Season 3 Episode 36 Transcript

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Hello, everyone.  How are you?

So, today, as promised, I am talking about my cross stitch and reading routine.  I know a lot of you also cross stitch and read, like me, and so I just thought I’d talk about it.  If you don’t read, you’ll still probably get something from this episode, but this episode was really inspired by somebody asked me on an Instagram Live that I did.

Right before Christmas, I did a live talking about all the books I had read basically in 2020.  Because I did used to update you all on books I was reading, planning on reading, and things, but I did stop that sort of series, I guess, last year.

I mean, I might bring it back this year.  Last year was just — routine kind of went out the window, but if you are interested in all the books I read last year, that Instagram live is on my Instagram.  It’s just saved in my IGTV.

So, anytime that I go live, I save it to my IGTV so you can re-watch it.

So, somebody asked me, how do you decide between cross stich and reading?  And I just thought it’s such an interesting question, so I thought I’d talk about it today. 

Now, this can also apply to other crafts as well, I know a lot of you do different crafts.  Like, last week — no, the week before, somebody mentioned that retired and they chose a different craft to do every day.  You know, we do have to sometimes make choices between our hobbies.  We sometimes have more than one.  So, how do we decide?

I do think this is where routine can come into play a little bit to make sure you’re making the time for both of them. 

Now, I know a lot of you listen to audiobooks when you’re stitching, and I do think that’s an amazing idea, a way to do both hobbies at the same time.  And I did say I was going to do it over Christmas because I only got into audiobooks this time last year.  So, January 2020 is when I started listening to audiobooks for the first time.  And I do enjoy them, I do listen to a few.  Not as — I don’t listen to as many as I read, but I do enjoy listening more than I thought I would.

So, that does seem like such a good solution to this problem, listen to an audiobook while you’re stitching.  However, I did not do that.  And I don’t think I’m going to.  I mean, I might do.  Again, I might try it eventually, but I’m going to explain why I don’t want to do that and how I balance both cross stitch and reading.

So, I’ll start with why that is me, why I don’t want to listen to an audiobook and stitch at the same time right now.  Because for me, reading and cross stitch are both ways to kind of focus my mind on something that isn’t, like, stressful, I guess.  And also, it’s to make me stop and pause.  Now, not in the same way — again, like I always mention, I don’t believe cross stitch is like medication, really.  It’s not where you’re doing nothing.  But it does stop me, kind of, from multi-tasking sometimes.  It’s like I’m focused on one thing and it is just cross stitch. 

Now, of course, when you are cross stitching, sometimes we have the TV on in the background or something.  But for me — actually, I do that sometimes, but most of the time I cross stitch — well, I’ll talk about my routine in a minute.  But for me, it is really that focused time solely on that thing.  Reading especially for me, like you cannot do anything else if you have a physical book in your hand.  It’s really impossible to do anything else, like watch TV or listen to anyone.  Like, my husband just finds it so bizarre when I’m reading a book and he’s talking to me, like, “I can’t hear you.”  Like, I can’t.  It’s weird, but you can’t, it’s true, isn’t it. 

Like, you know, when — people on their phones, it’s kind of like the same thing when they’re — if you’re reading on your phone or you’re reading a comment on Facebook or something, you literally can’t hear the things around you.  It’s so bizarre.

So, there’s that.  That is the reason why.  So, the thought of, like, trying to listen to an audiobook while I’m cross stitching, right now it’s just, like, I don’t know, I’d rather be focused on one or the other.

Now, I was thinking of listening to an audiobook and cross stitch, I was thinking of listening to fiction books because that is the problem usually.  It is, like, do I read this fiction book or do I cross stitch?  Because I do love non-fiction as well.  So, for me, usually I listen to non-fiction books on Audible.  So, if I was doing a non-fiction book and cross stitching, I think maybe that would work a little bit better, I guess, I think I could focus a little bit more. 

But for fiction, I just don’t think I could listen to a fiction book and get really immersed in it and cross stitch at the same time.  I just don’t know how my — I don’t — well, maybe you could be immersed in both, but I don’t think I want to be.  I think I want to be all in on the book or all in on the cross stitch.  I don’t think I want to split my attention that way.

Now, like I said, for non-fiction, I think that might work a little bit better, but I’ll explain my routine in a minute, and the reason why that won’t work for me.  Just because of the way set my day up.  But I just kind of wanted to mention that because I did say I was going to try it.  I was actually going to read — well, listen to, the sequel to Beartown, and I can never if it’s called Us Against Them or Us Against You by Fredrik Backman, is it.  And I love Beartown and I still want to read that book.  And then, I was going to listen to it and cross stitch at the same time, and then I decided not to listen to a fiction books.  So, I still haven’t read it.

But, yeah, I just wanted to explain that because I said I was going to try it and report back what I thought, and I still haven’t actually done it.  Now, I would love to hear from you because I know so many of you do listen to Audible books and cross stitch at the same time, and I’d love to know whether you can actually immersed in the book while you’re cross stitching.  Because for me I just — I can’t see myself being able to do it or wanting to do it.  I don’t know why, though.  So, I’d love to just hear from you on what your thoughts are on that.

Okay, so, let’s talk about my routine now then.  And I think this will help you, like, kind of make a bit more sense about what I just said with the Audible and everything.

So, I, as you all probably know if you’ve listened to this podcast more than a couple of times, I love stitching multiple projects.  And I’m actually the same with books as well.  Let me go to my Goodreads right now and I will tell you how many books are currently open on my Goodreads that I’m reading.

It is one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight books.  Eight books on my Goodreads.  There’s actually more, but they’re ones that I didn’t finish.  And you’re probably thinking, “How are you reading eight books at the same time?”

Now, some of them — so, let me explain.  Okay.  So, like, with the cross stitch projects, the way I keep them scattered all over my house.  With reading, I read books in all different formats.  I read paperbacks, I read on my Kindle, I read on the Kindle app on my phone, I read on a library app on my phone, and I read — well, I listen to Audible books.  And sometimes with Audible, I’ll switch between a few books depending on what mood I’m in and what kind of book it is.

So, with Audible, usually I listen to memoir type books or biographies, and then, like, non-fiction.  So, right now I’m listening to — I don’t know how new this is, but it’s Jen Sincero’s newish book, I think.  I think it’s pretty new.  It’s called — I don’t want to say the word in case little people are listening, so you might want to mute right now.  It’s called Badass Habits. 

And then, what else am I listening too.  Oh, I have Greenlights from Matthew McConaughey, Becoming from Michelle Obama, Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill.  So, they are those kind of books that are like fiction — I mean, non-fiction and memoir or biographies.

So, with Audible, I pretty much only listen when I’m packing up cross stitch kits for work because it’s such a mindless activity.  Like, I have to concentrate a little bit, like, obviously counting the amount of skeins going in and — but, like, most of the time, I have to pack.  I mean, I have to build, like hundreds of boxes.  Like, those boxes that my kits come in, I build all of those.  Like, fold them all in and put them together, they come in flat packs to me.  And then, for example, like cutting up Aida.  Like, I’ve just cut up like 100 pieces of Aida today while listening to Jen Sincero’s new book.  And then, I have to — for the new stich-a-long we’re doing, I’m sanding down all the wooden dowels.  So, when I’m sitting there just sanding down wooden dowels, I’m listening to an Audible book.

So, there’s those kind of activities, or those just kind of things.  Sometimes I will listen to an Audible book when I’m cleaning up as well, but most of the time I listen to podcasts then.  But occasionally that’s an Audible book time for me as well.

Now, I haven’t had the chance, really, to try Audible in the car yet because we haven’t been anywhere in like a year.  But I’m actually really excited to do a long journey and listen to an Audible book.

We did travel a little bit on Christmas day.  We were allowed to go and visit one family.  So, we went and seen — we went and had Christmas dinner with our — with my in-laws, but I didn’t really feel like I should be listening to an Audible on Christmas day in the front of the car, so I didn’t.  But I am pretty excited for this, like, journey thing.  Because, again, if you listen to any of my other reading episodes, I get car sick really bad sometimes.  So, I think an Audible book would be great in the car because I cannot actually read a book because I get sick.

So, that’s my Audible routine.  Anytime I’m doing mindless work activities that don’t require much attention, I’m listening to an Audible book.

And then, my Kindle app or my library app, depending on, like, what I’ve got — so, I’m currently reading on my library app.  I’m reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle.  That, though, my library app only gives you seven days to finish a book, and the way I read on my library app, I don’t usually have enough time.  So, I usually have to give it back and then wait a few weeks and get it back out again for another seven days, which I’ve just done with Untamed.

I started reading it just before Christmas, had to give it back for a few weeks.  Now, I’ve got it again.  Luckily though it keeps your page, and I really love this book.  So, I remember what happened.

So, the library app on my Kindle app, I’m usually reading if, like, I’m doing one or the kids bed and they like me to sit with them or — well, yeah, usually just sit with them for five minutes before I leave the room.  I just get my library up and just read.  Or if I’m in a doctor’s office or waiting for an appointment — when I had to go for an appointment in COVID times last May, and the wait was quite a long time.  I don’t know because there wasn’t actually many of us in the waiting room.  So, like, I’ll read a book then or like if you’re waiting at the dentist.  Sometimes if I’m in the car, like, waiting at the school run occasionally.  That might be a time I’ll read, not always, but sometimes.  Like, you know, just those small little gaps where — most of the time where it’s dark or not suitable to really pull out a project.  So, that is when I will read on my Kindle app or my library app on my phone.

And I do try to put the orange light on my phone instead of blue light.  You can change it night mode on your phone.  I find it much easier to read from my phone if night mode is on.  So, there’s a little tip for you if you struggle to read from your phone.

And then — oh, actually, I didn’t say.  Like, usually, Kindle apps or library books tend to also be non-fiction.  I do read quite a lot of non-fiction.  Probably more — I don’t know actually if I do.  It’s usually about 50/50, but it just seems like I read more non-fiction because I have them kind of scattered a bit more.  So, yeah, I read non-fiction on my phone.

And then, on my actual Kindle, I usually read books where the author only really has Kindle books.  So, I read one.  I’m reading a series called Trinkets, Cupcakes, and Other Magical Items or deadly [sic – Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic] — there’s, like, different endings to the word, but it’s cupcakes, trinkets, and magical something, deadly something.  It’s just, like, about vampires, witches — it’s actually quite a good storyline to it.  Yeah, I quite enjoy them, and the Kindle books are only about £2.50.  So, I read those kind of books on my Kindle.

Or like, I did used to have Kindle Unlimited, and, again, I’d try and read those like quick and easy fiction type books, but I cancelled my Kindle Unlimited subscription in December just because I wasn’t really using it as much as I was paying for it, really. 

So, my Kindle, I will usually maybe read in the morning or — it depends on, like, what kind of book I’m in the mood for.  Kindle is sometimes before bed because I always, always read before bed.  That is like my routine is to read before bed.  And if I’m reading a fiction book on the Kindle, I’ll read the Kindle before bed. 

But then, I also love paperback books.  So, right now I’m reading — I’m actually re-reading the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  Now, I just had this really big urge to re-read these in about October, November time.  It was when I was ordering Christmas presents, and I was ordering some books and I seen those books, and I was like I really want to read them again.  And I couldn’t go to the library to get them, so I just bought them, and then started reading them.  They have taken me quite a while to read.  I’m up — I’ve nearly finished number three now.  And then, I might read the next one as well.  But that isn’t really — it is a little bit related to the trilogy, like the newest one, but you don’t really have to read it to get closure really.

So, I’m currently reading those.  So, that’s like my ritual before bed.  Every single night before bed, I tend to read a paperback book or a Kindle book.  Usually, though, it is fiction.  That’s when I read my fiction books.  So, like, 99% of the time before bed I will read a fiction.

Now, most of you are probably, like, oh, my gosh, that sounds so confusing.  But when I had my second baby, I really, really got back into reading again, and I would read on my Kindle all the time, like, in the middle of the night when I was feeding her.   I just think Kindles, if you are a reader, and you’re a new mum, Kindles are amazing.  So, I would just read in the middle of the night while I was breastfeeding her.  Or if she was just up in the night, I’d just get my Kindle out instead of my phone because I just have a Kindle Paperwhite, so it was just a lot less of the harsh light on me and it doesn’t really affect the light in the room.  It doesn’t light up the whole room when I’m reading.  So, I really got back into it then.

And then, I just started building in these little habits of fitting more reading in.  I actually have a blog post about this, actually, I think it’s, like, tips for reading when you’re a new mum.  So, that is kind of like where this sort of stemmed from.  So, she’s like four now, four and a half.  So, it’s been like four and a half years I’ve been building up this new reading habit. 

Now, I did used to read, like, all the time when I was younger and teenager too.  I just kind of lost touch with it for a little bit between, like, I don’t know, between like the ages of 17 and 21.  Pretty much when I met my husband, actually.  I just kind of didn’t read very much for a few years, and then really got back into after I had my second baby.  I think after I’d had my first baby because I had got into cross and I went all in on cross stitch, and I built up that habit.  And then, by the time I had my second, I was ready for a new hobby, and then built up that new reading habit as well to fit in.

So, that sounds overwhelming.  It is.  But, again, like, I like reading fiction and non-fiction, so I have to find a way to do both, and I like to read before bed every night, but then sometimes I just need something in the daytime.  Especially when the kids are in school and I’m on my own all day working, it can get a bit lonely and silent.  Sometimes I listen to music, but I do just love listening to an Audible book now.

Like, in fact, actually, since I’ve listened to Audible and started listening to it, my podcast listening has gone down so much, which is actually quite sad because I listen to so many good ones.  So, sometimes I’ll be like, oh, I really need to catch up on some podcasts and that’ll put a little stent in my Audible listening.  But, yeah, just know, like, I have been building this little reading habit of mine for so many years, and it’s just how I like to fit it in.  Not everyone is going to enjoy the way I read.  You’re probably going to think that is just too much.  But — yeah, I don’t know.

And also, I used to use the library a lot, so my paperbacks would almost always come from the library.  But obviously with COVID and everything, I haven’t been to the library since last Easter, which is so sad.  So, that’s why I got the app on my phone instead, and I just get books on there instead.  But I do love using the library usually.  And that was where all my paperbacks would come from because I didn’t want to have loads of paperbacks in my house.

And now, because it’s shut, I’ve obviously bought so many more, and I get a few paperbacks at Christmas and things, and Birthdays.  But I’ve literally just had to buy another bookshelf, it came today from Ikea, just to fit all the extra books that I’ve been buying this past year because I haven’t been using the library.

 So, that’s another thing: use your library.  I think libraries are so forgotten about, but they’re amazing.  And it’s so much easier now to get books, I find.  You can just go online and reserve them and go and pick them up.  You don’t really have to spend time browsing if you don’t want to.  My library is great.

So, it’s actually pretty tiny, we only live in a small little town here.  We’re in a like a village, actually, and we don’t even have a library, so we go into the town to use theirs.  But even the town is tiny too.  But our libraries are all connected, so we have — I think there’s about 10, maybe more, libraries that are all connected.  So, if my library doesn’t have that book, I can just order it from a different library, and it’ll get delivered to my library to go and pick it up.  So, it’s a really good way of just getting books without, you know, if your budge is quite low.


I actually do budget myself with books.  I give myself at least £10 a month to spend on books.  But now, I’ve kind of like got a new rule of like because I was having to buy so many more last year, I came up with a new rule for myself that basically if I want a book I would buy myself the book.  Because I would save so much money using the library for some many years.  So, I came up with a new rule.  Like, no money is too much money to spend on a book. 

So, yeah, I actually bought a book last year and it was the most I’ve ever spent on one single fiction book in my life, and it was £17.  And I didn’t even regret it a little bit.  It was such a good book.  So, that was We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry.  So, that is my reading routine.

But now, let’s talk about cross stitch and how does cross stitch fit in with this when I want to cross stitch so much as well.  So, here we go.

Most of you probably know my cross stitch routine.  I talk about it bits and bobs on episodes.  But right now, basically my routine is every night while I’m watching TV.  But I don’t actually watch too much TV anymore, which has reduced my cross stitch a lot.


So, I used to watch quite a lot of TV with my husband, but then he went onto nights, and then we just kind of fell out of watching TV together a little bit.  He likes to play his PlayStation, and then I like to just get in bed basically, and cross stitch sometimes or read.  Like, I don’t know, we kind of fell out of a bit of a routine with watching telly because of him being on nights.  And then, if he was home, we were together all day, so by the time evening came around we kind of just wanted our own time in our space.  And then, I don’t know, I just don’t particularly watch much telly.

But we do watch the soaps, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.  But we don’t watch them every night, we record them and save them up, and then just like binge watch them all in one night.  So, we’ll just watch the whole week in one night, like an omnibus, but with no adverts.  So, like on those nights, we did that last night, and I just cross stitch the whole.  And it was lovely and I was like, “I miss just watching TV sometimes.”

So, that is my usual routine.  But right now because of, again, like we’re on lockdown again so I’m not watching TV in the evening, I’m usually working.  Just things like that have kind of stopped my routine, and I spoke about this last week, and that is why I like finding the gaps in my day to stitch instead in case that routine falls through.  Which it has because of lockdown. 

So, another thing I started doing, I started going this when the kids went back to school in September, when they were in school for a couple of months.  I started stitching on my “dinner hour” because I do give myself a dinner hour even though I’m my own boss.  I can take however long I want for dinner, but I do give myself a dinner hour.  And I started stitching.  Just, like, I’d go to the living room, out of my office, and just sit on the couch, put an episode of Gilmore Girls on and just cross stitch for, like, 40-odd minutes.  So, that was just like a really nice moment in the middle of my day.  So, I did get into that routine for a little bit.

But then, of course, now we’re back on lockdown and the kids are home.  So, what I’ve decided to start doing, and I started it this week, is after the kids finish school, I let them watch a bit of TV in living room or do whatever they want upstairs while I’m around with them still, and I just sit and cross stitch for half an hour.  And it just is such a nice way to end a very stressful day.  And also, it’s like a nice transition because then I do kind of do a bit of work after that as well, so it just kind of calms me down after a busy hectic day with the kids, gets me ready to go into my workday, gives me some energy back, restores me, and it’s just such a lovely to then transition into work.

And then, a couple of days a week I don’t do school with the kids, so my husband does a bit of it just because he has a couple of days off here and there.  So, you know, on those days, it is TV, cross stitch, of an evening kind of nights instead. 

So, again, I’m just trying to — my routine changes and I think we can get stuck in, like, oh, no, I need to cross stitch at 8:00 every day or this will happen.  And I think we need to make our routines much more fluid.  I think that’s one massive thing we could — we’ve learned from this past year is that our routines are just — they don’t have to be set in stone.  We can change them, they can be fluid, and all those kinds of things. 

Now, again, I do like to also cross stitch during my day, so one other way I cross stitch is — this is great if any of you are on, like, Zoom or anything during the day, maybe your kids are on.  So, I try — if my youngest is on a school meeting, I have to basically help her a lot, so I can’t really do this.  But this if my eldest is on a meeting, I have to be with him when he’s on there, but he can do everything himself.  He can use the laptop and put his hand up and — or mic himself and everything, so he can do that.  So, I will try and sit and cross stitch then while he’s on his Zoom meeting, and I’ll just sit next to him and do a little bit of cross stitch.

And when I’m on my own Zoom meetings too.  So, I do, like, at least one call a week, sometimes two calls a week, just for different business things I’m in.  Most of the time I’m just listening.  Sometimes we have to like contribute or it’s talking, but a lot of the times we’re just sat there listening to other people maybe chiming in, giving advice.  So, when I’m just sat there listening, I will get a cross stitch project out and I’ll just sit and do some cross stitch.

And this when this those tips that I’ve shared before — I think I shared this on last week’s episodes a little bit, and I’ve also shared it in an episode that I did called five tips to fit more cross stitch in or cross stitch more, or something like it.  That was a long time ago, but this tip still applies, to — when you’re or, you know, you have this uninterrupted time to focus on your cross stitch, what I do is I only stitch in half stitches, or I’ll stitch outlines if it’s like a large piece.  And then, the next day, when I’m on a call for an hour or something, or I’m on a Zoom meeting, I can just pick up my project and go over those half stitches, and I don’t need my pattern.  I can literally just pick it up and go over the half stitches.  And then, I can just fit in those 10, 15 minutes because my kids are usually only on a call for 20 minutes top, but three times a day.  Well, one’s on two times a day, one’s on three times a day.  So, that’s like 40 minutes of cross stitch.  And then, my own calls are usually an hour, so there’s another hour in the week.

So, do you see how it all adds up and how you can use both routines and fitting it in the gaps to kind of like make this — to just fit more cross stitch into your days?

So, that’s my own routine.  Obviously, I just kind of shared a few tips with you as well.  I just hope that, number one, you can see that routines change and they’re fluid, and that’s a good thing.  I mean, that’s kind of like the opposite of the word routine.  So, I like to use the word rhythms, which I get from Ali Kazazi, it’s a rhythm. 

So, like, every time my kid sits down to go on a call with his class, I get my cross stitch project out.  Every time I’m on a business call, I’ll get my cross stitch project out.  Every time we watch the soaps, I get my cross stitch project out.  And then, the same like with reading, every time I go to bed, I pick up my book, and it’s next to my bed so I don’t forget.  Not that I’d ever forget to read.  But, you know, when you’re trying to build in a new habit, you can forget.  And then, every time I sit with my kids in the dark in their bedroom, I’ll take my phone out and open the Kindle app or open my library app.

So, it’s just all these rhythms throughout your day that can really help you fit more in.  And this, I live by this, this is how I get cross stitch done, this is how I get reading done.  Though I don’t read a ton.  I only read 30 books, I think, last year in total.  So, it’s not like I read loads and loads and loads, but that is because I don’t always do my kids bed anymore.  I used to have to do their bed every single night, it was always me, but now my husband, they let him in now, they let him do it. 

Anyone else used to breast feed their kids?  Because that — I would feed them to sleep.  Worst thing you can do, but I don’t care, I did it.  And so, like, they just got used to me being the one putting them in bed every night.  So, yeah, for years, literally years, it was only me who could do bed, but now they like daddy doing bed.  So, you know, that kind of did actually reduce my reading time a lot, and it’s why it’s come up, like, these other ways. 

So, that is why I — it took me so long to get into Audible because then last year when I didn’t really do my kid’s bed anymore that much, I was, like, okay, I can try Audible now and I can fit more reading in.  And because I did used to read a bit of non-fiction as well on my Kindle, I can be, like, okay, I’ll fit my non-fiction into Audible books, and I’ll do it when I’m working.

I totally forgot to mention as well, actually, that I also cross stitch for a couple of hours every Sunday morning.  I have a lie-in and I just tend to cross stitch.  Occasionally I’ll put on some Gilmore Girls or something, but that is my focused, uninterrupted cross stitch time.  But I think we all need some times, so that is, like, actual routine, I literally wake up, get a cup of tea or coffee, usually coffee, and just sit in bed and cross stitch while my husband takes care of the kids.  So, that is like a set routine.  Every week that tends to happen, almost, like, 99% of the time.

So, there is that as well.  I totally, completely forgot about when I was talking about my routine then.

So, the question, though, was, how do I chose between cross stitch or reading?  And hopefully you can see that I have these rhythms in place so I don’t have to choose, I make time for them both.

Now, occasionally, like over Christmas because we were lazy over Christmas.  I had no work, I had — we didn’t really have anything to do.  Not much cleaning, really, like obviously day to day cleaning, but we couldn’t go anywhere.  We were on lockdown.  This was like when the UK had basically a tier system in place, and we were in the highest tier, so we were basically on lockdown.  There was nowhere to go.  The weather wasn’t great.  So, we were inside a lot. 

So, over that time it was more of a choice.  Like, we sat down, and the kids are just playing happily, and it was like, oh, should I get my book out or should I get my cross stitch project out.  And I just kind of fell into, what do I feel like doing.  And usually it is cross stitch if the kids are playing because then I can kind of keep an eye on them and hear them.  But then, like, if we were watching a film that I didn’t particularly want to watch, I’d sometimes just get my book out and do some reading instead.  You know, it just depends.

But, you know, most of the time, I don’t have to choose because it’s like, oh, I’m working on something a little bit mindless, so this is when I listen to my Audible books.  Oh, it’s dark, so I can’t cross stitch, so I can’t cross stitch, so I’ll get my phone out and read on my phone.  So, it’s not really a choice.  The only time that I’d have to choose, really, is before bed.  If there’s a time when I’m working of an evening, which is a bit more just from the way our days are set up, I do have to work a few evenings, then I can go upstairs and sometimes I’m like, I have not cross stitched all day and I really want to, but at the same time, I really want to read that fiction book that’s on the floor because I get really into the books that I read.

I only really read books I really, really love.  I’m so happy to just stop reading a book if I’m not enjoying it.  It doesn’t bother me.  So, that is the only time when I might have to choose is if I didn’t fit cross stitch into the day, and I was working of an evening, and now I want to do both.  That’s only time. 

But this is why I decided to start cross stitching when my kids are on their calls as well because the days that I don’t get to cross stitch of an evening are usually the days when I have to do school with the kids because then I have to work of the evening.  So, I’m like, okay, if I have to work tonight, so I won’t be able to cross stitch, then I’m going to have to find a time to fit this in the daytime.  So, that is why I just cross stitch when they are on their video calls because they do those every day no matter what.  And, you know, some evenings, like I said, I’m on the call.  So, I’m like, okay, I’m not going to be able to cross stitch tonight because I’m on this call, so I just cross stitch when I’m on it instead.  And then, that way when I go to bed, I’m like, oh, I got some cross stitch done and now I can do some reading. 

So, that’s just kind of how I fit it in.

That episode, this was so much longer than what I thought it was going to be.  I can’t believe I’ve just 30-odd minutes talking about my cross stitch and reading routine.  But I just want you to see how you can fit them both in and how, yes, it’s a choice, but can you do both.  So, I always read and — I’d say 90% of my days include reading and cross stitch, include both.

So, it is possible to have more than one hobby and do them both, and enjoy them both.  So, I really hope that helps you.  And hopefully, now, you can just get a little more reading done or a little bit more cross stitch done in your days.

And by the way, I don’t know if mentioned this — I feel like I have mentioned on this in an episode, but there have been studies done that prove that if you’re using your hands or doing something with your hands like doodling, knitting, cross stitch, crochet, and doing that with your hands while you’re listening, you take in more information.  So, let’s all remember that. 

I actually — I give my kid — one of my kids has very little focused attention on things, so we give him a fidget thing to play with while he’s listening to try and hold his attention for longer.  And it’s the same with us, but with cross stitch, it’ll keep us focused and listening.  So, if you’re on a Zoom call for work and — you can just say, I’m focusing more if I’m cross stitching while I’m on this Zoom call.  So, there we go.

I hope that just helps you a little bit.  And I just want you so much to be able to fit more of this into your days.  I think it’s more important than ever that we have things that recharge us and refuel us and fill us up.  I just hope you fit it in.  Just even just a little bit more, an extra 10, 15 minutes a day makes all the difference, so hopefully this helps you find that time, and you just have got a little peak into my days right now.

So, I will be back next week.  I’m not going to lie, guys, I have episodes all planned out, but I don’t know what order to do them in.  So, I can’t really tell you what’s happening next week, but I do have some good ones coming up.  So, I hope to see you then.  Bye.

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