First, our finally-completed ad for saff. Sara and I worked hard at this all day yesterday, and I've finally decided it's ready to go. If you're going to the fair, check it out in the program guide!
I have less than one month to prepare for the southeast animal fiber fair. Am I nervous? Yes. I'm really, really nervous. It's been a challenge to balance my production schedules for book and fiber making, but I'm learning a lot about what sorts of things help me keep myself going.
For one thing, I've discovered that I'm so over the all-day-into-the-night schedule of insanity. If I get to take an early evening break to make dinner and spend a little time with Z before we both hit the books/fiber/paper, I'm a lot more inclined to complete my assigned evening tasks. In the spirit of ensuring our daily dinner breaks, we're starting to dilligently make a grocery list and meal plan every week and stick to it. Even though it's domestic labor, the planning pays off, because instead of eating out several nights in a row and getting stuck in the sandwich rut, we get to have collard greens and ginger-soy salmon fillets or pan-fried red cabbage and chicken sausage, turkey chilli with garbanzo and black beans or green been salad and balsamic chicken ... and I love the process involved in cooking.
When I was little, I would attempt to magic ramen noodles into something really delicious by adding an assortment of the McCormick spices from my Mom's pantry. My results weren't always delicious (okay, I don't think they ever were), but my experiments led, several years later, to my more serious study of spices and their appropriate uses. Now that I know what I'm doing, I feel like an alchemist in the kitchen, combining spices and herbs, tasting, considering, and adding more of something or the other. Cooking in this fashion makes me slow down and savor what I'm doing, to reflect on the day and what the evening might hold.
Something else I've discovered is that if I'm not out of bed by between 8:30 and 9:30, I will feel useless all day and lothargically drag myself from task to task. My proclivity towards working in the morning hours reminds me that yes, I am indeed grown up. Sleeping in is a weekend luxury, and something undergrads get to do with abandon. I think I'm alright with this fact; if I got to sleep in every day, I'd never actually savor the extra minutes in bed that special occassions allow.
Finally, I'm learning how to harness my frenetic energy and desire to bounce from one project to the next by building my weekly schedules around that tendency. This one is a work in progress, but by allowing myself to leave an overwhelming task for a while and do something (or a few things) else, I'm getting everything done. I try to keep the execution of each task methodical and well-planned, but that built-in allowance to stop and do parts of another task keep me from getting too bored.
Hopefully I'll be able to finish everything for the festival season, but even if I fall a little short of my goal, I'll know what is a realistic pace for me, and where I can improve my efficiency.