Saturday, July 26, 2014

Just for Me....

Today I must be ready to leave the house by 10:00 AM for a performance that my troupe has at a festival later today.  Last night I pulled together all of the things I would need: drums, our troupe banner, our mailing list sign-up sheets and props for skits..  I prepared a lunch for myself and laid out my costuming.  I sent a few final reminders to fellow performers about a change in departure time.  I set my alarm for 6:00 AM and went to bed.

This morning, while I did hit the snooze button three times, I managed to rise from bed by 6:30.  I made myself some coffee, which I sipped as I browsed Facebook and skimmed some news sites.  After I finish this post I'll likely do about ten minutes of yoga before hopping into the shower after which I will begin the process of costuming myself and getting into character for our performances later in the day; a process which takes about 90 minutes to two hours.

One might think that getting up this early on a Saturday willingly must mean I am a morning person  Actually it is because I am NOT a morning person that I arise so early to begin my day.  I learned long ago that I am not one of those folks who can get out of bed, rush around, chug a cup of coffee and head out the door.  At least it isn't generally something I can do and remain in a good mood.  When I feel rushed I am likely to forget important props, or drums, or my lunch.  Which means in the end I'll also be stressed out, cranky and quite likely late.  I'll spend most of the day trying to catch up with myself.

These days I generally allow myself two hours of me time before I have to be anywhere or, as is the case today, before I have to prepare to be anywhere.  It isn't always easy but it has so many benefits; not just for me, but for others too.  If I have to meet someone somewhere, if I have a ride picking me up, if I have to start work, I do so with a clear head and a more calm demeanor.  I'm also rarely late.

But most importantly these two hours at the beginning of my day are a gift to myself.  This is time that is mine...just for me.

Friday, July 25, 2014

....and she's back.

Yes, yes, I know.  I said I'd be taking the month of May off from blogging.  Then it was June.  Soon came July and July is now nearly over.  Where have I been?

Mostly I've been spending my time enjoying my summer and doing a lot of thinking.  I'll soon share just what it is I've been up to and what I've been thinking about.

More to come very, very soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's pause a little...

This post is about taking a break.  Specifically a break from blogging.  I have made the decision to put Spinster Jane on hold for the month of May.  Why am I doing this?  The short answer is time.

Time is the reason for a lot of my life decisions; mainly because like many of us I don't have enough of it.  I made the choice a few years ago to live a creative life.  I wanted to dedicate myself to being an artist in whatever form my art may take.  And it takes a lot of forms:  writing, dancing, choreographing, sewing, crocheting, drumming and teaching.

Currently my endeavors include:

  • writing this blog
  • managing and directing a performance troupe
  • performing with said troupe as dancer, MC and musician
  • a separate solo dance path
  • bettering my drumming skills
  • teaching workshops on live music dance performance
  • teaching a weekly dance class
  • forming a student dance troupe
  • custom crochet work
I also of course work a day job and attend school full time.  Today I am face to face with the fact that I don't have enough time to do all of it - at least not now - which leaves me with the options of finding a way to better manage my time or making the choice to let go of something. 

And I truly don't want to let go of any of it. 

Some choices are easy; I have to keep my job and school has an end date so I keep both of those.  I won't give up teaching classes and workshops as it consistently brings me great joy and I learn just as much from my students as I teach them.  It is also just beginning to become a reliable source of income.  The crochet work I only take when I know I have the time.   Actually if I kept going I'd likely find justification for keeing all of it. 

...and that is where the struggle is. 

And thus the break from blogging.  I've not been able to keep up with it regularly anyway and so I might as well make it official so that I at least I'll stop feeling bad about not doing it.  Hopefully over the next month I'll have at least a few moments to give some thought to whether or not to keep Spinster Jane alive. 

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of spring and I'll see you in June.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Days of...ooops.

My 30 days of blogging about sustainability was derailed by five days of sickness and three days of recovery and catching up.  While I am pretty close to being up to date on work, school related business and performance matters I am not sure I will catch up on the blogging.

I will however complete the four part series mentioned in the prior post!

Stay tuned!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7 - Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it Do or Do Without

"Use it up,
Wear it out, 
Make it do,
Or do without."

- Anonymous

Often used in reference to "Yankee frugality" the origins of the phrase are unclear.  It was popularized in the United States during the rationing years of World War II. Whatever the original source of the saying today it could serve just as well as a slogan for seeking to live a sustainable life in our consumption focused culture and economy.

This week I'll be writing a four part series focusing on each line of the saying and  answer the question of how we can make this old adage apply to our lives today.

Have you heard this saying before?  Do you apply it to your life today?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 6 - Buy Local

The buy local movement has been growing rapidly across the country.  Nearly every city has an organization to promote local business.  Here in Portland, Maine e we have Portland Buy Local that promotes local businesses.

There are numerous benefits to buying local.  The Portland Buy Local website lists several including...

...keeping your dollars local (studies have shown higher percentage of each dollar spent at a locally owned businesses stay within the community than those spent at national chains);

...environmental sustainability (aside from the shorter distance you may drive, or better yet walk, locally produced goods, especially food, have a lower environmental impact);

...supporting entrepreneurship;

...keeping your local neighborhood unique and diverse;

...and much more.

If you'd like to learn more about buying local in your community the American Independent Business Alliance can help you connect.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 5 - Walking

According to many estimates the average person gets the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon when walking. Compared to the average 24.6 miles per gallon of cars in the U.S. and the fact that walking is a zero emissions mode of transportation**, walking seems a pretty good environmental deal, and it is, but there are other sustainability related benefits to leaving the car parked.

Getting to know your community.  - Walking allows you to see your neighborhood up close and personal in a way that you simply can't do when passing through at 15 - 50 miles per hour.  You can get to know local plants and wildlife (yes, even in the city there is wildlife), frequent local business and say hello to your neighbors.

Health Benefits - Walking is good for you.  I'm pretty lazy about exercise.  I'm not the type to go to the gym or take an aerobics class.  With my feet as my transportation I usually walk at least a few miles per day just doing the activities of day to day life.  That's right a few miles.  Which means I'm getting quite a bit of exercise without any real extra effort.

** Human's don't have tailpipes but where we get our "fuel" is still important.  Farming in our country is very much tied to fossil fuel use.  Buying local and organic can greatly reduce the environmental impact of our human fuel intake.