leaving any comments.  ๐Ÿ˜‰


Later 'gator!



30 comments:

  1. When my dad retired my mum said she wouldn’t be cooking lunch for him and he was to do his own lunches, he liked cooking so much he now does it all. It’s good to take time to re-evaluate things and decide whether things are working or need a fresh view. I hope you’ll still be popping in when suits to share whatever you have done and wish you luck with any new hobbies you start.

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    1. lol. I enjoy cooking, so I can't imagine telling my DH that. OTOH, I do look forward to being able to eat lunch out together, or have early, less expensive dinners out if we choose. When he's home during the day (weekends or days off) I do only tend to cook/prepare one meal, though. We're both pretty good at grazing or just pulling together an easy meal from what's in the fridge.

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  2. I think your idea of making crafting less structured and more joyful is a great idea.
    I am a list maker too and fact I have lists of lists..lol I'm hoping that once I get my stash under control, it will give me room for different crafts and help to get the creative juices flowing!
    Congrats to your husband on his retirement and best wishes to you on your adjustment of having him "underfoot".
    I'm looking forward to seeing how your Christmas blanket turns out.

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    1. I suppose we'll both be feeling a bit like the other is underfoot. It's easy to forget that this will be an adjustment for him too. Though, I do think the challenge is greater for me. He's always had two spaces to call his (his office and his home). I've only had our home to call mine. It doesn't help that anytime he mentions he's retiring soon, the question that follows is directed at me, and it's a version of how I'm going to cope. The answer to which I truly don't know until we're there. And I'm starting to feel badly for DH that this is what he keeps hearing and wonder what he must feel. There is truth in it, but I'm afraid it's just a great big set-up for frustration. I've got to get some perspective on this...

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  3. I think this is a great take on this project-- doing this should not feel like work--life is too short for a hobby to feel like an obligation each week--goodness knows I have enough of that feeling at my real job!! I think the whole blogging thing started out for me just in what you mentioned--sharing my life but hopefully in some way make it meaningful in some way. I also realized that even if I never had a ton of subscribers, what I had created was an online diary for my family to read someday! Looking forward to seeing what inspires you this year--and that Christmas afghan? Love!!!

    xoxo
    Kim

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    1. Yes, life is too short has been echoing in my brain for a while now. And it's just getting shorter! Blogging for me has never been about subscribers (oddly enough - because what's the point of writing if no one is reading). OTOH, I know writing is often just about the process of put thoughts to paper (or in this case, electrons). I do wonder if my family will ever read my blog some day. Some of it would be a treasure trove, no doubt. Some of it would bore them to tears. But yes... I consider it something akin to an online diary.

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  4. Oh indeed, this space should not be considered work (unless you want to make it your work!) And your making and yopping should always be fun. I am looking forward to how this evolves.

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  5. I'm so pleased that you've found out what you don't want to do. I know the last couple of months have been a crafting struggle so I hope in realising how you don't want you will begin to find the joy in crafting because you want to and not because you feel like you have to. I agree with the others in that this shouldn't feel like work for you. When I don't post on certain weeks I still pop round visiting and find that's enough of joining in the fun for me, perhaps that might work on those weeks you don't post but still don't want to miss out on the fun. As for this year, I'm looking forward to seeing what catches your eye, delights your senses and fills a purpose.

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    1. I read once (in an on-line Forbes article) that the most successful people make their first decision be about what they will NOT do. Instead of first deciding what they WILL do. Being clear in oneself about what one ISN'T about, can eliminate so many distractions in life. It was a revolutionary thought to me. Not that I always follow the advice, but when I do, it's a game changer.

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  6. I think the way you post and blog is just fine! I always love your projects and you are always fastidious about your finishes. With hubby being home this year I hope it doesn't take away from your time that you share with us. I've known a few people who "retired"....in fact my own parents who both worked full time. My father retired....my mother never stood a chance! I do not envy the married women down here...they are left at home to do the "usual" while their husbands spend their days on the golf course, at the club or on the lake. I'm sure your situation isn't anywhere near that but beware! You get to retire too!

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    1. Actually, I have more out-of-the-house activities and interest than DH has at the moment. He doesn't really have any regular activities or serious hobbies. He's a people person, though (and an extrovert, though he's tried to convince himself he's not because otherwise how can he explain all the introverts he's fathered. Somehow, I guess his introverted wife had nothing to do with that. Leave it to an extrovert to claim that he's an introvert just so he can belong. lol) Anyway, I'm sure he'll eventually figure out what he's going to give his time to, but I think there's going to be a learning curve and some ouchy moments for both of us for a while.

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  7. I love your blog and hope you continue writing! It's cool to change focus and I think big life changes like a husband retiring would change focus / have an adjustment period... God will help you, this I am sure! Your blog (and your comments on mine!) have been a true blessing in my life! I am 42 and still feel like I am figuring a lot out too! I guess we always are doing this!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Elizabeth. That really means a lot! You and your blog give me food for thought about the many purposes behind blogging. While you have good spiritual food for thought, I also admire your eye for taking an interesting picture. You inspire me.

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  8. I understand exactly how you feel. Life is to short so enjoy each day doing whatever you feel like doing. Your new Christmas blanket is lovely. ๐ŸŽ„

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    1. Hi Pat! That may be at the heart of what's going on in me. Imagining that I'm soon going to feel like I'm having to justify my day-to-day choices. I wrestled with that when we finished homeschooling and it took me a year or so find what would fill my days and give me purpose, and to finally feel at peace over that. I'm pretty sure I'm going to wrestle with that all over again. Sigh.

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  9. Hopefully your DH has a hobby he can pursue? When mine retired I informed him (nicely) that my life was not about to change just because he was home. I was still going to get together with my friends and pursue my creative things. However, I also make sure that I suggest that we go out for coffee at least once a week - he's pretty content to be a homebody, but I remember all too well how much I loved something so simple as a coffee out when I was a stay-at-home mom.
    You saying that you no longer want to be motivated to craft just to have something to blog about (paraphrasing!!) resonated with me. I went through several years of feeling the need to have 'something' to blog about at least five days a week, which meant having something done to show. I finally realized that cutting back was a whole lot less stressful! Now I seem to have pretty much settled into a 3x/week posting schedule and I've learned not to sweat it if I don't have photos of much progress in my work....nor do I get overly excited if I don't make my 3x/week.

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    1. An intentional date once a week sounds like a great idea. I like your 3x/week posting. It seems pretty perfect to me. Often enough to make me wonder what's up when you miss a post, and enough time between to make me look forward to what you'll post next.

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  10. Wow, you have really been doing a lot of introspection in the past few month. I so enjoy your blogging. I don't care if it is about crafts or your walks or your kids or just a day you need to express yourself. Your blogs talking about your ESL people absolutely fascinated me. Your crocheting has inspired me to get my hooks back out and work with them more. As for your DH retiring.......mine retired 10 years before I did and that was a blessing. By the time I was home all day with him, he had a routine set up for himself. That gave me the freedom to set up my own routine.

    Your Christmas blanket is very pretty. I have that same pattern book!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Marsha. About blogging, about DH's retirement. I've never been a routine person, except for regular things that got put on the calendar. But daily routines sound like they might be the thing that will make me not feel like I have to justify my time. I might work on that. I've got just a little over two weeks! lol

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  11. Solid thoughts on your YOP journey and how it'll change this year.

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  12. I think your musings about focusing on what brings you joy are very wise. Here's hoping that the retirement adjustment is less difficult than you're anticipating. Add me to the fans of your Christmas blanket!

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    1. Glad you like the Christmas blanket start (you magic maker of afghans)!

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  13. I love your attitude. No point using stash if it is not joyful. I am learning to donate stash that is taking up space and I don't really have a use for - most of it is wool given to me, or leftovers from other projects. Life is too short to not enjoy our hobbies and knitting, crocheting, crafting, blogging should bring us joy, not anxiety. Good on you to get started on Christmas in July. You go girl!

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    1. :) Thanks for the encouragement, Mary-Anne.

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  14. Sometimes you just need to step away from the stash! I found that being focussed on stash busting resulted in me going nuts just makimg "stuff" in order to reduce the numbers. The consequence was burn-out, and almost getting rid of all my yarn because it wasn't fun anymore. Just do what makes you happy, and if that means buying new yarn at a super sale or trying a new craft that is completely unrelated then so be it!
    I have always wanted a Christmas afghan too: I look forward to your progress☺
    Jenn

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    1. I still have it mind to make a blue and white winter afghan after seeing the beautiful one you made this past winter. I do think I hit burn-out status this past spring (to some extent). Not so much that I didn't/don't want to crochet, but burnt out on thinking about how I'm using stash. I feel freer already. :)

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  15. Hi Becki :) I think you're smart to have realized that fun became work. I like your new plan, it's so important to have fun with what you're doing, it really boosts your creativity! And your fellow Yoppers and blog friends will enjoy your posts just the same! :)

    It's funny you mention "a spouse in the house" lol...before I met Alex, I was single for 18 years. It was all during the burnout/recovery period so I wasn't at all ready to be in any kind of relationship. But when I started dating again and met Alex, we moved in pretty much a week after we met. 6 years later, I'm still sometimes not used to my spouse in my house lol...I was alone for so long! But when he's not there, I really miss him, I think it's going to be a good thing for you and your hubby to be home together!

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    1. Thank you, Rain. It will be interesting to travel through this new stage of life. I'm sure there will be bumps, but hopefully we'll enjoy the ride. :)

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