Sunday, May 30, 2010

Scrapbooking Sunday: Finding Time to Do It

I had to skip the last few days due to lack of time. You see, I had to spend most of my work hours actually working as I had a long list of "Things that need to be corrected and handed back." It started with exams from the week before, but included monthly book reports, speech evaluations, skit evaluations, homework assignments, weekly journals, etc. I know the key is to NOT assign and collect work so that I never have to do any correcting - that is what lots of teachers I work with used to do, but I noticed in recent years, that even the Japanese English teachers are collecting grammar workbooks on a regular basis and actually going through them page by page. Anyway, I cannot fall behind on correcting now because there is no way I am taking that stuff home and correcting here...home life does not allow me those time luxuries.

Speaking of luxuries, as I sit at the computer at 10pm on a Sunday night, drinking a hot cup of chai and typing on my blog, I'll tell you that the truth is I would much rather be scrapbooking. I promised to write about how I find the time to do it though, so rather quickly, I will give some hints about how I make it happen.

My scrapbooking desk is located in the middle of our house, so I can see and hear the TV while I work. It is next to the computer, so I can easily do some computer-related scrapbooking steps and switch between the two when needed. It's not like I want to be watching TV all the time, but having the desk in a central location means that I am "always present". For now, with small kids, I have to be present at all times.

My current page is always sitting out on my desk, so when I can grab a few moments here and there, I do something. One page comprises many small steps each of which can be accomplished in seconds or minutes. Some of those steps involve the computer and can even be done at work, on my breaktime, of course.

If I am late on completing an assignment for a class, I find a way to do some of the steps at work. For example, one day, I brought my half-finished lay out to work with some inks, sandpaper, and glue tape and I sat there during my breaktime and sanded down the edges of my papers, inked them & then adhered them together. Colleagues who could not see what I was doing mistakenly thought I was filing my nails!

At home or on weekends, as soon as the kids are happily playing (because we all know how long that will last), I sometimes do a few steps - such as choosing paper for my next lay out, cutting up some paper embellishments, online shopping for more supplies, etc. I have been known to be inking and sanding paper while Luka sits next to me playing with some toys. Today, he was crawling all over me while I tried to choose paper for my next lay out.

Lastly, this is the most important thing, I demand to have time for myself. Monthly Craft n Chats are not enough for me to complete weekly assignments for class, so if I get behind (or I feel like I am going insane), I tell Yusuke I need the weekend evening time to do some scrapbooking. He uses this time to watch DVDs or even to go to a movie by himself. In fact, this past weekend, I actually went ahead and printed out the movie schedule and set it on the table for him. He took the hint, but opted not to go out as there wasn't anything worth seeing. Instead, he stayed home and watched TV, but he understood that he had to leave me alone. I think I need to do this more often.

Oh, and as I have mentioned before about my dirty, messy house - it is partly because I do spend my "free" time on scrapbooking. Sometimes, you just have to play it like that.

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