No matter how hard I work, no matter how many hours I seem to put in, my tasks are never finished and there is always more to do. With my studio in my house it's all too easy to fill every moment of spare time thinking about, preparing for, obsessing over and generally making work. Lately it feels like my life has become my work and it's really starting to bring me down, to cut into my personal happiness & my sense of self. I'm not quite sure how to fix this - stuff needs to get done and no one's gonna do it but me - but something's gotta give or I'm going to flip out. I know that the many frustrations and time-commitments I face are simply the trade-off for being able to do what I love, but it gets so hard when everyday becomes a 12 hour day, weekends are cut in half and even my dreams have me solving math problems and sewing construction riddles. I'm also a mild agoraphobic who finds it very easy to be sucked into the vortex of work so that I don't need to leave my comfort zone. Bad combination for living a full life.
For the past few months, since Christmas really, I've been putting in at least some work time every weekend and this one was no different. My big work push right now is completing and photographing the Fall 2012 collection, one of the most engrossing and demanding tasks of my work calendar, and (considering I'm already late) I can't rest until it's done. At least this is creative work, draining yes, but engaging and far from the drudgery that is sewing or, god forbid, pattern grading.
Anyway, with my rant now drawing to a close, I just wanted to share that I did indeed take some time for myself this past Saturday and Sunday, leaving the house BOTH DAYS (a miracle) and gifting myself with some simple pleasures. I took long walks during the afternoons and let the sun shine down on me till I had to loosen my scarf and take off my gloves. I ordered eggs benedict and gorged myself on hollandaise. I treated myself to chocolate and cheese and made risotto and had a glass of wine and watched Ernest Borgnine in 'Marty'. I talked to my sister and my dad on the telephone and spent time with my husband and he let me tease him a lot which is my favourite pastime.
I watched tv in bed and let the cat snuggle up on my neck like a beard and slept in till nearly 10 and left the blankets messy.
I made myself a pouch out of cream leather scraps and a favourite ikat and transferred all my best pencils (2H or 4H only, I hate me a smudge) and sketchbook into it.
I finally read my new issue of The Gentlewoman which came in the mail late last week and I especially enjoyed Bali Barret's 5 ways to spot a proper Parisienne: handbags are not pets; ignore pedestrian crossings; navy over black; perfume is an ever-changing accessory; sleep in your jewellery.
I stopped into Drawn & Quarterly and bought myself 3 books. I've been neglecting the modern classics for awhile now so I picked up Fitzgerald's 'The Beautiful and Damned' as well as Salinger's '9 Stories' which I read in Morocco in the Spring (my sister's copy, it was the only book either of us thought to bring, which was silly.) I got Julie Doucet's 'My Most Secret Desire' too which I read Saturday night and laughed out loud (masturbating with cookies? that's some funny shit). I took a weekend, what a novelty. And I need to remember how good it feels to do so, to connect with the people I love, to try and meet new people. To read books and look at the world and walk out into it and through it and be a part of it. To try to remember who I am and what I like and what makes me happy and what I need without feeling this guilty, guilty, guilt all the time if I'm not working. I am going to try and make a real effort over the coming weeks, months and years to gift myself with a weekend. Just a simple goal.