Some time later...
I guess, drilling down into it, I am an "active relaxer". You won't (very often) find me laxed out on the couch, watching TV. I usually do minimum two things at a time (watch TV/read a book, watch TV/do some beading, help kids with homework/do some beading, listen to music/bash some metal into shape, write/listen to music). Often it's more than two. My own personal sense of satisfaction comes from collapsing into bed each night and doing a mental inventory of what I've achieved that day. I don't mind being tired the next day (hell, these days I'm used to it and expect it), as long as I've got something to show for it.
"Geez, I'm exhausted - but look at the pretty ring I made!" or "Man, I'm shattered, but at least I finished that chapter!". That's my own personal measure of success - getting somewhere. Even if it's just something small, it's a step forward.
Ain't nothing so satisfying as taking a step forward!
I guess I have low standards, in a way. I don't mind that what I achieved today was go to work, help my daughter with her new temporary hair extension (she's 12 - it's a Big Thing), start the housework (too tired to finish it), do a couple of favours for a couple of friends, clean up the kitchen and work for a couple of hours on a custom order necklace (embroidering seed beads onto lace). That's fine - that's something, right? Tomorrow, I'll have a whole new set of tasks. By the end of the week, I'll have finished this custom necklace and then I can start on the pink sapphire and sterling silver earrings for my daughter's birthday. Or write the synopsis for my new writing project. Or tidy up my studio.
Baby steps. I just want to fall into bed tonight and know that today, I made progress - I got somewhere. I used my time wisely.