At least once a week a comment is made to me about my hobby of restoring, re-purposing, and repainting furniture that makes me think people have a few misconceptions about me. People have asked me how I have time to do this, usually followed by a comment that they would love to do something like this if they had the time. Well, last night after I got the question about my time again, I decided that I wanted to dig into my vault of deep dark secrets. Here is how I magically manufacture more time than the 24 hours a day others have. 🙂
1. I don’t watch a lot of television. Please don’t hate me but I cannot talk with you about Downton Abbey, The Bachelor, House of Cards, or American Idol. ( I did watch one episode of American Idol this season, but got bored.). I do watch The Voice, Biggest Loser, and The Blacklist (My really guilty pleasure). Oh, and HGTV is on as background noise on the weekend. A lot of the shows are recorded and I can watch them when I choose and skip through the commercials. Ain’t no body got time to watch denture cream commercials. While watching television I usually am writing a blog or reading one of the 10 or so blogs that I read regularly- but not daily.
2. I get up early and I am one of those people who usually wakes up “awake” I clear my email , pray, usually do something homey like start laundry, pick up the stuff in the den, play with the dog and clear the counters before I leave for work in the mornings. Okay, I clean only if I am not running late!
3. I eat lunch alone. By choice. I am really an introvert and need quiet time. I use that 30 minutes to decompress, to think, read or take care of personal business. It is my quiet time of the day.
4. I have a housekeeper. Yep. Two times a month a wonderful lady comes to my house and changes the sheets, mops, dusts, cleans bathrooms and vacuums the house top to bottom. This saint also cleans out my fridge and surprises me when she has time with things like organizing the pantry, the back porch, or cleaning up the linen closet. Having a housekeeper is a luxury that I am willing to give up a lot to keep because the house being clean brings peace to my soul and someone else doing that two times a month means that I have time to do what I love. She is able to get done in five hours what would take me all day because I would get distracted and she is just a speed demon. The house does not stay spotless between the cleanings, but I know that under the clutter is a relatively clean home.
5. My children are grown and I am not a grandmother. (One day… I hope) My weekends do not revolve around sporting events, birthday parties, and sleepovers any longer. I miss those days more than you will ever know, but it means that my free time really is mine. People who have known me a long time often say that they had no idea that I had an artistic side. The reason is simple; when I had kids at home I was a mom first and foremost.
6. I do not enjoy cooking. If I cook, it is something quick, simple and easy. Often out of a box. There is no spending the day in the kitchen for me. That would be torture. Thankfully, my husband is fine with that (most of the time) and pitches in or fends for himself if there is not a plan for supper. He also goes to the grocery store for us about half the time.
7. I usually have at least three projects going on at once when I am set up and working. I try to group projects together that are going to be painted the same color- like my glazed cream color that is so popular. While paint is drying, I can be collecting wood from the hoard for the next project and spray painting hardware. By the time I get the second coat of paint on I am ready to move on with the other projects too. As long as everything that makes dust is done first I can really move. I make sure that sanding, and cutting are done at the same time and that there is no wet paint when sawdust in flying around. I have about an 85% success rate with the keeping sawdust out of wet paint.
8. My husband is a HUGE help. He is a talented carpenter and can fix or build just about anything that I think up. He supports my crazy ideas and helps them happen. He also provides me with the voice of calm and reason when needed. Together we get more done, and faster than either of us could do alone.
9. We have the right tools. Things go a lot easier and quicker if you have the tool to do the job. Our arsenal is pretty impressive. We are adding a drill press this week and I am excited. We have a table saw, two drills, biscuit joiner, three different sanders. a compound miter saw, jig saw, circular saw, grinder air nailers, two air compressors and a paint sprayer just to name a few. I am not bragging. I remember when we did not have all the tools we have now, or money to buy those things, and it was much harder to get work done. It has taken us years to collect as Christmas presents, shopping estate sales, and saving up money to buy what we wanted in order to get what we have now.
10. At least two days a week I leave the office at 3:30 pm. I force myself to do that because I have learned that I am a much better employee and boss if I take time for me. It means that I work really late at least one day a week, but it is worth it to me to go home when the sun is still shining.
I am no superwoman. I get tired, I get really grumpy, I am perpetually frustrated that I cannot finish a project as quickly as I want. I am terrible at sending letters and cards, I sometimes forget to call people back and I get so focused on what I am doing sometimes that I neglect my family. I am glad that they still love me and accept me warts and all. I am also pretty lonely right now. My girlfriends are a distance away and I am learning that I am not very good at making friends in a new environment. I am working on that.
If you are able to successfully manage a family, job, your social life, and your creative side then my hat is off to you. I would love to hear how you do it and I know that others would, too.
Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy day to read my post.