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As the year winds down, I ramp up. I like to approach the new year the same way as a holiday – clear all the decks so that it’s all fresh in the new year. There’s nothing worse than coming home after a really lovely and relaxing holiday to house a full of chores not yet done and mess. So in the lead up to a holiday, or any trip really,  I work pretty focused to cross off more things on my lists than I normally would if it was just a regular week or month. I like to leave the place with clean spaces and done to do lists. And I’m like that with the end of the year. By about November I’m kinda done with the year but I don’t want to take any of unfinished stuff into January with me. I want to start the new year afresh and clear of backlog. Or that’s the dream, anyhow.

This year I’m particularly drowning in backlog. I’m still publishing books, which I HATE. I really like to have all my books out by now. I had a baby and things got slowed down a bit this year. But I don’t want to take 2014 things with me into 2015 so I’ve been working hard to draw lines under tasks and cross things off my lists. I’ve been working hard this month (and I’m not done but…)

Now, I’m starting to get my head into the planning-for-the-next-year stage. December for me is the silly season in that that’s what’s swirling around me. It never really feels like I’m in it, so I get to take a little time out from the world – because I’m not invested in the goings on. December, for me, is all about the conclusion of the year. I like to spend my time trying out the limited edition Lindt balls (sea salt, and cappuccino ones this year!) and taking stock of what I accomplished in the past year, and think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year and write my list of resolutions.

In my tidying up – I’m determined to finish 2014 with my GTD systems at cruise control and that means empty in trays, zero inbox, clutter gone, and lists in action – I found my resolutions list for 2013. I must have written it in Paris. I remember writing one there. It also looks exactly like the one I spent yesterday crafting for 2015. Which means 1 of 2 things, either I’m crap at doing things or I never intend/ed to do these things at all. (And yes there is a third option, the list is too long for one year.)

Either way, I’m currently freaking out because – because I need to find about 50 more hours in my week, I’m not ok with admitting that’s impossible and I still WANT to do all those things on the list. C says I need to admit that I can’t do all those things because otherwise I will never be happy. But what if I can’t ever be happy because I do want to do all those things (and can’t)?

Today, I think it’s something worse than that. I think I have a short attention span and I forget that I wanted to do something. I’m pretty sure I forgot that I was doing NaNoWriMo for most of last week and either didn’t write words or just forgot to track those I did. I’ll be honest, I’ve often declared a new project or regimen here on this blog (or in previous incarnations) and then just wandered off, completely having forgotten. I always thing those “post a photo every day for X days” or “posts of daily gratitude”  look like great projects but I’m pretty sure I would forget I was doing it. Or maybe not forget it’s just that I have about 26 (not exaggerating, they’re on a list on my fridge) of things I want to do every day. And it’s really hard to regularly do that many things. Sure, I could not do that many and just commit to one or two but that’s not really the theme of this post. Or how I roll. I want do All. The Things.

Back to my freak out.

I feel like I need to have a plan if I really do mean to do all these things on my 2015 resolutions list. Or else, admit that I don’t mean to do them at all. But plans are scary to draw up because they make you realize the reality of how little (free) time there is in a day and what is physically (im)possible to do. I don’t want to really craft a year long plan because I truly believe I will either a) not follow it or b) not actually be able to do more than 1 or 2 things on my wish list if I follow SMART goals.

But that can’t be true, can it?

Meanwhile I’ve spent the last two days flopping about realizing I suck because I never actually DO or FINISH anything. Does anyone else suffer from that kind of panic? I’m mad at myself about that and not sticking to the commitments I make with myself. And I actually don’t want to find the exact same to do list as resolutions for 2016 at the bottom of my inbox. So in true Piscean style, I’m going to both beat myself up for sucking for not finishing anything and also devise a plan, or a series of plans, for 2015 to turn this around. I’m going to track some of those as per below – I need to destash my tea collection, I’ve got a word count goal to come and I want to have something positive to say that shows I’m moving forward every day.


Today’s drink (photo above): ice cold water with a splash of lime (delish)

Today’s total word count: 588

Progress on: Sorting, organising and rationalising my fabric cupboard and my 2015 Quilting goals.

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October 20   To Do Lists

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I have to admit I’ve not been sticking to any system for organising or managing my tasks for a while. It was pointed out to me that from my post yesterday, it was clear that I set goals way too high for myself and then leave myself constantly feeling like I come up short. Well, yeah. I do that. And somewhere along the line, I stopped celebrating or rewarding the wins.

Which is true and yet not. I did order myself a very nice lot of fabric which would perhaps amount to several rewards for the last few months and was a few things I’d had my eye on.But it wasn’t a – here this is a reward for getting all this stuff done. I tend to greet the end of tasks by moving onto the next thing.

One thing I have been trying is iDone This. At the end of every day the website emails you and asks you to email it what you did that day. And then it gives you a tick for each day you got stuff done. OK well that bit I find quite hilarious. Because I am entering everything I get done including day job achievements, housework and TPP. It then lists what you entered when you click on each day. You can quickly scan through and see which days were more productive than others, assuming each line item is of equal value.

I’m trying to enter tasks as step by step so say I worked a lot on a book, I don’t write “progressed book”, I write down each step of achievement that led to that. It’s helping me look at things rather than not having achieved the lofty goals but more at what I did actually get done. And if I spent the day at a family commitment, say, then I write that done. Because that’s what I got done and spending time with people who matter should count when you sit down and think, “what the hell did I do with my life?”

But I do need to link that back into more effective list writing and management and also planning. When  I come home from my trip, I’m planning on setting out a year long work plan and to then break that down into various smaller parts. So I will try and enact “big and little reward milestones” as Terri gently pointed out to me today. I should be rewarded for making it partway towards stupidly huge goals. And, I might reward myself just a leetle bit more in the dealers room at WFC. I think that’s probably likely :)

I discovered that the Fat Quarter Shop would happily post my order to the hotel in San Diego instead of to Australia. And whilst I was putting together that order with all the bits and pieces that I’ve had my eye on plus some Christmas fabric as I’ve decided to make some gifts for C’s family this year, I realised I have never received my last order! (The ballet set above.) After I queried, they have been really happy to send me a replacement, in the same postage. Which is really very kind of them. And then tonight, I was hunting round for pics of the fabric I ordered for this post, I found he NYC fabric I had wanted and then couldn’t find later. As I was ogling it, I got an email telling me one of the charm packs I’d ordered was out of stock and not being reordered, would I like to replace it with something else?! Well I got me a yard of this (below)! Though I do quite like others in this design series.

I think I really am itching to get back to sewing. I always panic that if I take too long away from my crafts, I’ll forget all about them. It’s reassuring to know that eventually I come back on my own, because I want to, or need to. I often think about Janet Catherine Berlo who wrote Quilters Lessons: Notes from the Scrap Bag of a Writer and Quilter. She is an academic in art history and suffered a terrible writers block after her mother died. And basically she took up quilting and for a year did nothing but quilted. I don’t have that luxury. But her series of essays are so memorable about how she became entranced with colour play and how some days all she was up for was cutting out material and other days would be a flurry of activity. And how some projects would lie out for months as she’d play around with how they looked before she completed them. All of that is how I’m starting to think I would like to spend my Christmas Holidays.


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