Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Returning to Work After The Holidays - Slowly Does It.

Today is the first day back to work after having four days off in a row (the weekend and two paid holidays). I finally felt yesterday evening that my batteries had been recharged. I had experienced a very stressful month at work in December, dealing with two less people at work, year end, dealing with auditors, training someone to be my backup (the previous backup just left), and two short months in a row. Along with my full time job, I also have been working a part time retail job (5-10 hours a week) for the last 5 years.

I'd been putting in lots of hours, feeling that I have all the weight of responsibility on my shoulders, resenting the responsibility, but knowing that I don't have enough money saved to choose another line of work right now. I appreciate that I will use the overtime pay to put towards paying off my bills, but all of this work is leaving me drained, and feeling that I had no time for creativity. I want to do more projects and art, but I can feel so drained and overwhelmed that I just veg out.

Still, at night I had been reading some interesting blogs, looking for some inspiration. Recently I read a blog that helped me feel that I wasn't wrong for feeling so overwhelmed. Check out this article by Zen Habits:

Zen Habit's article is about the need for humans to slow down, to give ourselves a small amount of time during our overstressed, multitasking day to just reflect, to breathe, and to enjoy what we eat for sustenance as well as nourishment. The high point of my work days are lunch time. There are a group of us, self named "Lunch Club", and the only rule of Lunch Club (a take off of "Fight Club") is that no one can talk about work during lunch. Everything else is fair game. There is such a good mix of people at lunch club that there are any number of topics brought up. It really is a good tension reliever to be able to laugh and forget the emails and phone messeges waiting for you when you get back to your desk.

I'm going to try to mindfully incorporate some of these ideas into my hectic days. Maybe even do some yoga stretches, too! Hopefully I can sometime soon find the right balance of work and creativity in my life. And I don't even have kids! I don't know how all of you parents do it!

ref: Zenhabits

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pictures of the TV fix.

Here are the pictures of the tv stand fix:

A Cure for The Modern TV

This year my BF and I decided that we wouldn't buy each other Christmas gifts, instead, we would buy a new LCD-HD TV in preparation for the big HD changeover due in Feb '08.  We currently had a 15 year old 13" non-HD tv to watch in the kitchen.  It was perched up on top of the fridge, the only placement option available.   Eye squint and neck kinks were adapted to eventually.

When we set the new 19" LCD tv up in the same position, and then sat down at the table to watch it, we realized a flaw that the LCDs have.  When you view from eye level, the picture is fine, when you view from below, the picture gets very dark.  Another thing we didn't investigate before we bought, was that the model didn't come with an adjustable tilt stand. We spend the majority of our time in the kitchen watching the tv, so alas, what to do?

Thankfully, my BF is a creative Handyman Extraordinare! This is what he came up with for a frugal fix that is attractive and functional:

He found a 12" piece of wood in the basement, sanded and painted it gray with some spare paint.  He drilled two holes into the back of the stand and screwed it to the wood so the tv wouldn't slide off of the board.  Then he bought two rubber door stops (the old fashioned angled ones) for $1.99 at the local hardware store and put them under the board to tilt the board up to the best angle for viewing while sitting at the kitchen table.  Functional, Frugal, and Creative!

A New Journey

As a person with many interests, it was hard for me to pinpoint just what I wanted to write about, what I wanted to explore, what I wanted to grow towards.  I chose Artistically Frugal for a Blog title because it boiled down all the elements of my interests.   I try to come up with as many ways to be creative in my life as I can.   I love finding new ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose things.  And I love to learn about how other people have found ways to be creative in life - be they artists, craftspeople, or just anyone going about their lives thinking they aren't creative at all!

My purpose in creating this blog was to have a place to focus my creativity more (read:  actually do something instead of just thinking about it) and to grow something out of this.  A New Journey towards a more creative and frugal and fulfilling life starts today.  I hope readers will enjoy the journey also.