Tag Archives: work life balance

Work/life balance in the world of ceramics

“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.”— Patti Smith

Adi Holzer Werksverzeichnis 850 Lebenslauf

Life is like tightrope walking. "Lebenslauf," by Adi Holzer, handcolored etching

Clay gives me balance. I’ve been very busy lately, actually too busy. I’m not a multitasker, so having too many things on my plate is unsettling. And it’s going to be a very busy month. I have many social media short courses to attend. Luckily, a number of them are back to back, which will reduce the number of times I have to drive into the city, a half-hour away. In addition, my in-laws arrive for a whirlwind visit on the 10th, then I headed down to the United States for Thanksgiving and to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday (plus my husband’s and brother’s!). Plus, walking three days a week for a total of 11 miles. I believe my standing date with the Open Studio will get me through the busy-ness, along with working in my little studio area at home. No matter how much the business of life intrudes on our equilibrium, if we have a way to ground our self, we will be okay. One must make the effort, though. It is very easy to get caught up in the mundane…appointments, shopping, e-mails, gifts, phone calls, visits. I find that my life very recently became out of balance as I’ve been engaged in too many things besides clay. That’s when I feel myself starting to run down. As Michele Obama said, “Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to-do’ list.” I’ve popped Echinacea since the day before yesterday, went to the chiropractor, and took a nap, all of which helped. I also took the week off of walking to give myself a bit of a break. According to my chiropractor, I’ve been walking too fast and need to start doing interval walking, along with stretching, which I had been remiss in doing. As a result, I was pretty much out of circulation yesterday because I strained facet Work life balance rat racejoints in my sacrum… Ouch! I am sitting gingerly today, too, and when I walk tomorrow, I’ll take it easy. The antidote? Yesterday, I completed finish work on 10 tiles. They were at that perfectly workable stage, not too wet, not too dry. I spent the whole day working on tiles and doing little else. At one point, I noticed that I felt like I was floating on a cloud, so content was I! For me, it’s medicine. A way to slow down, to touch the earth, to do what I’d like, to enjoy the process. After I finished working on these tiles, I placed them between plasterboard to hasten drying. I will make more tiles tomorrow… Yesterday, I went out for coffee with Pauline and learned that she’d bid on one of my “Snowfall” tiles in the 6 x 6 show, which opened Thursday night. This is the first time I have submitted anything for the show and the fist time any of my work has been in a silent auction. People will be bidding on artwork till December 18. When I was at the art centre for the opening, one of the staff members said people will be checking the bidding sheets to find out who has bid how much on what. She also said the artists will be checking to see if anyone has bid on their pieces. As soon as I heard that, I thought, gee, I don’t want to get wrapped up in that…but I bet you will find me sneaking up the staircase on Open Studio days to take a peek. It’s all kind of exciting!

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” — Lily Tomlin

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Learning about self-hosted blogging day by day

I dream of the time when I can experience a new website that is completely set up, functional, and connected to the e-commerce and social media sites I choose.  Imagining keeping all the tops spinning. Bliss, at last…. Of course, sigh, that will be then and this is now. WordPress has transferred all of the data from my former blog to this one and I find myself having to make sense of the new situation, while, at the same time, learning how to use the new tools. This is not only out of my comfort zone but also my range of experience. Therefore, I hope you bear with me, while this writer/artist lives through her newbie self-hosted blogger phase. WordPress.com was Nirvana. I hardly had to think about the thing; all the tools were at my fingertips. In order to open a storefront, though, and have a link for it on my blog, I had to leave the nest. WordPress.org is more customizable, but I was nearly immediately confronted with gross assumptions. I thought all my bells and whistles would be intact. Well, I was able to add a YouTube video by plugging in my first-ever bit of HTML coding. Yet, I know nothing about computer language, so this may take a bit of time. I have yet to figure out how to successfully add little mini programs, called plug-ins, that will allow me to do some of the things I was able to do at the other WordPress, like slide shows or  an e-mail subscription service that works. (And isn’t ‘chiclets gum’? Mind boggling jargon. How about ‘floom?’) I have yet to figure out how to make the e-mail business work, but I’ve been working hard to figure it out. Connie suggested it might have to do with my hosted server, so I’m working on that angle. Clearly I’m on a  steep curve learning and must take it step by step, day by day. I also have had to create beaucoups accounts for all of the sites. Many passwords. Thank the stars for my Last Pass account! Yes, it meant one more formidable password to remember, but guess what? It’s the last! With Last Pass, I can securely keep all my passwords in a virtual safe deposit box. In addition, Last Pass can function through my homepage toolbar and generate and save new passwords for new sites as I need them. So, in goes HostGator, Feedburner/Google, WordPress, and a number of others that are behind the scenes. Gee, no wonder I’m having trouble keeping up! As if that ain’t enough, last night I started a Netflix trial… I was on the couch thumbing through the manuals for our HDTV, trying to figure out the activation code for streaming. Well, folks, that bit of effort, compounded by my blogger mania, made my poor little noggin go honk, tweet, hoot. Smoke started rising from my brain and shooting out my ears. My eyeballs were spinning. When they came to rest, I realized enough was enough. I bagged it all after several early attempts at the email subscription biz. Then, I hit the trail with friends in Shoreline Park at Rocky Point. The air was crisp and the bear kept her distance. Afterwards, we went to a cafe nearby, then I took them home. They live way up in the hills on the North Shore, so I was able to drive through sunshine and fall color. It was the perfect break! At Jennifer’s, I had a fond reunion with her son, whom I’d tutored several years ago…home on a university break. It was marvelous seeing him. When I left, Jennifer gave me beautiful Golden Delicious apples fresh from the Okanagan. Crunchy and juicy, tasting like real apples. I became rejuvenated and calm, enjoying the company of friends…. Tomorrow, I ride with them into the city for Afternoon Tea, what is sometimes called ‘high tea.’ It will be a splendid affair with soothing, aromatic teas, teensy sandwiches, and scrumptious scones and petit fours. This treat will give me the get up and go I need to come back and figure out a few things for you. Until then… Cheers! — Jan

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