Hello! Happy New Year! It was out with the old last night, with our usual snack of homemade sushi while we watched the televised ball drop at Times Square.
And of course, it was the last day of December yesterday, so it's time to give the monthly job jar report.
I gave something to a friend, made and distributed guerilla art, prayed for someone's health, and researched an interesting new volunteer opportunity.
I read a shelter book, relaxed by doing some aromatherapy, and read an uplifting book.
I used a craft book as a starting point for designing a Christmas card, practiced drawing and did some sewing.
I cleaned and decluttered several sections of basement shelving, did several other household cleaning projects, did some filing, decluttered some art paper and decluttered a closet.
Since 2013 is now over, I can sum up how the project was either a help or hindrance throughout the course of the year.
The hindrance part: being an avid crafter - and also an avid gatherer of craft supplies - I had included a series of job jar tasks that called for making specific holiday crafts no matter what time of year it was. I'd thought that doing out-of-season craft projects would be a novel way of sparking creativity.
The reality was that after shoveling a mountain of snow on a February day, the last thing I really felt like doing was a Halloween craft (or another craft indicative of a future holiday).
The help: although the dirtiest chores, like cleaning basement shelving, weren't ones that I greeted with cheers, it was nice to get such tasks done. And the job jar system was a good way to keep up with repetitive jobs like filing papers and decluttering.
I enjoyed the tasks that required me to focus on how I could help others, and of course also enjoyed the tasks that helped me a bit, like reading a passage from an uplifting book or doing some aromatherapy.
I admit, there were days I didn't spend much time on the task I'd drawn for the day. For instance, I had drawn "sew something" on Christmas Eve. After making some last-minute gifts and doing some holiday baking, I wasn't about to sit down at the sewing machine. Instead, I sewed a button back on a shirt. Well, it was a form of sewing!
However, a 30-second task like that was balanced by much more laborious tasks, like giving the kitchen stove a much-needed cleaning. It looked almost like new by the time I was done, but it took a fair amount of elbow grease and time.
It was interesting to note that often a synchronicity of sorts occurred - like the two times I pulled a tag that instructed me to make a treat for our daughter. Both times, we were set to visit her at college a day or two after I'd pulled this tag. I would have happily made her some treats no matter what, but I was able to save the shipping costs by being able to deliver the goodies in person.
And there were often times I'd realize that I needed to tackle a certain chore the next day - and would then randomly pull the tag for that very chore the next morning. Cool!
However, there were times that I'd pull a tag, complete its task, only to pull it again a couple of days later. If that task didn't need to be done again that soon, I'd just pull another tag.
Upon looking over my master list of all the job jar tags I'd made, it looked like I'd done all but one or two tags at least once throughout the year. One of the unpulled tags was for a charity project that would have used up some surplus fabric(an easy-sew quilt for a particular organization), so I'd been looking forward to that. But it was not to be.
Will I do the job jar again this year? Since it basically worked well for me last year, the answer is yes, but I won't report on my progress every month.