I know it’s because my heart is racing, or the breathing is shallow. I may not be consistent with yoga or meditation, but I’ve learned it’s my breath that I can always come back to.
And it works. Inhale slowly, hold, and exhale slowly. Within minutes, I can feel it.
Ok, that title is misleading. Not everyone can do what I did to rest. My husband had ankle replacement surgery recently, and I helped in his recovery (shampooing hair, preparing meals, walking the dog, cutting the grass, etc etc). It doesn’t sound restful, but it was.
What I did while he recuperated:
- thought about printing (this was actually helpful)
- planned card text
- took some online classes
- wrote to people, real snail mail
All of this put me in a calm, relaxed frame of mind. I can tell because this week things are picking up again, and I’m finding less time to get things– you know those important “things” done. I am going to be closing the Etsy shop for a while, planning, making new cards and getting ready for fall.
And then…we’ll jump back into holiday craziness and all that comes with owning a retail space during the shopping season. I think I’ll miss napping the most. But I do have that blue sofa in the shop……
I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
I am not sure I always did this. But at some point in my life, I wanted to figure things out. Printer broken? Take it apart. Need a room networked? Run the cables.
So I am trying to do this with my printing as well. But, wow, does it take time. There are so many variables that can go wrong- ink, lock up, type, pressure, humidity in the air. Each time I get ready to print, I check the packing, the placement of the base or the type, and even the different paper styles I use.
People wonder why I even bother to do this. “You can print whatever you want digitally now,” they say. “This looks like too much work.”
Yes, but it’s fun work. It’s the figuring it out that I love. And when I get a print that is nearly perfect (because nothing in letterpress is perfect), I smile with satisfaction.
I typically print 5 or 6 cards at a time. The joy for me is in the process of creating, not printing hundreds of copies.
But I LOVE Harriet’s General store. And when I saw them post a quote I wanted to print, I asked about using it. To my surprise, they asked if they could order some. So, two days before my husband’s surgery that will keep me out of the shop for a while, I had something to occupy my time. A wholesale order of 48 cards for Harriet’s General.
I ended up having to print way too many extras as I was having a “shifting problem” that I never did identify. But, hey, the beauty of letterpress printing is the variation in type, right? I was happy with the ones I put in the mail yesterday–two colors, hand-inked, one at a time.
We dragged our tables, books, cards, some pottery, our chairs, and a huge tent to the river yesterday. You would think three women could handle that, but after 9 hours in the sun and some heavy lifting, we were spent. Still, we enjoyed seeing so many friends. It was a great day to show people what we do and who we are!
Well, I’m not searching, I’m happy.
But this post makes me think.
Doland recommends taking one day every week or every month to simply observe yourself:
It’s about tuning in to what you are doing, who you are doing it with and how it makes you feel. How much worry, stress, anger, joy or contentment do you experience on a given day?
Your happiness audit should assess not only major elements of your life, like your job and relationship, but also seemingly inconsequential aspects like how you occupy yourself on your commute and what you eat for lunch. Check in with how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. You’ll find that certain, perhaps surprising, things give you more pleasure than others, just as some detract.
The solution, according to Dolan, is to deliberately make it very easy to do the things that make us happy. Dolan believes we can structure our time and design our surroundings in such a way that we can quickly make a habit out of doing things that make us happy. These changes are small and incremental, but this is precisely why he thinks they work so well.
Ya, makes me think.
Spring has been a long time coming. But suddenly I am making summer plans. It’s funny owning a business. I now understand how spring clothes appear in winter, and advertisements for Christmas cards appear in October. To prepare, we have to think months ahead- like printing graduation cards in March.
But it really throws off my own internal clock. I keep thinking we are at the end of a school year, the beginning of summer. And we’re not yet.
One bit of news we received yesterday has changed our plans, though. My husband is going to get ankle replacement surgery in mid-June. We knew it was coming but thought we might do it September. No way, the doc said. Now, before any more collateral damage is done.
Ok, then. Onward, right?
I’ve discovered I can concentrate on only one thing at at time. I cannot multitask. I apologize to all the parents I told multitasking was not only possible but an important skill to learn.
There has been no writing going on this spring as I’ve focused on printing.
I’m not a huge fan of Mother’s Day except when it comes to cards. I love the idea of telling people in our lives, mothers and those who have served as mothers to us, what we love about them.
Getting a special hand-written card in the mail or tucked into a gift means so much. If you are still looking, please visit my etsy shop!