I think about sewing as much as men allegedly think about sex. All the damn time. But, these days, both activities need to be scheduled into the tiny cracks of my life. And, when the cracks fill up with the unexpected, it’s my sewing time that takes one for the team. What happens when you discover the thing you love to do the most is getting the least of your time?
If you’re like me, you troubleshoot.
To find the “sweet spots” in my schedule where I could be sewing more, I considered how I spend a typical weekday. My 9 to 5 job eats up most of my day, but I don’t have to worry about dropping off my daughter to daycare in the morning because my magnificent husband is a work-at-home dad who lets her sleep in until after I’ve already left for the office. But, when I get home, it’s non-stop Mommying from dinner to her bedtime, and Dad goes off duty. When the yawning adults are alone, there’s barely enough energy to enjoy a 25-minute Netflix episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (that Titus character causes epic belly laughter). And by the time the credits are rolling, one of us is doing the pink-slippered zombie shuffle to bed while the other uses his remaining consciousness to squeeze in another load of laundry.
Lately, I’ve been in denial about the fact that the sewing sweet spot of my day is early morning. Probably because I don’t want to get my lazy ass out of bed. But, if I don’t, real life kicks in after 9AM and by the time Kimmy is over, the day is gone and mama didn’t get to sew. And, when that happens for too many days in a row, little bits of my humanity start to flake of like dandruff and I’m just not myself.
So, it’s time for a habit makeover at Team Najah. Starting with my morning ritual. I’m bringing back daily yoga. Before motherhood, I was a pretty dedicated yogi with a daily home practice, but now I’m dissing my mat (and my poor tight muscles) worse than my sewing machine. The energy I get from yoga is just what I need for more sewing. Which is why it makes sense I start the day off with both! A round of 6AM sun salutes and a bit of pattern cutting or maybe it will be a short vinyasa with standing poses followed by some hand sewing for meditation. I’ll call it “sewga”.
Blogs are great for making a public pledge to get your act together. Consider this mine and I’ll be back in touch with progress updates.
How do you make time for making?
16 thoughts on “Making Time to Make”
I’m so impressed by people who can do things in the morning! I am a useless zombie until well into the day. Especially for anything requiring actual brain.
It’s such a trap, I think, because the things like making, and whatever kind of body movement does it for you, are what give us energy. But they also TAKE energy, so I find they’re the first to go when things get busy or I get tired. I feel like I just *can’t* make myself get off the couch and do anything. But then my muscles are aching and I’m cranky and twitchy and I wonder why! I like the way you put it, of humanity flaking off. That’s how I feel too. I don’t feel like I crave making but if I don’t make I am lesser. A week is about the most I can go without getting a bit weird. (Ok well… weirdER)
It’s harder right now for me because it’s winter here. In summer, I would get home at 6:30, have dinner (my delightful partner gets home at 3 so he cooks on week nights), we’d go for a walk and/or a swim, and it would be 9 but I would still be full of energy. Now I get home at 6:30 and it’s already dark and I just want to sleeeeeep. I have been making a point of trying to use these winter months to sew, though. It’s too cold to go out but I can warm things up in my craft room! I really do have to fight the tendency to just sit under a blanket, or to muck around on the internet. And also I have to make a point of spending time with my sweetie as well, but it doesn’t have to be the whole night, despite how I feel when we’ve spent the day apart and had things on other nights and I feel like I’ve barely seen him. I mean it CAN be the whole night! I just mean I fall into the trap of thinking I can’t start anything because if I sew even one seam then that’s what I’m doing the whole evening. Which is silly.
We don’t have small kids so that makes it one million times easier. But it’s still an effort! I’ve been doing pretty good with the crafting but I’ve been thinking I might need to work in some yoga there again, or some taichi maybe. It’s been a WHILE and it doesn’t matter in summer because I’m active enough but in winter… it doesn’t happen. It’s the very last thing I feel like doing in the evening, but I know my options are 1) feel tired, don’t exercise, keep feeling tired, go to bed without having done anything and feel frustrated because I wasted my precious free time or 2) feel tired, exercise anyway, feel much less tired afterwards! Or maybe feel as tired, but sleep better, and be less tired the next day. Maybe this will give me the kick in the butt I need!
That cycle of self-motivation and overthinking is one I know all too well. With or without children to take care of, it’s hard to take care of ourselves! We slave all day to make a living (or a home) and then struggle to do what we love or what’s good for us. So, yeah, let’s keep kicking each other in the butt on this topic. Expending a little energy (exercise) to make some energy to make something. That’s what it’s about. Thanks for the comment.
do we all suffer from the same problem? 🙂
I think you are very courageous to wake up early and get some personal time in the morning!
Me too I’m working and mommying and completely out of energie after the daughter went to bed.
When I start early at work, I can sometimes go home after 3 PM and do some sewing before the evening rush starts. It makes me feel much more relaxed than working late, pick up the toddler, make dinner and so on.
I’m having a painfull right hand for a loooooong time and have to rest a lot. Doing absolutley nothing helps after a couple of days but than the flaking starts! (as you put it so loveley) . I try to knit and sew in very small amounts to keep me sane :-).
lots of courage to do the sewga! I’m curious about the progress…
Thanks! We working moms have the hardest time squeezing in sewing. I’ve been trying to do better about taking advantage of the small bits of time that present themselves (coming home from work early, long toddler naps, etc.) to sew a seam or press a hem. That way, if I go to bed without any real sewing time, at least I’ll feel like I moved something along, even if it was just a tiny step.
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I think about sewing all the time too! It’s always on the back of my brain and the less I do it the more obsessed I get (aha you’re right it’s like sex for men :P). I work 9:30 to 7 on average. In the winter I find it hard to get anything done after work at night, it’s so dark and gloomy, I just want to curl up on my couch and watch re-runs of “Third Rock…” or “Fraser” on netflix. But in the summer, I find that the later daylight gives me that extra boost of energy after a full day at work to sneak in that hour or sewing before starting dinner. For week-end sewing it’s the opposite. In the summer we’re always off somewhere camping or hiking in the sun, while in the winter, we stay at home and I’ll be sewing for four hours on a Sundey while hubby is watching the latest “Fast…” or some other action movie in the same room. Admitedly I don’t have kids so free time does happen more easily.
Good for you for starting your day earlier and getting that Sewga routine going! I am not a morning person, and I never thought I’d be able to get up earlier to work out, yet I started doing it two months ago and I really enjoy it (the getting up part is a b* but as soon as I’m on my yoga mat, I’m good to go!). Yeah to achieving goals that make us feel better!
The getting up part. It’s the party of my day, I have to just do without thinking. If I let myself think about how cold it will be when I leave the blanket, I’ll ruin my chances. But, you’re right. Once my feet hit the mat and I take that first deep breath, it’s ON….and by the time I’m in savanna, my body is like, “Girl, you needed that!”
We women are probably too busy – if it is not the kids, it’s is the job. If not the job, it’s the blog. The thing is, as you note, you can think about sewing when you are doing other things (including yoga or other exercise). This means it is quicker when you actually sew as you have already constructed it in your imagination. I have always found the time before the children rise as the best and most productive. Good luck.
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Yes!! I am so much more productive in my sewing, when I’ve pondered it thoroughly.
My new job after retiring from teaching is Sewing and Alterations, so I really have my finger in the pie. I’m always sewing something. I’m very lucky to have my retired husband by my side, who supports me 100%. He does all the cooking, shopping and also cares for his 96 year old mother who lives with us. Life is good!
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That’s a wonderful life, indeed. Which is why I want to be you when I grow up. 😉
So funny Najah. If your husband takes up cycling he’ll rise at 5am and you will find yourself with loads of time for sewing and yoga – believe me!!
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You go girl!!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes! Do you just do yoga, or do you do videos, or . . .? I love yoga too and want it to be a daily practice rather than just weekly when I get to class. Interested in how you do it.
Other than walks around my neighborhood and toddler chasing, at-home yoga is my main exercise. I drop-in a live class every once in a blue moon, but I mostly do my asanas solo or with an online class (Chaz at yogamazing.com is my favorite virtual teacher) because it suits my schedule. Audio or video guides are the best way to start a daily home practice. Once you’ve memorized the sequences, you can add in poses or transitions that you want to work on to make it your own. Or, if you like guided classes, then do that every time. I also use yoga flashcards (http://tiny.cc/fmnnyx) for sequencing. Having a picture of the poses laid out on the floor in order saves me from standing on my mat like a shmuck trying to figure how to move my body next.
If my day gets too crazy to practice alone, I pull out two mats in the living room and yoga it up with my daughter playing all around me (and sometimes under or on me)…she doesn’t quite realize she’s supposed to stay on her mat.
Thanks for the tips! I’ll check out those videos and the flashcards sound genius.
Sewga! You have such a way with words. I do hope your new routine goes/is going well … yoga is incredible. As for me, I only commit to sewing on the weekend. If I can do something small during the week, bonus, but I only expect myself to muster the time and energy on the weekend. It keeps my life simple and allows me to veg out after work each night. (Not necessary, but totally realistic.)
Thanks, Ebi. I was probably in advertising in another a life (luckily not this one).
Weekend sewing is where’s it AT, definitely. I can get 10 or more hours of sewing in over the weekend – especially if I spend it at home. Mr. C parents solo on Sundays to let me go to the Church of Craft (held in my sewing room, congregation of 1), so if I’m focused, I can get a lot done. But, I really need at least 1/2 hour a day during the week to keep my momentum. Otherwise, come Sunday, I feel like I’m starting over trying to figure out what I’m doing.
I’ve decided, however, I need both veg-out time and sewing project time each day. So, it’s a really good day if both happen. And, really what else are sitcoms for if not to give you a power-vegout, a burst of escape to give your mind rest from the important things.
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