February 07, 2017

Sacred Gifts

About 5 months ago I started claiming one day a week for myself. What started off as an experiment to claim some me time, ended up being one of the top 5 things I've ever done. I thought I'd share a glimpse of last week's sacred day with you.

Lately, I always start with froth piggery topped chai and a chocolate croissant. I've been making Emma a chocolate croissant every Monday morning for years but almost never allowed myself the pleasure. I recently realized how ridiculous that is so I happily savor one every Wednesday morning.

Often I spend the first part of the day with a cat in my lap, my knitting and a podcast. There is no comfort quite like the comfort of holding wool in your hands with a furry friend to keep you company.

After awhile I make my way into the studio although there are no rules for this day. I give myself the freedom to do whatever I am inspired to do-knitting, sewing, reading, embroidery, drawing- it all makes me happy.

Today there were hats in need of pom poms, yarn pairings to try and future knitting projects to noodle through.

There was also yarn to cake. If you have never wound hanks of yarn into a cake you are missing out on one of life's great gifts. There is no one in this house that doesn't enjoy the process.

I could probably spend hours in here trying different combinations of yarn together. If feeds my love of color in big ways. I mean, just look at this yarn destined to be a pair of Valentine's Day inspired socks.

This particular day had me organizing and dreaming about some changes in the studio. Somehow work in the studio never feels like work. Probably because it's pretty work.

I've been struggling with storage and with having no place to cut fabric. I'm pretty sure if I didn't have to cut fabric out on the floor, I'd enjoy sewing a lot more. Luckily after weeks of searching and not finding the right thing, my Sweet Man offered to build me what I need. Well, by offered I mean he was unable to resist my charm when I begged him.

So this beautiful closet he built me is about to see some big changes and I'm sorting through every corner while I (try to) patiently wait.

Once I wander into the studio, I find it hard to leave again. I usually eat my lunch in this spot and would probably stay here for dinner too if I could. Often my guy gets us takeout on Wednesday so I at least don't have to worry about making anything.

The time in here goes much too quickly and the end of the day is upon me much too soon. I spend some time organizing my knitting journal, reading and end the day much in the same way I started it- more tea and a little sweet treat. I was lucky this day and my Sweet Man picked Emmy up from school so I could get some extra time in here.

Some of the many lessons I've learned from my Sacred Days:
-It's okay to put yourself first sometimes,you actually need it for a healthy attitude.
-If I honor myself in this way, my family will follow suit. Everyone in my family knows you don't mess with Sacred Day.
-I have learned that when I open myself up to creativity and give myself the time to think, dream and make, that I will be so filled with inspiration that I can't wait to get up in the mornings and make something.
-Only you can make you a priority.
-When you are feeling like you have nothing left in the tank because you give everything you have to everyone else, you have got to find a way to claim something for yourself. It is the best gift you can give yourself and in turn is actually a gift you are giving to your family because they have a healthier, happier you.

Let me just add that I am very fortunate to be able to hold sacred, what is essentially 6 or 7 hours a week just for me, during this season of my life. Maybe you are in a different season, have a different schedule or different needs. My point is, find some time just for you, with NO guilt and honor the fact that you deserve it and are worth it.


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Jen, your sacred day sounds just like what I need! I need to start practicing that!

Reenie said...

I could live in your little studio. It's adorable. :)

Melanie said...

This is amazing. And so brave (to put yourself first, when you are so busy taking care of others). It really touched my heart and even made me tear up - because I KNOW I need to do this. Why do I feel so guilty even thinking about it? I do take pockets of time most every day for myself, but an entire day? I need to take lessons from you. :-)

NanaDiana said...

I am SOOO proud of you. I have never done this. I have a hard time claiming any time for myself-I always feel guilty. I KNOW we all need to do this but how many of us actually DO IT? Good for you- I am so happy for you. Now maybe some of us should follow in your brave footsteps. xo Diana

mrsrobinson said...

Such a dreamy looking day. And some yarn envy! I love the fact that Mr Cottagenest supports scared day and does what he can to make this day of the week longer for you

Art and Sand said...

It is always wonderful when I awaken to a morning with no plans for the day. Today is such a one and I'm still undecided as to what I will do.

I can't wait to see the finished product on hubby's creation. And, I can't wait to see what you do with it in your already sweet space.

Clara said...

Love the colors of your studio.
Never forget to save time for ourselves!

Anonymous said...

hi, jennifer. :)

i've read your blog/instagram for some time now. how long and how i found you, i don't know - but i'm glad i did ... i find so much beauty and inspiration in your photos and words! thank you! and sorry it's taken so long for me to tell you that.

i am happy for you to have a special day each week to do what you want and (as someone commented earlier) i love that your husband brings home take-out food, etc. to help extend your day.

i don't yet have a schedule that allows me to take a full weekday as you do, but the older i get (and the longer i am still a social worker ... it's been 30+ years), the better i am about saying "no" and about taking a couple hours most nights to knit or paint. thanks for the encouragement.

hope you and your family are in the middle of a great week!

kathy ("anonymous" for not having a blog or instagram)

Blondie's Journal said...

I was nodding my head and cheering you on as I read this. Your Sacred Day sounds so relaxing, comforting and devotional, I feel I need to do something similar. I grab moments here and there but that breaks up the momentum of mindfulness and truly thinking of myself. As much as I need some time to myself for reading, journaling and exercise, I also need to focus on a set routine for my writing, both the blog and my newspaper columns. I tend to go willy nilly with that and I need to set up a work area and focus on that without interruption.

Thanks for your post, Jen. You are a calming voice in a hectic world. :-D

Jane x

Kimber-Leigh said...

I always love when you share peeks into your sacred days with us. With the addition of our littlest ;) I've found that the little bit of time I used to get daily to be creative has drastically been reduced. Trying to figure out where to find that time again in my week…I have been making time to read more consistently, which has been such fun and a blessing! But I do miss crafting & hope to begin to carve out time for it again.

Kimber-Leigh said...

Also, I received a new coffeemaker for Christmas that has an attached frother. While I have had a frother for years, this one that is always out & accessible makes it so convenient and so I use it so much more often! And whenever I do, I quote you to myself. "Froth piggery!" :)

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I felt such a sense of peace after reading this post Jen. It's so important for us to do something for ourselves on a regular basis. I am someone who needs peace and quiet and time to myself every so often to recharge as a mom and a wife. Tomorrow I'm doing something that I've never done before. I'm checking into a hotel by myself for the night. I'm going to visit my local Barnes and Noble and buy a few of my favorite Somerset magazines, rent a movie and order room service. After seeing that photo of your chocolate croissant, I think I have to get a few of those too. : ) I'll only be 15 minutes from home and I know I'll be ready to come home by check out on Sunday but I'm so looking forward to some "me" time. Thank you for sharing your sacred days with us. xo

~ Wendy

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I agree wholeheartedly! Me time is so very important and if I had your studio, I'd be in heaven! Isn't yarn addicting? Browsing the aisles of yarn shops is like viewing works of art, don't you think? Love your yarn winder (don't know the name of that gadget, but our local yarn shop owner does it for me)! I can't wait to see what your hubby is building for you. The croissant looks divine.

Jen Kershner said...

I agree about yarn as art! That's why I sometimes have a hard time using it!

Helen Philipps said...

I agree with all you say here Jen! Lovely to read about your sacred days and how you spend that time recharging and revitalising. Your studio is a beautiful inspiring place to be. Wishing you a happy week ahead.
Helen xox

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

Such a perfect place to spend your special day Jen....everyone needs to make sure they have a little 'me' time...(I especially love your corner with the yarn swift and winder!)...
Happy new week,
Susan x

Sewn With Grace said...

It sounds like the most perfect day! I love having a little glimpse into your creative world.

Elizabeth said...

I love the idea of a sacred day and thank you for sharing what that looks like for you. It is so inspiring. I don't have an entire day to myself with my current work and mom schedule, but I do get an afternoon here and there and this gives me ideas for how to spend that time. The chocolate croissant looks scrumptious! Please share how you make those!! A future blog post idea maybe?

Barbara Anne said...

Hi Jen,

I've visited your charming blog often but, as a quilter, had to write and was delighted to find you offer the "Name/URL(optional)" choice! Thank you!

One word about your new and hubby-made cutting table: Stand with your elbows bent so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Now have someone measure down 4". This is the ideal height of the cutting table surface for you. This information comes from a wonderful book by quilter and doctor, Dr. Susan Mech, called "Rx for Quilters". Hope the new table hasn't been finished already or you already had this information!

Love the idea about a sacred day to honor yourself and your creativity. What a great way to play! I take about 30 min. each morning and that sets me right for the day.

Jen Kershner said...

Barbara Anne,

Thank you so much for that helpful information. It was already finished when you left your comment but I was curious so I measured and it's between 3-4 inches so we will take that! Goodness knows it's more comfortable than my old set up! Thanks for taking the time to let me know this.

Tammy said...

I always look forward to a new post on your blog. I love your photos. I too have a nice craft room but not quite as pretty as yours looks. I love the art bin with your colorful floss in it. Where did you find that? I need one!