Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kristen: How to Do Everything and Still Feel Good

I have been asked on numerous occasions how I do as much as I do. Besides stating the obvious (no children, no fiance in this country...) I have come up with how I save time, spend time, and waste time, all to my health.

We all have a list of obligations that take up various amounts of time. In order to prioritize to be the most efficient, here is my order: health, education, and sewing/reenacting. Let me explain...

My number one priority is my health, however this doesn't always just mean eating healthy or walking on the treadmill. Feeling good physically requires superhuman strength it seems, though the reality is much simpler. Here was my process:

1. Stop going out to eat. Cut that sugar down!
2. Buy a *few* foods that are healthy treats. (Treat Yo-self)
3. Eat at least 3-5 servings of fruits or veggies daily.
4. Do something physical minimum 30 min a day. (I hula hoop)
5. Do 1 thing I love every day. (This includes co-ed soccer, sewing night)

It took me a few days to overcome the "sugar" hangover. Have you ever cut pop/coffee from your diet, only to find that you get headaches? It's the same with high amounts of sugar, from spaghetti sauce to flavored waters. I've already lost 10 pounds in 2 months, and feel REALLY good physically.

Also note #5. How is it possible to do something I love EVERY DAY? It's actually easy. I've identified what I love (sewing, historical photos, talking to family) and I make at least 5 minutes for it every day. Even if it's only a quick glimpse at my pinterest boards or a phone call home, I feel settled on the busiest days. Stress can kill a person. I'm not about that life.

By now you have probably noticed that I am blogging for my Master's English class. I am currently studying English at Wayne State University, with a focus on composition and rhetoric. Readings can top 700 pages a week, on top of weekly blog posts, projects, and papers. How do I work full time AND do assignments? Well...

1. All "extra time" at work is spent reading. (Lunch, between classes)
2. I hula hoop and read at the same time. (Yes it is possible-I'm a pro!)
3. I keep a meticulous planner of every assignment and when I should start.
4. Schoolwork trumps everything.

Education is of the utmost importance in my life. My fiance is thousands of miles away studying medicine, and while I miss him, he has my deepest respect. Bettering your mind is the greatest gift you can give yourself, though not necessarily with traditional school. There are a thousand paths to achieving your self-realization (thank you Maslow...) so don't feel stifled by another person's journey. Let me stress this again-EDUCATE YOURSELF!

Ah, yes, the only category that truly applies to this blog. I've been asked my "secret" to finishing so many projects. In fact, I plan to finish 2 dresses, a chemise, and Regency accessories all before Christmas (also Becky's super secret shower stuff) How is that even POSSIBLE?

1. Order parts for project in advance.
2. Study pattern/instructions until memorized. (Whilst hula hooping)
3. Cut/wash fabric VERY early.
4. Set daily/weekly/monthly goals and time for them.
5. Don't feel bad if project catches on fire.
6. Experiment a little. (Try to avoid aforementioned fire)
5. Envision success when project is finished.

Seriously, I've only been sewing for a few years and you can check my portfolio page here to see some of it. It doesn't cover everything! My sewing parallels my reenacting, as both are so closely related. Making time for my creativity has been the best decision of my life! Doing what you love doesn't just happen-like a child it requires time, love, and patience.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I've learned through it all is to 


Throw a wrench in the plans, rip up the schedule, do something out of turn. In fact, that's how this post started. I *planned* to exercise today, as well as sew (I already read for school). I listened to my body; she sounded tired! I drove home from class more slowly, stopped at a bead store just to look around, and ate a homemade goat cheese and honey sandwich. Today would not be considered a continuance of my "plan," but it was necessary. Spend time breaking your routine.

At that, I will leave you dear reader. I plan to cuddle with my pets and reread Pride and Prejudice for the hundredth time.


***I must mention my cleaning routine too-every day I clean for 10 minutes. While not perfect, my living space is tidy. This is a huge improvement for me!

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