I bought this lovely embroidery kit from Purl Soho in preparation for our honeymoon. Last year, I loved having a sewing project to work on in the car as we drove around Montana and Idaho and I completed most of the piece. This year, not so much.
Ever since the wedding, I've really not had the urge to make anything—other than dinner!
I know that this is probably a very rational response to the bevy of projects that I did for the wedding, but I can't help but think about a statement that I made to Josh in May or June: "If I ever stop making things, you'll know that something is really wrong with me." To which I now say, well, maybe not. Maybe I just need a break.
And I can say that my lack of sewing, embroidering, crocheting, or otherwise being crafty has opened up a whole world that I forgot about in the spring—the world of books. I've read close to ten books since our honeymoon and have so loved getting lost in the stories. There is something so decadent about reading a book in a matter of days, about really sinking into a story and being right there with the characters. I forgot how much I loved that fact, a fact which is so central to my being that it's why I chose to be an American Lit major in college.
So the books are helping, but to be very honest, my life is in transition. And I am learning (again) that transitions can often suck, requiring more patience than we're used to using in everyday life.
I probably mentioned it in passing in June, but with the close of ReadyMade magazine, I moved over to a different department at my company and am now working as a food editor. Which is awesome because I love food and working with recipe developers and writers. Give me a day on a photo shoot working on a lovely food story and I am a happy girl. But at the same time, it's taking me a while to process just how much has changed since a month ago. In some ways the timing of the job switch was great because I got a fresh start when I came back from the honeymoon. In others, it delayed my realizing that the job I had so enjoyed at ReadyMade—the responsibility, working with the writers that I did, having direct and constant feedback from our readers—was no longer there. I miss the community. A lot. They were really good company to my everyday.
Which I think is where the reading comes in. It's been very therapeutic to have something (books) to help me relax and just be as I readjust to the new state of my daily life. And it's helping me to hang on to some of the feeling that I had on our honeymoon of being able to focus, rather than of always having to multitask. That was a good feeling. Thankfully too, much about our lives haven't changed, and in fact have only gotten better. Marriage, one month in, is quite rad. We're solid, strong, engaged, invested, and perhaps sillier than we've ever been before. I think the amount of laughter that I've experience in the past month was probably the most I've laughed since I was a kid, which does impressive things for one's well-being.
But still, all of that is leaving me with a lot of questions. Over the past year or so—especially as I've been working on my So Pretty! Crochet book for Chronicle that features 12 incredibly talented women women (more on this project soon!)—I've become really interested in how other folks balance work with creative pursuits and their personal lives. How other people create their lives so that they personally feel like they are spending their time in meaningful ways. This has always been something that I've wondered because it seems crazy hard to keep it if you find that sense of meaning, and to find it in the first place.
So as I sit here in my transition period, I have some questions for you.
How do you do balance it all?
How do you make time for all of the competing facets of your lives in a way that works for you and/or your family?
Do you make time to craft or sew after the kiddos have gone to bed or after you get home from your day job?
Do you work a more flexible schedule so that you have time for your family?
Did you change jobs when you had kids? Did you change jobs to do something that was more of a passion?
And also, why do you put energy into making sure that you have your creative outlet- what drives you to maintain that element of yourself?
I want to hear about it all! I invite you to share because I think being more open about how we actually make our busy lives work will be a great comfort to creative women. Plus we might learn some helpful tips along the way.
Feel free to email me with your story at thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com or simply post a comment here. If you are a maker, I'd also love to share some of your work, so do let me know if you have an etsy shop or a blog so that I can make sure to include that as well. Feel free to answer one question, all of them, or some combination in between.
I'm not exactly sure what form this content will take, but I do know that this is one of the biggest questions that I have for other women—and I am quite sure that I'm not the only one who is wondering this. So tell me, how do you make it all happen in a way that feels meaningful for you?