Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Observing My Life

It's been a long week and a half since my last post. Yes, I've been buried in work. The good news is that the index got done on time, and the first batch of my new copyediting project was only one day late. In the book end of the publishing business, making a deadline is not all that usual, so I'm pretty satisfied. 

Since my resolution to keep a better balance between work and the rest of my life, and to make quilting a much higher priority than it has been, I was very interested to observe exactly what happened the past few weeks. On and off, I made a conscious effort to note what I was doing and how I felt about it. Turns out that my work saps my brain power and will. I know this sounds weird, or at least like an overstatement, but it's about the best short description I can come up with. 

After more than, say, six hours of tightly focused work (which is roughly equivalent to a good eight-hour work day at most businesses---who concentrates for a full eight hours of an eight-hour work day? ... I certainly never did), I'm still able to take an interest in the rest of my life. More hours than that, especially on consecutive days, turns me into a zombie.  I had plenty of examples of this. A couple of times I tried piecing some scraps ... the colors didn't mesh, the patterns were jarring, and just pawing through the piles of scraps for a piece of suitable size was simply too annoying. I tried a little hand piecing ... all that attention to detail wore me out within a few inches. Trying to think about new projects or how to handle the next step of current ones always led to a sort of murky dead end somewhere in my brain. I couldn't even get interested in quilt blogs. Pathetic. 

Areas that gained were the urge to chat on the phone with friends, and way too much interest in reading crummy novels. Disturbingly often I found myself sitting, staring at nothing, my thoughts a vague jumble. Walks were favorite. I was relieved to find a natural inclination for at least one healthy behavior.

And now that I've taken off about a day and a half? After 24 hours of no significant work, I spontaneously started to think about getting the linen quilt top into the quilting frame---and really taking an interest. Will it last? The next deadline is looming. 


Lazy Gal Tonya said...

congratson the finish. your job actually sounds interesting to me, but oh my, not the brain sapping. I need that energy for other things! I would think that quilting an overall pattern like fans would be a good activity on zapped days - just that wonderful quilting motion. get that quilt top ready to go!

Quilt Pixie said...

I hear you re the mental energy required to quilt. Some weeks there is simply no mental energy after work to even get the housework done, and quilting suffers.... other weeks I'm full of thoughts and motivation. I've found it much less stressful to look for a balance, not from day to day, but within a week or a month :-)