My New Plan

comments: 103


Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes! I have a whole lot of email to answer, and thank-you notes to write, and mail to sort through this week, but until I get to all of it, thank you! I had a great birthday.

Now it's back-to-work time, big time. That feels really good. The house is kind of a mess. Book proofs arrive the day after tomorrow, and I'll have those to proofread for a week and a half. My new web site is almost finished. My new-and-improved crochet pattern samples are finished and photographed. Some publicity is coming out in the next few weeks so I'm trying to get ready for that, though I've made the Executive Decision not to go crazy trying to get a bunch of stuff made for the web shop (which has been closed, and will be through January 14). As usual, everything sort of happens all at once, but I'm just not going to rush this time. I don't want to rush around anymore. I know I am the only one that can change that in my life.

January is kind of weird, isn't it? After the holidays, and that long period of intense preparation and celebration, the new year comes right up. And then there's pressure to get everything reorganized and improved right away. But I'm just going to try to pace myself this month, and this year. I already was trying, but when a drill bit comes out of your ankle it really puts things into perspective, you know? I have to set my own reasonable pace, no matter what demands are put upon me. I really don't know why that's so hard. For me, I suspect it requires saying "no" more often. How do you pace yourself and stay balanced (if you do)? Any advice?


I drive myself nuts sometimes with all of the projects I want to do. I realized several years ago that with all the plans I make I need to cut it in half and concentrate more on having fun creating. I mean this is supposed to be FUN after all. You will have to remind yourself daily to do that tho I know I do.

I don't have any idea where to start, but if you figure it out let me know!

- Suzanne

This year, I decided to take the entire month of January to "plan out" 2008. In previous years, I felt like everything had to start on Jan 1. Of course, I was already burned out from rushing to get things done for Dec 25, just one week before!

Instead, I'm taking this whole month to think about what I want for the following 11. Not sure how well it will work, but that's my plan. Good luck!

*everything in moderation* it was my mantra for 2007 and is again for 2008. also, there's too many things i do not have control of, why stress trying to change what i can't, right? i put more effort into changing what i can. i also try to focus on being positive and happy, keeping positive friends around and being a positive role model for my kids. i try not to rush through every day, i have to stop and smell the roses. =) i was surprised how much more i enjoyed every day when i wasn't rushing, not just the holidays. i also try to work, craft, eat and drink in moderation too... *everything in moderation*

There is nothing wrong with taking your time. Sometimes we do not get the choice, but when we do, take it! Best wishes for 2008!

Many Blessings,

Chris Howard says: January 09, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Happy Belated Birthday Sweet Ms. A! I am sorry it's late, but I'm in "puppytime" here. I'm genuinely surprised you and the hubbers have time to get anything done. Les and I are just trying to keep our heads above water and get food on the table at night. Who knew that one wriggly little bundle of joy could be so much work?

I can't wait to see the new website!

I suffered from really bad asthma last year and so just had to pace myself, when I didn't I ended up in hospital for five days. Now I have to just take things slowly and not put pressure on myself if things aren't done as quickly as I would like them to be. I think you just have to keep reminding yourself it will get done, just not all at once and all in good time. It is pointless knocking yourself out trying to do everything and then not being able to enjoy what you have done because you are worn to a frazzle.
(((good luck with the pacing yourself)))

I keep my sanity and stay (mentally) organized by giving myself permission to change my mind. I'm always getting sidewiped into doing a project or joining a group and then afterwards I always think, "Crap, I really dont want to do that." I give myself permission to call people back and say nicely, "Thanks so much for the invitation, but I've changed my mind."

Every morning as I lie in bed with a day's worth of stuff ready to come at me, I stop and think what kind of day I'd like it to be. I pick one thing to be the focus of the day (being organized at work; a great meal; taking photographs of the kids; an afternoon gardening) and don't fret if other stuff falls by the wayside.

I've also learned to say no. Initially difficult, but very, very freeing.

Good luck!

I don't have any advice as I'm in the same boat! But I do agree with you. January is very odd. I do have a commitment to myself to create more and to organize my creative space but like you I do not want to rush. I keep reading about how everyone is doing intense cleaning and organzing over the past few weeks but I want to take the time to enjoy life and plan out my organization and not make rash decisions as I so often do. If you figure out the secret, do let us know!

I once heard a saying that went something like this- we greatly overestimate what we can get done in a month and greatly underestimate what we can get done in a year. Kind of like waiting till one month before the high school reunion to try to lose 25 lbs, when I could have just lost a half a lb a week over the last year! Small steps, small steps... they add up. We don't have to do it all at once. (If only I could take my own advice...)

I'm looking forward to more details about your shop and patterns!

I'm holding my breath for the embroidery pattern you mentioned a few weeks back. It was beautiful. Any idea when it will be out?

YOGA......YOGA.......and then a little YOGA :):) Seriously though, yoga has helped me stayed balanced physically and mentally for years now. It helps me to calmly and quietly re-focus on what is important so I can move ahead with a light heart, a healthy body and a big, silly smile on my face :)
Good luck with all your endeavors in 2008!

I seriously have come to the conclusion that you cannot pace yourself when it comes to things you love and need to do. I have never been able to do and I had a year of doctors etc. too and still tried to do it all. I can say that I believe I was slow with work then so I could heal, and so here is my theory, you are only given what you can handle and life will just come into play when it's out of control. Maybe your drill bit was a way for you to slow down! I think that life has a way of forcing us to do things we wouldn't do on our own.
If I could balance my career and kids and the house I would not know what to work on then! ahh maybe a new look! hmm I should try and balance a little.


It sounds so...corporate: Prioritize!
I'm a compulsive list-maker, so every day/week/month/season, I list what I want to do and then I refine it to the stuff I REALLY want/need to do...and then I try to number it or put it some sort of timeline.
This may sound boring, but it's fun for me if I learn to let go of the stuff at the bottom.

I have finally learned how to say "no" ... although from time to time I still chastise myself for not saying it every so often.

The past year I have been slower physically with a broken foot and then a bad think that helped me to make some even better decisions as well. I seem lighter and more mellow somehow now...and have dumped several ... uhm... albatrosses (is that a word?) from around my neck. wheeeeee....what a great feeling...I feel like I have lost 50 pounds of dead wood.

oh gosh I love that sweater...and it's crochet? AWESOME can't wait for the pattern so that I can start a little something for the little niece!

i set aside time for quiet reflection and prayer every morning. it sets the tone for the day, and i can tell a difference when i don't do it (and i didn't for quite awhile and got really cranky and out of whack). i also try to read before going to bed, and that means going to bed at a decent hour. 7 hours a night is good for balance for me.

I balance my life with exercise. Since being really committed to it since July, my whole outlook is so much clearer. I don't get as much crafty stuff as I want to- but I have noticed a calm about myself and I know it's because I am taking time to physically let go of stress. I am no athlete or skinny/athletic type- but I feel SO much better.

happy day to you as well. my bday is in january and it is such a weird time to make everyone celebrate and give you gifts especially since Christmas was only 2 weeks ago!! :)

I'm not exactly sure how to do it--I seem to be in the same boat as you. We adopted a baby the day before Thanksgiving with 6 days notice and I wonder why I don't have a routine down yet and all my knitting/sewing projects done.

I think the key for me might be just trying to give myself a break. It seriously doesn't have to all be done now just because I think it "should" be or I "should" be doing more. I also invited my MIL over to help me organize my desk--I figure she can give me a jump start and I get extra brownie points for letting her come visit the grandkid again.

I hope other people have some fabulous advice--I'll be eagerly listening as well.

And happy Belated Birthday! The lateness of the wishes doesn't affect their sincerity at all.

I like to plan out the steps I need to take to make something happen by the time I want it to be due (and try not to freak out when it doesn't get done). So that could mean planning 3 weeks in advance for each baby step I'm going to take each day to get that thing done. Also, I figured out what keeps me calm and I try and do it (taking a walk and reading blogs).

I agree with the yoga comment, for me its Tai Chi, with both of these things you just have to slow down. Also I try to notice how much I use the word "should".If I"m using that word instead of "would like to",I think twice about the activity.I think one of the best pieces of advice I've heard is never get too good at something that you don't like to do.Also, as a worrier who tends to allow for every possible circumstance so that I'm prepared, I think standing still sometimes and letting things come to you, instead of being the instigator, is the way to go.I look forward to reading other comments. We can all do with less rushing in our lives.

i have been learning the very same lesson. the very same one. yes, there's a lot of saying no involved. and the hardest part of that, for me, was saying no to things i really wanted to do. but there were too many. and i am so grateful to myself for learning this lesson - about slowing down and saying no and such. so grateful. it has been the very best lesson of my life. so far.

and my only piece of advice to give is this. breathe. literally. slow down your breathing. count while you breathe if you have to in order to measure and slow it down. worked wonders for me.

I learned from Oprah - 'No'is a complete sentence. I've softened it a bit though.... 'Can you chair the Blahblahblah Fundraiser for the 5th time in 5 years?' I reply, 'No, I'm sorry, I cannot.' It's that simple. I've found that any more than that gets me in trouble and the next thing I know....I'm saying yes.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at