Free Time – Life Balance

One of the biggest changes for me, now that I am no longer working out of the home is to allow for time to make myself work-ready and to commute to the office. For me the loss is a couple of hours each day.  I am not special in this loss of personal time.   It is the personal price that millions of people pay as part of being gainfully employed.  It is time the working person can never get back.

I use my commuting time to plan my day or decompress and shut down at the end of a day.   When I push the button on the garage door, that is the line of demarcation of work time and personal time.   I don’t take home paperwork, my computer or say to anyone at work to call me at home.     I have traveled that road before of letting work take over my life and have no desire to do it again.    When I am on the clock I am 110% in, but when I am off-the-clock  I am guard my private time preciously.   It isn’t easy and I like so many others have struggled with this situation.

When I accepted this job, RangerSir and I talked about this.   We discussed what the realistic expectations were.   We discussed what was most likely to suffer and what each of us might do to limit the impact of my new job on personal time.

I have done several things to ensure that I don’t let work creep occur.    I am trying to cultivate new habits to ensure I don’t just go to work and come home and veg, because I  found I was falling in that pattern.    In January  I enrolled in a creative class with weekly assignments because I love to learn and I thrive on creativity.   With regular assignments I am forced to carve out time for myself.   It seems that once I have found the rhythm of making self-time, it seems I have found  time for other things as well.   I  have queued up several books at the public library, because I am back to reading daily.   I had wanted to make a baby quilt when my newest Great Nephew was born, but I had never started the project.  I felt I had no time.    Now the top is pieced and I am busy machine quilting it so I can go to baby Harrison.

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I had never imagined I would find the time to make a baby quilt, though I really wanted this special baby boy to have one.   Now suddenly it is well on its way. 

Are you caught in the never ending rat race of letting your work encroach on your personal time?    Are you not being yourself, but instead using the exhaustion of work  preventing you from finding enjoyment in life?   If so, I hope you take a little time and think about how you can find some time for you.  You are worth it.   Maybe you can’t be as lucky as I am, but even if all you get is a few minutes to yourself, it will be worth it.   Once you claim those first few minutes hopefully you can claim a few more and a few more.

It is something we all need not just with work and personal time, but holistically more life balance.

Christmas Cards – Going, Going, Gone

I think that the  tradition of sending cards to family and friends at Christmas time is fading away.    It seems sad to me that it is so.   Our list is made up of friends and family  scattered across the country.    It is full of friends that we have made in the many places we have lived.   They each have contributed to the color of our lives and helped to make us who we are today.  For me a card is a nice way to say “Hi” and you are important to me.

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This year I made my cards again.   Usually I pick one design and make a bundle of  cards in a single design.   This year I bought a designer paper collection from the local craft store including 12 pieces of two-sided paper and a sheet of stickers.    I decided that I would provide my own card base from my stash and make as many cards as possible from this collection.   I finished with 70 holiday cards and one thank-you.

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I have had a nasty cold this last week and it was a great step into and out of project.    I kept myself on task by posting each as I finished it on Pinterest.   You can see each card by visiting my Pinterest page.

When we were done RangerSir stepped up to the plate to help me get them addressed and out the door.

 

Sitting this One Out

Last year I participated in National Novel Writing Month.   I have always felt I  had a book floating around in my head.   In October last year I thought what better way than to participate in the event to get it out of my head and down into black and white.   So I signed up and participated.

It was a great experience.   I highly recommend it for anyone who thinks that they have a novel floating around in their head.   It kept me going and the pressure to get the words out of my head on a schedule gave me some feel what doing this for a living might involve.  I wrote every single day.   My novel moved forward excuses not allowed.

Unfortunately I am sitting this year out.   For the first time I can ever remember there is not book in my head taking shape. I am not sure why, but I chalk it up to doing so much self exploration right now.   No matter the cause this year I am sitting National Novel Writing Month out.    It is the right thing at this time.

Good luck to all the rest of you who have made the commitment to write this year.

Photo Challenge Day 5 – Light

Still feeling under the weather today, but this morning the sun reflected off the mountains and it almost took my breath away.   I tried to capture it.   Now I am trying to share it with you.

Morning light on the mountains.

Morning light on the mountains.

Today’s challenge was light and for me it was morning light on the snow covered mountains.

Photo Challenge Day 4 – Sending Love

Tonight I am feeling under the weather and tired.   I had convinced myself it was OK to skip tonight. Yet when I was getting ready for bed, I realized that it might not be my best effort, but the photo challenge was worthy of an effort.    So I convinced RangerSir to be my hand model and started pulling things together to make tonight’s photo challenge happen.   Here are the results.

Christmas cards to mom.

Christmas cards to mom.

 

Photo Challenge Day 3 – To Do List

This one was one I wanted to do but with a twist. I didn’t want it to be a chore list, or a list of all the things that needed to be crammed in to this month.   Instead I wanted it to be a list of the sweet treats that I would like to make.

I got lucky tonight and this is exactly as I took it.   No Photoshop help at all.

I got lucky tonight and this is exactly as I took it. No Photoshop help at all.

I am not sure how many of these I will actually get made this year, as I am back full-time for the this month and next.   It is the busiest time of the year for my employer and hence my free time gets pretty scarce.  With this list there is a starting place if I get some free time.

Photo Challenge Day 2 – Creative December

This challenge is only in its second day and it is much more of a challenge than I had expected.   The list of what I am to photograph still doesn’t look daunting, but somehow it feels like a big challenge every night when I leave work.   Here is today’s photo.   I am working on making my Christmas cards from a single purchased collection of paper.   It is making me reach deep inside because each card is different due to the limited materials and the colors are not traditional.

 

I am trying to make my cards all from a single bundle purchase.   This is a creative challenge because there is not enough of anything to make it more than once.

I am trying to make my cards all from a single bundle purchase. This is a creative challenge because there is not enough of anything to make it more than once.