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Forward Momentum

Posted 21/10/2015

I have to say that this year feels like one of those in which I've been constantly surprised at the rapid pace of it's progression, though unfortunately not on anything I'd intended to get done! As usual I've piled a lot on my plate and it's this habit that I've needed to address recently since it rarely gets results other than frustration and stress... After all Zen is meant to be doing one thing at a time, whole heartedly, and I have noticed myself flitting busily between an array of 'very important' tasks that must be completed but never quite finding completion in any of them.


People well-meaningly ask how 'business' is going... (read more)

(continued from above) since it is common knowledge that it has been our plan to get a motor home, fix it up and then travel the country selling my wares and, a whole 4 years after getting the motor home they of course are expecting a little more. I then have to admit that it really isn't well, anything – yet. So yes, I do apologise for the online shop STILL being under construction – it will be worth the wait though I promise!


That is the tricky part about starting a business from absolute scratch, alone, learning as you go and with no funding. Add that to completing a custom refurb on a literally rotten vehicle (with next to no money), adjusting to what is really a dramatic lifestyle change and trying to find better health, all whilst working a full time job plus weekend volunteer work for the first year, a part time job for the last 3, AND with a wedding thrown in... Phew! The delay actually makes sense now I see it written down! Ha ;) This is quite a personal post really, writing for me is often a good healing tool - it lays everything out in order to be understood better but it doesn't have to be published. I toyed with just keeping my musings private this time, slow progress in business terms is generally embarrassing and considered somewhat taboo (detrimental even) to mention, but The Waki Way is far more than just a business venture to me and I figured that if I was having these feelings maybe someone else might be too. I decided to bare myself in honesty for the sake of our story, as The Waki Way is as much about our spiritual journey and personal development as it is sharing our travels and wares on the road. Besides, life is what it is and happens at it's own pace, it's not really something we have much control over and so I've nothing to be ashamed about!


No matter how much longer this project has taken than I wish it had so far, I realise that we're still on track in the grand scheme of things and I've had time to get my head around how it will all work. We have to finish the foundations before we can put the rest into place and, well they're getting there! What else can I say? I still have to remind myself that in these last 4 years we have achieved so very much; we've literally torn apart and rebuilt Waki from the inside out (to a habitable working standard anyhow); got engaged and then married, and spent a year living full time on the road travelling to many places; we've made the switch to a, pretty much, completely organic diet (including making my own home made bread and as much else as possible) and we feel better than ever before; and not to forget enjoyed wonderful days spent in sunshine and learned a mass of new crafting and life skills with some seriously cool product development in there! But of course I'm still impatient... ;)


My frustration and impatience was actually risking becoming detrimental to our progress altogether, and to my spirits! In realising this I have pledged to myself to bring my focus into the present more instead of gazing longingly at the future dream scape I imagine life with Waki can be! On actually seeing the present I was able to take note of all of the little jobs (and some of the big ones!) that need finishing around here and that have been preventing us from moving on to other things.

 Our yellowed gloss paint - gargh!Our yellowed gloss paint - gargh!

As well as the original jobs to be finished we also had the problem of our once white but now very yellow gloss paint finish throughout. I've not been happy with the finish for a long time as it yellowed almost instantly, our lovely clean white wood contrasting the cream walls and door panels had blended into one bland mass. This picture> of one of our kitchen cupboard doors shows it best, the centre panel of the door is painted cream and the nice white wall is plastic so has stayed bright - the door frame is the problem gloss paint which used to match the white plastic perfectly! I really don't like having to do things twice :/


A quick online search suggested that we fell victim like many others to the change in EU solvent regulations that affected a lot of gloss paint on the market a few years ago. According to the online sources, paint manufacturers were instructed to reduce the solvent content in their products, something we of course agree is very necessary but unfortunately instead of finding a better ingredient balance some manufacturers simply increased the oil content causing the paint to turn yellow in a matter of months. Some people even managed to get their money back but our receipts were long gone... There is hope apparently, in the form of water-based gloss paint. So, although the manufacturers claim they've now solved the solvent problem, I decided I didn't want to risk it happening again (I especialy hate having to do something thrice!) and I purchased a tin of the water based to try out instead.


Since I had some holiday to use from my part time job I made good use of a week off, starting with a restful but educational trip to the Brighton coast for an Organic Chocolate making course (oh yeah, I bet you're impatient with me now too aren't you!?) then dived headlong into finishing the refurb. Here's how I got on:

* deep breath now! *     I sanded the lower and upper kitchen cupboard doors and prepped inside the lower cupboards for painting; sanded the stove base & the living room storage including my clothes cupboard; readied the upper kitchen and our clothes cupboards for some heavy duty roller catches; realised I should of worn protective gloves judging by my extremely rough hands afterwards - oh well, I've never had soft 'feminine' hands anyway! Since I'd already made so much dust I decided I might as well sand the lighting switchboard and repaired some bashed up areas of wall, glued some areas of lifted wallpaper back into place by the door where the condensation on the frame had got to it, and fixed the broken towel rail on the bathroom door. I then gloss painted the kitchen cupboards in several layers (inside and out!), the living room storage and my clothes cupboard. I also painted the stove base with a more hard wearing black paint which should hopefully stand up to a few knocks, I switched the existing tatty coat hooks for some better ones, and installed some clever door storage to the bin cupboard before measuring up to plan some more storage solutions for the other cupboards. I also made a 'stay-arm' for the sliding bins that will be rotated up and out of the way - since installing them they've simply been wedged in place with a stick of wood to occasionally break free whilst driving!


So that was quite a start, and I've managed to maintain a comfortable feeling of forward momentum this following week by progressing what little jobs I can here and there after work. I make sure I improve at least one thing around here per day which helps to keep the guilt at bay!


Our new bin door storage Our new bin door storage Since their success on the bin door I've made several more of the recycled storage pots for the other cupboard doors (I really do love these little pots! They're SO simple, see how here>), I cleaned and cut out the wall padding for inside the cupboards to protect the soup mugs I want to hang up (made from the lid lining of a dumped scanner and printer!) and trimmed the wood-effect end strips for the worktops which will smarten the place up after I finish painting. I'll go into detail about all of our little storage solutions in another post once it's all in place since I'm sure there's motor-homers/caravanners/tiny home dwellers out there that will want to utilise some of the same ideas!


So forward momentum it is, however gradual it happens to be, with my focus (for the time being anyway) brought mindfully closer to the job(s) in hand.


Thanks for reading as always, Sarah x

Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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