I know. But it’s true. It’s really crept up on me this year, too.
I mention it because if you’re like me, you want a diversion from the bulk of the internet and the news. Springtime, baby animals, and sweet treats would fit the bill, especially the lovely Pinterest fare I enthusiastically pin around three days before the big day.
At over a month away, though, we’re quite a ways from being able to justify eating a Peep, let alone a Cadbury Creme Egg, and that may not be the best way to unwind every evening. But a creative project would be a great distraction from our screens. I have tried to get through adult coloring books, but I find it unfulfilling. I like ending up with something tangible and unique, even if I give it away eventually.
So this could work: my goal this year is to create with purpose. By creating gifts and decorations in my spare time for the events I celebrate, I can both unwind and get prepared well in advance for the celebrations.
Your skepticism is palpable. I can feel it. But hang with me.
If, like me, you’re working and trying to keep your kids fed and watered daily (as recommended), your time is precious and scarce and needs to include a little Game of Thrones or Antiques Roadshow. This can still happen! We just need to plan our projects and try to carve out a little more time for our peace of mind. Felt is magic, but it doesn’t cut itself.
And to that end, having a slow-cooked dinner waiting when you hit the door makes for extra time. I was inspired today by a Budget Bytes recipe for Sunday Slow Cooker Beef Ragu (https://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/05/sunday-slow-cooker-beef-ragu/). I picked up some stew meat in advance and assumed I had some crushed tomatoes, but I ended up using two cans of tomato sauce with a little over a pound of meat. I also included a broccoli crown I needed to use, which added a little more texture to the meal. Over the kids’ leftover pasta and red sauce, it was quick to put together and enjoyed by all who would try it.
You may already have a craft you crave; you may have dozens of crafts that you crave. I’m that person. My lovely husband created a crafting desk for me in our room, and within a month I’d covered it with wood scraps and yarn and covered the computer desk for good measure. For the exuberant crafter, the beginning of this endeavor will involve a purge of the things we are truly not going to get to. They need to find a new home, not only because it will help us focus on our goals, but because we’ll need space to store our finished projects.
If you’re an aspiring crafter, you get to avoid the spring clean, and you can research and buy your supplies with a plan in mind. Sites abound for browsing both seasonal crafts and crafts for giving, but I hope to get you started with some ideas with wood burning, yarn, cross stitch, paint, and more. Ask crafters around you where they look for supplies. In Nashville, SmArt Scrap Made Art Supplies is my first stop (http://www.smartsupplies.org/).
But as you browse, think of John Wayne. My John Wayne, a counted cross stitch pattern that took me over three years to finish. He was meant as a birthday present for my father’s sixtieth, and I wasn’t even close by the time that came and went. But things truly got stressful when I became pregnant with my second child, and I stitched furiously during every spare moment trying to finish it.
Truly, it is my Mount Rushmore, at over 60,000 stitches. It is what I point to when I talk about crafting, my equivalent to the big game in high school. And my father was thrilled; he realized how much time had been put into making it. But it was not relaxing, especially when I thought of it sitting undone for years.
So remember John Wayne as you troll the library and the internet looking for projects. Think of all the people in your life who would enjoy knowing receiving a truly imaginative and unique gift from you. And choose projects that will lift your spirits, no matter how long they take. No stress, no worries, and shopping is not a terrible plan B. But we got this.