Posts Tagged ‘empty nest’

The Empty Nest and the Shell Game

June 25, 2014


My husband decided to trust the reality of our empty nest. I never intended to keep the kids’ rooms as shrines, but given the uncertainty of the economy it didn’t make sense to turn that space into something else, only to have to redecorate for a boomerang year or two. My husband persuaded me that the baby birds really do have nests of their own this time, so we put some exercise equipment in one room.

I decided I might enjoy using the exercise equipment a lot more if I listened to music during the sessions. I once thought it would be fun to have music in the sewing room, but it turns out I prefer silence when I’m creating. This week I moved the CDs and player upstairs and recovered five feet of shelf space in the sewing room. Here’s what it looks like now.

Really, I had 5 linear feet of open space - briefly

Really, I had 5 linear feet of open space – briefly

Yes, I know, I can’t tell any difference, either. It seems that moving the piles from the floor to the shelf is like taking a batt out of the bag. It expands to fill all available space.

Still, I can now see the bins and baskets that were stuffed under the shelves.

I almost remembered what was in those baskets

I almost remembered what was in those baskets

I also have a staging area where the CD player and overflow music collection once lived.

Supplies for 3 projects

Supplies for 3 projects

This is where I’ll put the project under construction and the next one in the queue. I’m still at the shell game stage in my tidying efforts – even after all these years – but if I can keep the stacks on the cutting table down to a minimum that will be victory enough for now.

Luck and wisdom!


Unexpected Accountability

August 1, 2012

One of the problems the as-yet-undiscovered artist faces is accountability. If you don’t have a client – gallery owner, publisher, commission-holder – does it matter if you fudge your deadline? And by “you” I mean “me.” Yes, I structure my day to maximize creativity, I maintain a list of goals, I establish a system of rewards and consequences for those goals. Nevertheless, as long as dinner is ready I’m accountable only to myself.

Until last week, when the kids arrived for an undetermined stay while they look for work. While I’m not precisely accountable to them, and even though they haven’t been here that long, I have discovered that:

  • coordinating schedules makes me more aware of what I want to accomplish in any given hour
  • having more people in the house really does mean more clutter, so I have stronger incentives to put things away in their proper places
  • having more people around makes me less inclined to waste time, even if they aren’t paying attention to me

Now, I will admit to my share of setbacks. I’ve added to the clutter – although not in the sewing room – by buying a special rug for my daughter’s dog:

I also had to move more stuff into the sewing room so that back wall didn’t get organized:

Still, I think there is going to be a hidden benefit to having the whole family under one roof again. At the very least, it is nice to show the kids that I was handling the empty nest syndrome just fine (and I have an excuse to dump the dishes on them – I need to quilt!).