Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, Monday

Coffee burbles in the new Capresso coffee maker, no music, the house is... silent. Friday ended with another order from the Milwaukee Museum of Art. They just opened their Camille Pisarro exhibit and chose my glass to sell in conjunction with the exhibit through the Museum Store. None of my work is on their website yet, but I am hopeful they will put it up. This has been the spring of the Museum Store for me with the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, The Art Institute in Chicago and the Milwaukee Museum of Art all placing multiple big orders.

This is a short week in the studio--short for the the amount of time to do work, not short for what needs to be done. We have a wedding in Austin this weekend so I am only working three days...

It is now six hours after I started this post, the day has advanced to the point where I can see what will get done and what will be "rescheduled". Rescheduled is a lovely euphemism for "put off". Of everything I will get sone today, my unexpected epiphany is the most important. As I was getting the first pieces in the kiln for the big fuse load today I pondered the nature of time and came to a startlingly conclusion: I am happier with a work week schedule.

As a small business owner whose business is co-located with my residence, I can work whenever I need. The benefit of this situation is that it allows me to get all the things in my life done in the time that is most appropriate and convenient for them, rather than in the time that has been previously artificially scheduled for them. When I worked in an office, e.g., it wasn't possible to do a load of laundry in the middle of the day even if I really needed the clothes in it that evening. I had to do much more thinking and planning in advance. Now I can be a Mommy, wife, homeowner, business owner all as the need arises: I am much more flexible, efficient and productive... and more stressed. Today I think I figured out why: I need a cycle.

This past weekend I didn't work in the studio even though I had some a couple of firings scheduled, and I got a ship-asap-order Friday evening so arguably I should have. But I had life this weekend too. I took Sophie to a bead show Saturday and I went to the water garden store and finalized the pond design and supply list. Sunday I pressure-washed the parking pad, took J to a bowling birthday party (she got three spares in four frames and the highest score in her age group!), and (with help from Dave and the Internet) wrote over 200 fortunes for a friend's birthday (for one of his gifts we gave him a box made from handmade paper--not by me--full of folded fortunes), and then had a dinner birthday party with fireworks. (Dave, of course, did all the grocery shopping, men planning and cooking.)

So the weekend was full, and it could be expected that come Monday--the first work day of a very short week--I would be stressed because I didn't fire and about everything that looms before me. But what I find is that I am more relaxed and rested than I have been on previous Mondays even though I did no less over the weekend. As I pondered why this might be so, I came to the conclusion that I need the work-week cycle. When every day is the same, every bad day has more weight because there is nothing to stop the next day from being exactly the same. All the tomorrows stretch out in front of you just as bleak as the day you're in.

Breaking all your tomorrows into a series of weeks changes things. For people accustomed to the working week, if today is Monday and it's a bad day, the tendency is to say, "Today is bad because it's Monday. Tomorrow will be better because it's no longer Monday, it's Tuesday." There's suddenly a psychological predisposition to look forward to tomorrow (and thus not feel so bad about today) because you have a reason--however lame--for it to be better. When there's a new cycle on the horizon there's hope. I wonder if retired people feel the same way?


Bill Paley said...

You could always retire and find out...

You remind me of that period in my life when I worked every day for several months straight, with no full day off at all. I much prefer this schedule, with me working twelve days out of fourteen.

Jodi said...

Men planning? What kind of party did you have? Sounds fun! ;-)