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How to stay sane with too much to do

From where I’m sitting, right now, without getting up or moving around, I can see three unfinished projects:
1. Christmas-gift quilt
Laid out my first #quiltsbychristmas quilt...and this guy had to test it out.

2. TARDIS shawl
Knitting the TARDIS shawl with the Doctor.

3. Granny Square blanket
Working on the #grannysquaresampler while the boys watch MIB for first time.

And in the corner, the wool ready to be spun into this month’s Monthly Yarn Mail. On my printer, the proofs of the Holiday Sanity Kit. In my browser, tabs open for gift ideas.
If you took a look around your studio/living room/cave I bet you’d see the same.

Personal projects.
Gift projects.
Business projects.

This is a reality of any business, but it can be especially overwhelming at this time of year, where we add on gift-giving, special baking, and parties to our usual list of projects. While sometimes it’s fun and invigorating, sometimes it’s…not. The press of so many projects and so much to do, and the timeline-yness of it all can weigh on you.

But the problem isn’t really the number of projects (really), it’s how you feel about them. Are they overwhelming you? Depressing you? Or exciting you and energizing you?
Do you feel like you know when you’re going to do them?
Or are they all begging for your attention rightthisminute?

A few years ago, as I was preparing for a cross-country craft show in December, it all piled up on me. I had this crazy to do list and it all had to be done NOW. It felt stifling and I was dreading everything about the holidays. Instead of giving up on it, or cutting things out, I decided to find a way towards Sanity – a way to do what I wanted to do and actually enjoy it. I shared it with a few friends, and led the first session of Holiday Sanity  and it was an instant classic. Last year the Starship Captains asked me to do it again. And this year, they started asking about it over the summer.

But the secret to Holiday Sanity isn’t a secret: it’s simple.

You gotta look at that big hairy monster. And transcribe it.
I’ve created a Kit (digital or printed, real-mail) that helps you do just that.

But as I look around at my projects, the fact is, I’m so grateful.

As I see the flooding, the cold, the stress of those affected by Sanity, I realize how blessed I am for the (dry) knitting and quilting projects. For my heater running, for my pets safe and snorgling, for my lovely, ridiculous internet connections (like you.)

As I started finishing the Holiday Sanity Kit, I realized I was no longer comfortable with it only offering some sanity and calm to you, I want it to be a force for calm and warmth and joy to those who have bigger concerns than their to-do list.

$5 from every Holiday Sanity will go to the Red Cross, for disaster relief.

I considered just doing my normal thing (donating on my own, and not telling anyone), but that minimizes the power we have here, together. We have a real community of caring, funny, smart creatives, and together we can do so much more than I could do alone. And besides, everything I have to give comes from the work we do here, together. Everything you have to give comes from the combination of your creativity + your community. So let’s honor what we’ve created together, and give together.

We have the power to shape our own experience of the holidays, that of our families and friends, and that of people we’ll never meet.

Donate directly to the Red Cross here, or grab a copy of Holiday Sanity here.

If you choose to give directly to the Red Cross, let me know, and I’ll add your donation to the total we’ve given as a community.

Want more survival tips? Check out the (free) Definitive Guide.

Sign up here to get more on surviving your business adventures, no matter the season.

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