Bisy Backson

Rabbit hurries on and arrives at Christopher Robin’s house. He knocks on the door and then calls out, but there is no answer. Christopher Robin is Out, and just as Rabbit is about to leave he spots a piece of paper on the ground, with a pin in it, as if it has fallen from the door. Rabbit reads the paper, and this is what it says:

GON OUT
BACKSON
BISY
BACKSON
C.R.

— A. A. Milne

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a screed about how I really need to start limiting myself to doing two things a day. Not two things as in “shower” and “put on pants” but in the large world-view of my crafting, that I need to limit it to, say, “dyeing yarn” and “firing the kiln.” Because I have a tendency – and nobody is surprised – to try to bite off more than I can chew in a day. I know I’m not going to have to stop working to take care of customers (just the dogs) and I seem to not be able to realistically grok how much time it takes me to do things, so I will often try to dye yarn, and make soap, and glaze ceramics, and pour some greenware. Because in my head I can justify doing all these things because there’s down-time from each of them while I’m soaking, or waiting for something to dry, or waiting for something to melt, or blargity-blarg-blarg-blarg. But then there are hours a day when I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to do everything at once (because it seems like everything that needs to happen, happens at once) and I’m constantly poking myself during the day to remind myself not to forget to do THIS THING that’s in the other room and because I don’t see it, I might forget it, and maybe I should get up from what I’m doing and go in the other room and check on it and wait, why did I come into this room? Oh, look, the cat box needs to be cleaned out! And by the end of the day I’ve got projects going in four different rooms and nothing is finished. Whoops.

So I determined that I must make it TWO THINGS per day, not a hundred. And that worked out really well, for about twelve minutes.

No, really, it worked out well for about three days. I was putting work away about the same time that Tim got home from work, and things were getting completed, and I even had time to catch up on pre-blogging a few things that weren’t just the Tuesday Treasury. Then I got a couple of custom soap orders ABOUT WHICH I AM NOT COMPLAINING IN ANY WAY!!! but of course since I already had ceramics I was doing that had a due date on them… I thought… well, I can just whip out this soap while I’m cleaning this greenware, and I won’t try to do anything else, and it’ll all be good. And then I got a rather large ceramic order that is going to take until January to complete, but I can do it in stages, which means some massive pouring and then massive glazing in order to justify so many firings of the kiln, as I can’t just fire the kiln with one piece (it’s a large kiln). And then I started discussing with Wild Iris about putting my soap up on their website, which means making a lot more soap… and you know where this is going, right? By the end of the day yesterday I was packing for today’s Craft Market, wrapping soap, popping soap out of molds, cleaning soap molds rather than making more soap because I didn’t have enough space on the counter to cut up a new block of base soap, popping a couple of troubling ceramic molds open that didn’t want to dry out in time to open them Thursday night (I poured about a dozen molds on Thursday morning before making and wrapping soap), all the time walking through the worlds most frightening kitchen that I didn’t have time to clean. I swear, when I went out to get the mail yesterday I almost started crying because I didn’t feel I had enough time to even look through it, let alone open something.

That has got to change.

I don’t feel, work-wise, that I’m overwhelmed (believe me, I am happy with how work is going! I love work!); I just feel that schedule-wise I am overwhelmed. Does that make sense? I just need to … oh, I hate to say “work smarter” because that makes it sound as if I’m next going to be saying things like “thanks for the heads-up” and “I’m working the problem” and “have your people call my people.” But I need to … I don’t know. Get an intern? Kidnap a South American child? Find some low-or-more-likely-un-paid lackey who can come to my house once every two weeks and do things like cut up a block of base soap, stamp mailing supplies with my “H” logo, print out and cut soap and yarn labels that I’m going to need soon, fold and cut up paper for future soap wrapping, wind yarn, remind me to clean the cat boxes and tell me why I walked into this room, oh, and serve me fruity frozen rum drinks (A GIRL CAN DREAM).

You know, I feel better, actually, just having bitched about it.

Carry on!

6 Comments

  1. Oy. Showered & pants is a win/win on a fair number of days around here.

    Also, kidnapping – usually frowned upon.

    Also, also – totally want a human that brings fruity frozen rum drinks randomly throughout the day.

    Too many of those just might screw up the possibility of pants/shower in the same day though. Just sayin’.

  2. AnneB

    Is cutting up soap base something that has to be done just before you’re ready to get started with a batch, or can you cut up lots of soap base and … I don’t know … bag it up or something so you have base ready-cut for multiple batches? And maybe you need to move from two things a day to one thing a day.

  3. AnneB

    Oh, and another thought… if you divide your week days into Monday=soap, Tuesday=yarn, etc kind of work days, then when you get a custom order for soap on a Wednesday, it waits until next Monday?

    And intern would be great. If I lived closer, I’d offer to help with some of the stuff like wrapping, etc that isn’t as crafty, but I think a commute from Ohio is a bit much.

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