,

Clouds lifting

Today is the day.  I feel ready to get back on it, bring on the new year – I’ve got things to do!  This could just be the large hit of Starbucks’ coffee I’ve just drunk kicking in  (boy, do I need caffeine this early in the morning – it’s only 10am, haha!!!), but generally things are becoming clearer once again.

I’ve finished up a couple of projects that I ‘should’ have finished in December, which has helped clear the decks (such a relief). I’ve cleared my desk space, which had become a dumping ground over the holiday period hidden entirely by a mountain of loose paper, files, bits of sewing and quilting, sketchbooks, camera…you get the picture.  I’ve cleared most of the house too and I’ve started writing out goals for the coming few months.  It’s as if clearing the physical space has cleared some space in my head. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve found it really helpful to write out some goals for maintaing better health this year. LeeAnn left a comment on a previous post that she chooses one word to encompass her plans for the coming year and this made sense to me, something to hang my goals on, if you will.  The word I chose is ‘routine’.  As you may know, or may have gathered, I suffer from bouts of chronic depression (and have done since I was in my teens). 2013 and the earlier months of 2014 were a particularly bad time. And, one of the things that goes out of the window at times like this is routine. I resist routine of any sort (too creative to be so restricted, I tell myself!), so it’s easy to let them slide (as quickly as an avalanche really).  But when I’m feeling less ill I can see that some simple, regular rhythms in life can help it flow more easily. So this year my health goals are focussing on meals (I’m terrible at eating regularly, shopping for ingredients…I often end up living on toast!), sleep (there’s a difference between being a night owl and flitting between 4 hours sleep one night and 12 the next), medication (forgotten to order more? well, you’ll just have to go without for a couple of days), fitness (not a difficult goal for me, if I’m not injured – I love to run, bike, walk) and social (I have a tendency to deliberately isolate myself when I’m feeling low, really not good at all).  Looking back over the last 6 weeks I know for certain that I was having a wobble – and I only have to look at this blog to see it in action!  Blog routine? gone. Newsletter routine? gone. Sewing routine? gone. But today is the day I get back on it! (Please bear with me though because I’m not ruling out a few bumps on the way over the next couple of weeks.)

I’m sharing this, even though it’s not quilting or art related (which is probably why you’re here!) because I think of you as friends, and I think friends deserve an explanation as to my sometimes erratic behaviour.  And you never know, it might help someone else, just has LeeAnn’s comment has helped me focus again.  Here are a couple of fun articles I found that might be useful too:

  • 5 Best Meal Planning Apps (and web) Lifehacker
  • How to Sleep Better, tips for getting a good night’s sleep Helpguide.org
  • How to set SMART health and fitness goals Active.com

***

Next on my list of goals to work out will be some quilting related ones. First off I want to finish my August Rain lap quilt!  It’s almost there, just two borders to go, but, being so disorganised of late, I ran out of the cotton perle thread I was using, aargh!

August Rain lap quilt, © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

August Rain – still in progress!

So in lieu of finishing up the quilting last week I started to hand embroider a label for the back yesterday. It’s nothing fancy, but I do like to hand stitch my labels, so they really feel like part of the quilt not like something scribbled on as an afterthought.  I’m stitching a very simple split stitch with just the quilt name, date and my signature (well, a shortened version of it that is!). It’s making the end feel very near, which makes me happy: the August Rain clouds are lifting.

Embroidering a quilt label for 'August Rain' lap quilt, Embroidering the labelEmbroidering the label, © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilt label

On that note, I’m off to order some perle cotton and some fabric for the binding from the Cotton Patch – exciting times ahead!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s Quilts, I’m looking forward to see how our quilting friends are getting on with their hand stitched projects this week, coming?

Follow on Bloglovin

10 replies
  1. MaryAnn Mings
    MaryAnn Mings says:

    Dreary days keep my sun away, my best medication and, with snow and quite cold winter days and nights, I feel the darkness more, especially during a sleepless night. It seems easy to isolate than get out in the cold but quilting, finding spiritual value in my life and being grateful for all parts of my life has eased some of the hopelessness I can experience wih my own thoughts. Thanks for posting. Being a human can be a challenge but listening to our discontent encourages us to make changes. I have to remind myself that I must keep my decision to be happy. And use all my supports. Thank you for your courage and honesty. Bless you and continue your creativity!

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I find great solace in hand stitching MaryAnn, it can be like a kind of meditation where you just sit and let go of your thoughts. I love the simple beauty of a thread holding the layers together, it’s a metaphor for life really. Stitching is definitely one of my “supports” and I’m glad you have yours too – I think they can be difficult to discover sometimes.

      We have a lot of grey, very wet days here in Cornwall, but snow’s forecast for Wednesday and I’m so excited! It’ll mean the ‘world’ will come to a standstill, but I’m relishing the anticipation of beautiful snowflakes and the quietness of the nights… Take great care MaryAnn, keep warm and keep stitching x

      Reply
  2. lapaylor
    lapaylor says:

    Oh my life is so much coping isn’t it?? One thing that lifts my spirits, giving me some energy, was putting daylight bulbs in my studio light canisters. The studio feels like Florida. And bread, toast, is an energy suck for me too. Routine will be a great word for you. A friend of mine, got some lists that have weekly goals, and daily goals. I do write things down but then lose the list in the paper chase that is my home. Mainly I always have a project going I can easily pick up and do with little effort. Hexies, knitting always by the sofa.
    Let me warn you a bit about the word thing! When I choose one, I learn ALL about it, the bad with the good, the hard with the easy, the work with the rewards. Be open to the process and I for one would love to hear what you are learning as the year progresses.
    I’m so glad we blog met Stephanie!! LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thank you so much for the inspiration LeeAnna! I used to be scared of daily/weekly ‘to do’ lists (and I’m still cautious), but I was introduced to a system recently that has, quite honestly, changed everything. I used to be scared because I’d write a list that was literally 5 sides of A4, feel overwhelmed by it and a complete failure because I knew I’d never achieve any of it! Now I limit myself to a maximum of 3 things I need to do each day (on a bad day that might be something as simple as ‘eat something’, ‘have a shower’ and ‘be awake when my son comes home’ – on a good day it could be anything!). And then I have a ‘want to do’ list, which is secondary: once something has come off the need to do list, I allow myself to bump up something from the want to do list, if I feel like it and I think there’s time (or energy). I also find it’s much easier to keep track of it in a diary if it’s a short list – and it saves on losing the 5 sheets of paper; I’m definitely with you on that one! It’s definitely one small routine I plan on sticking to – make sure you ask me how it’s going one day 😀

      Reply
  3. Ann
    Ann says:

    So glad you’re getting back to yourself, Stephie. I think the lack of sun in winter is hard on us all. I like your plan of three need-to-do’s. More than that is overwhelming. “Let the day’s own work be sufficient for the day.” I always like seeing August Rain and am glad you’re finishing that beauty!

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I love that phrase Ann, it’s so apt! It should be quite quick to finish off the August Rain, once I remember to actually put ‘buy threads for August Rain’ on the Need To Do List!!! I’m really looking forward to having it done 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    My physical space and my mental space are definitely connected! When I had a houseful of kids I had to keep my bedroom clear, just so I had one uncluttered space to retreat to (and I’m not a tidy person, just more tolerant of my mess than other people’s). I’m glad you feel things are picking up. Sounds like routine is a great word for you to have chosen; I found structure really helped me get through when life was bad and quiet stitching is always an activity that feeds the soul.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I love spaces to be tidy-ish – but I’m just not a tidy person! I let things build up until I can’t find what I’m looking for anymore and then have to have a massive clear up just to clear my head! When I’m working on something I tend to leave a trail of whatever it might be all over the place, but if I were to clear it all away I’d lose the impetus to work on it – there comes a point in your life where you realise there’s just no point in fighting it and working with it instead! x

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thank you for the link Sally, it was a wonderful read. I’ve never picked a word before, but I found it helpful when trying to work out some of the things I want to achieve this year…still got lots of work to do on that though! Hope you’re well and look forward to popping over soon 🙂 x

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

I'd just like to say...