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HOW A TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE STOPPED ANXIETY IN ITS TRACKS
And nobody was more surprised than me….
I hope you are well and managing to enjoy the run of good weather we’re experiencing right now. I don’t remember early June spawning a plethora of nice, summer days, but hey - let’s just soak it up, shall we?
Warm weather always makes me want to start sewing.
I got into sewing in a big way in my 20’s and it started for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was in my first, very lowly paid job where I was expected to look professional and well presented, but I didn’t have the money to clothe myself in 5 different outfits each week. And the company I worked for no way had a “clothing budget” despite insisting all employees dressed to a certain standard. And, this was the image obsessed 1980’s as well.
And then, another great influence on me was the opening of Aflecks Palace in Manchester. Why was this influential on making me start sewing, you may ask?
Well, if you know Aflecks Palace, I’m assuming you know it was an old warehouse building in the centre of Manchester and the owner had reserved the top floor of the building purely for graduates of the wonderful textiles course at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University). These very talented young designers who undertook the textiles course and on graduating had with nowhere to go to get their break into the fashion industry. The fashion industry was on it’s knees (anyone other than me remember the dire recession of the early 1980’s?) so the owner created a dedicated space for them to make and sell their wonderful designs.
Now, the PM of the time was Mrs Margaret Thatcher and one of the benefits of Thatcher’s reign was she introduced the first Enterprise Allowance scheme. This was a scheme whereby after being unemployed for around 6 weeks claimants could apply to go on to the scheme if they had a viable business idea. And if accepted they would be paid something like £40 per week for about 6 months. Nowadays, £40 wouldn’t buy a week’s shopping, let alone rent & beer money, but back in those days it was enough to live off.
So, backed with enough money to survive, these super talented people were able to buy fabric and make some wonderful garments on the top floor of the building. For someone who was just discovering the joys of home sewing it was pure heaven. I not only bought a few garments from them (although they weren’t that cheap!) but I was inspired to copy some of the clothes they made up.
Hence my introduction into home sewing/dressmaking.
So, excuse my trip down memory lane and let’s fast forward 30 years. My dressmaking output went by the by once I had my family but I’ve still dabbled over the years. The last one was the other week when I fancied making myself a long black skirt to take to a trip to Berlin (our youngest daughter is studying out there).
Well, with all my experience of sewing, it should have been a breeze.
But it wasn’t.
I had a complete (menopause and hormone induced) melt down about my abilities to sew the skirt and get it finished in time for our trip.
So much so, my hand was shaking as I cut the skirt out! I couldn’t believe how something I usually took very much in my stride reduced me to a quivering wreck.
I wracked my brain into how I could get past this. For some reason a technique I had come across some time before came into my head. It was a generic time management technique of breaking down tasks into tiny, micro steps, writing them down in a table format with room for you to tick off when they’ve been done.
So that’s what I did.
I listed even the most basic of tasks - take the cover off the sewing machine; choosing the right thread to use with the fabric etc. You get the idea.
Can I tell you that by the time I got the fabric under the machine, my hand had stopped shaking, the doubt in my mind was clearing and I went on to finish the skirt in a single sitting an hour or two later.
Here’s me wearing the skirt in Berlin. What do you think?
I’m assuming that readers on here know how menopause can reduce us to quivering wrecks at times and how hard we have to work to try and regain some semblance of ourselves?
Well, the next time that happens, might I suggest you either try the technique I’ve covered above, or find another technique that works for you.
Either way, I wish you well as you plough through these mid-years and never to give up. Don’t let the bitch that is menopause win!
CAN I ASK A FAVOUR…?
As regular readers of the newspaper know, I’ve been producing this newsletter for a couple of years now for free. And I hope it’s helped, in some small way.
I’ve now got to the stage where I need to ask a favour and request that if you are able to and want to, that you make a donation for the continued production of the newsletter.
I’ve suggested a minimum donation of £5.00, but you are welcome to make a donation of any amount. And if you do, please know you have my sincere thanks to enable me to keep producing this newsletter for you.
You can donate here
So, that’s a wrap from me. I hope something that I’ve included speaks to you and brings you a bit of relief.
See you in a fortnight’s time
Take care until then