The days are winding down and I am getting closer to leaving my comfortable little surrounding here, I fear that I am beginning to feel a (ahem) small amount of pressure regarding the entire trip. As the thought of leaving my comfort zone and stepping out into the real world for three weeks approaches, I can’t help but feel a small bit of anxiety.
It could just be because I am getting old. We all know that as we get older, many of us seem to find comfort in our daily routine. When I was a young teen, we lived with my grandparents for a time and even at that young age I would notice that my grandfather was very set in his daily activities. He woke at 6am – even on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch was promptly at noon on the weekends and when he was retired. The Cubs would come on at 3:00pm for the afternoon game and no one would even think to ask to watch something different on the TV (that was back in the day when there was typically one TV per household!) Bed time was just after Johnny Carson. And on it went.
I see the same traits in my dear friends Bernie and Ellen. They are quite set in their ways and even though there is always an open invitation from them to “just stop in” whenever, I can’t help but sense that when I do their routine is disturbed. There have even been times when after lunch (dinner as they call it here in Canada) Bernie would wander off to the sun room to have his daily 20 minute “nap” while we all chatted at the kitchen table. :)
So am I getting to be the same way? I also have my daily rituals and find much comfort in them. When I was younger, I used to seek adventure and excitement. At some point, I think that I found that there is comfort in routine and a sense of security in the expected. I kind of like the way things are with my life.
But that doesn’t mean that I have given up adventure altogether. Truly in the bottom of my heart I am looking forward to both the trip and all the opportunities it will bring me. The thought of meeting people face to face and talking to customers and lecturing and teaching is a wonderful opportunity for me on so many levels. It is just a bit intimidating at times.
In the past, when I did both woodworking shows and other types of shows (I used to design and sell collectible mohair teddy bears) I would always be nervous before the event began. But once I got around my fellow vendors and the customers, I had a splendid time and felt happy and comfortable. The time would go by much too quickly and I would thoroughly enjoy the interaction with others who had similar interests as I did. It kept me coming back over and over again.
Perhaps the apprehension that I am feeling comes from the fact that it has been a long time since I have done a show. Add to that, I have never done a show of this magnitude or been a featured presenter at any show. All those unknowns seem to have added up and from time to time I feel short bouts of panic. I try not to allow the “what ifs” to fill my head for too long. It isn’t helpful.
My best defense to this anxiety is being prepared. In that respect, I am ‘getting there’. With just over a week to go, I have nearly everything done and in order, with just a few details left.
One of my biggest undertakings to accomplish is to produce the hand out sheets that I will be distributing during the four lectures I will be giving. I purposely left this task until the end. I have a general outline of topics of discussion for each of the two individual classes, but in compiling these handouts, I will be refining the information and it will be fresh in my mind for the actual lecture.
You all my find it comical, but one of my biggest fears is that I will be standing up in front of a crowd and run out of things to talk about. I don’t know why this plagues me so much, but it does. I believe I know my subject matter and I am truly not afraid that I will not be able to answer questions regarding scroll sawing, but somehow I fear that I will not be informative or entertaining enough for people to get their money’s worth. (By the way – the class is free with admission- so what is that all about?) Perhaps it is because I am “featured”. I am one of only four who were invited. Living up to that billing in a show of that size is scary.
Oddly enough the painting and scroll sawing classes the following week are something that I not only do not fear, but really look forward to. In that arena, I am on solid footing, and I feel confident in what I am presenting and with my ability to teach and help others. People will come expecting something I feel I can offer them comfortably.
Fearing the unknown is something that has plagued mankind all through the ages. I have found in my lifetime, that the anticipation of things I feared, is far worse than the actual thing or event. So with that said, I am in the process of convincing myself that this time it is no different.
For the most part, I am winning this battle within myself. I am happy, excited and looking forward to facing the unknown. There are just those small moments that creep in every now and then when I am feeling overwhelmed that I need to attend to them. I recently read a great quote which helps me put things in perspective:
”Always do what you are afraid to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
With that thought, I will carry on. :)
Have a great Saturday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"