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In a funk

2013 February 21
by elizabeth_admin

Peeps, I’m in a funk.  A sewing funk.  A life funk.  And just generally have an ennui malaise weighing me down.  I feel unmotivated.  How does one get motivated???  I would like to start exercising more, but my favorite exercise is hard where I live.  I love running because:

  • it’s free
  • I can do it on my own schedule
  • it’s a quick and easy way to lose weight, at least for me.

In NYC, running was easy, if seasonal.  Where I lived downtown, there were tons of paths along the river to run.  They were generally all flat terrain.  The only obstacles were people and strollers but easily negotiable.  Here in suburban San Diego (which seems like an oxymoron since San Diego the city looks like a suburb to begin with to me after living in NYC for 9 years), there are no sidewalks really.  The streets are really twisty-turny and hilly.  The cars drive fast.  And the paths for walking have a really soft mulch on it making it treacherous for running.  I easily twist my ankles.  I did run on the streets a few days ago, but I was so sore from running the hills, that my thighs cried for three days afterward.  I wasn’t really motivated to go running again after that.  My favorite exercise is not easy here.  I am not fond of  joining clubs and having to go to them to exercise on their schedule.

And then there’s sewing, or lack thereof…

I know I’m whining, but I’m in a really whiny mood of late.  I lost my forward momentum on the SSS and it’s been sitting at my machine ever since.  My sewing room looked like a disaster.  I had paperwork everywhere.  I felt really unmotivated to do anything.


Cleaning mid-process


So the last two days, I have been cleaning up.  Begrudgingly, but cleaning up nonetheless.  I sorted and filed my paperwork that’s been piling up all over the room.  I have even filed my taxes.  I organized all the patterns and sewing detritus that’s been piling up everywhere too.  I put away all the miscellaneous fabrics that have been pulled out or have arrived in the mail since Christmas.  Now I just need to clean the sewing table and then I can start working on the SSS again.

I feel an inkling of sewing mojo returning as I touch all my patterns and fabrics.  Just an inkling.

And as I clean up my various messes, I am realizing that my sewing room doesn’t really function well.  I need more organization.  I need places to put things so that they’re easily accessible but not an eyesore.  Since my sewing room is in my bedroom and I spend a lot of time in here every day, I think I need to be more organized and thoughtful with how things are put away, displayed, etc.  I need it to be functional and look good.  I need some beauty as well as workspace.  And part of beauty is order.  Don’t you think?

So this is my method for finding sewing mojo.  I have to clean the mess to find it.  Find forgotten patterns, handle my notions, fondle fabrics.  Remind myself of my sewing queue and why I was so excited about this or that project.  I have to remind myself, when I’m in a funk, why I love to sew.

Do you sometimes have to remind yourself?  What do you do to get out of the sewing doldrums?  How do you find your sewing mojo?

24 Responses leave one →
  1. February 21, 2013

    It happens, sometimes I can’t find motivation to sew either. Instead, I clean up the sewing room, sort my notes, finish little projects like sewing on a button or fixing a hem. Also, going through your fabric stash might motivate you

  2. February 21, 2013

    i’m getting a little bored with my current project and feel the urge to start something new, but i’m going to try to just sit down and start working again. Usually after a few minutes, i’ll get back into the rhythm and then i’ll be able to keep going. A little music that makes you happy also is great for a funk.

    i have an elliptical for running indoors and it helps, because i don’t like running when it’s chilly outside (hurts my lungs)

  3. February 21, 2013

    I find that when I feel unmotivated, like I need to take a break from sewing, it’s usually because I need to take a break from sewing. Check in with yourself and find out what you really would rather be doing and — if possible — do it. Or a little of it. Or something like it. In my experience, you really can’t force mojo to happen. It will return on its own when it’s time.

  4. February 21, 2013

    I was going to say pretty much the same thing as Peter – breaks can be good.

    I hope you find a park or path for running. It’s such a good way to get some exercise and clear the mind too. What about walking?

  5. February 21, 2013

    Ach, funks can be tough to get through. When the mojo is absent and can’t be found, I try to remember it will come back. I think we need time to recharge, even though we might not realize the recharging is happening. Cleaning is good, so is doing anything else you want.
    Here’s hoping your mojo returns soon, stronger than ever!

  6. February 21, 2013

    There! I’m there. To add to the whining, here in Manila I can’t find white book shelving units with which I want to customize my creative space. My husband checked on Guam, but there was nothing there to even bring me back. He knows I’m so disappointed as I had hoped to have a blast this weekend, organizing all my ‘stuff’ in adorable wicker baskets on the shelves… that I don’t have and won’t have for many months. *sigh*

    Sometimes whining leads to new creativity. Sometimes to new organization. Sometimes to taking a nap and awaking inspired.

    Oh, well. It’s short-lived, the whining stage. I always muddle through, and in reflection, realize I needed that little down-time to come up with resolute solutions.


  7. Dawn permalink
    February 21, 2013

    I used to live in SD too…. Are you close to the beach? Run there. If you are close too downtown Balboa park is awesome. Good luck!

  8. February 21, 2013

    I share your funked out mood. I honestly think it is the up and down weather and all the silly flu bugs floating around (of which I seem to be catching all of them…). My mojo seems to be fluctuating with my energy levels – when I have energy I want to be sewing, but when I don’t have energy I don’t want to do anything at all. Cleaning my sewing space puts me in the mood to sew, but eats up all of my sewing time. Usually by the time I am ready to cut something out the latest round of my never-ending cold comes back and I spend the remainder of my day in bed. I have a lot of things that I want to sew, and I have a lot of things that I need to sew. I just don’t have the energy to actually sit up and sew.

    So, anyway, I hear you on the lost mojo. If it isn’t there just leave it alone for a bit. It will come back. And I hope you find somewhere to run. I have to agree with you that San Diego is probably one of the worst cities for pedestrians to try and do anything, especially run. Apparently we were all supposed to surf, or something.

  9. February 21, 2013

    I feel like that when I take on too much, too many sew alongs, too many other promises.
    Tidying and sorting out out my sewing room definitely helps. If I can find things in their proper places I feel less stressed. I love love LOVE just sitting down and going through my stash and stroking my favourite fabrics 😉
    Also sometimes you just have to say no and do your own thing. Maybe you need to stop everything you are making right now and make one new thing, something fun and fast out of pretty fabric, a quick pick me up, instant gratification…then you can go back and tidy up the half finished projects, works for me anyway 🙂

  10. February 21, 2013

    I totally get where you’re coming from – I don’t what your path will be to move forward, but there is a path.

    Maybe try a new gym? I know I get free 7 day trials at gyms all over town every week. Try a new gym every week. How about finding a class you like (restorative yoga or pilates or weight lifting – whatever floats your boat).

    As far as sewing doldrums, I was in one too until I bought some super cheap 99 cent cotton at the thrift store and HAD to find the right pattern for it. I’m even working on the blouse I cut out in November. You read that right.

    Maybe just try something new. Sew a stuffed animal or refashion something you find at a thriftstore. Don’t reinvent the wheel, just make some undies from a thrifted tee and you may just get inspired.

    Good luck girl!

  11. Patti permalink
    February 22, 2013

    I can’t help you with the running problem. The mojo will return when it is ready. Sometimes you just need a break.

    The storage of your stuff … looks like you have a really great corner where the chair is that you could put shelves or an armoir or something to add storage and beauty. Maybe consider another table for your sewing machines, so that you can spread them out a bit. Maybe another nice table to use as a cutting table. Things can be found at flea markets, estate sales and yard sales, for not very much money. I find lots of things at estate sales. Might find some exercise equipment at yard sales as we come to the yard sale season or watch for something on craigslist. Look for nice artwork or doodads or geegaws at yard sales or flea markets. 🙂 sometimes people just don’t know what they have and you can get really nice stuff for pennies on the dollar. You just have to look through a bunch of dreck first.

  12. February 22, 2013

    Poor you, but you’re on the right track by organizing your sewing space. The next thing I would do is visit some high end clothing stores. Try on lots of expensive clothes that are made by children in overseas sweatshops – clothes you KNOW you can make for a fraction of the cost – and you’ll be sewing again soon. Good luck!

  13. February 22, 2013

    Have you considered a treadmill? I used to live in Albany, and once it got cold enough that the breathing the outside air hurt my lungs, I knew it was time to head indoors. I didn’t like treadmills at the time, but now, I actually prefer them. No sunburns, no pollen, no stepping in the dog poop someone left on the sidewalk, no worrying about traffic. I just put on my MP3 player and zone out. I feel so much better about everything when I exercise that I was willing to put up with the treadmill (and as I said, now I prefer it).

  14. February 22, 2013

    Stop whining, tidy your room, and when you drop small child at school, park your car there and run around the golf course. It’s relatively flat and a five mile loop divided pretty much in two if you want shorter. Don’t like the mulch? Drive down to Swamis, park your car and pretend you’re in NYC by avoiding strollers and walkers in the very safely maintained path to Cardiff. No excuses.

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      February 22, 2013

      I don’t like running around that path AND if I have to drive to find a place to run, it defeats one of the great aspects of running.

  15. February 22, 2013

    Your local American Sewing Guild is always in need of willing sewers who will help with charity sewing for children in need even if it is making baby blankets or pillowcases for children in care. I find doing something for others shifts the focus from “poor me” to “lucky me”. They make it easy for gals who only want to sew at home and not get into the social aspect of the group but hey, give them a call and you might even like to meet some members and get inspired…San Diego will never be NYC but I spent most of my life vacationing in San Diego since it was just 1.5 hours from Orange County and I was always amazed with the amount of runners along the bay and in Balboa Park. Here is the link to the Guild, check out all the fun things they do and events and national speakers they sponsor:

  16. BeckyMc permalink
    February 22, 2013

    I just keep thinking that even if you find a place to run that meets all your requirements, eventually it will be too hot to run outside and in San Diego it could stay that hot for months. I like the treadmill because I can tell it to go uphill and it does for my entire work out, unlike walking outside.

  17. February 22, 2013

    You’ve inspired me to hit the sewing room long and hard. Talk about a real mess. Yours is not bad compared to mine.

  18. February 23, 2013

    I clean too! I sort through and reorganize my stashes of fabric and patterns. I pull out things that I might like to sew soon. Typically I get this way when the seasons are about to change.

  19. February 23, 2013

    Earlier this year I started running on the spot in my living room, no treadmill. I knew that I needed to do something and that I wouldn’t go outside unless the weather was perfect and I didn’t want to join a gym. I’ve been running 40 minutes a day for five weeks and have lost 2″ on my full and upper bust and 1″ on my waist, hips and thighs, and 1/2″ on my biceps so it works. I watch the view and the world waking up outside and think about writing/sewing and whatever drifts through my mind. You could also watch a movie or listen to music or a book on tape or a how-to video. Double duty. It’s cheap, easy, and for me the most important thing was doable and portable when I travel. It fits into my routine.

    Your life has changed significantly. Mine did that several years ago without changing locations as yours has. That’s an extra pressure. It took me a long time to figure out how to fill in that space. I went from not enough time to do all the things I wanted to do to too much time and no push to get started. Having structure and routine allows me to function better so I’ve been re-establishing a routine and that’s helping tremendously. It sounds funny but I “make a job” of my day since I’m not currently working outside the home.

    When I’m in a real funk, I typically create something for a small child like a favourite coat pattern or a purse or an artsy piece – something that doesn’t need to be fitted and that I’m not meant to wear. The goal is pure fun, the pure joy of stitching, no pressure.

    HUGS ! You’ll get through this. Just do something. Getting started gives you something to respond to and you can go from there.

  20. February 24, 2013

    Sewing Mojo back when it wants to do in the meantime you can take inspiration from fabric shops, sewing blogs, etc … I really works well for inspiration in old movies …. Take calm .. everything will soon ..

  21. February 24, 2013

    Cleaning, sorting and organizing are always at the top of my list when I’m in a sewing or knitting funk. The process gets me back in touch with the fabrics, patterns, etc. that help to inspire me to create again. How funny about the running — I went to college in SD and took up running when I lived there. Yes, the hills are killer, though!

  22. February 25, 2013

    It’s a good idea to take a break if you’re not feeling the love. But I think your list of chores is just what’s needed. Cleaning and tidying up the fabrics and sewing stuff always puts me back in the mood!

  23. February 26, 2013

    Running hills sucks, but you do feel invincible (I say, still sore from my Sunday run).

    You will recover your mojo! Just playing around with your stuff as you put it away will help.

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