So Little Time . . .

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

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!

Busy, Busy, Busy

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Credit: Pixabay

Life has suddenly gotten crazy busy.

I’m hip deep in lesson planning for school.  I’ve started a new diamond painting, this time with square drills instead of round ones.  I’m busily painting minis and trying to improve both my painting and photography skills.

I’m desperately hoping that my black thumb hasn’t killed all my garden plants, though I’ve yet to actually see any produce.  And my children are starting college, so I’m scrambling to pay tuition, buy books, and arrange schedules.

All while trying to get my Etsy business off the group, as well as launch a YouTube channel for my mandalas.  Speaking of, (insert shameless self-promotion here) if you haven’t checked out the mandalas on my Etsy store, you should!  They are larger and more intricate than my Monday mandalas.

Right now it’s just got coloring mandalas, but I’m debating putting some of my stickers up as well, maybe even some of my dot mandalas.  I’ve been hesitant to just jump in before now, but it’s amazing how having to pony up for college tuition can railroad right through your reservations about something!

I did manage to snap some photos of my most recent finished minis – I’ll try to post them later this week.  I think I’m learning how to use the contrast paints more effectively.  Now if I could just find the time to watch some tutorials on painting eyes.

Looking through my files, I found an old mandala I’d drawn using Amaziograph.  I can really see how shaky my hands are when looking at the lines here.

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I do like the flow of the design and that it’s fairly simple, but the shakiness of the lines bothers me.  Or does that make it seem more ‘authentic’?  Because it’s not perfect, so it’s clear it’s hand-drawn?  Do you consider it ‘hand-drawn’ if it’s drawn digitally rather than on a physical medium?

So many questions, so little time.  I’ve got to get back to work, so I hope you and yours are all doing well right now in this crazy world of ours.

Busy Bee

The last week has been very hectic. We’ve had a lot of appointments and obligations and I feel like I’ve been running around all week, which means lots of things I normally take care of haven’t gotten done. That leaves me feeling anxious and uneasy, because I don’t like leaving things undone. This weekend is looking like it will be just as busy, so – ugh.

There are always positives to celebrate, though. My husband is getting a promotion at work, which means a pay raise – awesome! 😀 My youngest may finally get to have a graduation ceremony – also awesome. I’ve been diving into my new job as well, which right now just means I’m spending a lot of time sorting, cleaning, and disinfecting so that everything is ready if/when we open up in the fall for students.

We’re still working on paying down our debt – something I hope we’ll be able to do a bit faster now with that pay raise. I’m still plugging away trying to create other income streams for us. My dream is to make a living virtually, so that we can live anywhere we want and still have a stable income. We’re a long way from that, but – baby steps.

I did also have someone ask me about buying one of my Monday Mandalas. In case I haven’t made it clear, the Monday Mandalas are FREE. You can grab them off the blog anytime. They aren’t very hi-res because of storage limitations on WordPress, but they are free. If you want to use them for something, an attribution would be nice, but if you just want to print one out to color or load into your favorite digital coloring app, feel free. 😀

If you’d like something a little more challenging/intricate to color than my Monday Mandalas, you can take a gander at my Etsy shop and see if there’s anything you like. I don’t have many items there at the moment, but I’m hoping to get some added this weekend.

That’s if I can peel myself away from my newest obsession – diamond painting. 😛 I discovered diamond painting one day when I fell down the YouTube hole. I used to needlepoint and embroider, but my carpal tunnel (and my bad eyesight) has made that impossible. Diamond painting is sort of like cross-stitch, but with little sparkly bits called drills. I found some cheap ones on Amazon (they are mandalas, of course!) and bought them to experiment with and see if I liked it before I spent a lot of money on some bigger, fancier pieces. So far – I love it. I’m a little annoyed with the first one (I got a package of 4) because they shorted me two gems for the design, so I can’t finish it. However, I do like doing it, so I’m planning on adding it into my craft rotation.

And, of course, I’m still trying to finish up those darn minis I discovered hiding in the basement. I have quite a few of them done – I just need to find the time to take some pics and get them posted. Maybe after graduation, when I have a few spare moments!

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Busy Is Not Better

One of the things I’ve noticed with everyone at home is that people seem to feel guilty if they are not ‘busy.’  It apparently has become a cultural expectation that you are ‘busy’ all the time.  The busier you are, the more successful you must be.

The internet is filled these days with things you can do/learn/bake/read/create/draw/make/paint/etc. to make sure that you’re staying busy. You’re made to feel guilty if you aren’t using this ‘time off’ (hah) to somehow improve yourself – whether it’s by learning a new skill, working on your fitness, or whatever.

I find this strange on several levels.

If you look at people who are very wealthy, they’re not generally very busy.  Some are, of course, but most aren’t.  “Deals get made on the golf course,” you’ll hear.  As if the deal they are supposedly working on somehow cancels out the fact that they are golfing, not working. 

I think we can all agree that meetings are some of the least productive things you can do with your time.  But again, wealthy people (like CEOs) expect you to believe that they are busy (and thus important) because their days are filled with meetings.

Also, busy does not equal productive.  You can be very busy and accomplish nothing.  You can be less busy and still be productive.  Here’s a little secret:

It’s okay if you aren’t busy every minute of every day.

The world won’t end.  It just means that you need to slow down sometimes and recharge.  Vacations are a thing for a reason.

Although, now that I think about it, most people are encouraged NOT to take vacations (at least in my experience).  You need to be busy, busy, busy and putting your time and effort in at your job.  (This may not be true everywhere – I happen to live the US, and that is very much the culture here.)  In fact, most people only get two weeks of vacation a year, and that’s if you have a very good job.  In today’s gig economy, most jobs don’t offer benefits like vacation.  You can take a vacation, but then you don’t get paid – something a lot of people can’t afford.

I have made a conscious effort to keep myself occupied, because depression can sneak up on me if I don’t.  But it’s okay if some days you just want to lay on the couch and read.  Or lay on the couch and do nothing.  All the things on your to-do list will still be there later.  It’s okay to not be busy.

Busier Than Usual

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Credit: Pixabay

You’d think that since I’m spending all this time at home these days, I’d be caught up with my work – perhaps even ahead of schedule!

You’d be wrong.

For some reason, since my children are at home, I am now in charge of making sure EVERYONE gets all their stuff done.  So even though I usually finish each day feeling like I’ve been productive, some days it isn’t MY stuff that I’m getting done.

Argh.

Also, there is a new position opening up at my job in August that I want (hopefully I’m back to work then).  So I’m updating my resume, doing some work creating curriculum, and planning out lessons.  Spreadsheets make my brain hurt. 😦

While all that is good, it means I haven’t been keeping up here like I should.  I’ve been drawing, but I haven’t been doing much writing lately (besides lessons).  I’ve actively been avoiding social media, because it’s too stressful right now.

Rather than sleep all day (which is an appealing thought many days), I’ve pulled out some projects for me to work on to keep me sane.

I love puzzles, so I gathered all the ones I had and I’m slowly working my through them.  (I have pictures of my progress, but I haven’t gotten them off the camera card yet.)

I’m also working on a challenge that Ann over at Ann’s Immaterium posted – to ‘paint the crap you already own.’  I have a lot of D&D minis that have been languishing in drawers for almost a year, so I’m going to try and power through painting them.  So far I have some washed and mold lines removed, some base coated, and some done except for bases.  Again, I have pics, but I haven’t taken them off the camera card.  I’ll try to post them here soon.  I’m not a fantastic painter, but just getting them done and off my plate will be nice. 😀

I have another online class starting tomorrow, so I guess I’d better get busy!

Like Molasses

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Credit: Pixabay

Time is relative, and boy has it been running slow lately.  Which is kind of odd, because I’ve been staying busy even though I’m not working.  My youngest, with about 5 weeks to go until graduation, has only been home for 2 weeks – and one of those was Spring Break.  When I asked how he was doing, he said he felt like he’d been home for months already.

Other than staying home from work, my regular day-to-day hasn’t changed that much.  I am still paying bills, balancing the checkbook, cleaning the bathrooms, cooking dinner, buying groceries, doing laundry, etc.  On the other hand, since my children are home, they are starting to see just how much I do around the house that they usually take for granted.

This weekend my husband and I spent an afternoon washing and vacuuming the cars and cleaning off the front porch. Monday my youngest and I, after our morning workout (which he has to do for his weights class), worked outside pruning trees and cleaning up the yard.  Then I paid bills, ran errands, and did laundry.

I’ve been much busier than I usually am, actually.  And yet, the last two days feel like they have lasted two weeks.  Maybe it’s because my kids are home all day, every day.  I’m not sure, but I am definitely ready for April.

Last night, my husband and I looked at prices for plane tickets, because we are hopeful that we may be able to travel back to Canada and see his family, since our visit in March was cut short.  No idea if we’ll really be able to go, but on the up side, tickets that are normally between $600-$800 each are now more like $200 each.  😀

I’ve put my plans to open up an online store on hold for a bit, given the current situation.  Instead, I’m going to focus on building a bigger base, so that when I do open officially, I’ve got ready-made customers.  That’s the plan, anyway.