A moment of Clarity

A moment of Clarity

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
I’m glad you’re here, because I have just had a moment of clarity,
if you’ll forgive the pun, and it’s important to write it down, 
before I slip back into the chaos that is my life this week.
I have just figured out why I actually (usually) enjoy doing art so much more nowadays than I used to.
It’s because (mostly) I love my work,
 also, I have (mostly) managed to evict those two pesky gits,

Wurka and Hollick,

 who were living rent-free in my head for way too many years;
but, even more importantly, I accept my job gratefully.
I see people all around me, doing gutty, thankless jobs,
and I know I am very lucky.
Remember the young blokes in the pouring rain clambering 
up the scaffolding that I spoke about some time ago?
That’s what I’m talking about. 

Ironically, when there are no time constraints, when there is no deadline pressure, ideas pour out of me like out of a tap.
The moment I have to deliver, 
or more importantly, the moment I think I have to deliver,
the ideas-well starts to run dry.
I have decided that the operative words here are HAVE TO.
The minute I think I HAVE TO do something,
the dynamics change, and my attitude does too.
I am going to do some laundry.
I have to do some laundry.
I am going to make a birthday card for my Mum.
I have to make a birthday card for my Mum.
I am going to do the prep for the TV Shows on Sunday.
I have to do the prep for the TV Shows on Sunday.
This week, pressure levels and deadlines have been mounting.
It’s Wednesday and the last three days have been pants. 
No mojo Jo.
And the more I panicked about what I HAD TO do,
the less effective I became.
The less effective I became, the more I panicked.
What a downhill spiral I got caught up in!

I’m no psychologist, but I’m guessing the more you worry about the outcome, the less you enjoy/focus on the process?

Obviously I’ve got a lot to do, and there are deadlines.
So I can’t just prance around the house in my jimjams,
go with the flow and do what I fancy whenever.
(I think that’s called Retirement;
something to look forward to and relish)
One day, I will be happy to live life the Wu Wei way,
but more of that another day…
Maybe I should look at the way I approach the tasks in my head before I begin, if you know what I mean.
This week I have been nothing short of a victim!
Poor me – got so much on my plate.
Poor me – never have any time to myself.
Poor me – all work no play.
Poor me – haven’t even got time to read a book.
bla bla bla.

So instead of enjoying the week,
 planning and getting ready for the Telly,
I’ve turned it into a complete chore,
The bad news is it’s already Wednesday.
The good news is it’s only Wednesday.

So after I have finished chatting my way through this mini 
I will stop for the evening, 
read a non work-related book,
enjoy Dave and a log fire.

Then tomorrow I will start the week again.
With a less harried head and 
an attitude of gratitude.

The comforting thing about writing this blog is I know there will be loads of you who totally get me,
who completely know what I mean.

Which means we are not alone.
Never alone.

love and hugs,

80 thoughts on “A moment of Clarity

  1. Yep, totally get it – my version was "I've got to do…" vs "I get to do…"

    But the night off with loved ones, a book and the fire is also important! Enjoy!

  2. Hi Barbara
    I know just what you mean I do exactly the same or used to, still do occasionally but not as much now.
    I have meltdowns quite a bit due to health issues as well, but I have learnt (the hard way) to try and relax and do the things I enjoy.
    Then all the other stuff just follows on.
    It's important to take time for you as we don't want you getting poorly through it all.
    Take care of yourself and Dave and keep up the fabulous work you do.xxx

  3. Totally get you. Go have a bath, relax, chill with Dave, have a nice meal, whatever it takes to take your mind off the immediate 'thing' even do some 'colouring in' be 'mindful' , chilax (what a cliche) do you get my drift?? When you take your mind off the 'thing' ideas come flooding in. I know you're going to be ready for you TV programme and I for one can't wait to see you pouring out all that fantastic talent you posess. Love your blog, it's the best! Xx😍😍

  4. Oh Barbara, your mojo won't be far away. A restful evening sounds just the ticket! I'm about to watch the Bake Off – not such great viewing when you're on a diet, but it does make me laugh how they all take baking a cake so seriously – it's a cake!!! Susan x

    1. LOL! Know what you mean about bake off and diet ! Doesn't it make your mouth water. I'm on hols at moment so will be watching when I get back. I've forgotten the diet for a week! X

  5. So understand where you are coming from, been there bought the t-shirt. You are so right about needing to relax into it. Sitting not thinking it for a few hours is absolutely the only way I know how to free up my blocks. I find flicking through other people's work helpful just to refire my imagination, Pinterest is great for this to wander through a series of pictures like a giant scrapbook. But best of all is just to switch off for a few hours and let your subconscious wander where it wills. Tomorrow is certainly another day. Karen xxx.

    1. Getting better, slowly but surely, it will be a long road. Thanks so much for asking, Jill really appreciates all the kind thoughts and especially touching and humbling from people who don't even know her. Karen xxx.

  6. Hello Barbara. I'm one who totally understands your position. When I was working, I was a great one for seeing what I still had to do (and that list is always endless) rather than looking at how much I had already achieved. I am now six months into retirement and still feel guilty about spending time doing what I want to do rather than what I need to do – but I am getting better! Mxx
    PS Great news yesterday about Paul joining the Clarity team.

    1. Ditto Margaret jus realised I'm 5 months retired now! I find I'm pottering a lot and still not doing everything I though I would especially craft wise but hoping that will,change in the winter when I'm not pulled into the garden as much! X

    2. So understand this, I am 2 months into early retirement, I thought I would craft more, but I like being outdoors when the weather's good, but I want to get going with Christmas but keep prevaricating! So pleased to hear Paul has joined the team full time. Xx

  7. Barbara, you are too good at inventing new ways to approach what is in your mind that something will crop up. I use this word particularly as it has happened to me on a number of occasions, the last one being the BIG mistake of kicking over a canvas in a shop (but no damage, honestly) and coming out with an idea!!! Must go now and finish off the cooking! ;~}

  8. Hi Barbara, aye me too, but unfortunately it's not a job, it's my 24/7 life that's this!
    Hope you enjoy your chill evening and it calms you and recharges your batteries
    Love and hugs Brenda xx

    1. Hi Donna, well had no choice but to make a card, my sister-in-laws 40th today and brother's birthday on Friday. They're on holiday until Sunday so a few extra days, but only chance of posting tomorrow, so had to knuckle down. Didn't go so well, went a bit wrong, but salvaged it I think. So pretty wound up with it all. It's Daisy's annual immunisation tomorrow, Stew, the good guy that used to come to help me with my gardens is allowed to take us, as Nicola isn't. Hope you realise Donna that you incriminated yourself with your comment back to Dot this morning!!! Me, I haven't a clue what the pair of you are on about (genuinely), I thought 0800 numbers were free phone numbers. Did you manage a bit of craft this evening? xx

    2. Well I think you could be right about the numbers 0800 are free phone ( so that proves I haven't a clue about those lines!!) That was naughty Dot the shocker. I'm glad you got those cards done and I bet they looked good. That's nice of Stew to give you a hand tomorrow with Daisy, I know its only to the vet but it will be good to get out of the house for a bit. I did a bit of colouring (pencils still in tins!) am planning on starting a bookmark for my sister tomorrow. XX

    3. Hi Brenda how lovely you have got your nice young man to take you and Daisy to the vet tomorrow, hopefully the sun will be shining so you feel the warmth on you. Oh hello what are the naughty pair up to now! I must go back and have a look! Honestly Brenda it's a good thing you are here to keep an eye on them ! Hugs xxxxx

  9. Barbara, always love to read your blog on Wednesdays as it helps me so much. Today for example was an extremely "have to" day and have been stressing all the way through. Finally have it completed and ready to send off. I am now going to go and have my moment of clarity by taken a relaxing swim in my pool before heading off to the airport to pick up my sister who is visiting with me in Canada. Am looking forward to her visit as she lives in the States. Have the next 2 weeks planned with her including Sunday watching you on Hochanda. Am so looking forward to it and having her have the opportunity to seeing someone special that I have found and such a wonderful blog. Hope you have your relaxed evening that you have planned and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed as the saying goes.

  10. Oh Barbara I know only to well how you feel; I myself have been singing from that same work load sheet that you have sang from and like you I still do; knowing too well that my health will efenchly suffer and as sure eggs are eggs it has, and now I'm having to rethink what I'm going to do?
    You keep going with the I'm going to and not the Need to and enjoy your time with Dave more.
    Good night to you both xx

  11. I understand, we really do put ourselves under pressure. I try to break up what 'I have to do' into smaller tasks so I can get them done (learnt this from reading your blog), it works for me most of the time. I hope you enjoy your relaxing evening with Dave and hopefully tomorrow things will seem better. Big hugs Jx

  12. You make so much sense Barbara, it's all about the attitude and way you approach those tasks that need to be done but can be achieved in a much more positive way, I really must take this approach as I feel I'm getting nowhere fast sometimes and you said then nothing is achieved. A new approach is needed for tomorrow, thanks xx
    P's. Brace yourself Dave lol, sorry Barbara couldn't resist a cheeky comment ;-D

  13. I approach things via the back door! The biggy seems scary, I might muck it up… so I do lots of other stuff… assemble items, write labels . Its all necessary for the deadline, but not the main focus. So by the time I have a list of little achievements ticked off, its a boost to think, right only have one thing left, and the biggy no longer seems so big, and I can relax into it because everything else is prepped. Its the 'how do you eat a box of frogs' ….. 'start with the strawberry one first' – in other words start with the nice stuff, the easy stuff. I do a lot of self kidology.

  14. Hi Barbara I get it. You do make a lot of sense and you are definitely not on your own. I am not good with words – one of the reason that I make cards. So I am stopping now. Hugs Jackie

  15. I get you totally! I hate sitting in my craft room staring at a blank card waiting for inspiration to strike. When this happens I leave the craft room and try again the next day. Sometimes the thought of all the stuff I have to do is overwhelming, but once I start on whatever it is I usually find it wasn't so bad after all. Oh and if you need a bit of inspiration I know this really great blog full of demos and videos, made by the finest crafty artist I know. Its right up you street! 😉 XX

    1. Hello Donna my dr was fantastic as she always is I have got a massive absess in my breast strong antibiotics for a week if they don't do the job got to be referred
      Never had a absess ever oh well add it to everything else
      I wrote some birthday cards and Tom put them in the post so that's my craft for today
      Hope I can colour my elephant tomorrow it came out well in the grunge paste
      When you said my partner was my husband the other day he said who me I would run for the hills he's so cute
      Hope I haven't offended anyone putting this on the blog about Drs apologies if I have xxx

    2. Sheila that sounds nasty, I hope the antibiotics work quickly. We don't mind, it's good that you can share things on the blog – sometimes it's easier to talk to anonymous friends about your worries – there's always someone around that knows what you are talking about and totally gets you! Your partner sounds a lovely man , I should hide his running shoes! Sending you a hug xxxx

    3. Oh Sheila that's all that falling off the wagon! Hope today is better and Diane is right hide those running shoes he sounds like a keeper! Sending gentle hugs on your good side. Xx

    4. Hi Sheila, an abscess is nasty and painful but antibiotics are little miracles so hopefully will sort it out. I too think it great to be able to share worries on this blog, we are not so easily offended! Hope you are feeling better today. Karen xxx.

  16. Totally get this. A lot of friends tell be I should have a website and advertise my art/crafts for sale, but then I'd be under pressure to do things and I just know it wouldn't be fun any more. I do say yes every now and then to friends requests, but never enjoy making those pieces as much as I do when I'm just making it for me (even though I often give it to friends or family anyway). My art is my escape and I love just making it up as I continue on the journey not have a plan to follow.

  17. never alone! i get it totally. the more you pile up the pressure the less productive you become. like tht all you do is worry instead of starting what you need to be doing and so it goes on. some deep breaths should help and the magical mindfulness should improve the situation, hugs xx

  18. I hope you enjoy your relaxing evening

    My head is always full of 'I must', 'I should', 'I've got to', 'I ought to' it goes around and around. I break it by buying crafts stash – my word chains and wee people arrived today – they are gorgeous but they will go into the cupboard with everything else never to be seen again until 'I HAVE / SHOULD / MUST / OUGHT TO' aka it is someone's Birthday so I MUST make a card but then know it will be nothing like yours or the one I saw on a blog or in a magazine.

    It will take me all day to make one card and it looks rubbish and then in 95% of the time the recipient won't appreciate it and the sheer effort it has taken me to make it. But come the next Birthday (and not between) I will sit there for another day or two thinking what to make because I MUST make one

    I wish I could enjoy crafting, in fact enjoying anything for more than a fleeting moment, such as opening the lovely package from Clarity today or reading your blog, would be nice

    I wish I had your resolve

    1. Oh Tracey you sound the same as me as well. I have a craft room full of Clarity products and lots of other stuff that I've not used. I order it because I like it but when I get I think I must make a card but can't think who'd like it. I tried to have a play on the gelli plate tonight it all went wrong even though I was watching the demo on u tube, but wonder of wonders I did enjoy it.

  19. Hi Barbara, yes I am with you 100% on this and understand exactly what you mean! Hope you are enjoying your evening and, I hope tomorrow positively 'oozes' with creative ideas and you achieve all you need to. Love the pic of the kitten and the lovebird.x

  20. Oh dear your poor me rings a bell with me when I was working and that's just how I sounded ! Now I've given up though I still leave making a card for someone until the last minutes and then feel,it's a chore …. Trouble is I like to make them personal for the person so find it hard to make a stock although I know when everyone's birthday is don't I so there's absolutely no reason why I should leave it till last minute and it's a 'have to' job. Need to reeducate myself.

    I'm glad w & h have left the building Barbara! Xxx. Hope you get your mojo back tomorrow if not do something you've done before – we won't tell the new Hochanda viewers! 😉

  21. I hate to tell you, Barb, that retirement does not get rid of the"have to" mentality. Sadly, I have always done best when I am under the cosh and doing things at the last minute. Back in college days, I was always finishing work in the early hours before the deadline and I am no better now. Just realised that I have five special cards to complete this week and I feel as though I have wasted most of today when I could have been doing something towards them, not to mention sorting out my craft room. So I will take a leaf out of your book and start the week again tomorrow morning, after reading my book in bed tonight. Glad you are taking this evening off and enjoying Dave's company. Try to leave "work" at work and any art you do at home should be something for pleasure. Sleep well. xxxx Maggie

  22. You're not kidding Barbara, completely get you, exactly like I am. Except I am retired and still set myself dead lines put myself forward for things that are going to be more worry for me. As my other half says, you're a glutton for punishment. Why oh why when we can talk sense to ourselves one minute do we constantly revert to form? Had a gelli plate session tonight watching a utube you did July 2014, what a mess I got into, wasted loads of card & paper it all went pear shaped, but tell you what I enjoyed myself. So there's a positive from a negative.lol Pam xxx

  23. Hello Barbara

    I am so with you on this one but – and it is one big but – don't expect to have time on your hands when you retire! When my children started at Playschool (as it was called 40 years ago) I thought about what I was going to do with the free time. When my children started school I thought about what I was going to do with the free time. When all four were at secondary school/college/work I thought about what I was going to do with the free time. Now I am retired and only have myself to worry/think about I am wondering where all this free time is!

    The moral of this (long winded) story is life is now, don't wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Lol.


  24. Hi Barb,
    I know exactly how you feel. When I was teaching, I was in charge of special needs in my comprehensive school and there was so much paperwork to complete. I was also the named person for child protection so had reports to write for conferences etc, reports to write for kids who came to me with problems. I once had to interview 159 kids in two days because of an incident linked to Facebook. Then there were lessons to plan resources to make and everything else that the head wanted heads of department to do! I ended up shuffling papers from one pile to another and never seemed to get on top of any of it. Anyway 3 years ago I had a knee replacement and for the first time in 37 years, I had time off school. I saw what life was like without the stress so decided to take early retirement! Best thing ever. Yes I don't have as much money, but I don't need all the clothes! I see more of Dave and can do what I want when I want and if my mojo goes, I just go and do something else, till it comes back! Hopefully, now Paul is on board, you will be able to delegate a bit and have some quality time with Dave. One good thing has come out of this though – you have sorted Wurka and Hollick!!! Love the cute pictures today as well. Hope you've had a good evening. Love Alison xx

  25. Such wise thoughts, I get you! The I am going to do…. is definitely a better approach than the I have to do….., I agree.
    I am retired I guess, early and maybe I shouldn't be. I am pretty busy with the blogs, reading, crochet, and crafting from time to time, don't know how I had time to work full time and travel there, let alone study!
    Got to appreciate what we have, I know that only too well!

  26. Hi Barbara and Dave you must have had a cuddle and be relaxing by now
    You ask so much of yourself ,Sunday will be fantastic ,your inspiration and teaching will sell your clarity crafting products don't stress just impress and all you can do is your best and you give 100% .
    Big crafting hugs too all xxx

  27. Aww bless, tomorrow is indeed another day. Sometimes we just need to step back, take a deep breath and say what first instead of lots of little things just tackle one thing at a time.
    Much love

  28. Hi Barbara, I know how you feel & like so many others on the blog I've lived under that pressure during my work life & even in retirement. It took me all morning to make a little get well card for my granddaughter who had an op to remove her adenoids today. She's only 8 yrs, so I searched through my old wooden stamps for one that seemed right for her. It took me ages to get it made as I had to do it by the time I rushed off to nursery to pick her toddler brother up at lunch time. That was just one card!
    Once you get going you'll be on a roll & your creative juices will flood out. They are all there ! Best thing is don't worry, keep calm, go for a walk & enjoy this lovely autumn weather with Dave. Best wishes xx

  29. Hi Barbara
    Oh yes I know what you mean – I like writing lists when I have too much to do and not enough time. If you put something on it you can cross off quickly it makes the whole process a lot easier and more manageable . ( that's my logic anyway!) quite often I find my list after the event and realise some of the things were quite pointless and that's why they weren't done. I hope you have had a lovely evening reading your book and spending time with Dave – tomorrow is another day. Oh goodie , Monday again – can we have it without rain this time round please? :).
    Take care
    Love Diane xxxxx

  30. I totally get it…. mine is okay.. it's 12.00 o'clock I ONLY have 2 more hours till I have to go instead of oh its 12:00 I have 2 MORE hours till I have to go….

  31. Hi Barb, I totally get it, and it is often difficult to balance work life and home life, which seems to make it worse. Some days it is just better to tune out and switch off. Hope you had a lovely evening with Dave and your book. I am sure Sunday is going to be just perfect, as it always is. Take care everyone. Bx

  32. Firstly…get that retirement ideal out of your head, the reality (she says as a newly retired person!) is that you just swap one job for another, the new job being householder – that does not change!
    Secondly, are you aware that you have only said "I will" occasionally on this blog – try substituting "I have to", or "I must do" into "I will" instead. My mantra is that "if anyone can do it, I can (and will)".
    You are a success Barb – in business and in being a Mum, that alone would be enough if you popped it tomorrow.
    Love yourself like we love you.
    PS – came across my print out of cowboy boots yesterday, with loads of ideas written on it – no actual colouring though – why did we do them again?

  33. I know so many people will relate to what you have shared Barbara and you have it spot on …it's just sometimes we get caught up and forget .
    You will completely nail it on the shows , you always do!
    Just a point….when you retire (or semi retire ) you think you'll have loads of time on your hands …….oh no ….sounds bizarre but it's true…you don't !

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  35. Hi Barbara
    It might help to remember how creative you have been in the last few months and how much of yourself you have given to others at the retreats, shows etc. No, I didn't get to any but I have seen you a long time ago at a show and watched you give each person you were talking to you were talking to your whole attention!! Ought to, should, must, all come from our critical parent in our head (comes from parents, teachers etc). You may not be a trained psychologist but you are a psychologist by virtue of the fact that you observe people and from what you have written in the past blogs, do a lot of self examination. You inspire soooo many people by sharing who you are in an authentic way. Your show on Sunday will as usual be amazing as are you. Factor in some rest time after these big events and you will continue to fly…….you and Dave both need to recharge your batteries. ( sorry, I have gone into caring parent mode!! comes from many years as a counsellor!) Good news about Paul joining the team as you say he has been such a support to you both. I am retired and I do have loads of time, and spend it differently from when I worked. Hugs to all xx

  36. Hi Barbara
    You say you are not a psychologist and I would say you are a natural psychologist from many of the comments you have put in your blogs!
    You have been working so hard over the last few months, with new projects, new ventures and all the shows you have done, I am not surprised you have a few off days when you get back home. Batteries need recharging sometimes and then the mojo returns!! Ought to, should have,must, all come from the critical parent in our heads and is not helpful as you say. Great news that Paul has joined the team and will be able to share some of the load. Have a great weekend, the shows will be fabulous as usual. hugs to all xx

  37. Totally relate had one of those days to day was productive but got really stressed had few cards to make became a got to do day lost mojo new what wanted to do but was trying to hard and frustration came in so trying to unwind go back later and create why do we put so much pressure on here self big hugs hope today is better for you I'm playing with my youngest grandchild so will go back create when he goes home hugs love Joy xxx

  38. I always tell the children if things aren't going right stand back and do something else then go back to it. Seems to work for me. I like what you say about not having to do something and am going to try it Retirement time can soon get filled up too. Sometimes I feel that I am on a round about and can't get off.

  39. It is true that when we put ourselves under pressure we don't think clearly and therfore don't get such good results, and we have all been there for sure Barbara. I think we all need to have more confidence in our abilities take the pressure off and allow ourselves to just create and see where it leads us. x

  40. Hi Barbara
    Do you know your write so many times I say I have to do something ,from now on I'm changing that to I'm going do something.Love the way you look at thing and I totally get you.
    I hope you did get the chance to spend time with Dave,who I do hope is well.

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