Although the first day of April is traditionally a day for pranks and tricks, today was actually a day for celebrating some steps in my life, with no pranks in sight! My bags are on sale through the Shop Handmade here in Canberra from today, and I received my first month’s sales statement from the Shop for my bibs (and can report that there were in fact sales – phew!).
Today also marks the first day of my long service leave, and the end (hopefully for a while) of being on personal leave (which is the modern public service name for good old fashioned sick leave!). Although there is no real difference in terms of the freedom that I have, I have found that since I made the decision to take time off to look at what my options are for the future it is like a load has lifted off my shoulders. I feel lighter. I have been joking with the chicks. We rode our bikes to and from school today because I wasn’t worrying about what time we would get there, etc. I am breathing out.
The world of possibilities that this time off work opens up is huge! I have already come up with a long string of outrageous travel plans that bear no resemblance to my bank balance – just to enjoy the dreaming possibilities! I am thinking about all the creative opportunities that I have, and starting to map out how to fit them in. And I am enjoying feeling that there are no rules, and that I can do what I want with this time (within reason and the law of course!)
The first big adventure is one that was planned a year ago, before life got so complex – the 25th Annual Bluesfest at Byron Bay, over the Easter weekend. For the last few weeks I have been umming and ah-ing about whether I should go, on my own, and whether I would cope, etc. But a funny thing happened as I wrote a message to a friend offering my ticket for sale to any of her friends….. I realised that the only person putting pressure on myself is me. I sent a follow up email asking her to ignore the first one – and instead we agreed to catch up over a drink or two in the campground instead! The line-up for this year has a few acts that I really want to see – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Suzanne Vega, John Butler Trio, plus a few that I will catch because I don’t really know their stuff, and others I will go to see because I have never heard of them! A good start to a period of freedom! (And some trips to the beach for a swim in the ocean might figure in that plan too!) It all kicks off in 16 days, so my road trip will start two weeks from now! Yippee!
Other smaller adventures over the next few months might include some trips to see friends, a lot of sewing, drawing up further and better particulars on some business plans (see – you can’t take the lawyer out of the girl even when she is on holiday!), and seeing what opportunities come along!
I have tackled my sewing room and sorted it out after weeks of chaos – jumbled piles of fabric, interfacing, threads, half finished projects, scraps, etc. It is back to being a calm oasis of creativity and just what is required! Sorting and folding fabric is such a beautiful way to spend time – it reminds me of all the beautiful possibilities that lie in those piles!
Half way through making piles, with the sun streaming in to help.
I also finished the last of my custom ordered bags from the markets two weeks ago. The young woman who ordered this one deliberated over a wide range of fabric choices before selecting this one for me to order in. And her deliberations were worth it. The fabric matched perfectly with the beige duck cloth she had selected and has resulted in a sophisticated, understated, elegant and practical bag for her overseas adventure. I even managed to get 2 zips in it without crying!
With the desk clear, my load lighter, and a head full of ideas, tomorrow is looking good for a day of sewing and creating. Which is a good way to mark the 5 year anniversary of the day that my marriage ended. This is not a path I chose, and is not the plan I had for my life, or the life of my children. However I am proud of the new life and the new path that I have been able to build, and of the values that I am teaching my children. Although they still wish that we lived with their father again, they acknowledge that their life is better than so many others, and that they are very lucky to have three parents who love them. I continue to be thankful that their step-mother is so incredibly decent and has made an effort from day one to make it easy for me to have a positive relationship with her. (I also continue to be thankful that he waited until the 2nd to leave – imagine having your husband leave on April Fools Day – you would never be really sure if he meant to do it or not!)
Now I am off to brew another cup of tea and to go and admire my neat sewing room and plan my first project for tomorrow! I hope that your week is going well!