Monday, January 3, 2011

The Things I Learned.

So. 2010 is over. I'm glad that we have big parties and get the day off work, etc, or I would never know that the year had changed. But since it has, here's what (I think) I learned in the year gone by:

1. If I do not get time to myself (like, totally empty house alone), I go completely bat-shit crazy.

In the past (ie. before marriage and children), I've had occasion to spend a week or two completely alone. After the first day or so, I didn't really enjoy these times at all. I put it down to growing up in a house where there was pretty much always noise. We had several cats, a few dogs, three kids and my parents; there really wasn't much opportunity for quiet.

Apparently, I've changed. I need me time. I need it so badly that when I don't get it, I find myself wanting to ... kill people.

2. I do not need *stuff* as much as I need my sanity.

This one is hard for me to reconcile. I've always been the kind of person who collects things; not just for the sake of collecting, but for putting to some future use. I keep packaging that has interesting texture to be used in art projects, I have a box of "emergency" presents in case I find I need one, I've got about 800 journals and notebooks and I really do plan to use them all.

I've realised though, that the space (physically and mentally) that these things take up is much, much more valuable to me at this point. Kids come with a lot of stuff. If there is more than one kid, the stuff multiplies exponentially. We've got no room and it sucks. So, I'm going to try to be grown up about this and cull my art/craft stuff down the necessities. Of course, it could take me until next year to decide what the "necessities" are.

3. Cake, no matter how much I want it to be, is not a meal.

I love cake. It's right up there with bacon. However, I do not love the 20lbs I've gained since last spring. That's right. I said it, it's out there. So no matter how much I love cake (and bacon) I've got to eat properly. I know I should have learned this long before now, and for a while there I was doing really well with the healthiness, but I suppose I'm trying to make it stick by writing it down.

4. Yelling at my kids does not work.

Over the past year, it's gotten louder and louder at my house. Mostly because we've all got to yell to be heard over everyone else. I hate yelling, it makes me feel like an idiot and a bully and I want to stop it. Besides that, it doesn't work. My kids are not going to go any faster just because I start saying it louder. So I have to find another way. I think it's also partly because of thing I learned #1. I'm so much quicker to fly off the handle when I feel like the last ounce of sanity has just melted and oozed out my ears.

5. I can't write with other people in the room.

I wrote almost every day in November; actually pretty proud of myself for that. Then all of a sudden, Winter break happens, there are kids around all the time and my husband is home. Weird. And I couldn't write at all. Even if the kids were in bed, if my husband was in the room? Could. Not. Write. So even though I meant to sit down and write about 20 times in the last two weeks, it just didn't happen.

What all of these things seem to have in common is that I need more time and space. I dream, sometimes, of a studio. There's a big table to spread my work out on, lots of natural light, floor to ceiling storage, a lock on the door... it's beautiful. So at least now I know what to work toward for 2011; a room of my own. And eating less cake.


  1. I have to have time to myself, too. I don't know what I'll do when Ali gives up her naps one day. Maybe she never will.

  2. Ali still naps?? You lucky, lucky woman! Kee is in the middle of giving up her naps right now... so sad.