Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sick of Lemonade...Time for Tea

"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" I've lived by that motto for years, and while not totally abandoning it, I'm tired of the Lemon bombardment, and the self pity that has ensued, and I'm turning a page. The last 3+ years since the layoff from my job have not been easy. We started a business for my husband that is doing well, but still in its infancy. Financially, I'm in worse shape today than I was when I graduated university - or so it seems. Hard to focus on quilting or anything else when you have bill collectors calling every other day. I'm sick of lemonade. But let's lay off the lemonade and see what we really have. We got through my thyroid issue with positive results. I came to the realization that I have now fulfilled a 20+ year goal. I tell people to choose a career where they can "hang their own shingle" and being a consulting engineer would have fulfilled that. I suddenly find myself as a consultant, albeit not of the engineering type, with a legal company that bears my name and work under contract to be done. It was the last of the major goals I had in life, or so I thought. I have a beautiful home that fulfilled another lifetime dream of living in the country by a lake. Now, I just need time to start collecting pay from my work to pay the bills (most will be up to date before Christmas) and I need to focus on new goals for myself. Sounds like the perfect time to start a new quilt, right! I started a block of the month quilt that should be fun. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them. I have a notebook where I cut out pictures from magazines or words and put together a collage of things that inspire me. It is eerie how those images have come true: babies, trip on disney cruise, home in the country, company with my name on it. I need to find some new images to lead me onwards. Let's leave off the lemonade, and have a spot of tea, while we delve into this new quilt project and see what the future could hold.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A dent in the plans

Well, life does not always go as planned. I kind of knew this day was coming, but reality feels a little weirder than I thought.

I am being scheduled for surgery to remove part of my thyroid. The doctors are treating me under the assumption I have cancer because my thyroid is so large it has paralyzed one of my vocal chords. My surgeon said, while not impossible to have the vocal chord paralyzed and NOT be cancer, he's only ever seen cancer as the cause. The fact that this is "urgent" surgery, means I'm likely looking at a February date for the surgery. The good news is even if this turns out to be cancer, thyroid cancer is usually 98% survival rate.

Needless to say, getting some of my UFO's done this week has been challenging, but I'm determined to not wallow in self pity. So, no progress to date, but I'm thinking tonight might be the night to get going on things.

Friday, November 25, 2011

UFO's Everywhere

In order to not completely overwhelm myself, I decided to just inventory the quilting projects I have (sadly, I have embroidery, needlepoint, and sewing projects too).

Good News - I got the inventory done. Bad News - Holy Cow, what a list. My oldest UFO is mumble years old (I bought the fabric in the area I went to university at, back when I was still in university - and that was two marriages, two kids, five moves, and many jobs later!)

Here's the list in age from oldest to newest:

Richmond Hill Trip Around the World - fabrics washed but not started other than that
Christmas Wreath - pieced and part way hand quilted, but needs finishing
Love Never Ends - purchased on a business trip to the US last century, not started
Bunnies - started for my nephew before he was born and he's in university now
Star Sampler - Center star almost done but border stars need doing
Sunset Star - blocks are together and rows started assembly
Flowering Star - all there but not even first cut made
Block of the Month 2003-2004 - about 6 months done but need to finish piecing
Quilter's Challenge 2005 - barely started
Breast Cancer Quilt - not started yet, but since my mother is just finished treatment for Breast Cancer, this one is feeling more important to do
Phoenix - fell in love with the stain glass patter, but never started it
Strip Quilt - bought a bundle of strips with great intentions

Technically there are a few more - quilt guild mystery challenges and summer school quilting courses but they were more about learning technique and I'm not sure they could be salvaged to make a viable quilt - still, I may yet come back to them.

I've decided to finish the Sunset Star first. It's for my grandmother who's already in her 90's, so you don't have to guess why I'm making that a priority! Tonight's goal - piece two rows together and take a picture for the blog!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Christmas Season is here

This year, despite becoming an Entrepreneur with my husband, despite some health issues, and despite the fact that there is still only 24 hours in the day, I've decided both for the sake of sanity, cleaning up my UFO's, and saving money, I'm going to try to make some Christmas gifts this year. I have 4 weeks until Christmas to make this happen.

Tonight's Job - A full UFO inventory. This is bound to be embarrassing, but the first step to doing anything is to assess where you are. I certainly feel like I have no time in the day, but the reality is I watch enough tv to make several gifts many times over. I feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the work day, and sitting in front of the boob tube both is a family event (since working on crafts seems to be a solo effort for the most part), and seems to be what I feel I have energy for.

I used to use the saying "the more you force yourself to do, the more you'll realize what you can do" - baby steps.

So, today is day 1 of the Christmas Count-down and the challenge is to use even 15 minutes a day to move me closer to my goal.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Renewing the Drive - August 21, 2011

It is hard to believe it is over a year and a half since I last posted. A lot has happened in that time, and yet some things I had as goals, seemed to slip off my platter.

My husband and I took a leap of faith and opened our own business. After 15 months, we have done the unthinkable - succeeded! Our sales have doubled, we've received public recognition for our work, and we're heading towards a fundraiser that will allow us to give back to the community.

The costs have been high - I have not touched my quilting, my basement clean-up project has gone the way of the do-do, and I don't get to spend as much time with my friends as I would like. Lucky for me, I have such great friends that they've been understanding through this.

I was reading my best friend's blog about seeking renewed motivation for her area of focus and was inspired to restart holding myself accountable via this blog. So let's see what today brings with a renewed sense of optimism about getting some me time in the day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Progress......or Lack Thereof - January 15, 2010

A week into the New Year's resolutions and some progress has been made, sort of.

Translation: Not one resolution is going completely well, but we're making a dent in all of them.

I don't see this as failure. Life, like New Year's Resolutions, is all about the battle against inertia. As long as you're making progress in the right direction, you're succeeding!

Let's start with the Christmas decorations. I tackled the house and packed up all the ribbons and bows, the wrap and the tape, the tree and the decorations, the lights and the ornaments, the tablecloth and the assorted decorations around the house. I thought I had this one finished last week when I saw, today, a ratty piece of artificial holly that was masquerading as mistletoe, hanging from my front hallway light. Well, it won't take a moment to finish off this resolution.

I moved the dusty exercise equipment most of us won't admit to having from a remote corner of the basement to right in front of my hobby area and pointed towards a television. First workout went great. Now both the exercise equipment and the hobby area are collecting dust. This week is not over yet, so there is still hope.

I bought a curtain rod for the planned curtains in the office - I don't know if I can legitimately call that progress.

I've applied to more jobs over the last week and contacted many in my network about a possible job, so now I wait and see. I'm also cooking up a Plan B if all else should fail.

Still, life is great. My family is healthy and full of love. I have a few great friends and caring neighbours. I have no complaints really.

So, I hope you look at the struggles in your life and see, not the distance to the goal, but the strides you've made already to get there and smile as a result.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

That time honoured tradition of seeing the year start with the making of promises that may only have the hope of lasting 5 minutes is one I relish every year. I actually think I have a shot at these ones.

1) Put away all Christmas decorations by end of tomorrow. (We're a full week into January already so it's about time!)

2) Clean up the home office. We've let it get messy and a messy desk is not the most productive one. This I want to do next week, but trying to be successful at these resolutions this year, I'm giving myself until the end of January.

3) Find a job - let's face it, unemployment, for those who want to be employed, SUCKS! I have many irons in the proverbial fire, but I actually have to make something come of at least one of them.

4) Make drapes for the office. We have a room we use as a home office (same messed up room as #2 above) and I have the material to make drapes for the office. I just need to dust off the sewing machine and get this job done. Again, I hope to do this by end of next week, but I'm giving myself until the end of January to complete this.

5) I want to exercise 4 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. I'm not doing weight loss goals this year, although I do want to get in better shape, but I just want to improve my fitness level.

6) I have a certificate I've been working towards earning through a self-paced on-line program for months and I want to complete it by the end of Jan. It's feasible if I can focus for 2 hours a day for 4 days per week between now and then.

I'll be honest enough to keep how I'm doing posted here. Do you have resolutions you want to share here too? By all means.