I’m disappointed. In April I wrote a post about my entry for the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork. Well, I’ve done quite a lot of work on it, and I’m pleased with it, but unfortunately I’m not going to get it finished for the 26 June deadline. There are two main reasons for this: first, I chose to handquilt the piece and it’s taking a very long time indeed. Second, I’ve been inundated with work. The work will diminish towards the end of the month, but that’s too late.

So, what have I learned? The theme for the CE du Patchwork was announced in March, and if you have what is pretty much a full time job then you’re not going to have time to handquilt a fairly substantial piece of work in 3 months. If I do this again I’ll have to take this factor into account much more carefully in planning the work. Also, I probably spent a bit too much time in sampling; perhaps I could have compressed this into a shorter period to allow more time for the making (although I think it’s risky to skimp on sampling time). Finally, I think I’ve learned that I’m going to have to plan ahead much more carefully so that I can achieve what is possible. And what is possible, frankly, may not be much at all given that I have to earn a living.

I’m feeling rather despondent about all of this. There seems to be so little time to do the things I want to do. Mostly, I’m quite stoical about the need to work and earn cash. At one stage in my life, as I saw people a few years older than me taking early retirement at not much more than 50 years old, I hoped that I’d be able to knock off work while I was still young enough to enjoy myself. However, early retirement is no longer a reality for most of us, and we’ve just got to accept that. It’s going to be even more difficult for our children’s generation. So what to do? Well, I think the objective has to be to establish some kind of balance between working for a living and doing the things I want to do. I do too much of the former and not enough of the latter. I’ve been talking about this for years, but have made little progress in achieving the balance. I keep thinking that once I get through my current workload then I’ll sit down and reappraise things and try to achieve some of that elusive balance. Trouble is, I never actually get to the end of my current workload.  I’m a hamster in a wheel… going far too fast in apparently perpetual motion. Sigh.

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