Cate Huston’s excellent post on delegation got me thinking about outsourcing things again. I learned a lot when I experimented with virtual assistance. I concluded the experiment when I got around to automating the tasks I’d previously outsourced and I didn’t come up with new tasks.
Since then, I haven’t felt starved for time. I’ve even been able to explore new hobbies, like woodworking and ukulele. I occasionally think about hiring a housekeeping service, but a few hours of meditative tidying up gets the house back in order. There haven’t been any chores that drained my energy or happiness. I don’t have time for everything, but I have time to do things at a sustainable pace. I’m content.
Content? Ah, there’s the signal to ask myself again, “How wonderful can things be?”
I want to write a book. In the time-honoured tactic of getting out something so that I can get over the hump and work with what I’ve got, I can re-read my blog posts (21 years old – 25 years old, perhaps?), do a little bit of editing, categorizing, and cleaning up, and just get that into some kind of e-book or paper copy. It will need a lot of trimming in order to get things to a manageable size, as I wrote well over 100,000 words a year. I’m hoping most of that is ephemera. ;)
What would adding money to this do? I actually do want to reread all that stuff myself, but I might ask someone to lay it out nicely if I can’t script a good layout. Then there’s printing it as a paper book, which is useful as a backup but requires bookshelf space. I can take a course or buy books on writing memoirs to help me improve my writing, too. I can spend on experiences worth writing about, of course!
I want to enjoy great food. There’s nothing stopping me from doing this, I just have to find recipes and experiment with them. Some kind of cooking get-together would be an awesome excuse, particularly if I have other friends who want to learn how to cook. We might even do it virtually by sharing stories and recipes, although that might be less fun.
+Money: Entertain more often (once every month instead of once a quarter?). Buy better-quality ingredients and go for the more unusual recipes. Get help with the shopping, prepping, cooking, serving, or cleaning.
I want to get the hang of the ukulele. It’s fun, and it exercises my auditory side. +Money: Find an ukelele teacher (maybe one who can teach singing as well), and spend at least an hour a week working on this. A teacher can help me avoid bad habits, figure out how to transition between chords smoothly, and pick songs I’ll enjoy playing. Actually, a singing teacher would probably be good to find first, as that would make a big difference in enjoyment…
I want to take more pictures. I’m not holding out here for “better” pictures – I want to take and share more of them. +Money: An even smaller camera or a bigger beltbag (purses get in my way), or making other things in my beltbag smaller so that the camera always fits, or a separate camera case for the belt (as long as I don’t get to bat-belt level?).
I want to sew better. Clothes, accessories, etc. A private teacher can help me alter my patterns properly. Advice on which kinds of looks and patterns work for me would also be greatly appreciated – that way, I don’t spend a lot of time sewing things that won’t work for me. =) +Money: lessons, styling advice, a serger.
I want to draw more. I’ve been drawing a lot in my sketchbooks, but I miss the ability to edit , colour, and upload drawings quickly. Maybe I’ll replace my Eee with a tablet PC after I finish all of my sketchbooks. It would be great to take sketching classes, too, because I can learn a lot from exercises, feedback, and tips. +Money: Tablet PC, classes
I want to be more organized. Part of this is slowing down and paying attention, and another part is having a place for everything so that I enjoy putting things away. I don’t want to have a housekeeper do this because then I’d never be able to find things myself. <laugh> +Money: Organizers
I’m actually reasonably organized now, so I think the priority would be to get singing lessons sorted out, then check out tablet options. Hmm…