This is definitely one of the hardest tasks in my daily life. There are so many things I WANT to do. Just as many things that I should PROBABLY do. And then there are those that I need to do. Necessities like eating and showering take up more energy than I care to admit. As an example, a 15 minute shower requires about 30 minutes of rest/recovery. If the shower is too hot… the recovery time doubles. So simple daily hygiene sets me back at least an hour. Forget make up and doing my hair. You’ll notice in a lot of my studio pictures…I’m wearing a bandana. Now you know the true reason. 😉 I’m hiding a puff ball of curls from the world.
Then there’s family time. If my son has a football game in the evening, and if I wake up early enough so I can get down to do some studio work around 10 a.m…. I can get an hour of ‘work’ in before I need to rest for the few hours leading up to his game. If hubby has to work late and I need to make supper? There’s another few hours of my day gone. I need to be sitting and resting for about an hour prior to having to stand and cook supper. Meal prep and cooking can only take 30 minutes max (the max time I can stand without beginning to feel weak), and then an hour recovery from standing that long. Many people find this amount of “rest” time absurd. It has taken me 5 years of trial and error to find this balance that allows me to actually help with household chores and not run myself into the ground.
We have recently acquired two bar stool height chairs from my sister-in-law and we have one of those in the kitchen. This very simple adaptation has been a HUGE help. I can’t sit and chop veggies very well, but if something needs to simmer, or brown hamburger, or things of that nature; I can now sit and save my legs. Which means I can make some of the more yummy dishes that might take a little longer without completely killing myself.
Sometime in there…I get to have my clay play. Some days I can only get an hour or two in…some days I’m feeling well enough to get 4 hours of studio time in. And then there are days where I’m not able to do anything. This is why I’ve moved away from doing custom work with my JSB Arts shop on Etsy. I was creating unnecessary and unrealistic expectations of how much work I could accomplish. I was missing deadlines, and when you are a retailer, that is unacceptable. So my Etsy shop now contains items I have in stock and ready to ship.
Recently, however, I’ve discovered that I’m doing much better with my balancing act. I’ve found a sleep rhythm that seems to work best for me and my family. And it’s providing me with more days of 4 hours in the studio than before. I’m still plugging away at my Animals of War series and love every minute of those sculpts. But the more I’ve been approached to do small commissions, the more thought I’ve put into it. And I’m at that point where I’m able to accept small commissions. Only one a month. So my spaces for commissions ARE limited. But.. Definitely worth it in my opinion. So stay tuned for the grand opening in my calendar for accepting small commissions.
How do YOU balance your time? What tips and tricks have you found that have helped you and your family?