Tag: timemanagement

Fourth Anniversary, a Little Late

This has been a strange year. On my website, I tried out youtube videos and illustrating some family recipes and blog posts. I continued with comics and short stories, too. I also took my first vacation from my website, and it went longer than I expected.

I think it’s easy to fill up time. There are so many good things to do and interesting things to learn. It can be difficult to make time for practicing something that I’m not so good at and sharing the results. But it’s time for me to return to regularly posting.

When my computer died and took with it the two novels I had been working on, I lost a lot of motivation. I did a lot of journaling, but not as much writing. I started writing again recently, but I think I’m a bit out of practice. So, at some point, hopefully soon, I will be posting little stories here again.

For now, as I work at rebuilding my posting habits, I will post comic strips twice a week and post whatever I want on Saturdays.

So there we are, my look back at the past year and forward to the next. For those who still check back in, thank you so much for your support, your encouragement, and your patience. I hope this next year will be one of improvement, learning, growth, accomplishment, creativity, and delight for us all. Please let me know about your creative goals so that I can cheer you on as well!

Warmest wishes,

Summer Bird

The Clock with a House in Its Walls

Once there was a very large clock. It was a clock tower, really, the kind that towers over the buildings around it and has gears inside that would make lovely traffic circles. With how tall the clock tower was, I suppose it wasn’t entirely surprising that a house could fit inside.

What may seem surprising was that anyone wanted to live there at all. The clock chimed loudly every hour from sun up to sun down. The neighboring buildings were well insulated, but the poor pedestrians near the tower when it chimed usually complained that their ears rang for at least an hour afterward.

It was ten times worse inside the tower. The sound echoed off the walls and multiplied until even the gears started to vibrate and hum. Living inside the clock tower would be dangerous, unless you were willing to leave for a short time every hour.

So, why did anyone want to live there? Rent was cheap. Very, very cheap. Since the people in the house kept an eye on the clock, they lived there for free.

Free rent in the middle of the city? The Smith family was willing to overlook a few minor problems. Plus, there were no annoying neighbors, or any neighbors at all, and rats and pigeons never stayed long. Neither did any annoying guests.

Living inside the clock tower gave their parties and get-togethers a definite time limit. Everyone learned to be punctual, very punctual. No one overstayed their welcome twice if they stayed behind when their hosts ran out the door, down the stairs, and across the street before the clock started to chime.

And so all was going quite well for the Smith family in the clock tower, until one day, their mostly quiet life was interrupted by a visitor who didn’t mind the noise at all. They had the misfortune to be haunted by a ghost who decided that he could almost feel the vibrations when the clock chimed. As a ghost, he missed being able to feel things, so he decided to stay.

In-between the hourly chiming, the ghost chattered endlessly about all the things he missed about being alive. He was a lonely ghost, and was delighted to find a new audience that only ran away from him once an hour. The poor Smith family wasn’t sure that they could handle this new inconvenience.

But the rent was better than cheap. Free rent in the middle of the city is nearly impossible to find. And the ghost wasn’t unfriendly. He was just noisy and glowed in the dark.

They got used to the ghost. After a while, his endless tales became mostly background noise. He never stopped to listen to replies, so he had no idea that no one was listening to him, either. The way he glowed in the dark was fine too, kind of like a large, person-shaped nightlight.

However, things weren’t quite back to normal. Fewer people came to visit. A noisy ghost was a bit too much on top of the hourly evacuations. The Smiths mostly didn’t mind.

That was until the ghost invited all his friends to move in, too. That was much less fine. One ghost didn’t make that much noise or glow excessively. A houseful? Not so great.

Even though they didn’t really take up any space, the house felt crowded. The noise level was constantly at a dull roar. The house was lit up by the equivalent of a set of stadium lights.

If you have ever tried to sleep while attending a football game and sitting in the stands of the team that was winning, you understand the difficulties they were facing. The Smith family decided to hold a family meeting.

They invited the ghosts, as they would likely be attending anyway. Some of the ghosts stopped talking as the Smiths sat down at the table. Mr. Smith cleared his throat. “We would like to talk about an important problem. This house is much too noisy and too bright.” The few quiet ghosts shrugged and started talking again.

“Do you think we could vacuum them up?” the smallest Smith child asked. “I saw an ad for a vacuum that could vacuum up anything.”

The Smiths had no carpet, so they didn’t have a vacuum. But, Mr. Smith thought it was worth a try. The next time they ran out to avoid the clock chiming, they bought the vacuum from the ad.

It really could vacuum up everything.

Once their house was back to as normal as a house inside a clock can be, they buried the vacuum in a graveyard late at night. They said several prayers over the grave, just in case. And they returned home to a quiet, empty house.

And they lived happily ever after, rent free and ghost free. The End.

Life Seasons

The weather is changing. It is warmer outside, and the flowers are blooming. I’ve seen crocuses and daffodils and plum blossoms. Where I live, winter is changing into spring.

Pages from my nature sketch book.

I think that life has seasons too. When I was younger, there always seemed to be plenty of time. I had extra energy and time to study whatever I want.

As I grew older, I added more responsibilities and had less time and energy leftover. Seasons changed. Fortunately, seasons can change again. I am currently in a season where I have more time to devote to my interests.

A couple of people sketches from the November 2017 Ensign Magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Why is this important? Recently I have spoken to friends who are mothers of small children. Some of them are also working as well. They admire the work I’m getting done, and sound depressed when they say that they don’t have time to do something similar.

I completely understand. When my children were younger, I didn’t have extra time, either. Now that my children are a little older and more independent, I have more time.

There were times back then, when I was not getting enough sleep and my to-do list was always longer than my done list, that I felt like that’s how things would always be. I couldn’t imagine anything changing. My life stretched before me, and it seemed rather bleak.

It didn’t help to talk to moms of older children who told me that things only got busier. They told me that the children would have so many events and activities that I wouldn’t have time to breathe. It was not reassuring.

Daily sketches of my kids. They only hold still for me to sketch them when they are reading or watching videos.

It was also not completely true. There are more activities that an older child can participate in. Babies don’t usually play sports or sing in a choir. But, older children can sleep through the night. Older children can make themselves a sandwich. Older children can entertain themselves for two hours straight reading a good book.

Seasons do change. Difficult times, even very difficult times, do not last forever. Just because you cannot see a point in the future where things change doesn’t mean it’s not there.

There was a time when I didn’t feel like I had the energy to do anything more than I was doing. That was okay. Sometimes you have to just hold on and get through the tough times as best as you can. Being upset at yourself for not being able to add something small to your routine will not help your stress levels.

If you want to add something creative to your routine but it’s not working, give it time. Try again later when things are less crazy. Maybe it’s not the right season yet. Fortunately, seasons change. One day, time and energy may bloom in the corners of your schedule, and you’ll realize that spring has finally come.

Do you feel like life has seasons? Have you felt the seasons shift? What season are you in now?