The next morning, my husband had to dash off to work, but Ann and I had time for a cup of coffee and some girl talk over a fresh baked tray of sticky buns.
l essentially retired from the work force six years ago when my daughter was born, and it was a major transition. I went from working15-18 hours a day to taking care of a baby. (For the most part, being a mom is waaaaay easier than being a teacher.) But the biggest challenge was relearning to value myself and my skills without the measuring stick of a salary. Finding a rhythm that keeps me balanced between slothful indulgence and a reasonable amount of work is something that I am still learning. Retirement is a big transition, any way you look at it.
And Ann's retirement is fast approaching.
As she was leaving, Ann asked me what I was planning to do for the rest of the day. I think that she was trying to imagine what her life will be like in 5 weeks, when everything changes.
I smiled, and gestured to the sticky buns. "I have accomplished the sum total of my plans for the day. Nothing else has a deadline, although there are a few quilting things that I should accomplish."
We said our goodbyes, and I never quilted that day.
Twenty years ago, my parents bought me a Nintendo, and a lovely collection of games. One of the games I played for hours and hours and hours, was 'The 3 Stooges.' The goal of the game is to make enough money to save an orphanage. I probably played that game for five years before my Nintendo stopped working, and I never beat it.
It's always bugged me that I never won....I even began to wonder if the game was winnable. Fast forward to this week, and I found a cool new gizmo that will let me play the old game cartridges. I played for days and it was just like old times!
Unfortunately, it was just like old times, and I couldn't win. So, I did what all gamers do when they are stuck...I went on line and found the walkthrough. (In gaming, a walkthrough is a fan-made, detailed set of directions. If quilters made walkthroughs, it would be like: "Use your right hand to gently lower the presser foot onto your fabric while your dominant foot rests on, but does not press, the rheostat." This goes way beyond 'Use string piecing to make a nine patch block, finishing size. 6. 1/2 inches)
There was one piece of information I needed: How much money do I need to save the orphanage? I found the answer in the walkthrough, ($5000), I turned the game on, AND I WON!!!
I have been trying to beat this game for twenty years, but I couldn't do it until I knew what my goal was.
Now that you have heard about my 20 year payoff, why do you think that I didn't sew at all on Wednesday when my friend left? I didn't have a plan, I didn't have a goal, and I forgot that I was trying to sew every day this week.
Yesterday, I had a plan, a list of things to sew...Still no deadlines, but I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to accomplish for the day. As a result, I finished the border on my scrappy quilt, I did nearly 2 hours of hand applique, 5 hours of fussy cutting, and about 20 minutes of charity work for the local animal shelter.
So, when you want to make progress in your sewing room, do you tend to whip up a batch of homemade sticky buns or do you make a walkthrough for yourself and start sewing?