I’ve always placed more importance on contentment than on happiness. I feel that happiness is something you remember rather than being. Contentment, I feel, is something you can strive for in your daily life – private and professional.
As I find myself more and more content with my life and life choices, I no longer feel the urge to blog. I used to feel a great urge to vent and rage on my blog, but now I just mosey through my days and potter with my hobbies. And in two weeks I’m flying to Osaka, Japan.
A few things came together at around the same time that spurred me on to Japan. The first one was accidentally booking the accommodation. After the initial ‘what have I done!’, I got to thinking – what had I done? I booked a holiday like millions of other people. Took a personal loan and bought my air ticket like millions of other people. The idea that these sorts of things were only for other people fell away – I’m not entirely sure where the idea come from but I think never having a permanent position played a role for me. Even though now my salary is less, it’s regular. It has given me a security I never realised I wanted. I think mainly because I’d never had it before and, initially, did enjoy the freedom of casual work.
As I sit here and type, I can honestly say that I’m really quite content with my life. It’s a lovely feeling.
I am now a slow sewer.
It’s strangely frustrating for me. I really enjoyed whipping things up quickly, but since the accident and between the limited use and strain, I sew so slowly now. Like I type slower now.
Sometimes I feel that I’m caught in a cycle of acceptance. No more archery, no more rapier, no more braiding hair, no more piano, no more scooter – and then a myriad of things that are difficult to explain. The near constant tightness and pulling, the awareness and often ache that’s not just the finger or thumb, but the hand and into my elbow and shoulder. The unreliability of use and the weakness.
Ah… I’m in such a gloomy mood.
I’m in the process of overhauling my sewing area – sorting out, discarding scraps and boxing trims and the like.
With the downscale of my life in general, I’ve decided to sew like I want to. I like to buy a piece of material and make it into something. I don’t hoard material and debate what I’m going to make out of it – it’s not how I work. So anything that I can’t make something out of right now, is moving on.
A while ago I bought 2m of shweshwe with a vague idea of making a light jacket. But when I went back to the jacket pattern, I realised I wouldn’t actually wear it so I folded the material and put it on the shelf. And it sat there forgotten until I pulled everything off the shelf.
So this afternoon I put together a simple skirt shaped with box pleats.
There are three pleats on the sides and a zip up the back.
One of the best things about getting rid of things that just hang around is the feeling of lightness – the annoyance of the thing is gone. I got rid of a couple of big items this year that I couldn’t use anymore due to my injured hand, my scooter as an example, and I haven’t missed them since. In some cases, I’ve felt relief as they were taken away.
But in an old way – possibly.
So I’ve shut down the shop side of my new endeavour. A couple of reason including things like terrible exchange rates and no interest in unusual haberdashery. I’m continuing with the costume commissions as I actually enjoy doing them. I just gotta use up 600 lace zips.
Guess I’ll make myself millions of cute dress with lace zips.
I’m a little sad that my second attempt at a shop failed and that I couldn’t get it to work with markets either, but conventions are pretty good so I’ll stick to those. I need weirdos to buy my weirdo stuff 🙂
Apart from much sewing, I’ve been working like a demon on my house. DIY like nothing before – not only paint and drill, but cement and paving.
First up the biggest project – fix a bedroom wall. Dramatic, but technically true.
Leaky gutters cause huge unseen problems. For example, door frame rotted away and mud instead of clay bricks. The smell of earth was really strong when I broke out the concrete in the little courtyard and under the door frame – or rather, the fibres that made up the ‘door frame’. I left it for the summer months to completely dry out.
Once it was completely dry I cemented it all together again. With really old houses, there’s a lot of ‘this doesn’t match’ or ‘why can’t you been even/level’.
Damp seal, paint and pave. A bunch of plants and I’m done. I actually bought a fern today, but haven’t planted it yet. A job for tomorrow.
The next one wasn’t started by me. I just finished up a side section that had originally been left, but turned out to be no good.
Ramp for the scooters
Not only was nothing going to grow in the red sand, the rocks sticking out meant the gate couldn’t fully open to allow the scooters easy access. There was also a near constantly stream of red dust in the house as well.
Neaten and cemented. I also secured the ramp. The angle is steep and the sand was washing away every time the garden was watered. It has since been painted but I don’t have a picture. I’m rather fond of my little steps 🙂
I don’t like DIY, but I can’t seem to find someone to do without quibbling or charging the earth. It’s good to be capable 🙂
What an up and down year. The year started really well and then took a sharp downward turn. Now it is back on the rise.
Suddenly finding yourself without work can really put in you a state. Failing to find a job can really worsen that state. Starting a business can make you too tired to realise you’re in that state. Then lots of little successes and support and enthusiasm make you think you really can do it – and not just telling yourself that but feeling that as well.
The only downer that I haven’t been able to fix up is my story Bring the Rain. Last chapter and it’s half written, and I’m really struggling to get the words right. I’m ready to make peace with the fact that what I wanted and what I produced… They’re going to be different. Not my best work to be sure.
This week is a short working week so I’m off to register my new scooter – Hijikata.
Vivi II (Vivi I was recently stolen) is in front with Hijikata in the back – they look identical. Licence plates will differentiate for the time being. Though Minnow has taken to sitting on HIjikata in the mornings.
Since I only had Noctis for roughly 36 hours and only had one ride on a quiet Sunday morning more than a year ago, I plan to take a couple of quiet rides before going into the traffic. Luckily, it’s December and there’ll soon be school holidays so less traffic. And then there’ll be Christmas day holidays so no traffic. Also I’m a little nervous with about my hand and it’s lack of strength. I would have liked a bike again but cost and injury have limited me, but I’m very happy with Hijikata.
I mentioned that I got a licence renewal for the Chibi. Well, I phoned the dude and he was all ‘gosh, no one did anything’. He said he would sort it out and phone me back. I had no faith. I called back the next day, he said he was on it and would call me back at about two/three that afternoon – of course he didn’t, but I gave him a couple of days to get back to me.
By Monday he hadn’t and I was rather annoyed. I tried calling again but the phone kept ringing out. Now I’m really getting annoyed because as the days go by the possibility of late fines increase. And with suddenly having morning and afternoon work after weeks of no work, I don’t want to take time off to sort this car shit out.
That left Friday afternoon to go to the Civic Centre and scrape the car – wants of the tosser dismissed. I would pay the money needed to get this stress out of my life. The Civic Centre had a long queue on Friday but it usually goes pretty quickly, but not this Friday. I was in the queue for 45 minutes – it was long. I was thinking about how I could be ice skating ‘coz I’d been invited but had to decline.
When I finally get to a window, the lovely lady tells me I can’t scrap the car because it’s not in my name. She even told me the day it had been transferred – in the week of my first call to salvage guy. So he had done as he said he was going to but hadn’t called to say ‘hey, it’s done’.
I sat on the train home thinking I hate men, they are all incompetent. Then I thought, that’s not actually true, there are decent guys out there. But I seem to have to deal with a lot of incompetent ones. And women too – incompetent people! I hate incompetent people.
But actually, I don’t hate anyone.
A friend of mine shared some know how on her Facebook page and a person commented that she shouldn’t show people how to do the thing because then they will do it themselves and she won’t get any money for doing it for them.
This is an attitude that makes me furious. I become irrationally angry at the greedy, selfish, narrow-minded and frankly stupid way of thinking. Not only is it an outdated way of thinking, anyone can take a look at the finished product, hop on to Google and search ‘how to…’ and do it themselves anyway.
Money issue aside, why is it so terrible to share information you have? It’s not like you will lose the information once you tell someone – it’s not cut and paste. It’s so weird, I don’t get it.
A year ago today I killed the Chibi and ruined my left hand.
I sold the Chibi for scrap and the salvager asked me specifically to not deregister the car and he would do it. My inner monologue went along the lines of ‘yeah, right – I’m going to be sorting this out next September when the car license is due’.
And I was right.
In the mail last week was a car license renewal notice. I wasn’t even angry when I saw it, I was resigned – because car/bike things never wrap up smoothly. But it’s a task for Monday, and who knows when it will end.
Today I feel like the world is picking on me.
Everything I try to do is foiled by incompetence, broken machinery and useless websites.