January 2023: A Sleepy Start to the Year
Updated: Jan 16
I've been shuffling through these past couple of weeks on autopilot, feeling like the days are too short, wishing I had more time and energy to get to work on pottery. This month's update comes after a prolonged period of quiet - perhaps I'll be ready to re-emerge soon.
Jasper Turns 2
Jasper turned 2 years old last Sunday, and that's certainly highlighted for me that we've arrived at a new phase in his development. As a happy, curious toddler with big emotions to match, it's so clear to me that this is a vital time where he needs me to support him, listen to him, and model behaviors for him. I'm putting effort into being fully present when we are together. He's so talkative right now, and I want to encourage him to continue to express himself - that means that sometimes I have to try really hard to understand what he's saying so that I can respond. It's wonderful work that I am grateful to have, and it's also mentally exhausting. Mothering a toddler makes my brain tired, and I'm adjusting.
At my day job, the year has kicked off with a plethora of projects to track, deadlines to meet, and decisions to wrangle from stakeholders. My 1 year anniversary at this company comes at the end of the month, and I'm happy to say that I'm still happy in this role and on this team. There's a lot going on, and it can be stressful, but it's manageable. It continues to be so refreshing to be able to say that.
Still, a busy workday means a night where all I want to do is sit on the sofa. It means my attention is stretched thin between work and parenthood and there's not much left over.
So far, slack has come from other aspects of life, such as time on pottery, keeping up with the family expense tracker, timely packaging of orders, and visits to the studio. I've recognized just how tired and mentally spent I've been for the past few weeks, and I don't want to stay in this space. I have a few ideas for capacity building that I'll try through the remainder of January - let's see if we can get February off to a better start.
A Trip to Paris
Kev and I have booked a short visit to Paris at the end of February. It'll be interesting to see the city in winter, and we're both looking forward to continuing to explore the dining scene. Before Jasper, before the pandemic, we traveled about twice a year. The freedom to do so is something I miss quite a bit, quite often. I remind myself that this won't always be the case: this chapter comes with such beautiful gifts that will leave before I'm ready to let them go, and travel can wait.
How lucky then, that our last trip as a family of two was to this city with which we fell immediately and completely in love. Going back feels easy, natural, and doesn't take so much planning as a new destination would.
Pottery, It's Still Happening
Despite a significant slowdown over the holidays and recent weeks, I've somehow managed to sculpt a few things and fire two kiln-loads. I've even mixed my first ever batch of glaze. My production at the moment is wholly in service of fulfilling pre-orders, but my goal for 2023 is to tackle such commitments more quickly so that I don't feel so beholden to existing designs.
Lastly, below are two pictures from a day where Jasper was dealing with a cold. He stuck to me like glue from morning to night. It was a prime example of the conflicting desires I hold: to be with him and to have me time. Funny enough, that's something that toddlers like him are also wrestling with, the impulse to be independent and the need to feel close to you.