Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

It's been a happy and hectic week.  A couple of weeks ago,  I was invited to join a creativity focus group by an artist friend.  I was very flattered and after my initial fears about not being good enough were assuaged, I signed on.  The idea is to get together weekly, at this point anyway, to support each other in working toward our individual goals.  Because everyone in the group is at a different stage in their careers, I, being the least practiced of the group, should reap huge benefits from their greater experience.   What a gift!   So we met Monday morning from 8:30 to around noon!  Time well spent:  five very intelligent, articulate, creative people whom I'm going to love really getting to know.   Because having all this unstructured time is new to me, both K. and C. suggested that I actually structure my week.  C. suggested time blocking:  breaking down the week into days, the days into hours,  etc.  Here's the gist of it:

 The concept of time blocking or estimated time usage is a great way to determine if your To Do List is doable in your available time or if it is completely unrealistic. To get the best possible results you will need to be honest with your estimates regarding the amount of time needed to achieve each task. 

So I bought a calendar and post-it notes, and tomorrow I'll block out my week.  C. uses post-its,  so in case she can't get to a particular task she can just move the little task note to the next day.   Tomorrow,  I'll schedule my girlfriend dates, exercise, errands,  and household chores.  If I want to spend 3 hours on Tuesday afternoon making art, then my mind can be free because all of the little tasks usually vying for my attention have a time and place set aside for them.   I'm hoping that structuring time this way actually results in my having more of it, as well as a clearer head!  The other suggestion from the group was to make, make, make, and not worry so much about whether I like the end result:  it's about process.  In fact everyone assured me that I would hate a lot of the stuff  I make in the beginning.     Hmm, where have I heard that before?  

The rest of my week was spent painting and arranging things in the new dining room, taking a few hours to help The Friends of Onion Creek cleanup endeavor, marketing, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining friends on Saturday night.   

We moved so much stuff around  when we were working on this house project that somehow a lot of crap ended up in my studio.   Time to clear some of it out to make a little space to work this week!  I desperately need to shelve the walls because every surface is covered right now.  Aaach!  

My landscaper pal, Jeremy, reports that it's time to plant fruit trees.  We want to put two in the front yard.  Don't get me started on gardening right now.  That's a topic for a future post.

This week was full of gifts:  the focus group,  finding a book K. recommended at Half Price,  getting help with painting from Laura,  some very lovely exchanges with friends,  and spending time outside caring for a park.    I couldn't have asked for a finer week.  

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