Friday, January 28, 2011

share your talents!

this semester, i'm working from home in anticipation of Baby Girl's arrival. i don't have any restrictions on my activities, but because i am an adjunct professor, it's not very conducive to whole semester courses on campus when you're going to deliver three weeks before finals. :)

thankfully, i have been teaching online for several institutions for a while, and so i managed to continue to do so this semester. it's a huge blessing, but online classes come with a whole range of different challenges.  every occupation does, so i'm no different than any of you.  working exclusively from home, though, also brings with it a strangely new challenge: not really having any external measurement of my success. i do the dishes, and there are more. i do the laundry, and there is more.  i cook a meal, and another one comes along.  i grade a set of discussion board prompts or quizzes, and the next day there are more to grade.  it seems neverending and, unlike a really exciting or successful in-class experience, the online experience sort of divorces me from what i used to use as my benchmarks for personal success.

last night, as i was feeling like i wanted to metaphorically (or literally, perhaps) bang my head into a wall because of some frustrating student experiences, i decided that it was time to take myself out of the situation.

it was time to sew.

i'm far from being an expert seamstress, but i've been planning a few simple projects for Baby Girl's room. i've been afraid to start, because i was afraid to mess them up, but after some gentle nudging from the calendar and a mom who knows me SO well, i decided this week that i needed to get it done.  but, still procrastinating (as i am often guilty of), i put it off.

i have no idea why. it was so invigorating to pursue something that was just so different from what i normally do. here was a project, one that i had envisioned from the beginning, and here i was with the skills to accomplish it.  and i'm nearly finished--and it's fabulous!

i'd been feeling stressed and down all week, but just spending a few hours over the past day and a half working on this small sewing project has made all the difference.  i feel happier and lighter and SO excited to keep going. it's addictive, this hobby stuff!

(project-in-progress picture: i'm making a valance for her room. here's only a part of it, taken to show my mom my progress. picture longer, and eventually with tabs at the top, where my fingers are. be kind in your evaluation of my skills. :) )

i think it's important to take time for ourselves.  we all work very hard at whatever we do, but rarely prioritize our own needs.  we talk a lot about taking care of ourselves physically here, about feeding our bodies well, but what are we doing to feed our souls?  what do you do to decompress, to unwind, to really feed the parts of yourself that too often get neglected?

after the valance is done, i'll move on to the several other sewing projects that i have planned.  then, i have a cross-stitch to finish. yes, i suppose i could probably spend some of that time scrubbing a bathroom or mopping a floor, but i think i will be a happier, healthier me with some thread in my lap. 

we'd love to hear about your hobbies and activities, and how they get you back to a place of balance.  what do you do when your day gets too much for you? what do you look to as a measure of your own personal success, beyond your job and physical accomplishments (and certainly beyond the scale!).  what makes you unique and special? how do these talents help you to decompress?

1 comment:

  1. wow I don't know how to sew anything but a button! nice work!