Cold, cold April

shaggy ponies losing their coats while still needing them.
shaggy ponies losing their coats while still needing them.

I’m having a bit of a hard time dislodging myself from the woodstove recently. Unless it’s a really sunny quiet day the windows don’t let in enough warmth yet, and if I’m not moving around a lot I’m like a lizard, sluggish unless heated from the outside.

I never even got my seeds going in the window, I believe I said so last month too and now it’s probably really, really too late. I guess I’ll experiment with direct sowing. Like, on a day that’s slightly warmer than today! Saturday was fabulous, sunny, quiet, (and cold) but alas I was not home, I was spending long hours in a car and on a tiny ferry. For which the weather was also absolutely perfect; horrible, horrible benches but I now have my first tan of the year. I get sea sick easily, so truly an amazing day for a trip to pick up G’s “new” tractor. I’d even remembered my sunglasses. 😎

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Even though I now have my own studio, I still find it difficult to combine my social brain with my creative brain, it’s definitely like two distinct rooms, a locked door between them, and the key goes missing every single time I need to pass. (that’s just a general key thing, right?)

I’ve been wondering if this is “normal”. I know it’s a common problem for all who work from home, that everybody else thinks they’re available at all hours since there’s no visible boss to enforce office rules. But do I have an extraordinarily difficult lock on my door? Many speak of carving out small spaces for creativity, 20 minutes here and there, how do you/they turn it on like that? My head is just filled with the noise of the life of the other person, so different from the thoughts I’m thinking when I’m alone.

So I’m going to try some meditation techniques to get me back into myself faster, which brings me round to April again, brrr, that concrete floor up there is a UTI waiting to happen! I have a feeling that global warming will end up something like the same, medium bland grey chill all year long, no more snow but also no more hot summer days. Perhaps there’s going to be a booming market for umbrella makers, what do you say, anyone want in?

🌺 🌻 🌹 🌷 🌼 🌺 🌻 🌹 🌷 🌼 🌺 🌻 🌹 🌷 🌼

For today’s “get back into gear” method I’ve made up a strict list to complete once I’m on my own again in the afternoon, not free form creativity but on the road to:

  • Take woven band off the loom, wash and press. ✅
  • Finish organising my shelves of painting supplies.
  • Put up a couple of cork boards for notes & ideas.
  • Get back to sewing a tunic of my handwoven.

Next thing I need to learn apart from returning to myself, is leaving. Or rather, cutting it closer. If I know somebody is coming over, even if I may have hours, I don’t enter my room while I wait because I know I’ll be cranky when I have to leave. I’ve tried to talk to myself about the irrationality of this, but I haven’t been listening.

Now I’ll be interested to hear, do you have a door between your outside and inside personas? A mere curtain? No walls even? If you’re an extrovert I suppose I can guess the answer, mingling IS your life and energy and you may not have a clue what I’m talking about. I wonder if I could even understand what that feels like. And I’m wondering why, with the awareness I have of the situation, I can’t seem to shift it just slightly.

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Still not organised, but now it’s time for my walk.

 

14 thoughts on “Cold, cold April

  1. This is hard for me too – for the last few years, I’ve worked from home and find that I have to be more structured with my time and day than I’d like to be, somewhat defeating one of the perks of working from home! But it works for me to have days focused only on paid work (with an hour or so of mindless knitting afterward in the evening) and then the days I have off for creative pursuits. During my “work” days I try to keep up with household things during short breaks so I have more time for myself on my days off. I can’t do something creative for just 20 minutes unless it’s just a little bit of spinning or rows of easy knitting but I can limit work time to just 20 minutes to check emails, etc., so that half is easier to reign in…

    1. Haha, I have no trouble carving my house chores into itty bitty tiny pieces. It’s that I would really prefer to never come out of my other room. Or at least not have to interact during the day, I focus much better without talk. I can’t talk and drive a car either (or cut a salad etc. etc.)

  2. I have a quiet life so this isn’t too big a problem for me. No one ever knocks unexpectedly at my door. But I do have family, and over the years I’ve learnt to work around them, in the small moments, when I can. I guess that’s why I currently write short pieces – its more possible than a novel where I usually need to delve deep for hours. I actually find that, although I’m an introvert, the energy of family around me uplifts me for creative work. When I have hours and hours alone, I tend to get bogged down by the weight of the time and find it hard to move creatively through my thoughts. But everyone is different, and its important to make the energy space you can to support yourself.

    1. I’m practically a recluse, so really it’s not that often I get company apart from G working home and on the phone all day. I’ve trained people to give me notice. I guess I just wish, since my energy fluctuates so much, that they’d show up when I was sick and tired and not doing much anyway, rather than coinciding with the 3 good days I’m having that month, rearing to go and then prevented. But I can’t blame anyone for this, obviously. 😉

  3. I need a lot of time to rejoin the world. If my plans go through, I am fine, but if they fall through, I may as well pull a blanket over my head.

    1. Yes, it depends a lot on timing, an inflexibility to let go of expectations / schedule at the control of others. I don’t do well with noise, whether actual sound, pain, or input from other people when all I want to do is concentrate. I never did my homework with music or tv as a kid for instance.

  4. Det der med tilgængelighed døgnet rundt kan jeg totalt skrive under på. Vi havde nogle venner, der troede at vi slet ikke lavede noget, fordi vi altid havde tid til at se dem, når de havde tid. Den hjemmearbejdendes privilegium 😉 Men det medfører jo også at folk ringe om aftenen, når de er hjemme og har tid osv – dog ikke om natten.
    Jeg har det meget ofte sådan, at når jeg skal noget – til tandlægen kl. 2 om eftermiddagen for eksempel – så er hele dagen ødelagt fordi jeg ikke kan komme i gang, for det der jeg nu skal ligger og lurer i horizonten. Jeg øver mig ved at sætte et minutur til en time ad gangen. Så laver jeg noget, og hvis jeg så bliver fanget, så er jeg i hvert fald fri for at bekymre mig for at blive for opslugt og ikke komme afsted. En slags skemalægning af dagen ved hjælp af et minutur, der kan klare hele 4 tider, er en stor hjælp.
    Når man har børn, må man lære at leve med forstyrrelser, men det betyder ikke at døren bliver tyndere, bare at den bliver lidt lettere at åbne og lukke.

    1. Ja, de der midt på dagen aftaler er værst for koncentrationen! Jeg tænker det er en form for stress hjernen oplever, når den tror den skal bekymre sig på forskud over så små ting. Det med timeren vil jeg prøve, hvis hjernen ved at den eksisterer som sikkerhed, måske man bedre kan skubbe frustrationen fra sig og være i nuet.

  5. I’m happy(?) to realize that I am not alone in this tug-of-war work/life balance! I’m also a recluse of sorts (and empty-nester). Between home, garden and barnyard chores…it seems I seldom have time/make time for myself! I also notice that I get very ‘irritable’ when I haven’t had opportunity for creativity. Making ‘things’ is my therapy!

    I also have many interests and focus on any ‘one’ project is difficult. I am a perfectionist which also complicates matters. I have a nice work space, and still clutter my home with projects…all within reach. I am definitely most productive when I lock myself in my ‘studio’. I also agree, it is difficult to leave that ‘space’ to prepare meals and such. Mind you, I could easily skip a meal, but, The Mr wouldn’t appreciate! 😉

    I take my goats for walks now and see the gardens that are in desperate need of weeding… tomorrow I will take a cultivator with me while the goats browse at my side. Multi-tasking is my friend!

    Best wishes!

    1. That definitely all sounds familiar. 🙂 As a child I was dubbed the “absentminded professor”, so it’s not a recent personality quirk!

  6. Hi Pia,
    Know this feeling well. Although we have a business ( plant nursery) that requires me to interact throughout the day, I am often challenged by having to straddle worlds…one of being available to others and one that pulls me into my own solitary world. I generally like people, like talking plants and farming, but do need to escape from the world into my studio…or the woods…to be silent and solitary. I have always been like this, not an extrovert but not a complete introvert either, I hover . I can spend hours and hours ( days…weeks) alone caught up in my own world of making things, or thinking, or just simply ‘being’. I find it harder to transition as I grow older and covet my alone time more and more. The studio has helped to create a space that I can retreat to…..I can tuck away in their for hours!

    1. I don’t have a problem with people as such either (or I’d never have been able to work for a computer hotline back in the day!),but I rarely meet kindred spirits in my everyday world and like you find that my tolerance for unimportant chitchat has lessened with age, and I don’t even notice if I’m not talking to anybody for weeks. The more quiet my environment is, the better I feel, my new room is awesome that way.

      I imagine it helps that you have opening hours, that way you know when you can turn things on and off at least?

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