Real Word Check-In and General Status Update

As often happens this time of year, I’m pretty burnt out.  Post-nationals is always when the feelings of exhaustion rush in, even when I’m not skating!  It seems that, even when I “take a year off” I’m still just as entrenched in the mad rush to get everything ready for nationals, and to help out while I’m there.  I made quite a few costumes this year, and while there was the usual smattering of sequined tuxedos and rhinestone encrusted dresses, I also invested in an airbrush setup, so I played around with using that technique on costumes this year as well.  It was fun, but it definitely added another long step to the whole process.  On top of that, I made more costume-y costumes this year, which was super fun, but also more time intensive than whipping out another pretty dress.  So, suffice it to say, while the blog shows a dearth of sewing, I’ve been busy.

But now that the mad rush is over (oh, I’ve still got commissioned projects lined up, just not quite so many of them), I can take a little time to reflect on where things are for this year as I’m slowly recovering from my post-nationals exhaustion.

Things I’ve been wanting to do that I actually did:

  • Take my sewing machines in for service!  Gold star for me.
  • Finish reading some books!
  • Get caught up on writing blog posts!

Things I’ve been wanting to do that I’m still working on:

  • Get caught up on blog reading!  I’m seriously at least a month behind.  Sometimes I feel rude when I don’t comment on other people’s blogs but they are still commenting on mine, but I’m sort of trying to rush through the (hundreds) of blog posts I haven’t had time to read over the past few months, so I’m perhaps not commenting as much as I’d like to.
  • Finish reading even more books!  Seriously, I’ve got like 14 half-read books to finish.
  • Finish putting the sewing room back in order!  It’s mostly clean.  Mostly.  I’ve still got to file some recent pattern purchases and put the buttons back in the box on the self, reshelve some books… But, it’s mostly clean.
  • Study for exams in January!  The roller skating world is being shaken up by the introduction of RollArt, a new judging system.  Suffice to say, we could all stand to do a little studying, because if it is going to be a success, we all need to know what we are doing.

Things I’ve been wanting to do that I haven’t started on at all:

  • Konmari my books (and eventually papers, komono, etc.)!  I’ve been meaning to do this since last year.  It really needs to happen.  At the very least, my book shelves need some serious reorganization going on sometime soon, and, truthfully, I really need to figure out a better method of dealing with temporarily important papers.
  • Organize my fabric stash!  I re-organized my pattern stash earlier this year (I now utilize comic book boxes and it is great – let me know if you want to see a post on what I did), and I really think my fabric stash is long overdue for a similar treatment.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to organize into the category bins, and I’ve also long since outgrown said bins.  I’ve been really inspired by some of the organization techniques employed by various other bloggers on social media, so I’ve got a few things planned to help me wrangle the stash.
  • Sew for myself!  I haven’t been able to sew any of my planned summer wardrobe, and, at this point, I’m pretty resigned to the fact that I’m going to abandon those plans.  But I’m really hoping I can kick things in gear for fall when I start the sewing machines back up in September (yes, I’m taking the rest of the month off more or less).

Finally, a few thoughts on things I’ve been sort of wanting to do, but haven’t put a ton of effort into lately.

  • Exercise.  When I was skating, exercise was just built into the routine; 10-20 hours a week of it!  After last year, my body really needed a break, and I’m glad I took it.  But now I can honestly say I find myself craving more exercise.  It’s hard to find that line between being an exhausted zombi and feeling pleasantly worked out. Time to exercise has been really hard to attain lately, in no small part because my work hours have been cutting into my work-out time quite a bit the past few months.  I need to make this more of a priority.  I’m also toying with the idea of skating a bit more this year.  I went off and on last year, but I think it might not be the worst thing to get back into more of a regular routine, even if I only go for a few hours at a time, and not a full 3-4 hour practice session.
  • Cooking.  I still try to be very mindful of what I eat, but I’ve found myself eating out more often lately, and I’ve paid the price for that more than once (I changed my diet to assist with autoimmune issues I deal with, and I can have terrible reactions to food).  I miss cooking new recipes and trying new techniques.  I’ve fallen into a bit of a food rut, and I really think it’s time I put more focus on my time in the kitchen again.

And I think that’s about it.  I always feel like there are so many things I haven’t done by this point in the year, I tend to forget about all the things I have done.  For some reason, this year feels as though it has been more busy yet less productive than normal.  Possibly because I haven’t been skating, it’s been hard to gauge the effectiveness of how I’ve been spending my time.  But I’ve still got several months left this year, and lots of things I want to accomplish in that time.  So, hopefully, another week or two of rest will give me enough time to regroup before the mad dash towards the holiday season.

Does anyone else ever have this mid-year crash and reassessment?  Or is it something that is reserved for those of us who spend an inordinate amount of time at skating competitions?  Do you ever have to sit back and take stock of where things are in life, and what you actually care about doing?  How do you manage to do all the things, or prioritize your life so that you don’t feel the need to?  I’ve heard that things are only a challenge until they are routine, which I tend to agree with, but I’m looking for the advice about how to find the time to make things part of the routine in the first place.  Anyone who’s managed to find that zen place of managing all aspects of their lives is more than welcome to share their secrets in the comments.  And those of us who haven’t… well, we can just commiserate.

9 thoughts on “Real Word Check-In and General Status Update

  1. I don’t know if your customers would let you post photos of your commissioned costumes, but those would be fun to see on the blog–either modelled or not!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so behind on taking photos, doing blog posts, responding to blog posts and I don’t even think I ever reach the bottom of my instagram feed. I can’t even blame it on anything specific – I honestly do not know how some people manage to fit so much in! So absolutely no helpful advice from me, but hopefully some pearls of wisdom will show up in the comments….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m a fellow “commiserater” (new word?)…and have been thinking about prioritizing, balancing and motivation a lot over the last year. Since training for and completing 3 Ironman races in three years at ages 56-58, I really needed a break. Got back into sewing after not doing any for about 30 years and my goal with sport was to do it for healthy reasons knowing it makes me feel good but not necessarily competing. To just go out and train and have fun. I’m having real difficulties getting out and motivating myself – partly because it’s hard to tear myself away from the sewing machine and also because there’s so many books I want to read….you get the picture … all I can say is I totally get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you enjoy your break! I’d be very interested to hear about your pattern organisation methods. My own method has not kept pace with my collection and the situation has just about reached breaking point.

    I hear you about having lots of plans and not enough time to do them all. What’s working for me, sewing-wise, is using Pinterest to record and organise my sewing ideas in a queue. I know what my next project is and can make sure I’ve got all the bits for it in advance so that when I get time to sew I can make the most of it. I also find I make better use of my pattern and fabric stash because I’ve got them recorded electronically and can look through them anywhere with a network connection.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’ve got my pattern organization pretty well covered…. the fabric though 🙈. Right now I’m in a massive fold it all and consolidate it phase, after which I’d like to have a massive cull and destash phase, followed by a catalog and organize phase.

      I’d be happy to work on a series of organization posts, because I think it’s a topic worth exploring, and something I need to put more thought into right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoy your break…!

    One of the downsides to having lots of interests is the time it takes to do them all… 😄 Completely understand. Wish I could offer a “this is how it’s done” post, but my boat seems to be in the same lake as yours, pretty much. I’ve given up on photographing any of my sewing makes just because of that reason! I’d rather use that time to sew. That said, this summer any free time has been taken up outside (my garden looks terrible this year, but the tomatoes are great), traveling a bit, and with our (now sick) dog. Oh, and family. Can’t forget them.

    I finally made a list of what I wanted to get done and played with it in order of importance, and tell myself how guitly to feel for unfinished tasks according to that list. And I remind myself that the list must be flexible, in accordance to life, the universe, and everything.

    If I may, food is so important – and especially for you if you have issues – if one has an interest in cooking, it shouldn’t make you feel guilty to cook! Eating and health is not optional – you cannot work if eating habits take their toll. Cooking is important! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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