Slow But Steady

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I still have tons of things to work on, but – as someone reminded me – even slow progress is better than no progress. In spite of all my dithering about, I did manage to get some things done the other day. I added items to my Etsy shop, I began working on additional items for the shop, and I did some back end work for opening a TeachersPayTeachers shop.

As I get older, I find that my motivation and focus are not what they used to be. However, I’m trying to remember that I need to be nicer to myself and that everything does not have to get done in a day. Even if I want it to. 😛

So, if I want to work on a diamond painting one day and paint some minis the next, that’s okay. The world won’t end if I don’t finish all the things at once. Slow but steady wins the race, right? That is how I’ve approached our financial goals, and even though it seems really slow some days, if I look back, I can see exactly how far we’ve come.

When I started working on paying off our bills, we had a mortgage, two car loans, a bank loan, and 4 credit cards. As of today, we are down to just our mortgage, one car loan, and 1 credit card. 😀 We’re still not where I want to be, but we are so much closer than we were to being debt free.

I’m hopeful that by the time we are ready to move, we will have paid off the last credit card. That means we will have more cash available for our move and associated expenses. We want to move so that we can be closer to my husband’s family. Lots of things are still up in the air (because nothing is normal in 2020), but at least we’re making progress towards our goals. So I’ll continue to try and remind myself that progress is progress, no matter how small it is. 😀

Feeling Like a Failure

I promised myself that I would spend time this week working on various things related to my (supposed) online business. I want to 1) add things to my Etsy store, 2) create products that I can sell on TeachersPayTeachers, 2) research how to increase my sales on Etsy (keywords, SEO, etc.), 3) research whether a Shopify store would be worth the time/effort/money, 4) set up my YouTube channel, and 5) upload videos to said channel.

Except after about 10 minutes of sitting here on the computer, I feel almost paralyzed. I have no idea what I’m doing. I know what I want, but there are so many things I need to learn I don’t know where to start. Do you ever get that? Overwhelmed because there are SO MANY choices?

It can’t be that hard. People start and run online businesses every day. And I’m not looking to become a millionaire overnight. I just want to have an online source of income so that I can be mobile and still be able to work.

I’ve been blogging here for over a year and have launched my Etsy business. I have a ton of ideas for products, many of which I’ve already created. I just can’t seem to buckle down and get anything done. I can’t seem to force myself into gear to be productive.

It’s easier for me to work with external deadlines, even if there are no real consequences for missing them. My own deadlines, however, I can ignore with apparent ease, even though I feel horribly guilty for doing so.

Sometimes there’s just no way but through, right? So I am going to force myself to get SOMETHING done today, even if it isn’t everything. I’ve already had my workout, done my cleaning, have laundry going, and I’m writing this blog. So SOMETHING has been done, even if it wasn’t what I intended. That’s better than nothing. It’s not even noon yet, so I have time to work.

How do you hold yourself accountable? Force yourself to be productive on those days when you’re overwhelmed?

Finding Time

I’m still struggling to find time to do everything I want to. We did finally start on the paperwork for our move to Canada, so that’s good. I’m hoping it’s less work than getting my husband’s permanent residency here. It’s less expensive, at least. 😀

I’m still plugging away on lesson planning. I enjoy it, but I’m getting a little burnt out. I have 3 more weeks to do to get through the end of the year. I think I’m finally starting to figure out how to make the process as quick as possible, even with all our COVID restrictions. I’d like to be further ahead than I am, so I don’t feel guilty working on other projects.

I’d love to get back to my mini painting, especially since I’m so close to finishing off my pile of forgotten minis. Then I could open up my CR minis and get those done. We’ve been playing online, so I haven’t needed to purchase any new ones.

I also have lots of other projects I want to get done, but it’s hard to justify the time when it means putting off work I’m actually getting paid for. 🤨

In the meantime, I am still drawing and playing around with dot mandalas.

I like the color palette of this one. It reminds me of ice cream cones for some reason. I enjoy drawing these a lot. I wish I had time to do more.

Also, I splurged and bought myself a new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to go with it. I can’t wait til it gets here!

Fallacy of Time

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My brain is all over the place these days. I feel like I have so much going on and not enough hours in the day to fit in everything I want to. That feeling is not accurate, though. I may not have enough hours in a day to get EVERYTHING done, but I certainly have enough hours in the day to get MORE things done than I am currently.

I confess, I am easily bored. So I am constantly putting off things that feel like they are boring (like cleaning, paying bills, blog admin, etc.). I’d rather spend time thinking about new and exciting ideas, which is fun, but is then followed by guilt about putting off things I know I should do.

All of this got me thinking about that old cliche:

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.

On its face, it’s a true statement. There are, indeed, only 24 hours in a day. No matter whether you are a Prime Minister, a company president, a pop star, or a peon, we all only get 24 hours in a day.

However, my 24 hours are different than yours, and yours are likely different than others as well. How much you can accomplish doesn’t really just depend on you. It also depends on how much support you have.

For example, for most people (read: peons), part of your 24 hours is spent on things like:

  • commuting to your job
  • cooking your meals
  • doing your laundry
  • cleaning your home
  • paying your bills
  • taking care of your family

If you are a single parent, you likely don’t have a lot of help doing any of those things. If you have a significant other or other family to help, you can (hopefully) rely on them to do some of those things for you. Add in sleep and work hours, and most of those 24 hours are filled.

But if you’re a pop star, a company president, or a Prime Minister, you probably (read: almost certainly) have a TON of people supporting you and helping you, thus freeing up a lot more of your 24 hours. How much more would you be able to get done in your 24 hours with more support? Someone to cook your meals? Clean your house? Do your laundry? Make sure all your bills get paid? Drive you to work?

Suddenly there is a lot more you can accomplish, because you have more time available to you. If I had a way to commute to work (like a driver or a mass transit option), that’s 40 minutes a day I’d have free to do other things – like write, draw, or blog.

I started to actually do some math on how much more time I’d have, but it just got depressing, so I stopped. The point is, even though we may all have 24 hours in a day, there are many people who have the luxury of using those hours in ways that are not available to most of us.

It’s a vicious cycle – you work to make money so you can pay for someone else to do certain things for you, which frees up your time for other things. But a lot (read: most) of those other things don’t make money, so you spend more time working to make more money, which means that time you thought you’d bought is no longer free.

People with lots of money and/or support like to tell the rest of us that we could be doing just as much, if only we were more dedicated, more ambitious, or more like them. The underlying implication is that you’re lazy, stupid, or somehow ‘less’ than them. What they ignore is that none of them could do all the things they do without that support.

I’m in that vicious cycle currently. I’ve taken on extra responsibilities at my job to earn more money, which is great. I’m glad I have that opportunity, because I know a lot of people are struggling right now. And while, in the long run, it will allow me to reach some financial goals I’ve set for myself, in the meantime, it’s incredibly frustrating because it’s taking up more of my time and thus taking away time from things that I enjoy, like blogging and drawing. You know, those things that I want to do in the hopes that at some point, I can make money doing them, rather than what I’m doing now.

Until I win the lottery, I’ll just have to keep plugging away on my own, finding ways to more productive in less time. Maybe I’ll even figure out how to motivate myself to get on those boring jobs and get them out of the way so I can spend time on other pursuits. 😛

Colored Mandalas

I must confess that this new job of mine is taking more time than I thought it would. I’m enjoying it, mostly, so I can’t complain too much. It has, however, eaten into the time I normally have for blogging, drawing, etc.

I have lots of projects I need to get working on, so I just need to buckle down and force myself to be productive. We are planning to move to Canada next year, so I want to try and earn income from internet side hustles so that I can be working even while we are moving and traveling.

I’ve purchased some equipment that I hope will help me launch a YouTube channel, as well as working on more products for my Etsy shop. The Etsy shop has kind of languished once I went back to work, so I definitely need to get my rear in gear there.

I did spend some time doing some more experimenting with iColorama and coloring in some of the Monday mandalas.

I really liked the black and white original design of this mandala, but I’m not sure it worked well for me when I colored it in. Maybe I’m just not feeling the color scheme. Even though I wasn’t happy with it, I threw it into iColorama and played around a bit.

It turned out a bit odd, but kinda groovy looking, so I kept it. The blur around the edges is a little trippy. I do like how it draws your eye to the center, though perhaps the middle is a bit busy.

I was on a roll, so I continued coloring. This design is one of my favorites so far and I was curious to see how it worked for digital coloring.

I am happy with the way this one turned out just coloring it in Procreate. However, I couldn’t resist also playing around with it in iColorama. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I did in iColorama, but I think the final product turned out pretty well.

I still need to get more designs drawn and other things. I’m also debating whether to post some of the stuff I’m creating for work on TeachersPayTeachers. I’m already doing some of the work for my job, it would be nice to make a few extra bucks off my hard work. 😀

So Little Time . . .

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My sense of time is skewed.

March through June took an entire year.

July and August have flown by in seconds.

I am back into school/work mode and other things (like blogging) have fallen to the wayside. My schedule has gone completely off the rails, but I am determined to get back on track.

I spent today being productive. (I think younger generations refer to this as ‘adulting’?) I called and rescheduled doctor appointments since our doctor is retiring. (Is that a sign of my age or his? Both?) I called and got issues with online textbook access sorted for my youngest.

I paid bills – and said a silent thank you that we have enough to pay our bills. I set up my budget planner and my personal planner for September. We’re still making progress on our financial goals, albeit slower than either of us would like. On the positive side, my oldest will graduate college in May with no student loan debt.

I’m still painting minis – more pics to come later. I’m almost finished with all the traditional ones, so I can move on to the 3D printed ones. I feel like I’m getting better at it – I can definitely see a difference in quality.

I finished my first square drill full canvas diamond painting and I’m getting ready to start an even larger one.

But first up is all the lesson planning I need to do. These darn mental stumbling blocks are getting old, and I need to get over them so I can get done and move on to other things. And now it feels like I’m running out of time. School starts in less than two weeks.

I’d better get busy!

Resisting Change

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Change is scary for most people. You get used to something, and when it gets changed, it can be frustrating. Take the new switch here at WordPress. Everyone is being moved over to the new Gutenberg block editor.

I tried to like it, I really did.

It does have a lot of features that the classic editor doesn’t. However, it has some stupid changes, imho. For instance, I hate that I now have to click through a menu to see my word count. With the classic editor, it’s right at the bottom as I type.

Even doing routine things has become a chore. My Monday Mandala posts are a weekly thing, and I used to be able to copy the post, insert the new image, and off I’d go. Now it’s become a huge hassle, because a large majority of the time, my images do not show up when I am writing the post. I’ve tried preloading them into my image library.

Nope.

I tried ‘replacing’ the image as the new block editor suggests.

Nope.

Something that used to take me a few minutes has now become an exercise in frustration. And I get it. They want to keep things new and shiny to attract new people. Maybe if you do everything on your phone, this way works. I don’t, and it doesn’t. And now, it keeps prompting me to change all of my old posts into the new block editor.

I don’t want to.

I can just keep using the classic editor – and for many of my posts, I probably will, because it’s easier and faster. After several months of trying the new editor, I have yet to see the appeal. Something that you could do in a couple of clicks with the classic editor, like batch edit old posts, doesn’t work anymore. I have to go searching around for options I want, while wading through all the new ones I don’t.

I’m not giving up yet – I’m going to keep trying to use the new block editor and see if it grows on me.

Like a fungus. :/

Motivating Myself

img_0087-1Ever have one of those days where you just can’t make yourself do anything?

Me, too.

Like today.  (This is past me, so by today, I actually mean yesterday, because you’ll be reading this in the future.)  I have a ton of things I should be doing, but I can’t seem to make myself do any of them.  Everything seems to take more energy than I have.  And not physical energy, but mental energy.

Maybe I just need a nap?  I’m not really tired, though.  Maybe I’m just bored.  Which seems crazy, because I have a LOT of things to do.  None of them have to get done, though, which is the real issue.  The only one putting deadlines on me is me, and though I do my best work under deadlines, it’s clearly not ones I set for myself.  Those deadlines I just ignore.  Because, honestly, what happens if I don’t?

Nothing.  That’s what happens.  Nothing.

Like what I’m doing now.

Although I guess I’m not doing nothing.  I got up today.  Made my bed.  Showered, dressed, did the dishes.  Which probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but some days, I can’t even motivate myself to do those things.  I haven’t gone into work this week, which I think is part of the issue.  Also, my husband is working a big storm right now, so he’s gone, which means I have to cook.

I hate cooking.  I’m not good at it, and I don’t enjoy it.  I mean, I’m not a terrible cook, and I know my way around the kitchen, but I don’t like doing it.  My husband loves to cook, so that’s his job when he’s home.

I’m trying to keep myself occupied, but today has been a struggle.  I’m working on a new project, which I hope to show you in a later post.  Today, though, I think I’m going to call it quits and go snuggle under my weighted blanket.  I love that thing.  Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about it – get one.  Best purchase of the year so far.

Change is Hard

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I have hit a patch of blogger’s block. That doesn’t usually happen to me. I have tons of ideas and generally don’t have trouble creating a post.

For the last week, it’s been a struggle.

It’s likely because I know I need to make some changes and I’m resisting. Which is crazy, because the only person who has a say is me. 😛 When I started this blog, it was with the idea that I would use it to further my online business. As I started writing, though, it became more of a place for me to just write about things that interest me. Which is fine, except now I find myself wanting/needing to make a pivot, because I do want my online business to be successful.

I purposely branded everything using the Introverted Hermit – my Etsy shop, this website, my social media sites. I could start all over, but I don’t want to. I’ve already bought the domain, have everything set up, etc. So the other option is to pivot and start using this site for business rather than the more personal blogging I’ve done up to this point.

I’d like to find a way to balance the two – to still have some personal content but mixed in with more business content. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. There’s also the fear that making changes will hurt the progress I’ve made attracting readers.

Change is hard, y’all.

I spent some time today looking up editorial calendar templates because I need to get more organized with my writing – maybe that will help me focus and create the blend of business/personal I’m looking for. I found a few, but I got annoyed at the number of sites that wanted an email address before I could download the ‘free’ template. So I made a mental note that if something on my site is labeled ‘free,’ it is actually free – won’t even cost you an email address. 😛