Wednesday, March 4, 2020

One Little Word

Hey there crafty friends! If you saw my blog post from yesterday, you know I've been dealing with a lot of personal issues (and more that I haven't even talked about yet!), but that hasn't stopped me from getting crafty whenever I can. For instance, right now I'm working on my 2020 Word of the Year, aka One Little Word project, and this year, my word is "Clarity".

If you haven't heard of One Little Word, it's been around for a long time, and has been used by various celebrities, life coaches, and online gurus for years.  It's part self-help with a crafty twist, and many adherents participate year after year. The most basic approach is to pick a word (usually something you want to focus on, learn, or manifest in your life), and you find ways to bring that word into your daily life.  My first Word of the Year was in 2013, and I started a "365" project (see below). Last year, my good friend, Susan, gifted me with a subscription to Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" online workshop, and I was hooked! This will be my second year to participate, and I can honestly say I've gotten more out of my word than with any other project.

So I finally managed to find the time to record a flip-through video and I can't wait to share it with you, even though 2019 is over and done.  It's such a wonderful and creative process that I can't resist.

The video isn't great (still working through the bugs in that process!), but I hope you got a good idea how cool the One Little Word project really is.  Maybe it will inspire you to do a OLW project of your own? Oh, and if you're new here and curious about my 365 project (no, I didn't finish it, but I do still work on it), you can start with these posts here:

You can also search "365 project" right here on my blog to see more info about many of the daily projects I posted in the Flikr group.  

Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to share more of my One Little Word and other Ali Edwards projects with you!


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Caregivers, Worker Bees, and Little Bits of Crafting

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have to care for an aging parent? I did not. Well...I did, but then I quickly realized I am not cut out for the nurturing care-giver and put it entirely out of my head.  That was my sister's job.  I was a worker bee.  I owned my own business, I volunteered with charities that were important to me, and I stayed busy all the time. My sister, Patsy, was the nurturing type. She went to nursing school until her own medical issues put a stop to the, and she always swore she would be the one to take care of my parents when they got old. And she did.  She took care of my dad through recovery from a heart-attack, gall-bladder surgery, and over a year of hospice care. She took care of my mom through all that, too, and I was glad for it...especially since I live 300+ miles away.

Then the unthinkable sister died unexpectedly, leaving her handicapped, adult daughter and my mother, who was already beginning to show the signs of dementia. I moved my 29-year-old niece to live with me in the city so she could get a good education and learn to live on her own (public transportation should NEVER be underrated!), and eventually, we convinced my mother to move from her paid-off home in rural Texas into a senior living community where my brother and aunt could help take an eye on her. That didn't last long, though, as her needs were far greater than I had known, and she was already incapable of independent living.  Add to that the fact that she had squandered her retirement by pulling all of her investments during the stock market crashes of the early 2000's, and then she lost her job, losing her medical and life insurance benefits in the process.  All that to say that in January, Mom moved into my remaining guest bedroom, and now we have a household of four with some very distinct, and often time-consuming, needs.

Being a caregiver has put strains on my family and me that I could never have imagined, and it's made it even more important to me to get in my crafting time whenever I can. It hasn't been easy, but I've found that if I break things down into smaller tasks, and squeeze them in whenever I have an opportunity, it really gives me the outlet I need to calm my mind, let go of stress, and just zen out for a little while.  For example, today, I had to take my niece to the doctor.  I didn't want to go inside with all the sick people, and I could have sat in the car playing on my phone, but instead I took a portable project (embroidery) with me to work on while I waited outside.  I didn't get a lot done, but it was a lot more enjoyable and productive than sitting in that doctor's office with a bunch of sick people playing "Words with Friends" (nothing against WWF).

The start of some flowers on an apron.

So whether you're a caregiver, a worker bee, or just someone with a lot of hats to juggle, the truth is there will always be things that get in the way of crafting time. Whether it's a deadline a work, a sick kid, a second job, etc., you can't let it consume your life. Making the time to craft is not only possible, but necessary.  We all need those few precious moments of space where we can let go of the stress of the day and find something beautiful in our lives to experience and celebrate. It doesn't have to be a marathon weekend of crafting, or even an hour...just grab yourself five minutes when ever you can while you're watching the evening news, taking your 15-minute break at work, waiting for the roast to cook, or sitting at the doctors office or carpool line.  Just do it. Your body needs it, your brain needs it, and you'll be really glad you did!