my week: 6 to 7 per cent me time

In some ways having a day job is easier than staying home with my kids, especially since one of them isn’t yet in school (I haven’t experienced this yet so I can’t say for sure, but being a SAHM with school-age children, i.e. children who are gone 5 to 6 hours most days, seems like it might be a slightly different sort of gig than what I’ve experienced thus far, especially for creative types like myself). While I do miss having a little more time with my kids and certainly the flexibility being home provided, I’m enjoying hanging out with other grown-ups and having my own little quiet office nook, even though the work I do there is not my own. 

I love pouring that first little cup of coffee from my Copco thermos after I get in and get settled at my desk. My best days are the busy ones, the ones dotted with meetings, when I feel most productive and, frankly, do less of this dreadful sitting thing. I’m good at supporting other folks’ work and appreciate the sort of bird’s eye view I’m getting of the college by working in the president’s office.

But the past couple of months have also sort of intensified the kind of soul-searching I feel I’ve been doing since last summer, when I made the decision to, first, be a full-time stay-at-home-mom, no longer capable of supporting the cost of childcare through my Etsy shops, and then, shortly thereafter, seek outside employment. This week, during a lunch break at work, I started to list all of the different things I need and, more importantly, want to do in the 168 hours we have each week. It’s kind of stunning how little time I have to tackle the “other/me” portion of my to-do list.


But! I’ve found much inspiration and amusement this week, too, and I wanted to begin sharing/archiving that stuff on a regular basis. Since I’m a self-described "visual artist, crafty generalist, dance enthusiast", I thought I’d categorize my findings similarly.


If you saw my thesis exhibition back in ’07, you’ll understand why I’m digging these “cinema snowglobes” designed by faculty members at the college where I work.

I’ve followed fellow Oaklander (for now, anyway) and artist Lisa Congdon for a couple of years, ever since I learned about how Cody Foster & Co. was ripping off her illustrations.  Potential downside to reaching your tipping point, perhaps? Anyway, for some reason her work and advice have really resonated with me lately, including this week’s interview with Monica Lee of Smart Creative Women.

RIP fellow painter and dance enthusiast Helen Frankenthaler.

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

Early this week, a bunch of puff pieces celebrating the “handmade” success of Etsy seller Three Bird Nest went kinda viral. Abby Glassenberg wrote a post that digs a little deeper (and gained a new follower!). Three Bird Nest aside, Abby’s got a great blog, newsletter, and books for creative freelancers. (Between Lisa and Abby, I have a lot of reading to do…)

It was a busy evening of following links and checking out tutorials on Makezine a few nights ago - turn your handwriting into a font plus a deceptively simple surface design hack.

No baby? No problem! Carry your small dog around in a hand-crocheted carrier. For realz.

When life gives you snow, make typographic messages on strangers’ cars?

DANCE (and everything else)

A conference call in real life. Funny because it’s so accurate.

This article is like the Delaware scene in Wayne’s World but I have to post it here because it’s oddly relevant to the introduction of this particular post. Yep, I’m a clean freak and while I appreciate well-intentioned advice to “let it go” or hire a housekeeper in order to find more time for myself, it’s unlikely to solve my dilemma entirely.

A quick glance at the Lean In Together campaign with Getty Images appears to be setting the same unrealistic expectations on working dads. If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you know how I feel about mixing work and parenthood.

Finally, the dress is blue and black. Obviously.

See you next week. And maybe in between. Have a great weekend enjoying your, if you’re anything like me, 6-7% of you-time. You deserve it.

No comments: