I’ve been thinking about the time I spend doing things like stitching, writing this blog, looking at art, reading other peoples’ blogs, drawing, painting, going on courses, trying to improve at what I do. It’s a whole lot of time, although in most weeks I don’t spend as much time as I’d like in doing these things. Sometimes I wonder about the value and the point of it all. I’ve got shelves full of sample books, portfolios full of drawings, sketchbooks, drawers full of materials and so on – probably like most of you who spend your time doing these things. Why do we do it at all? In former times, ladies of leisure spent their time doing what is referred to as ‘work’ in Jane Austen novels – i.e. producing vast amounts of embroidery of, presumably, rather variable quality. When I’m busy working at the day job I sometimes think how nice it would be to be required to do no more than sit about producing dainty embroidery…. but the grass is always greener on the other side. In Jane Austen novels none of the women takes the business of embroidery seriously because they’re mostly engaged in the really serious business of getting a husband and thus securing their economic future. So, on the whole, I’d rather be me, plugging away at the job, earning my own cash, and being independent.

But it’s difficult to strike an appropriate balance between work and the other things in life. And why am I spending my limited resources of time and cash on something that, to the outsider, might look OK but would be widely regarded as useless? I’m not being negative about this; I’m going to carry on stitching etc with serious intent. I just wonder, that’s all….

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