Slowly Getting Back to Normal…

I’m happy to report that the bulk of the events I’ve been planning as part of my day job are now over – only four more to go until May, but who’s counting?

I feel like I’m finally getting my life back. Although I’m physically and mentally tired, at least I’m not suffering from the high levels of stress and anxiety of a few weeks ago. Last week I took two whole days off, and what a pleasure it was! B and I spent the day shopping at IKEA on Thursday – although I was only planning on buying a bookcase, we ended up with so much more: 3 bookcases, a coffee table, two side tables, two nightstands, wall-mounted shelving and a wall organizer thingy. Whew! That meant we spent a good chunk of the weekend putting things together, and we’re still not done!

Saturday night we had tickets to see the Cowboy Junkies and Ryan Adams perform the Trinity Session Revisited. B loves the Junkies, and I love Ryan, so we figured it was a win-win situation. Until I checked my emails on Saturday morning and found one announcing that Ryan Adams would not be performing due to an unforeseen illness! What?!! I was sooooo bummed out! I was really looking forward to seeing him perform, especially this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvIRk8wvC_A 

Since I’m not a huge fan of the Cowboy Junkies, it was hard for me to muster up any enthusiasm for the show. It was a nice show, but a bit too mellow for my taste (I think I may have even nodded off at one point – yikes!)… At least one of us had a great time – B loved the show (and Margot Timmins!) and raved about it. Lucky him.

Although I’m quite back to bookbinding just yet, by next weekend I’ll have my energy back, I’m sure. I’m really looking forward to crafting again – it’s been difficult and frustrating to not have the mental energy to do anything these past few months. And when I do get back to it all, my craft room will be super duper organized!

February Blog Dump

Since I don’t have any more new creations to show off, I thought I’d share some blogs that have been making my smile during the craziness of late:

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman – Recently came across this blog. Pioneer Woman is a city girl who fell in love with a cowboy and now lives on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. This woman has an amazing sense of humour, can tell a great story and takes breathtaking photographs.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks! – And if it wasn’t enough, her recipes (and her instructions) are to die for…

Creative Organizing – This blog pleases the anal-retentive me that is constantly re-organizing my supplies. Although you could never tell by the state of my craft room. Sigh.

iHanna – This Swedish girl is so upbeat and creative, and she’ll try just about anything crafty. I love her outlook on life, even through the difficult periods. A very colourful blog.

Toronto Craft Alert – So I can keep abreast of everything that I don’t have time to enjoy at the moment…

Of course, I read so many other blogs, but these are just a few to get you started on the path to enlightened creativity.

Do you have particular blogs you like to read when you’re tired / uninspired / grouchy? Please share!

Baby Steps

Taking baby steps every day to try and get through the craziness at work…having a nice glass of red wine with dinner…eating a proper, healthy dinner…taking a long, hot bath while reading a good book…and forcing myself to create something, anything, no matter how tired I am:

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Taking these small steps is already improving my mood and outlook, even though I am physically and mentally exhausted from the lack of sleep and long, long days (and too-short nights). I tell myself it’s temporary; in one month I’ll have balance in my life again, so I must keep my head high and plug along.

SHOW AND TELL –

This is a ribbon-hinged album I made during a private workshop I taught a week ago – I love black and white with a touch of colour. The inside pages are black – I’m thinking of painting the pages with splashes of bright acrylic paint. Still need to figure out what the purpose of this book will be:

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And finally, this is a photo album I made as a thank-you gift. I had envisioned it in my head, and it turned out pretty much as planned. I’m very happy with this great, little chunky book:

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Looking forward to creating more – I can feel a number of projects bubbling inside slowly, waiting to be released…there’s hope yet.

A Good Year…in the Making

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that the past few months have been extremely busy and stressful for me at work. Since mid-November, I’ve travelled on business no less than 23 days, planning and implementing events as well as conducting site visits for upcoming events. I’m tired, bitchy and frazzled. I feel fat and gross from all the restaurant food I’ve been eating while on the road. I don’t sleep well in hotels, which means I’m seriously sleep deprived. Although I want to create in my down time, I don’t have the mental or physical energy to put into projects, which makes me bitchier because I’m so frustrated at my lack of creativity/productivity.

Because I have been travelling so much and working so intensely during the week, I have tried to unwind as much as possible on the weekends. Unfortunately, this means I’ve been vegging out in front of the tv or spending countless hours on the internet, not making art or books or anything else productive.

Then last night I watched “A Good Year” starring Russell Crowe. And it got me thinking about living a much simpler, more pleasurable existence. Although living in Provence would certainly be conducive to such an existence, I started thinking about small things I could do to live “a good year”, despite the challenges I’m facing at the moment. Firstly, I need to be more mindful of the food I eat and make my meals a happier daily ritual. And so tonight, instead of ordering takeout as I would normally do, I went to the grocery store and bought a myriad of vegetables, fruit, cheese, dips and breads/crackers. I figured I’d have my own version of a Provençal meal, complete with a glass of red wine. It was wonderful to savour the small bits and pieces of food, instead of scarfing down the usual heavy, super-sized meal.

Reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert has also got me thinking about slowing down and taking care of myself more. So I won’t be taking off for Italy, India or Indonesia anytime soon, but I can certainly be more aware of what I eat (and only eat what brings me pleasure), take better care of my body (I think taking up yoga would be good to help ease my back pain), and just be more mindful about loving and enjoying my surroundings more.

Even though I can’t change the nature of my job (working as an events planner will always mean a crazy and hectic lifestyle, no matter how organized I try to be), I know that I need to utilize the slower periods of the year to plan, plan, plan in order to minimize the upcoming craziness and to recharge my batteries. And during the crazy periods, I need to take care of myself as best I can (by living the Provençal, or Italian, or Indian, or Indonesian way…).

I know the craziness at work will slow down considerably in about a month, at which time I’ll be able to take some much-needed vacation days, so until then I simply need to take small steps to preserve my (and B’s) sanity.

Baby steps. That’s what it’s all about.