Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ask Candy: How I get it all done

The very first question I'd like to answer here was asked (in slightly different forms) by two different folks.
Angie from Jumping Jack Designs asks:
Hi Candy! I'm so happy you're here! My question is about balance. Balancing work with children is always a hot topic, but often we forget to factor in our sweethearts. How do you nurture your relationship with your husband while conquering the world?
And Liz from Liz Kalloch Designs asks:
HOW do you get it all done and live to be asked about it all? You are a superhero!
Liz and Angie - the simple answer is that I do not live a balanced life, and I don't get it all done! I blogged about this last spring, but here are the main points:
  1. My Husband is awesome!
  2. My kids are older (9 & 13) and they actually do chores
  3. I hire a cleaning lady: Her name is Debbie, she comes every other Friday and I pay her $100 each time. Best...money...spent...ever...
  4. I spend very little time on personal appearance & I don't exercise regularly.
  5. I watch very little TV and I don't talk on the phone much.
  6. I live 7 minutes from work and my job is flexible and comes with a glorious 3 month summer vacation!
  7. I have a limited social life.
  8. I'm a very fast reader, which helps me be efficient while reading blogs (and grading homework!)
  9. I have a beautiful studio, I love to be in it!
  10. I love my lists, they help keep me on track.
However, as my interests into web design have grown over the summer (I am learning so much, it's incredibly empowering to understand how to "make blog go") I have found myself slipping further and further behind in keeping up with the blogosphere, and coming up with a post each and every workday. I have also found myself unable to respond to each comment anymore with individual emails. I have been stressing out about this big time, and have recently come to a couple of realizations:
  1. If I spend too much time networking, I won't have time to make. I want my blog to be a place filled with interesting stuff, and I want to be making things to fill that beautiful site up! I've got to let responding to individual emails go. Also, maybe I can post 4 times a week instead of 5...
  2. Although I've taken on a couple of guest blog columns recently, it's allowing me to grow the part of me which needs to grow online - the teacher. Um, why did it take me so long to figure out that I should combine my day job (teaching Biology to non-science majors at a university) with my art? doh!

Now, to get to Angie's question, nurturing my husband. I think that I could do better in this area. I know there are not very many moments like the one Angie captured oh-so-beautifully last week (pictured below). But, we never were people who took "long walks on the beach" (well, early on in our dating, we did a lot of walking and hand-holding in Cambridge, MA - ahhh...what a wonderful summer...but I digress). Both of us are DOERs - we like to do stuff (for example, the hubby built a boat for our dog last week...). And when I can't do I get grumpy - or I start planning for the next project. Hah! In a way, I think my husband likes me busy with Candied Fabrics, it means there's less time to bug him about the next home dec project I want to do (which means work for him and spending money we shouldn't). I do know that before I started my little business, I spent a lot of time being miserable because I didn't have time to make things - or when I did have the time, I didn't know what to make! Ahh! I was miserable. So, now I've got a plethora of things to make in the queue, so I'm a much happier person. And thus, I try to share that happiness with him.

I read this quote on Lisa Call's blog back in 2008, and it still rings true for me today:
Everything changed the day she realized there was exactly enough time for the important things in life
My husband knows that he is important to me. I need to find more ways to show it...but he knows!

Thank you both for such awesome questions. I sure hope there's a grain or two of helpful stuff in here! Next week: I'll be explaining how to wash quilts made with hand dyed fabrics. If you've got a question for me, ask me here!

[Candy lives in California with her husband, 2 boys, and dog.  Aside from being wife, mom, teacher, crafter, web guru and all around doer extraordinaire she manages her own business, Candied Fabrics.  You can read her blog here.]


  1. Great post, Candy! So true that we can't forget about our husbands/partners! Recently, I discovered a way that lets my husband know I'm thinking of him: I schedule time with him. It's not a big chunk of time, but just a little something to remind him that we chose each other long ago to spend time together.

  2. Fantastic first post, Candy! Can't wait for more.

    Scheduling time with my husband is tough (his hours are crazy) but something I need to do often. We do try to have 'date' nights as much as possible.

    I also love that you've pointed out that giving yourself time to create is important. If I couldn't create like I do, I'd go batty!

  3. I love how honest you are Candy! Thanks :) I've found the same is true for me, I must make to be a better wife and mom - they all get it around here too.

  4. Thank you, Candy! What an interesting perspective on making. I have never looked at it from that angle, but yes, my husband is always unexpectedly supportive and proud of me when things are hopping in the studio.

    I have a sub-question. Are you up for it? My DH loves when I'm surrounded by stacks of paper and boxes of orders, but he's not as understanding when I say, "I need to write a blog post." How do you convey the importance of your time behind the computer?

  5. Great post Candy! I can't believe what you all manage. You're amazing. Reading your story, you remind me of me, lol. I too find that my husband's patience and help is a huge contributor. Funny, we are both artists with teaching degrees too ;) And if I'm not finding time to make things, well, I'm just not me. It's so refreshing to read about other people's experiences, makes me seem not so strange. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love it!
    I can tell when I get off balance... but I have to do the things I love to be happy. I love your explanation of that here.


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