Help me make a calendar!

SAJ-2022-calendar-cover

Okay, die hard SAJ fans (all four of you), I need some opinions. I’m finally trying to make a real calendar out of my banner illustrations. Not the usual edges of illustration around boxes as a free printable (like I’ve done in the past) but full 8×10 illustrations imported into calendar program (like shutterfly but cheaper) so I don’t have to manually typeset number by number of each month. (It’s a lot of work and as you know I make a ton of mistakes!)

I’m not sure it’s a good idea because I want to have this printed and I’d love to recoup my costs by selling it BUT I’m not sure anybody is going to want a calendar that is so personalized. SAJ and her two teenagers and boyfriend aren’t exactly in demand as characters. But I have all these illustrations and I want to make something out of them. I need your thoughts. I am also working on a SueBea (based off my mom) calendar as well and I think that might be more marketable but what if I made a calendar out of these images… what do you think?

SAJ-January

I do like this one (above) and I think it works.

SAJ-February

I like this one (above) too.

SAJ-March

I love this one (above).

SAJ-April

And I like this one (above).

SAJ-May

I don’t love this one (above). It looks like I phoned it in but it is funny. Maybe I need to make the dogs show up more.

SAJ-May2

I do like this one too (above).

SAJ-July

I don’t like this one (above). I love flowers but the smile is too simplistic. I should draw a better face.

SAJ-August

I like this one but it’s pretty personalized. I don’t know, I guess everyone needs to read books about how to be kind to themselves… it could work.

SAJ-September

This one I dont’ like. I like the flowers but it’s too personal to us and our trip to New York. Will people wearing masks still be relevant next September? I hope not.

SAJ-November

I made this one today (above) and I love it! I think it could work for anyone.

SAJ-December

Eeck. Don’t love this one, though I remember loving it when I made it. I need to make a new December banner anyway so maybe I’ll come up with something new for this one.

What do you think? Should I keep working on this or maybe just print one for myself and go back to the old freebie formatting?

 

Thanks you guys

Yes, I’m Changing.

new-SAJ-office-1

About once a month I go crazy. The causes of me going crazy can be debated. Is it hormones? Is it me growing out of my own skin? Is it mental illness or mercury in retrograde? Maybe it’s the fall-out of the global trauma of a pandemic that we are all experiencing? Maybe I don’t have enough else going on… I have no idea. But know that I am getting help and for the most part I’m a pretty happy, well-balanced person. I just go crazy once a month.

The weird part of this going crazy every month is that my go-to response is to flee. I always want to up and move to somewhere else. I want to get my own apartment and start a new life somewhere else. As you can imagine this can be troubling to my family who loves me very much and doesn’t have any idea what is wrong with me. I don’t know what to say other than I have a restless spirit. I love my life very much until I don’t and then on that day I want to destroy everything and start over. It’s madness.

Usually, it passes.

before-new-SAJ-office.

But sometimes I get a hair up my butt and I go and rent myself an office somewhere else! Yes, I left behind a perfectly good at-home office to go work in a boring office building in cubicle-land. I know, it seems so counter-intuitive and like a huge waste of money but it has saved my sanity. I am so happy in my new office. I was on the verge of wrecking my whole life and creating a little space away saved me. Like Virginia Woolf says, I just needed a room of my own. A different room in a different space, twenty minutes away from where I was.

I don’t know if that makes sense but it makes complete sense to me.

So now I go to work every day. I commute to a boring office in industrial land. I walk the quiet air-conditioned halls of a big public workspace until I get to my small corner. It used to be a reception desk for an executive office so it has three walls (one of those is all window) and a counter on the out-facing side. I sit behind that high counter like a receptionist used to but I don’t have to recept anyone. I put plants on that counter to hide behind and occasionally I direct the Fed Ex guy where to go but nobody ever bothers me. It is blessedly quiet.

at-work-selfie-at-my-new-SAJ-office

I walk around the mostly vacant building talking to no one. Only a few other people work there and they are like quiet mice tapping away at their own computers. There is a kitchen but it’s closed because of covid so we keep our lunches in the company fridge but nobody stands around the water cooler chatting.

I take at-work bathroom selfies.

I do like dressing up for work again. There is something about going to an office that makes getting ready way more efficient.  I don’t know how long this charm will last. But that doesn’t matter because I can stop going to my office whenever I like. I’m my own boss! The rent (which is very reasonable by the way) is set to go up in October so I will reevaluate then. I’m thinking by the time winter comes around I might like to be back at home where it’s cozy but right now, while it’s hotter than dog’s breath, I AM LOVING my air-conditioned office.

I can actually wear office clothes instead of my usual uniform of a sundress and anti-chafing legging shorts. It is so nice to dress up again.

 

cafe-near-my-new-SAJ-office

It’s also really nice that my office is next to a bustling shopping center with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Bug tags along to work with me sometimes. Working from home really helped me out when I was a young mother but now as my kids get more and more independent, they don’t need me as much anymore. They might think they need me but all they need me for these days is for spending money (I feel like an ATM), making them breakfast, and acting like their own personal uber driver. Believe me, I’m happy to dodge their constant demands. Having a regular work schedule has helped me create boundaries on more than one front.

old-office-converted

Meanwhile, back at home where my office used to be, I moved everything to the sides and set up a big table in the middle. The kids used it for a craft project the other day and now I’m using it for some book organization but maybe someday I’ll move the table back out and buy a big velvet couch sectional and create a kid conversation pit. Or maybe Payam will move his office in there. So far he’s pretty happy in the living room where he can watch soccer on mute all day. To each their own, right?