Monday, September 26, 2011

Small Simple Things

In the process of  homeschooling, I've had to find a balance between all the different areas of my life. One of them being the design aspect.  My days are filled with school.  There is no longer a time when my kids are all gone at the same time to allow me time to work on a design project. My mornings are sometimes filled with prepping for school, and the evenings are filled with church callings, assignments or getting caught up on the house.  It didn't take long though before I realized I still had to fit some small design time in. For the pure enjoyment and break that it gives me to be creative.  Also to still help a little bit with that income while things are tight, the economy is rough and as we prepare to be in a good spot when Beau graduates so he can start up his own company.  In reality I can't do it all. I can't give all my time to designing, homeschool, home and church. So I've had to find balances.  Part of that balance is going back to the scripture that kept calling to me at the beginning of the year. That it's the small simple things that bring great results. 

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."  Alma 37:6

At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to conduct an experiment.  I knew I needed to somehow increase the income from my designing, to help prepare us better for the future. I also knew I needed to cut down any time designing, so I could focus on my family and other obligations.  I decided to focus on small simple projects.  Specifically the JIF 6 Kits. I love making them, they are fast, and they easily let me get my idea out, and move on.

If I was working on large kits they would take too long to create, and demand too much of my time.  I would loose my excitement over the idea, and it took longer to get in the store. Even though they would bring in 3 or 4 times the amount of money they didn't feel worth it for some reason.  I ended up reading this scripture and felt that the small simple things were better.  I could easily get a JIF kit out a week. It only had 6 parts to it. I could do one part every day for only 15 minutes if needed and then be able to release it at the end of the week.  It was doable.  It took up very little time from my day and family. The results? It worked.  My income increased quite a bit, even though what I am creating sells only for a small amount.  I saw how this simple small kit did bring about great things.  Life got in the way and I had club to work on so I haven't made any in a while, but now I find myself in the same position.  I have even less time than before now that I'm homeschooling. Yet what can I do for my sanity and to also help out financially?  The answer is the same. The simple things. So I've been working on small JIF kits here and there. I can do one small element a day, and yet feel like I get some creative down time. I can still feed that artist in me. I also feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I see the final results.  Especially knowing I didn't have to sacrifice my family or my time to do it. It really is in the small things.

I've also been applying the principle to my home. While teaching all day, I don't have huge chunks of time to do major cleaning.  So I'm slowly getting rid of stuff. I can focus on one small aspect at a time. If the only small thing I did in cleaning a bedroom (that needs an overhaul) is picking up all the clothes and washing them, then I'm one small step ahead. Tomorrow I can pick the next thing. By the end of the week it will be finished.  

It's the small 15 minute chunks of our time that can do great things.  

Some people have asked me how I do it all.  The answer?  I don't.  I let things go that don't really matter. I don't have an immaculate house.  I try and just focus on doing the small simple things now, and trusting the Lord in his promise that it will bring about great things over time.  

So here have been some of the small things I've been designing lately with my small amount of time.


Kim said...

"I let things go that don't really matter." That's great advice, Shalae! I love this post. I find it very difficult to balance all the aspects of my life and still find time for my writing, but I know it makes me a happier person, and I need it! I'm going to do as you suggest and spend 15 minutes a day on my writing for a while. We'll see what happens! THANK YOU!!!

Amanda McGee said...

Wonderful Shalae! I always love to see new designs coming from you! You are blessed with a bounty of creativity and love of family and what a great way to be able to balance it all, 15 minutes at a time. Thanks for sharing! :)