In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

30-day experiment #2 update: “Creating”

If you’ll recall, this month I set a goal to spend an hour a day “creating” things that had nothing to do with my job or this blog.

Otherwise, I tried to leave the definition pretty open to allow for exploration of lots of areas, if the muse so directed me. Now that we’re about halfway through the month, how am I doing?

Well … not so great.

I had two projects I thought about working on at the beginning of the month: making candles and building a zen water wall.

On the first day of the month, I sketched out the plans for the water wall and thought about the materials I would need to build it. That’s as far as that particular project has gotten. Could I still crank out a water wall in the next two weeks? Sure, probably. But I haven’t made it a priority in the past two weeks, so something would have to change in a big way.

I did, however, make one candle so far and enjoyed it. I’ve got some ideas and ordered some more materials to make more candles.

More proof of concept than showroom piece.

I did a test run with an idea I have by cutting a beer bottle and filling it with the candle wax. As you can see, the edge leaves a lot to be desired. I need to work on how to best cut a straight line in the bottles without cracking or chipping.

I plan to make several of these with different bottles for Christmas gifts. Hopefully more photos and details will come in the end-of-the-month recap of the whole experiment.

The only other creative work I can say I did was putting up my outdoor Christmas lights this past weekend. This is only our second year in this house, and I wasn’t totally happy with how last year’s light design turned out. I wanted to do better this year, so I spent some time thinking about how to improve.

That actually took me about 4 hours on Sunday, but my goal was to spend an hour each day being creative, so that marathon session didn’t get me back on track or anything.

In retrospect, an hour a day given my current schedule isn’t easy to come by unless I ignore my family or give up sleep. I recognize I’m simply not prioritizing that hour of creativity, and maybe I should cut it in half and go for 30 minutes a day. I could give up other things in order to find that time. But that’s why I’m calling these experiments and not goals. It’s aspirational, not mandatory.

I’ll keep plugging away and let you know how the rest of the month goes. With any luck I’ll have a candle empire to tell you about!


  1. Amy @ LifeZemplified

    I like the candle idea, I made and sold some years ago myself. Great idea for gift giving. Scheduling the time on your calendar might be a good way to stick with the 30 minutes…which might lead to 60 on some days. Good luck with the rest of the month.

    • I Dream of FIRE

      That’s a good idea. I don’t typically schedule anything in the evening that isn’t an event or something like that. Maybe that would be a prompt to get on it.

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