Finding Balance

Current project: Colette Patterns Hawthorne dress


It wasn’t until I started sewing that I realized how much I missed it.  I have difficulty finding balance in my life because I’m pretty much “all or nothing” about most things.  But I have to tell you, I don’t want to have another semester like this past one.  I was busy, of course, and I like to be busy, but I didn’t have any time at all to do things for myself.  I found myself falling into unhealthy habits simply because I was so busy that everything was hard.  I didn’t read, I didn’t sew, and I barely had time to make it to the gym once a week.

My goal from this point forward is to make time for myself, and to not allow myself to fall back into my stress habits.  I don’t want to feel this way every summer, but I love what I do.  Here’s what I plan to do from this point forward:

1. I’m not teaching at home this summer.  I usually have private students at home in the summers, but this summer I’m going to focus on only my classes.  No one wants to come to piano in July anyway!  Come fall, I’m keeping the students I have but not adding more.  I’m teaching through our preparatory program now as well, which is less stress because it’s at school and can fit into my normal schedule and not have to run from place to place.

2. I’m keeping my house neater.  I have always struggled with neatness.  My house was pretty much a disaster growing up, and while I figured out how to be pretty OCD in my own place, I’m not good at being that way while living with someone else.  We had a cast party here in April, and I neatened the place considerably.  I’ve been keeping it up since then (much easier when you do it over time) and I keep pointing out to my husband how much less stressed I am when things are clean.  So far my strategy is working!  I need to paint the trim/walls in my bedroom, but I think this may be a time to hire a painter (blasphemy!) because I just don’t want to right now.

3.  Make it to the gym more.    I’m happier when I get some exercise.  We have a gym at school… perhaps I should use that on my lunch break rather than eating unhealthy cafeteria food?

4.  Make time to sew and read.  These are my primary hobbies, and I did zero of either last semester.  I’m not saying I have tons of time, but I need to carve out time – maybe on weekends – to sew every week.  I know I can find time to read… I just have to remember to do it.

5.  Take time to do something for myself.  I’ve been getting Shellac manicures.  It keeps me from my bad OCD habit of picking at my cuticles til they bleed, and it makes me feel better to do something for myself.  I always thought it was silly, but now I understand why women enjoy going to the salon!

6.  Schedule my time more carefully.  I am lucky in that I have a lot of control over my schedule.  So I need to make sure that I’m making a schedule that works for me, not one that works for every person in the world except me.  That’s hard, but I think I can do it.

I love what I do… and I’d like to keep it that way.   I know I won’t succeed with everything right away, but I want to try and keep these goals in mind so that I don’t burn out.  In the meantime, look for plenty of sewing posts this summer!  I’m going to start doing book recommendations again as well, maybe once a month.

8 thoughts on “Finding Balance

  1. Hi — It’s great to see you posting your sewing again — we missed you! A friend gave me some advice about reading when she asked me to join their book club and I worried about not having time to read — just read 1/2 an hour per day — you’ll be through the book in no time, and she was right! The same goes for sewing. I give myself a gift of 30 minutes most days to sew. I may not get a new dress done every week, but I look forward to my gift of doing something for myself. Enjoy!

  2. So glad you are giving yourself the gift of time. Glad to hear about your sewing adventures. Love seeing your wardrobe come to life, giving me incentive to start working from patterns hidden in my draw somewhere. Patiently waiting for your next update

  3. Your goals are really fantastic; we are on the same page in a lot of areas. I read an article recently in which a woman talked about her new strategy – to set 3 goals each day before looking at her phone/computer/email when she got up in the morning. She said it had helped her to set the goals she wanted, instead of chasing after agendas that were set for her based on a text or email she’d received that needed attending to. I’ve been taking that time to myself each morning to make my own daily goals, and I do feel more clearheaded about what I need to get done each day, whether it’s simply making time for laundry, or finally sending a letter I’ve been holding onto for weeks, or (like you mention) making time to read, etc.

  4. The first step is always the most challenging but you will do it. I make time by reminding myself that doing sewing, crochet, knitting, reading, gardening keep me sane and make me a better person overall. Am cheering you on 😉

  5. Glad to see you back and finally taking time for yourself. Sometimes it is necessary to keep your life in balance. I love Colette’s Hawthorn dress. I made one up last summer for my youngest daughter and she couldn’t wait to pull it out of the closet this summer, now that it has finally gotten warm again. Have fun! Can’t wait to see your newest creation.

  6. Just clicked the follow button :). Lovely post. I am a blogger in the “sewing niche”; tomorrow’s post has a link to your Vogue 9005 post.
    Wishing you peace and calm in everything you do.

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