(There are more pictures at the bottom of this post. Just bear with me.)
The problem with owning (or, in my case, co-owning) one’s own home based business is that you can’t really escape it. It’s not like you get up in the morning and go to work, and then come home in the evening and do all of the non-work stuff you would normally do. A home based business is always there, surrounding you, and I’ve come to realize that if you don’t have it under control, it can completely take over your life.
The week after Knitter’s Connection, I realized that I was so sick at looking bins and bins of yarn in my living room that something needed to be done. I wound up moving the bins to the back room (Ellie’s room). That’s the room where I have my sewing stuff set up, but since I haven’t had the chance to sew in about a year – although, hopefully, that will change soon – and I’m not often in that room, why not move the stuff there. I don’t have to continually look at it, and the yarn and fiber is all happy in their bins, so everything is good.
Another thing I realized that I had to do in order to get my life back under control was limit the amount of time I spend doing work stuff. It’s gotten completely wonky, especially the past 6 months, and if I don’t watch myself, it’s very easy to spend every waking moment doing yarn-related things and thinking yarn-related thoughts. I love yarn, but I know that if I want it to continue to be fun to do (and like Ben and Jerry said, “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing), I’ve got to back away from it. It’s like getting in the mood to eat a certain food. Say, green bean casserole. It’s Christmas, and you have green bean casserole (although not the kind made with cream of mushroom soup; that stuff is just nasty) and you remember how much you like it and think, “Why don’t I make this all the time?” So you start making it all the time, you’re buying green beans in bulk at Costco and then you see that Trader Joe’s has some nice Dutch-imported french fried onions for the top and they’re awesome, and you wind up making the best tasting green bean casserole there is. And you keep thinking of ways to make it even better, and you keep making it and tweaking your recipe and all of a sudden one day you eat it and realize that it doesn’t even taste good to you anymore. And you still have 15 pounds of frozen Costco green beans in the freezer. Then what do you do?
I don’t want to get to that point. I don’t want that many beans in my freezer. I think even this metaphor has gotten entirely out of hand. But you get (hopefully) what I’m saying – I’ve realized that I have this tendency to become completely obsessed with something, be it gardening or quilting or yarn, and it gets out of control, and then suddenly there’s a bad taste in my mouth. But this time is different, since there’s a business involved and making money is a good thing.
So, I needed to adjust the way I was doing things, and I think I’ve gotten a lot better handle on things now. I’ve decided to work a set number of hours a week, and I’m going to stick to it. Once I hit the limit, I’m done. Also, I’m going to try to work primarily when Travis is at work. He works a full time job, thankfully, that provides us with things like health care and money for food, but he works on call and can be gone for up to 2 days at a time. That makes it near impossible to plan things, but we used to be really good at being random and spontaneous, so it all worked out okay.
Notice I say we used to – with the Great Yarn Frenzy and higher gas prices, we don’t travel like we used to. When we lived in Indiana, we would always take Toby hiking at the state parks that were near us. Of course, we were spoiled by Indiana’s awesome state park system. After we moved to Ohio, we discovered that Ohio’s state parks weren’t nearly as well run as what we were used to, and so that kind of dampened our enthusiasm for going new places and exploring. Of course, we’re idiots in that regard, because we entirely overlooked what was right in our face the whole time, which is that there are more outside recreation areas that exist besides state parks.
The past few years, it’s gotten to where we only go camping and do any sort of major hiking once a year, and that’s when we take our big vacation in the fall. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose, because if you don’t exercise throughout the year, then you go on vacation and realize that you have no muscle mass whatsoever and can’t do a lot of fun stuff. And that’s not only lame for us, but also for Toby and Bela, because they want to run around and have a good time as much as (if not more, certainly) than the humans do.
So, when we went for the random spontaneous hike with my dad last Saturday up Mount Kenyon, I also managed to pick up some brochures on local park areas. And today we took a trip out to Wolf Run Regional Park.
It’s about a 7 minute drive from our house, approximately the same time it takes to get to the bike path. But we wound up liking it a lot better than the bike path for several reasons:
1. The bike path is for, well, bikes. Sure people walk and run and rollerblade on it, too, but there are always people on bikes zipping along. Which is great for them, I have no resentment towards the bike people, I just always feel bad when they have to slow down because we can’t get the dogs out of the way fast enough. Sorry bike people! But have you seen Toby’s butt? It’s awful hard to forcibly move that thing quickly.
2. The bike path always has people on it. And we go out of our way to avoid people. That’s why we go on vacation in the fall, because kids are back in school and most people have already taken a summer vacation. A lot of people around stresses the dogs out, and us out, not necessarily in that order.
3. The bike path is paved. Again, great if you’re on a bike or in a wheelchair, not so great when you’re a dog walking on it on a sunny day.
So, being used to all that, Wolf Run was a treat. It was absolutely deserted. There are a total of over 5 miles of unpaved hiking trails (of which we only hiked a little more than one mile today) that go through both woods and grassland. The terrain is slightly hilly. The trails are well marked, which is always a plus. Also, the brochure states that they’re trying to get a dog park approved by the city, so dogs would have an official are where they can run off leash (uh, not that we know anything about unofficially having your dogs off leash).
Toby was so excited by it all she pooped 3 times in about 5 minutes. Good thing we bought the jumbo pack of poop bags last time we were at Petsmart! And Bela was all wound up from the very start, since we had passed some Amish with a horse and buggy on the way to the park. She was barking and barking at the poor horse. I like to think it translated as “Holy crap, that’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen!!”
Again, it was about 85 degrees outside and we didn’t bring water, although we were wearing better footwear this time. Here’s Travis giving the dogs a drink (there was a small creek, but the banks were so steep we didn’t want the dogs trying to get down into it):
Of course, they wound up wallowing in the mud later anyway:
Toby on the go!
So all in all, it was really nice to start getting back into the groove of screwing off and having fun. That’s what we’re really good at, and it’s been a shame that we haven’t done it more often. I told Travis that we’re going to start having Forced Recreation Days. You’re going to have fun and like it, dammit!
My new spinning wheel was ordered today (yay!) and I’m hoping to have it in before Le Tour de Fleece starts. Travis actually sat down and spun today, and he was quite a bit better than he thinks he was. I’m at a point now where I have a ton of roving in my house, and I’m just trying to figure out what I’d like to spin next. A nice problem to have, actually.