There’s a phrase that’s been rolling around my head a lot lately – “Start the way you mean to go on”. Seems like good and straightforward advice, right? So why has it been so stuck in my head?
After mulling, I think it’s because it’s easy. Starts are exciting, and new, and shiny, and it’s easy to work up enthusiasm for a new project*. But to continue to have enthusiasm for an ongoing project, well. Sometimes that’s more of a challenge. And sometimes when projects have been going on for long enough that they don’t even really seem like a project anymore, they just become part of the background and rote activities. And then you realize that everything important feels like old habits and the ‘excitement’ is new otter videos and then it’s perhaps time to reflect on things. And step back from social media a tad.
Perhaps the trick is to keep going; accept that maybe some of the shiny intentions and ideas are maybe not as shiny as they used to be, but good things are worth persevering.
(Live, from the kitchen table! It’s a PD day today, so my laptop is on the kitchen table so that I can supervise the littles playing minecraft on the old laptop.)
My new project is all my old projects. Evaluating and re-engaging. I want to be more mindful and involved in the world around me; I’ve been a bit wrapped up in just a lot of nothing. I’m mulling what’s really important to me; what’s a priority to me; what’s worth working for. In short, seeing new kitten videos on facebook is not on the top of that list**. What is? Helping the littles grow into successful people***. Being creative. Being grateful for everything around me. Staying connected to the people that are important to me. Helping others. Staying fit so I can stay healthy as long as possible****.
Maybe it’s that I turn forty this year, maybe it’s that the littles are not-so-little anymore, maybe it’s just that it’s fall. I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting time, I want to cherish all the moments I have. So in that direction, I started a new daytimer. It’s a basic black moleskine, which is terribly functional but also sort of boring. It’s actually like the new go-cup I got – it was on sale, but it’s so bland and innocuous that I keep forgetting it’s mine.
Happily, I know just how to fix things. If, by fix, you mean “change to suit myself”. Altering things is not something I am typically scared of. I have the skills and tools to modify quite a few things, actually… For the boring day planner and go cup, I decided to skip stickers or decoupage (both of which are fun), and go for alcohol inks (which I have in my stash). I’ve been puttering with alcohol inks for a while; I have quite a few finished works that I am really pleased with (the preceding orchid picture is one). They are typically done on Yupo paper, or other non-porous surfaces like acrylic or glass. I’ve never used it on a surface like the cup or book… but I figured worst case I can wash a stainless steel cup in rubbing alcohol and if the book cover went sideways, I could always head to ModgePodge.
I’m pleased with the planner – it has a slightly luminous quality that I like. I hadn’t planned on the etched surface texture, but one of the paintbrushes I was using decided to up and shed like crazy. So that scratches were my technique to get the hairs off without trashing the surface I was happy with. It has dried nicely with a pleasant finish; it’s not sticky or gummy or weird or anything. The cup I am also happy with – although it took a little tinkering. The indigo colour I used ran waaaaay more than I anticipated; so one side of the cup was really terrific, and one side was a solid blue blodge. I washed it to make sure of the water-fastness – yep, water doesn’t disturb the inks at all! Then I decided to add some surface texture… which mean that I scrubbed it with steel wool. It abraded the dark blue into a lighter and more interesting colour, and didn’t change the pink or orange too much. So it’s voted a win too!
And now that I have rebooted the blog yet again, I am off to work on other things for the day. Sadly my deep thoughts haven’t extended to a clever closing paragraph, sooo… I’ll just leave… and feel awkward… I’ll be folding towels, which is part of Project: Creating Home. As opposed to The Endless Monontony of Housework. I reframed how I look at taking care of the house. I’m still not nuts for housework, but it helps to view it as a way to create home.
*At least, for me it is. Ask any knitter with chronis start-itis…
**Although I do love a good kitten video. Misdirection with cute kitten videos once helped me get the littles through the heartbreak of the end of a movie…
***People that are kind and loving and have joy in their life. Success is not about preassigned goals of career or wage, in this house.
****All my favorite hobbies involve a nice, brisk sit. Knitting, reading, watching movies… It takes me some work and focus to get active.