Susanne

Apr 292017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Peachy Miss Winkle: so gut wie fertigimage
  • Spiral-Socken: ein Paar für meinen Mann angefangenimage

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • nichts
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Genäht habe ich:
  • Auftrittskleid zugeschnittenimage

Erwähnt wurde:

(Alle Links mit * sind Affiliate-Links.)

Apr 262017
 

One of the reasons that I haven’t written much here lately – even though I made a commitment to myself to post something once a week at least – has been that I’m in the middle of doing Camp NaNoWriMo yet again. I had wanted to write the first draft of the third in the current trilogy, and so I thought that would be a good thing so that I could write that faster. I’m not quite sure why but NaNo works for me every time.

Of course right now I’m at that stage where I am completely convinced that the whole story is crap, that nobody ever would want to read it – me included – and that stopping it and starting something else would be a fabulous idea.

And of course there is only one thing one can do in a situation like this: finish writing it.

Because it’s always the same. I am a little more than halfway through the story right now, and that is always when I lose interest. Writing middles is hard for me, and now that I know where this is going, and what will happen it’s not all that exciting anymore. And I’ve been sitting down to write every day for three weeks now, okay, most days, and it’s starting to get old.

I also stopped revision on the second novel so that I could take advantage of Camp NaNoWriMo for the third one. I’m still not sure if that was a good thing but that’s what I did, and now I’m stuck with it.

I am hoping that I’ll be able to pick that revision up again at the beginning of May, and that my notes and my memory of what happened, and what I want this book to be are good enough that I can sit down and actually make the cut. And that I then will be disciplined enough to sit down and revise novel number three.

Discipline is kickking my ass, by the way. I still get up at five, and the benefits are big enough that I want to continue doing that but I’m still not going to bed early enough, and so my whole world consists of tiredness right now. It is somewhat alright in the mornings which is why I can write at all but as the day goes on ot becomes harder and harder. Until I lack the willpower to turn off the lights at night.

And this weekend things will be extra-interesting because we have rehearsal, and even a kind of dress rehearsal for the thing we’re going to play at the beginning of May, and that means not only will I have to be coherent and with people until my bedtime and beyond, I will also have to sing and play and focus on what I’m doing at a time where I usually just slump around reading.

And before that I will have to get beds ready for the musicians who stay overnight, and help my husband make food for them, and do dishes like crazy, and go to the grocery store, and help set up for rehearsal.

In fact, it’s not quite seven yet, and I feel like crawling back into bed already.

Still, I will have to find a way to write my 2,500 words today, and do everything I need to do, and be nice and polite and professional.

So yeah, that is why I haven’t posted here this week. I did write lots and lots of words, though, so I hope that’s alright with you.

Apr 172017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweightimage
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Genäht habe ich:
  • Probekleid ist etwa halb fertig
  • Stoff für das tasächlich Auftrittskleid bestellt

Erwähnt wurde:

Apr 122017
 
  • It is the first week of Easter break, and I’m so out of sorts that I typed „Thursday“ in the headline at first. As you know I’m always a little thrown by things like weekends and breaks, and this week my husband is also away with a friend for a few days in Italy. Of course I thought I’d have huge amounts of time on my hand in which I could do all.the.things. Finish sewing the muslin for the performance dress, make all.the.music, read all the books, write like the wind.
  • Instead I spent Monday morning waiting for my husband to leave, then got frozen pizza at the last minute, made that, had lunch, taught a student, went to a doctor’s appointment with out son (we biked there and I managed to get lost twice), then teach another student, and that was that. Then go to bed way too late.
  • Tuesday the sloth descended on me, and I basically did nothing the whole day but sit, read and crochet. Until my back and arms hurt. I skipped my Tuesday run, did not practice, did not shower, and was extremely cranky by the end of the day.
  • Since past experience has taught me that me sitting and reading and knittein (or crocheting, whatever) and doing nothing else is a fast track to depression I decided to do everything right today.
  • I got up, did my morning routine, wrote, had breakfast, wrote some more, then waited for our son to get up (bad move when you have a teenager), was late for the run that I had decided to do today instead of yesterday, tried calling my mother, and just when I was about to get out the door to run errands she called me back, we talked for 45 minutes, I was way too late for erranding, went to the health food store and the pharmacy, went back, made baked beans and eggs for lunch, decided to read a bit before doing the dishes, and really buckling down, and the next thing I knew it was three hours later.
  • While I am halfway through the book I started yesterday somehow that doesn’t really give me that fulfillment and rosy glow that I hoped for.
  • I plain forgot to blog last week, by the way, which just goes to show how out of wack I am.
  • I promised my husband to buy gasoline for the lawn mower back in the fall, and he put the empty canister next to my bike. I then promptly forgot until he reminded me a few weeks ago. Also twice since, and last week. I might want to go and get gasoline but it’s always really weird to bike to the gas station, get the canister out of your paniers, fill it with a few liters, carry the canister inside to pay because I can’t just leave it standing around, and if I put it in the paniers the bike will topple over, and the bike back home.
  • I also forgot that I need to go to the cobbler to get my shoes back twice. Even though I put it on a list. Lists only help if you look at them regularly.
  • And now that my husband isn’t here not only do I have to cook every day (I have almost forgotten how to do that, by the way) I also have to water the millions of plants everywhere that are supposed to be planted in the garden in a few weeks. His whole studio is full of pots with seeds and tiny plants in them. Also I can never remember which of the vegetable beds outside is the one without seeds in it. I just water them all.

I’m really not cut out to deal with change in any way, I know. I’m hoping to get better some day but right now the only way I see is to just get the shoes and the gas right now (before the cobbler closes), then do the dishes, do strength training, go to bed on time, and hope for the best for tomorrow.

So, how’s your day going? Sloth? Not-Sloth?

Apr 012017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • Nube auf dem Victoria: die ersten zwei Spulen sind voll
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Genäht habe ich:
  • immerhin habe ich schon das Schnittmuster für das Probekleid zum Auftrittskleid ausgeschnitten, aus der Burda Vintage „Die sagenhaften Sixties“ das Modell „Tina“.

Erwähnt wurde:

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Mar 282017
 

Yes, I know that’s early.

I’ve been whining about not getting anything done for months now. And it was even worse on days when we didn’t have to get up for school, and I didn’t have to teach. And I tried being more disciplined (nope), and writing my novel in the evenings (not going to happen), and telling my family that really, I would spend all afternoon working on that novel-thing but it never happened.

I had this regular writing time in the morning, right after our son left for school and that went somewhat okay most days. Depending on when my husband would get up I got about thirty minutes of writing time in. Or less.

And I tried, and tried, and tried. And then there was this Sunday where I was adamant about working on my novel but in the morning just when I was pulling out my computer to start our son would show up for breakfast, so I made him breakfast and sat with him as he ate, and then just when I thought I’d had a bit of time to myself my husband came down for breakfast too, and then it was time to do the dishes, and then it was time to help with lunch, and then it was time to do some more dishes, and then I practiced the piano, and then I went online for a bit, and then every single time I sat down thinking, that now would be the time someone wanted something from me. You know how this goes.The wifi went down, and I had to fix it. My husband needed me to find out which train to take to a concert the day after, he wanted my help with an email he was writing, there was always something.

Some time around 4 pm that day I just gave up.

And I remembered that just about every single writer I knew who still had a day job said that they were writing first thing in the morning. And 5 am came up a lot. And just a few days earlier I had listenend to the „Petal to the Metal“-podcast, and they had talked about this, and so I borrowed the „Miracle Morning for Writers“ book, read it that day, and set my alarm for 5.30 the next morning.

As recommended I did my meditation, and a bit of yoga, and affirmations (still not quite sure about these), wrote in my journal, and then I started working on my novel. And it went very well. And right after breakfast I worked on it some more. And it was fun! Not the drudgery from before. I was doing really well. And I was even thinking about novel revision throughout the day, and spending a bit of time in the afternoon to prepare for the next day’s revision.

It was glorious.

So I did it again the next day, and the next, and after a week I set my alarm even earlier to 5 am, and that’s what I’ve been doing for a few weeks now, I’m getting up at five, even on weekends, even when I go to bed too late, I don’t care, I just love this so much, and yes I know that’s weird.

But no matter what happens throughout the day, no matter who wants something from me, or if something goes wrong, or if I have a lot of work that day, no matter what I get to spend time just for me and with my writing first thing in the morning.

And it’s making me really, really happy. A little tired too but I’m hoping to work that out soon. Also it’s not as if I had been getting enough sleep every night before that.

So. What do you think? Is being really happy worth getting up at five?

Mar 182017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Silk Argyle: fertigimage
  • Sunny Knee Socks: beim ersten bin ich mit den Zunahmen für die Wade fertig
  • Next Generation Pot Holders: have die ersten zehn Reihen aufgeribbelt, mit einer kleinere Nadel noch mal angeschlagen und bei Reihe 3

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • etwas Targhee auf der IST Crafts Turkish
Gehäkelt habe ich:

Erwähnt wurde:

alle Links mit * Sternchen sind Affiliate-Links zu Amazon

Mar 082017
 

In the past ten days I have been kvetching to everybody about the fact that I haven’t gotten anything done in all that time. And then the person I was speaking to turned to me and said, „But you have been doing your running during, haven’t you?“ And my first reaction was, „Duh. Of course I’ve been running. That goes without saying.”

And that made me realize how much my definition of „doing nothing“ has changed.

There was a time when I was still living with my parents where I didn’t have a to do-list, I didn’t even use a calendar, everything I needed to do I could just keep in my mind, no problem. And doing nothing at that time did not include any kind of physical activity or housework for sure.

Mind you, when I was a teenager „doing nothing“ meant a lot of reading (we’re talking about ten books a week or so), a bit of playing the piano and the odd walk because even a couch potato as sedentary as me needs to get some movement at times. It also involved a bit of piano playing and singing. And knitting. Some sewing. Very little TV because we’re talking about the time when there were only three channels in Germany, and none of them showed anything during daytime, apart from weekends.

These days when I talk about „doing nothing“ or rather „getting nothing done“ I mean that I am somewhat on top of housework, and grocery shopping, and laundry, and that I have managed to do something like ten minutes of singing warmup and my twenty minutes of piano warmup, and my regular exercise, and such. And of course the knitting.

But the important things, the ones that count, are the creative ones. The writing. And the blog, and the podcast, and all the projects that I want to finish. And so I feel like I did nothing if I didn’t manage to write or revise anything.

And no, that doesn’t mean I’m hard to myself. It means that I am someone who wants to do projects and follow her creative dreams, and finish things. And if I am content with just the everyday things that won’t happen.

I’m still somewhat proud of being able to deal with the everyday things, and that exercise and playing my instruments are a regular part of my daily routine, that is as it should be. It still doesn’t mean that that’s enough for me at this time of my life.

I mean, after those two days of rehearsal the weekend before last when I was completely wrung out, after that I didn’t expect myself to get back to my projects right away. I scheduled a day off. And when I found that I was still really exhausted the day after I took another day off and that was okay.

But not doing anything besides mundane everyday things for a week without anything being seriously wrong? Not okay.

So, what about you? What means „doing nothing“ to you?

Mar 052017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • lila Malabrigo Nube auf dem Louet Victoria mit Hochgeschwindigkeits-Flügel

Erwähnt wurde:

Mar 012017
 

Now time management seems like it's not enough. I find I often have time to do something, like an hour after dinner or so, but I lack the energy to do it. And that is a problem.

I'm not the type of person who strives to be all productive all day with no downtime, and no room for spontaneity or doing nothing but there are quite a few things that I want to get done every day, and I get grumpy if I don't manage that.

I read something on the internet about a guy who schedules three minute meetings, for example, that is not what I want to do with my life. Planning like that means that every thing that you haven't planned for – like being stuck in traffic – means your whole schedule gets thrown off course.

On the contrary, I have learned to plan for buffer time between things. When I stop teaching for the day I could theoretically just turn around, sit down and do something else. But experience tells me that I often need about fifteen minutes to wait for the student to leave, pack away everything I needed for teaching, check my email one more time, and maybe read something on ravelry.

Of course I would be more productive if I didn'tdo that but forcing myself to not do it usually just makes me cranky and after a few days I go on strike and spend all my time surfing the web. If I allow myself that fifteen minutes I'm happy to start practicing afterwards. Or making dinner, or doing strength training, or whatever.

Now I've talked about this at least on the podcast but elsewhere as well but my big revelation in the past few weeks was that time is really not the problem, energy is.

The way my life is structured right now I should have about an hour or two each night where I can do something productive, and I can still eat dinner in peace, do the dishes, read and have quiet time before bed.

I am definitely not a night owl so the things I schedule at that time are usually things like, “watch a video about book marketing”, or sewing, or spinning. Nothing taxing, nothing that I need a lot of concentration or energy for.

So I had scheduled that – very sensibly – and I had even managed to wash the dinner dishes in a timely manner instead of playing iPad games or reading, and then I found I was just way too tired and couldn't do anything anymore.

So I declared defeat and went to bed, read for two hours and turned the lights out too late. And was angry at myself for not getting the things done that I wanted to.

After a few days of that I got really angry, and so I told myself that I absolutely had to sit down, spin and watch a video, even if there was not a morsel of energy left in me anymore.

So I moaned and groaned, and moved my spinning wheel in front of the computer and spun and watched that video for half an hour.

And then the funny thing happened.

I had more energy instead of less.

That was strange.

My very first impulse when I am feeling low on energy is always, always to sit back and do nothing. I mean, that is how you recharge, right? I already know that doing nothing for a long period of time makes me feel completely limp and unable to cope with life, so I force myself to exercise even when I feel like I have no energy at all because I know from experience that exercise makes me feel more energetic in the long run. But not giving in to that evening slump felt completely impossible.

My theory (and not only mine, check out “The Power of Full Engagement” for more on this) is that there are several kinds of energy that I have and need. Physical energy, mental energy, social energy, all kinds. And all of them need replenishing. And sometimes what I need is not to sit and read and do nothing but instead to move something forward that's important to me.

So the past two weeks or so I have forced myself to practice for the upcoming performance. Even though I felt awful and tired and exhausted beforehand. I still didn't feel all that energetic afterwards but I didn't feel more tired and exhausted either.

And the funny thing is that I have had less trouble sleeping. I guess my subconscious is feeling better because I'm taking care of things that are important to me.

Who would have thought that there were so many things to learn yet?