Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Self-employed, Self-imposed

one pile diminishes...

one pile grows...

Although I'm storing the warps in a single box, it will be far too heavy to lift and carry so once I'm completely done winding warps I'll re-pack (and count how many there actually are) into more manageable (iow, smaller) boxes.

At knitting drop in this morning we talked briefly about being self-employed and working to deadline.  Something near and dear to my heart.  I don't get anything done unless I make a deadline, artificial as it may be.

Some of my deadlines are outside of my control - i.e. teaching dates (once agreed to), sales events, and so on.  But essentially the day to day stuff of my work is self-imposed.

I am a hard task master.  When I set myself a deadline and I miss it due to procrastination - or whatever - I can get quite cross.  Over the years I have had to ease up some and give myself a break from the relentless pushing one part of my brain insists on.  But it's a tangled web (on a pun-streak these days I guess, but most textile puns are so darned apt!) of satisfying that creative drive (for me it's more than just an urge) and the physical demands of the craft.

Let's face it, my job list yesterday was deceptively simple with just two things listed.  But winding 5 warps?  That's not a 'one job' task.  That was a five job task.  And threading 1280 ends?  That was not an insignificant effort.

So when I didn't finish threading the warp yesterday I was, quite frankly, disappointed in myself on the one hand, and pleased that I'd gotten as far as I did.  So I cut myself some slack and went ahead and dropped in to the book store to knit and chat a while this morning.

I haven't actually written a job list for today although it's almost identical to yesterday's - wind 5 warps, finish threading that warp.  Plus wet finish the 7 scarves and one shawl so that Doug can go pressing tomorrow.

So far today I've done the shawl, the four pink/orange scarves are in their final rinse and one warp has been wound.

How do I decide what to do?  Partly it is how desperately I want something to be finished.  Partly it is how much of an obstacle one of the tasks is.

Right now the warp winding is actually in my way of doing anything else because the two bins are sitting on my work table.  Yes, I could move the bins onto the floor, but then they would still be in the way and I'd wind up tripping over them.  So those last warps are what I'm going to focus on for today, in between trips to the washing machine and dryer.  If I were threading, I'd have to keep getting up from the loom interrupting my threading focus and then get settled back after each trip to the laundry room.  Somehow it just seems more efficient to stay at the warping board where I can actually hear the machines and have a shorter walk to go deal with them.

Looms are patient.  That warp will wait for me.


Marei said...

Laura this comment is very timely as I was JUST having a discussion with a close friend regarding self-imposed deadlines and when is TOO much, TOO much? I find deadlines force me to complete projects on a regular basis, but when I don't meet those (arbitrary) deadlines I get really spun up and angry at myself. I'm working hard at trying to be realistic and cutting myself some slack.....without be too "easy" on myself. Talk about needing balance!!

Laura Fry said...

Yes, 'balance' is what we need. Without the drive part I wouldn't complete much. But I also need to rest and do other things. I have no answers - I'm still finding my 'sweet spot'...perhaps just being aware that balance is needed makes it a bit easier to find?


charlotte said...

I agree, balance is the word. I'm often too optimistic and then can't meet the self-imposed deadline, and then I get angry at myself. I think I've got to practice being more realistic and allow some time for mistakes or just unforeseen stuff happening.