The December List
December 1st and already my household has been a flurry of activity. Just today, Huxley got groomed, Kev got his COVID booster shot (mine is Friday), and I went to Trader Joe's and Michael's to pick up groceries and wreath-making supplies. I feel so busy in a good way, and I've fully sunk into the time warp that comes with the holiday season. In order to implement a little structure to get me through to New Year's, here's my list for December.
Prioritize & Pause
Although I've been practicing this since the beginning of November, it factors more prominently this month. I've been so lucky to receive a slew of holiday orders for made-to-order items, which means I've been in overdrive for the past several weeks. I realized that I needed to pare down my days and clear my mental and physical spaces to allow me to focus on meeting deadlines. This meant prioritizing pottery over other pursuits and projects. Things I've put on hold: wax jewelry carving, fixing up the paint and drywall areas that were damaged from leaks earlier this fall, putting together new IKEA wardrobes, and making stuffed animals from scrap fabric that's been in my mom's house for probably decades. These hobbies (and some legitimate house tasks) are on pause for now and will be brought back onto my calendar in the new year.
Not Forgetting Found Time
With the above said, I'm still mindful about finding time for breaks. I read, journal, or listen to podcasts on my commutes to the studio. I also knit in the evening when Kev and I watch West Wing reruns after dinner. Something I've noticed when I get busy is that when there's only 15 minutes to spare, I don't put day to day chores off because I really may not find time to do them later. This has helped me to stay on top of daily tasks like laundry, dishes, and picking up around the house.
I don't want to give the impression that I'm some sort of machine that's able to do it all. Again, we have incredible support from our families when it comes to childcare. We have coverage 4 out of the 5 weekdays and on Saturdays - I wouldn't be able to do nearly as much without it. And as I mentioned regarding using my commuting time, I sometimes don't even attempt to read the book I've brought and just let myself nap when I've gotten a seat and feel somewhat safe in my surroundings. I know that rest is not wasted time.
Schedule Special Days in January and February
The post holiday winter is a rough time of year, and I'd like to prepare for it by planning fun and meaningful events for our family. To start, some quiet family time will be nice, where we can just relax. I'd also like to throw Jazzy some sort of 1st birthday celebration (probably just with us and his normal caretakers). That will be a nice way to kick off the new year.
Lay Some Groundwork for 2022
I have a few porcelain pieces in progress at the studio, which I've been making during the lulls when all of my pieces are either too damp to trim or in line for the kiln. I’m planning on giving them to my dad to paint and then holding off until next year to fire them up.
Oh, and I ORDERED A KILN! I am so so so excited to level up my production capability with this huge investment in my business. I had my garage hooked up for the required power earlier this week, and ordered my kiln the next day. It won't arrive until late spring but this was a major milestone for me, and I'm really proud to be able to make this dream a reality. It's something I'd always said that I want to do someday, and now someday has a date (or month, at least): April 2022. I felt confident taking the leap all thanks to this incredible holiday season, so I'm very grateful to my customers.
I also placed a large order of packing materials recently to make sure I’m stocked for the holidays and into next year. Packing these expenses in at the end of the year gets them out of the way, and from an accounting perspective, helps me to absorb the expenditures during a higher revenue month. This way my business ledger doesn’t start the next calendar year in the red.
Savor this Ending
2021 has been one of the most significant years of my life. It's the year I became a mom, the year of newborn snuggles and gummy smiles, of crooked teeth and crinkly noses. Although my December will be busy, I’m sure as heck going to find the time to pay attention to the present and try my hardest to imprint memories of these too-fast days into my mind.
I won't have new designs to share with you for some time as I fulfill existing orders, but I hope you'll check in for peeks into random holiday goings on around here. I'll try to come up for air every so often to document reflections on life lately and 2021 as a whole.