Thursday, June 21, 2012
5 THINGS WITH MADALYNNE
Hi, my name is Maddie Flanigan and I am the blogger behind Madalynne. It's a cool pattern making and sewing blog that covers everything from how to draft a sloper to interviews with designers and what purchases are on my mind. By day, I work in technical design for a very large fashion company in Philadelphia. I consider myself one lucky gal to be able to do what I love every day, not to mention I receive a stellar discount off some really fancy clothes. But it is the knowledge my day job has given me that I’m truly thankful for. If it weren’t for my day job, I would not have learned all the valuable pattern making and sewing tips and industry secrets. Examining and evaluating garments and the patterns that go with each, as well with dealing with wash care, label placement, and packing, I have been able to create tutorials that relay information not known to many in simple and easy terms and illustrations.
I was ecstatic when Savannah asked me to participate in her 5 Things feature. I have been an admirer of her puritan, but cool ways, as well as her blog and its marvelous design and writing. But what 5 things would I talk about? I had no idea. Then, I decided to write about a topic that I have recently had experience with – burnouts. We all have experienced a burnout at some point. It’s when we work too hard - nights, mornings, weekends, and sometimes subconsciously in our sleep - and our minds and bodies just can’t take it anymore. The to-do list might be endless, but we literally can’t handle one more task. We shut down. At this point, a spoonful of relaxation, recharging, and Julie Andrews singing her infamous song from Mary Poppins, is the only remedy. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent reaching this point. Through trial and error, I have found 5 things, which I share with you today, that help me keep my mind sane even if the world around it is not.
2. Break. ---> This is another obvious tip, but also an essential one. We all need breaks. We cannot keep going and going and going. Over the past three months, I have worked straight through the weekend, blogging and sewing into the wee hours of the mornings and nights. Although I was having fun, it finally got to me. When the weather started to get warmer, I struggled to muster up enough energy to sew or blog. I resisted for awhile, but I eventually had to satisfy my craving and venture out. So one weekend, I did something completely out of character - I went hiking! I didn’t know what to wear or what to bring; I just knew I wanted to go hiking. And I had the best time! I spent an hour or so sitting by the river, just watching the world go by. The smell of fresh air, the colors of the landscape, and the slight breeze recharged my brain way past one hundred percent. My creativity and energy the following day were at levels they hadn’t been for weeks.
Along with music, silence also keeps me sane. We all live in a chaotic world that seems broken at most times. Between work, hobbies, friends, boyfriends, family, chores, etc., our lives just seem like too much. Silence, for me, puts the broken pieces back together. The peacefulness of no sound brings order back to my mind and refuels for whatever is next. I often spend Saturday or Sunday mornings dilly-dallying around my apartment to the sound of nothing.
4. Notebook. ---> The reason I feel anxious or nervous most of the time is because I have too much to do and I don’t know where to start. This is where my notebook comes in. I carry my notebook around with me almost everywhere. Seriously. Whenever I have a thought, idea, or task, I jot it down in my notebook. If it is a task, I look at my calendar and figure out the best time that it can be completed. I also use my notebook to break larger tasks into little ones (like I did for the dress I made for my dad’s wedding). Doing this does the same thing as silence – it brings order and structure to my life.
5. Mentality. ---> An extremist mentality will most certainly lead to a burnout. We can’t do it all and we can’t achieve it all. Being okay with just being okay is okay (sorry for the redundancy). I would love for my blog to reach the status of Elsie Flannigan’s, A Beautiful Mess (we have the same last name!) but if Madalynne doesn’t reach that level, I am okay with that. What’s most important is that I’m having fun, helping others, and meeting others with similar likes and hobbies. As long as I achieve those three things, I consider Madalynne and myself successful.
If all my above suggestions fail, watch Grace Kelly in the movie "High Society". Watching her and Frank Sinatra gallivanting through the plot, climax, and eventual resolution prevents and cures all and every case of burnout.
Find Maddie Here: Blog | Facebook | Instagram
Thank you, Maddie, for sharing such awesome advice on preventing burnout. It's awesome to do what you are passionate about and truly love, but you have to give yourself time to rejuvenate and refresh so you can keep doing what you love. Great tips!!