Saturday, 26 May 2007

don't believe the hype (that's right)

According to stat counter I have quite a few more visitors here than ever comment. Quite a few. D speculates that this is because (as in real life) I intimidate people. I appear to know what I am doing and to be doing rather a lot of a lot of different things. Like I don't need anybody else, because I am somehow different to other people.

Meaghan's comment on a few posts ago solidified this thought in my mind. As did a recent post I read somewhere (where was it? if it was you, please tell me!) where the blogger said she was always being asked how she fitted so much in and she said there's no secret, she does stuff when she can and doesn't take photos of the mess she leaves behind. Or words to that effect.

I can only agree. I'd add in that a lot of the fun stuff I do is done whilst sitting on the couch watching TV. I don't take time out from gainful activity, it just means that if I'm watching Lost, it only gets about 40% of my attention. Which really is all it deserves.

And I believe that any old day holds lots of little snippets of unused time. Having a stack of projects waiting to go and having tools and materials easily accessible allows those snippets of time to be made use of. I used to pack my sewing machine away into a cabinet, but then I almost never got to use it because of the time it took to get ready to do something. Now it lives out on a table so I can use it anytime. Of course, to make space I have the table in my wardrobe, and I often sew standing up, but I definitely sew more.

I used to work for a really fabulous high-powered career woman who also happened to be a very devoted mother of two young boys. I've never met anyone before or since who has done such an amazing job of fitting in both. And doing both well. When she was interviewed by some people for an article they asked her something banal like the secret of her success and without missing a beat she said good storage. I think they thought she was joking, but we knew she was completely serious. The ability to find and get stuff quickly and easily allowed her to really use her time to do rather than prepare to do.

I'd add that I also let myself do some stuff badly, or not at all, to make space for the stuff I love and the stuff that makes me feel happy at the end rather than grumpy for wasting my time on it.

So just to let you know I do not have access to some great big secret here's a list of just some of the stuff I do badly or not at all.
  1. Cook consistently. We eat a lot of take out food and spend a lot of time in cafes and pubs.
  2. Remember where I read stuff in blogland and I don't do the necessary research to work it out.
  3. Stay in touch with blogs. Sometimes I just look at the pictures. And sometimes I don't even do that.
  4. Clean. I don't even own a working vacuum cleaner except a dinky dust buster.
  5. Iron. Except when I am sewing of course.
  6. Sleep. I am an insomniac and have been since I was in primary school.
  7. Drive. I haven't put in the time and energy to conquer my fears and learn...please if there is a secret on this, I'm all ears. Just so you know I can't ride a bike either.
  8. Parent strategically and selflessly. I yell and nag a lot more than I should and let stuff happen that I shouldn't.
  9. Say please and thank you and make polite small talk.
  10. Think about my appearance or stuff to improve it.
  11. Crop and touch up photos.
  12. Do things for other people I really don't want to do, if I can get away with it (though I will gladly and generously do stuff for other people when it suits me).
  13. Always answer the phone, and if I do and it's a stranger wanting my money or brain space I (politely) say no really fast and hang up.
  14. Perfect things. 80/20 rule all the way. If I'm half way to disaster I cut my loses, if it's mostly good, it's good enough.
  15. Feel good enough about myself to think it's OK to just be. Production is a big part of how I justify my existence.
So please, don't believe the hype.


dizzyjadey said...

OMG, such cute booties! also number one culprit with just looking at the pictures on blogs. :-(

kirsten said...

great post, sooz, and thanks for the honesty! i am often amazed at the ability of others to create and craft when i struggle to find the time or energy but it is all about perspective and priorities, i suppose. i keep telling myself i am currently in the 'season' of young, demanding children and that hopefully i will find more time on my hands for me and creative pursuits. but thanks for allowing some insight into you! i love being able to see what others are doing and enjoy seeing that there are other creative people out there doing stuff - that itself is consolation to me. please keep me up to date with the house extension - i am very curious! :)

jac said...

I love your list! I am not a natural commenter -- but when pressed I will say 'hi'!

Flibbertygibbet said...

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to allow yourself to not be "perfect" and be free to experiment.
And driving and bicycles - not all they're cracked up to be, hah!

Asiya said...

I have had my license for less than two years and I'm 31 years old! I finally got it after having my second child. I had masses of lessons, was absolutely terrified but got it in the end...and I love being able to drive now!

but I still have to learn to answer the phone!

shula said...

Personally, I think it would be more useful for you to learn to ride a bike than drive a car.

Car are about to become obsolete. And/or hideously expensive.

It's over, mate. Not only are you being very Now, you're actually being very Tomorrow.

nectaryne said...

One of the things I love about your blog is that you DO NOT come across as super-perfect-I-can-do-it-all-well-and-my-house-is-spotless-lady. I love that you find/make time to create beautiful things. I love that you parent from your heart and not from the latest talk-show or book. Thanks for all the inspiration!

Penny said...

Hi Sooz

Just a quick note to say I got the fabric strips this morning - thank you very much. I love the elephants. I'll be blogging about them, but probably not until tomorrow.

PS I don't iron either

Rosy pink said...

Hi, I just put a counter recently and too was surprised by the number of people visiting and not commenting ( almost all) but I think it's easier alot of the times to just watch from far without participating. And I liked the thing you said about blogging about the productive things and not the mess behind it all, I too need to be good at most of the points you mentioned.

Pixie said...

intimidated? nope. stunned silent sometimes perhaps! ah, if only other parts of life were more like the blogland we inhabit.

Janet said...

love your list soozs. And your work, of course.

Suse said...

I think it's the time factor too. I have lots of blogs I read but don't comment on, and only a few whose comment dialogue I participate in.

Likewise, my stat counter tells me I have between 200 and 300 readers, yet only 20 to 30 comment.

C'est la vie.

(Love those boots!)

62cherry said...

we have alot in common!!!!seriously
thanks a bunch for my/our cherry bean bear molly and i are fighting over him!!

SagePixie said...

Hi Sweetie!

i love your blog but have a few impediments to commenting; my husband bought me a new wireless keyboard, YAY! it has no letters on it just black keys. I MUST actually learn how to type now and it's frustrating. I usually have at least oneother person in my chair if not 3 and hate leaving mistyped badly spelled comments that make me look and seem stupid.

Those booties are ADORABLE! keep sharing the love.

Love and Laughter,

VictoriaE said...

Try as you might not to sound perfect - your list just makes you seem even cooler!

Anonymous said...


I have been a long time reader of your blog. It's one blog I seek out regularly.
I love your honesty expressed so well in your writing and there are so many aspects of life that I agree with you. I respect the fact that you are being yourself. I like the creative things to make.
Anyway, I appreciate you and your blog.

Thank you.

Angela Savage said...

What a nice lot of feedback that posting elicited. Yeah, lots of us read without always commenting. I do comment occasionally, and I often talk with you about things I've read on your blog (remember me saying recently that I sometimes only got insight into your inner world by reading your blog, as if it's become a substitute for intimate communication between people...?)- but I've never had you comment on my blog and have no idea if you've ever read it. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Unless people comment/respond, you just have no idea who's reading or what, if anything, they gain from the experience.

BTW, I loved your 'Things I'm not good at' list and I'm keeping a close eye on your site to see if anyone comes up with a fear-disperser for those non-drivers amongst us :-)

manda said...

hi. i love your blog from afar, you inspire and entertain me..., and as a mumma of three, i don't believe the hype. it simply can't be possible.

Di said...

You're so spot on with the storage thing... I blame it for my lack of sewing over the last year or so. I'm trying to rectify it.
Love the little baby shoes :)

Laura said...

I have been reading, and enjoying, your blog for a long time now. Sorry to be such a lurker, I only just got a google account.

As for leaving projects out so that you can pick them up in spare moments, I am guessing that you don't live with a cat!

Wendy said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and your post has prompted me to brave the google process to open an account!

I really admire your creativity and your honesty and wish I could organise myself to do all the things you do. Juggling part-time work and caring for my daughter makes it hard at the moment but you inspire me to get the sewing machine out. I discovered craftblogs when I was on maternity leave and feeling a little isolated. It was great to find others interested in sewing , cooking, books etc, things that I find interesting. I rarely comment because I feel I don't have much to say but I really admire and appreciate all that you and the others do. But I will try to comment more now!

yumptatious said...

I only found your blog today and oddly enough, I put up a post yesterday on my blog about people not commenting, because I also have a stat counter and I know they are there! I've even put cut+paste comments for the confused!
But I really should stop worrying and just get on with the work! If people comment, its a bonus.
Loved and agreed with your list, although I do trim my photos because I'm a crap, impatient photographer. I also sew standing up and as for yelling and nagging the kids, well, of course: life is harsh.
Your blog ROCKS. Keep it up! said...

I love the baby booties. I would love to have the pattern for them. They are the perfect thing to whip up while watching tv. Thanks from another sooze.