It’s amazing how time flies by! Life is busy, as I am sure you know very well, and sometimes we just do not have time for all the things we would like to do. I am often complaining to the husband about how unproductive I feel some days because I tend to tie my sense of productivity to tangible things: the number of cookies I’ve baked, writing a blog post, loads of laundry done, whether or not a “real” dinner is made, or the number of inches of knitting or quilt blocks completed. Intangible things, since they are difficult to quantify, just do not create in me the same sense of accomplishment.
Last week, I tried something new, sort of. I tried to just relax and do whatever came my way instead of trying to accomplish a certain list of things in a day, like I usually do. Here is a very non-comprehensive list of stuff that did and did not get done.
1. I finally finished The Count of Monte Cristo. I have been working on this book since last summer. It’s not a boring read, but it does take a higher level of attention than many books, so it took quite a bit longer than usual to finish it. Anyway, it was highly entertaining and one of those rare books in which the resolution is perfect and complete, with no loose ends and a satisfying amount of character development. Now, I am looking forward to watching the movie, because the action-packed story is perfect for a movie.
2. Not much cooking is going on. In the past week, I have only made dinner once. We’ve gone out a couple of times, but we also had a couple of leftover nights. This is very rare for me, but it’s nice to have a break once in awhile. Of course, I was not totally absent in the kitchen. I did manage to make some steamed buns on Sunday, Chinese New Year.
3. Hearts are everywhere. I’ve been helping the boys with their valentines. Well, mostly, I just showed them how to do them and they took off from there. They each made 60 for a party that we went to yesterday. For the party, we made heart cookies. I make cut out heart cookies every year during valentine’s day week. They make me smile. This year, I used a shortbread recipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery. It had a little lemon zest in it, which gave it a nice, bright flavor. I subbed in powdered sugar for the superfine, which I think gives shortbread a more tender texture. I may play with this recipe a bit more. If I do, I’ll get back to you with a recipe.
4. Walking, walking, walking. A few weeks ago, I got a fitbit and it has been helping me to see how inactive I am, so I have been trying to go for more walks. It takes me about and hour and a half to do 10,000 steps. Most days, I don’t have time for that, but it’s useful to know. Also, it has been useful to track my eating habits (which are good, though I could use some more veggies in my life), and I have surprisingly discovered that I am not such a bad sleeper. I wake up an average of 12-15 times a night, but my sleep efficiency is still above 90%, whatever that means.
5. No sewing and not much knitting. I’ve fallen behind on my mystery shawl, but am almost done with a pair of plain socks. It turns out that lace is too hard to knit during movies and board games and lectures. I have made some progress on a sleeve, which I will show off another day.
6. Scrapbooking. I did spend about 10 hours last weekend at a scrapbooking event where I managed to finish a previously half done project, go through last quarter’s pictures, and work on a digital book. I know that digital scrapbooking is the future, but somehow it feels more like work and less like a hobby to be sitting at a computer doing page layouts for hours. Oh, wait. That used to be part of my job before I had kids. No wonder digital scrapbooking feels like work.
Well, that’s about it, really. I am really hoping to get more accomplished this week because, even though it was nice to have a break from the to do list, I think I have found that I like having goals and deadlines. They provide me with a little extra motivation and help me to organize and maximize my time. Otherwise, I find that my head gets stuck in a book and I don’t get up and go. The trick for me is to not let the list be my tyrant and to make sure my priorities are in the right place so that I am not sacrificing a precious hour playing games with my kids to a self imposed baking/cooking/crafting deadline. Balance. Life is all about balance, right?