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  • Writer's pictureMary

The July List

I've already made my bucket list for this summer, and will be working diligently to cross items off this month. However, I still wanted to put together a July list because business responsibilities do not break for summer, and I think it's good to be transparent (as well as honest with myself) about what I need to do, what I want to do, and what I actually have the time to do.

July means.. a couple of fresh picked backyard cherry tomatoes every morning

My plate has been filling up with made-to-order orders, and I'm considering putting those listings on pause until I work through a majority of the items that have sold. The recent high humidity has delayed drying times across the board, and it's pushing back production. I'm also not able to trim and reclaim clay as quickly to use in new pieces and the studio has been short on the clay that I often use.

As you can tell by now, my mind is on business affairs, and my July list will be focused accordingly.

Take the subway to the studio

I'm experimenting with a new routine for studio visits. With NYC opening up, it's been increasingly difficult for me to find parking when I drive in on weekends. I took the subway to the studio last week, the first time I'd ridden the subway since March of 2019. I'd forgotten how loud it is. The subway is still a risky environment with the close quarters and enclosed spaces, but I noticed that everyone was wearing masks still, even as people are beginning to remove their masks when walking around above ground. Now that I've been vaccinated and 51% of NYC is as well, it's time to reclaim some of the normalcy I grew up with, and that includes the subway being a cheap and reliable mode of transportation. This allows me to go to the studio during the week, and therefore I have more flexibility to set my schedule.

Adjust my home studio space

We haven't procured all of the storage and furniture for the downstairs and garage that we want, but a big IKEA order is set to be delivered later this month that will make the downstairs area feel more complete and allow us to organize the garage for storage. I'm also already in dire need of decluttering my workspace. Things pile up, especially when I sculpt and pack orders at the same station. I feel crowded when I work, and I have to be careful to avoid bumping anything when I pack. Neither activity can be done without some sort of worry, and that doesn't feel good.

I don't currently have another surface to spare, so I'm going to move my packing materials to the floor underneath my workbench, and just sit on my little area rug when I'm packing orders. That will give back 45% of my workbench and boy is that extra space needed.

Work from downstairs more often

There have been a few really hot days lately, and our AC is nearly always on. The downstairs is significantly cooler, and so I'm thinking it would make sense to bring everyone down there once we have more furniture to beat the heat while conserving energy. I can also bring my laptop down and spend more daytime hours there when we have childcare help from the grandparents.

Reacquaint myself with commuting

I used to use my daily commute to listen to podcasts, sketch out ideas, knit, read, meditate, and nap. Though I don't know if I'll ever let myself doze off on the subway again, it'll be nice to get these blocks of found time back in my schedule on the days I go to the studio. I'm actually planning to go in later today, and have begun to pack everything I'll be bringing along. Amazing how quickly my bag-lady ways return. For today, I've got some greenware to bring in for firing, some paper porcelain to use in sculpting of Snake Dishes, plastic bags for clay I'll be bringing home, and one issue from my pile of New Yorker magazines.

Unwind on the patio

Okay, so this one isn't exactly M&m related, but given that I expect this month to be very busy, I know that time relaxing in general will do me good. It's been too hot and humid lately, and there's rain in the forecast for the next several days, but I plan to be out there after Jazzy goes down for bedtime (with baby monitor in hand, of course) whenever the weather permits. I'm really proud of what I've done to make our little patio inviting, and so I'm going to make sure I get to enjoy it.

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