Of course I thought I would have it all figured out by now. And I do have a job. A job I happen to like. But then, I always seem to get restless after a while. I have already written about how I feel like I’m pulled in several directions at once, how the things I like doing just don’t go together that well.
Which reminds me that I had promised you a post about the things I like. I have been thinking about it for weeks now but all I can come up with is “Raindrops on roses, and warm woolen mittens, …” (and I just found that I misquoted it, I’m horrible at remembering song lyrics) Every time I try to write a list of things I like I end up with something like this, and it feels totally arbitrary.
So. I’m almost 41 now, and I keep thinking about what to do with my life, where it’s headed, and I still don’t know. Music is important, I now know this, because without music I get depressive. Sometimes I also get depressive with music but without it I always do. I know that I want to sing more, and make up songs, and improvise, and that I want to perform again. I only don’t know how or where or when or with whom. And I find that it feels a bit pointless to hum to myself at home, and so I bought myself a new recording thingie that is sitting on my desk and gathers dust. (I actually recorded something and started to write a post about this at the end of, um, April. Well.)
Last year I had this feeling that I should become a tarot reader. I bought tons of books, and three more decks of tarot cards, bought a spiral notebook, and started learning the meaning of two tarot cards each day. For about a week or two. Because while I enjoy pulling cards and doing readings for people with the oracle cards that I have, I never can remember the meanings of the cards. I always have to look them up. And while I feel pretty good about drawing cards for people it then occurred to me that people might want to know about serious life-issues, and I didn’t feel up to the task. Also, learning while I go along might work for the things I usually teach and do but for this I felt that I needed a better foundation. I haven’t abandoned the thought, though, it’s just one of the things that is swirling around in my mind.
Then there’s the knitting. It has become quite important to me again over the past year (which you might have noticed), and so I started thinking along the lines of, “Maybe I should teach knitting classes.” or design knitting patterns again and see where that leads me. That’s my latest spleen, and so I have started drafting a plan for knitting classes, and have run into my old obstacle of not being able to promote myself. I just can’t do it. I have all these plans, and enthusiasm, and I know people would love the classes but when I put it all to paper it becomes stiff and hollow and brittle. My husband has been going over my draft to help me, and now it’s up to me again.
Then, the designing. As I have said before, having ideas is never the problem for me. (And I thank God for that.) As soon as I decided that I wanted to design something there were a few ideas popping up. I even bought yarn, and I have thought about them constantly. Now all I need is a couple of days to really do something. And, most important of all, I need some space in my head for that.
Just in case you’re wondering why I, all of a sudden, think that I can design knitting patterns, well, back in the eighties when I lived in a small town I pretty much made up all my own patterns. Not always successful but then, these days, I actually knit gauge swatches and such, and on top of that I’m totally willing to rip everything back until it looks like I want it to. The only thing I’m a bit nervous about is that in the eighties sweaters were just rectangles, and these days they are supposed to fit a bit more tightly. On the other hand, from what I see these days, baggy sweaters might be back again soon. And designing fitting sweaters only means doing a bit more math. Which, strangely enough, is not a problem, it only takes a bit more time.
I also would like to teach creativity, and work as a coach but I have this feeling that I need to grow a bit before doing that. The other thing I’d like to do is improvised music. So I’m planning to teach circle singing, and waiting for the opportunity to improvise with others.
Then there’s the writing. I like doing it but I still have to read my two NaNoWriMo-novels. (That still sounds weird, my two novels. Lately someone asked me what I had been doing, and when I told her “I have been writing more, there’s the blog, and I have written first drafts of two novels and a screen play.” it sounded really weird to me. But then, it’s true nonetheless. It won’t do me any good, though, until I do something with what I have.)
I know that this is pretty much the recurrent theme of my blog, my lack of focus on just one thing. So, I have decided that I’m unable to do just one thing, and go in all directions at once. Which is fine, only now all these things in my head keep canceling each other out. Where to start? I start each day with a plan to do one of the important things, like, “Today I’ll be working on my concept for knitting classes!” then procrastination happens, or housework, or blog reading, or exercise, or family, and soon it’s “I’ll do it on the weekend when I’ll be having more time.” (That one’s always good for a laugh.), and so the weeks go by one after the other.
So, this, of course, will be the weekend when I will be:
- Doing some extra thing with my son like going to the zoo, or riding our bikes.
- Sew a dress, and about three bags.
- Knit about 250 rows on Mystic Meadows.
- Clean the house.
- Do all the laundry.
- Design and knit a pair of socks and a men’s sweater.
- Finish my plan for knitting lessons, write a CV to go with it, take a new picture of myself, write accompanying letter, and mail it off.
- Sleep for at least eight hours straight each night.
- Cook something not fast food-like.
- Read half of “Shadowplay”, “The Mindful Way through Depression”, a third of “Spook Country”, “Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames”, and re-read “Mindful Knitting: Inviting Contemplative Practice to the Craft”. (I sense a theme here with the self-help books.)
- Watch two games of soccer because of the European Championship.
- Write my monthly story for the writing group.
- Mix the improvisation I recorded.
- Record some more.
- Write one or two blog posts.
- Do yard work. (If you knew me in real life this one would be ROFL-worth funny.)
While I’m at it, I could also teach my son how to swim. Or something.
These are not really my plans for the weekend but then I might have taken on a bit more in my life than I can reasonably do. Do you know anybody who hasn’t? Which of the things should I drop? I know, the answer is housework but my husband doesn’t like doing it all alone. And I don’t blame him. So, any advice? I could quit blog-reading of course but that isn’t really an option, isn’t it?
Since I am known as the girl with too many hobbies I sympathise. However, I’ve recently stopped doing a lot of the structured stuff (writing classes, japanese) and discovered that giving things up doesn’t help either. I do worry that not being able to focus on just one thing makes me incapable of being successful at anything, but I would feel more dull if I did just one thing. All of those things on your list make you more interesting (except the house and yard work of course) so you can’t give them up.
My solution is to take a task and allocate it an hour. You never finish anything, but you do start, and you can get further in an hour than you think. And there are lots of hours in a day. I like that advice so much I want to do it myself. Right now 🙂
I would skip watching the soccer or do something else from the list in the same room as the television, such as the sewing.
I would sleep less.
I would organize the list and schedule the things on it into the next couple of weeks.
I think it is great that you generate so many good ideas. The knitting classes appears to be a gem to me. You could design a flyer and put it up in knitting stores. (They have tons of those here in LA, not sure in your area, but am guessing YES!) Also, sometimes it helps to get a business card made. There is a great site called VistaPrint. They are reasonable and fast, plus you can upload your own design or pick from their’s. When I first started blogging I got business cards made and I pass them out occasionally to moms or people I meet. And leave them on bulletin boards at indoor playgrounds, coffee shops and places where women go. Tell all of your friends that you are now teaching knitting classes.
I also find it amazing that you have been so prolific in your writing! Kudos to you on that.
It is always challenging to balance what we want and need for ourselves and having a family and partner. Focusing on 1 or 2 things can help. Rather than trying to do it all. Good luck!
Haha. This morning I said to Flo: “If I could just focus on one thing, instead of working up more ideas for things I will never get around to, I might start sleeping better at night.”
So your post made me feel a whole lot better.
I just realised that I’ve also started reading more than one book at a time. At present I’m trying to finish seven books which means that the eight book – the one I look forward to reading before going to sleep – never gets read. I fall asleep two lines into the introduction.
But the thought of giving up even one – unthinkable!
Well, and we all know if you actually *did* give up one of your plans/hobbies/projects, you would find something else in no time, right? It seems to be a common problem. It’s been my problem for years now.
Sometimes this helps for me: try to imagine you’ll be dead around next week, or two weeks. Seriously. What would be the thing you absolutely need to do before dying? (If the result is: finish that skirt!, as was with me, be proud to be freaky.)
Yes, I actually do. Old classmate from school, who never had hobbies and had no idea what to do with her live and now ended up in her father’s company. You know what? I always pitied her a bit for being such a boring and sad character.