I like this photo of her.
I like this photo of her.
I’ve started a number of small projects in the last few months. Starting involving conceiving them, figuring out the details and taking first small steps. And not a single venture has been a complete success.
The stock I bought for my vintage shop is not ideal. There is only one item in mint condition. The others have slight signs of wear and one item makes me think why ever did I buy it. Who would be so crazy to buy something so impractical? Well, I liked the colour. And maybe someone likes it too. And if no one does, I will turn it into cat toys. Because the colour is wonderful and the material is sturdy.
My cat emporium. I was very pleased to have finally found an outlet for my half-hearted wish some 5 years ago – that of making pillows for an additional income. Pillows is the only thing I’m good at designing and sewing, but I couldn’t think of who would buy such things. Now I’ve turned it into making sleeping mattresses for cats. And at first it seemed like a brilliant idea. Until I realised I’d have to make buttons or use zippers rather than make the cases fixed to the mattresses for eternity. My sewing machine is not good enough. It’s from the 1950s. It can’t do finishing well. It can’t do nice button holes. And a new one costs a bunch. But it has to be figured out somehow.
The cat toy I made yesterday lacks stuffing and I need to open it up again (if possible), but it looks better than I expected, so this is a small success among the countless little setbacks.
And lastly, there is my writing. I was feeling unusually confident the last few months.
I carried a bunch of ideas with me for a week and a half and then – when I put them down, all the old problems raised their ugly heads again. I got stiff, I got inhibited, I had nothing to say, the inspiration had faded. Thou must not wait for thine inspiration to flee! This is one golden rule I ignored that time. Inhibition is an old friend. I have to consciously deal with that. When I write for an audience, I want it to be good, and the wanting it to be good and the presence of an audience has an unusually crippling effect on me. Just as doing a public presentation or standing in front of a camera has. The desire to be good overrides everything, and you end up sounding really bad, because you are not yourself any more and are afraid of words and unusual turns of phrase. Safety becomes the guiding force. Tedium, effort. When truly inspired, I am a little more free of that, but it is never entirely gone and definitely a constant enemy I have to tackle with.
What with all these setbacks, I haven’t yet reached the “I’m not doing it” it phase, though. I’m a little discouraged, but the main thing is to keep at it and some of the setbacks also seem very natural. Of course my first vintage stock trip would not be a complete success. It’s not like I’d end up losing money on it either. I will do better next time. The cat toys can be fixed or new ones made. The sewing I will try to figure out somehow. This is the most daunting of the lot for sure. But learning to make beautiful buttonholes IS a matter of practice and if it allows me to sell pillows for cats, I will learn it. Yes, I’m a terribly weird crazy cat person, okay?
And writing, I did a number of things wrong, which led to the first result being poor. I will try again.
The truth is,
laziness is my undoing.
I’ve never had to, never learnt to put in a lot of effort to acquire knowledge and understand things at school. In primary school, I deliberately lowered my grades and studied less so to be more equal to my classmates. Not tower above them like a genius (which I am not, but the average level was dismal in my class). I didn’t understand people who learnt for maths or English tests. I only ever learnt for tests where you had to memorize rather than understand, such as history or biology.
In high school, I was surrounded by somewhat brighter students. Likewise at university, but even a lot of my BA courses were cruising (from an intellectual perspective). I did have to study for them (to memorize), and some sort of motivation to study for exams I do have, but outside that – I just can’t be bothered to systematically work towards improving myself. The rewards are not concrete enough. I wonder if it’s the early years of being so used to doing very little to obtain good results that this has become ingrained. I’m really just naturally lazy too, of course, no doubt about that.
I’ve spent years at a point from which I don’t develop further intellectually. It’s snug here. I’m smart enough. Just enough. I can write tolerably enough. My English is decent enough. Everything is enough. Not great, but enough.
I’ve put no effort into being here intellectually, but I would have to if I wanted to progress further from this point.
But the laziness and self-satisfaction.
I’ve been thinking that I’d like to live like the moomins really. Their family dynamics are delightful. And if you want to be a moomin, there is no reason to become very intelligent, but you would need to have an open mind and an intelligence for living. As a moomin, I can have strawberries on the veranda and stars in the sky bright enough to get a stiff neck from staring. I can build a tree house with the kids and water my husband from the watering can when he is napping (and I’m not).
But it’d take a few years until then. These days, I have to content myself with threatening to water the cat.
And meanwhile, my laziness does frustrate me.
So there. Hoping against hope to conquer it.
In other words, on days like this, I love my job. I do have some work I could be doing, but it’s not pressing, so it will be done in the evening.
What my cat thinks of me studying psychology:
Kibble: Orijen with chicken
Canned food: Applaws with tuna filet
Snack: GimCat Sticks with beef
Claudicat’s package arrived this morning! And she was very excited to explore its contents. I got excited too, seeing her so happy and curious. She has previously been eating pet store brand foods (Proplan, Hills, Royal Canin, Gourmet), but the ingredients lists did not please me. They are the cat equivalents of junk food. Salmon pate containing 4% salmon just does not sound right, does it? She also seems to have developed an addiction to kibble. If I gave her all the kibble she wanted, she’d puff up like a balloon from overeating. So diagnosis: Claudicat is a junk food addict.
Now, everyone knows that junk food addicts don’t eat healthy food. Claudicat is also not a fan of home food and it’s a struggle to get her to eat real chicken or fish, but we manage somehow. She eats them, grumpily, but eats. So I was quite apprehensive whether she’d eat her new kibble by Orijen, which promises to contain higher quality ingredients and be grain free. I’ve bought her higher quality canned foods previously and these she sometimes completely refused to eat.
But! She ate it up like a good cat! I was very pleased. Her package also contained canned tuna by Applaws and a cat snack for a gift. Isn’t it lovely when stores add something extra to the package? Claudicat was very purry about the extra too.