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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Thank you all so much, especially all of you from the Creating the Hive community, for your kind and encouraging words.  I think I've almost put this situation behind me (and a few others I didn't tell you about!), and your advice to deal with it then shake it off really helped confirm my instincts. 

And I got to thinking about putting things into perspective, to really focus on realistically prioritizing the important tasks and figuring out where I can/should let things slide.  At the same time, I came across this helpful article on procrastination and stress (by the way, if you're not familiar with, I would highly recommend their daily newsletters on topics like leadership, your career, and social media).  There is a lot to be said for just waiting, a bit, to see what's really going to need your attention and what's going to take care of itself without your having to drop everything.

So, I haven't gone totally slacker, but I did sit down in a quiet room with a cup of tea, a piece of paper, and a pen.  I folded the paper in half, length-wise, and started to list on one side the things that I felt were priorities, the stuff that just has to get done.  I'd flip over to the other side when I thought of listing something that would be nice to do, but wasn't urgent or really necessary.  Once I'd emptied my brain, I just sat and drank some tea, breathing deeply.  Then, I went back to the list to start scheduling some dates by which I hoped to accomplish some of the listed tasks, not to create hard-and-fast deadlines or to stress myself out, but to sketch out if these tasks and timelines are realistic and to confirm that everything really does belong on the priority side of the page.  All of this didn't even take that long, but I sure felt better afterwards.  I did this a couple of days ago, and, a few times a day since, I have looked at that list to see if I can check a task or two off or if I need to modify the timeline.  Of course, as old things get done and checked off, new items get added to the list, but at least you're not trying to keep all of it in your head!  I hope this is helpful, and I'd love to hear about any systems you are using.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Not a word that many of us are comfortable with or like to think about.  But, frankly, you can either embrace it and learn from it or just give it up!  I've been experiencing a bit of self-inflicted failure recently, and I figured I should let you all in on it since it's just not realistic to paint a rosy picture of things all the time.  I have over-scheduled, over-promised and over-whelmed myself recently and, as a result, I feel like I've let some people down.  I hate that feeling, especially since of course that was not my intention at all!

So, I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to fix it (if possible).  I think there are a couple of steps that I can take to mitigate:

1)  Apologize.  Not the "we regret this inconvenience" or "I'm sorry you're upset" kind of apology, but a sincere, heartfelt one in which you take responsibility for your (in)actions and express regret.  "I'm sorry I did not have your pillow done by the deadline date."

2)  What are you going to do now.  Let the person know what they can expect from you now.  And be realistic about it, rather than getting yourself deeper into the hole with another promise you can't keep.  "I hope to have it finished in two weeks, but I don't want to overpromise again so I will keep you updated."

3)  Express appreciation through more words and actions.  Throw in an unexpected treat along with the promised item.  "I appreciate your patience with me, and I hope you will accept this free pattern and tote bag as my token of gratitude to you for your business."

I expect that this won't always work -- people are going to legitimately get and stay pissed off at you if you don't meet their expectations, but a sincere apology and course of mitigating action hopefully will bring some people back around to you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Massaging Insoles and a Starfish

So, I went to the Washington Home and Garden Show last Friday for my annual ritual of looking at the beautifully designed garden scenes and shopping.  I have to say, I think the industry has been very hard hit in this economy -- this has to have been the smallest show to date :-(  Many vendors whom I had seen in years past did not return, and there were probably only 4 or 5 displays (down from at least 10 in years past).  But, of course, I still managed to have my wedding rings cleaned (with a jewelry paste that I ended up purchasing), to treat my feet to some massaging insoles (had planned to just get one pair for my husband, but of course the discount came when 2 or more pairs were purchased), and to get a starfish ring (quite lovely, isn't it?!)

Ugh, looking at my fingers in this picture, I probably should have bought the Moisturizing Aloe Lotion too, ha!

I should be saving my pennies for the upcoming Metro Area Yarn Crawl in DC/Maryland/Virginia from April 9th through 16th!  I've got to plan out how I'm going to hit up 7 out of the 10 participating stores and take advantage of my 20% discounts :-)  I'm probably going to be teaching a special class at Looped during that time also  The challenge -- Filmfest DC is going on at the same time, and I'm always running from movie to movie during those evenings too.  Such a shame that I haven't learned how to crochet in the dark -- mmmmmm.......

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Combat Knitters

Great article in today's Washington Post about the "Combat Knitters" in Afghanistan and a group in Virginia who's been shopping at Fibre Space and shipping boxes of yarn to the knitters!  Of course, I'm sad that we're not talking about "Combat Crocheters" (even has a better ring to it!), but hey, hard to complain in this situation ...

And, tomorrow is my annual pilgrimage to the Washington Home and Garden Show at the convention center.  I just love seeing all the beautiful gardens and landscaped backyard displays, then wandering through the marketplace looking at all the live info-mercials!  Yes, I admit it, it's a guilty pleasure to get sucked in by all these products that are going to change my life ;-)  I have to say, except for one or two duds, I usually come away with some useful stuff.  One year, I had to call my husband and have him come meet me with the car because I couldn't carry everything!  But, the last few years actually have been a bit sparser in offerings.  I think the economy has hit this sector pretty hard.  Well, I will report back about my finds.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tweet, Tweet

Now, I haven't actually tried any of these services yet, but I really enjoyed reading this excellent blog post giving a rundown of some services that help you manage your Twitter account:

Also, March is National Crochet Month!  This blog has a great post on it from last year and has some really "neato" things:

Ok, a short but hopefully sweet post!