I have made some good progress on my skating figures, and will be finishing them up today. I realize that I may have sounded like I was behind schedule in doing them, but actually, I am quite ahead of the deadline, which is the 27th of this month. In reading your responses and also the personal messages from you, I do see that perhaps I do drive myself a bit hard at times and should give myself a break. I looked at the calendar yesterday and saw that I had plenty of time to do a good job and get these to the company for photography. So what am I so worried about?
Sometimes I need to take a breath and re-evaluate things (mostly myself.) I tend to be hard on myself and have been that way for as long as I can remember. Even when I am successful at something, I recall the times when I wasn’t and not wanting to rest on my laurels, I try to push myself more. This is a tough business I am in. Especially when gas is over $4 a gallon in the States and everything else is so expensive. People have little disposable income to spend on their hobbies and the entire craft industry is struggling.
I have been told many times that even if I am able to hold my head above water in times like this, I am doing really well. I look around at my fellow designers and there are very few who are able to sustain a living with only their designing. I want to be the exception to that. I don’t think that it will be easy at any stage of the game, but it will always be interesting and fun.
I had some personal stuff that I needed to get done yesterday in Yarmouth. It probably could have waited a day or so until after this job was finished, but it was warm out and the sun was shining and it was an incredibly beautiful day. I had finished painting half of my figures and I thought it was a good time for a break. So I put the top down on the car and took the long way into town – through the back roads and in coming home, I drove along the ocean. It took me twice as long to get there as it would of had I taken the highway, but it was well worth the extra hour spent. My partner and I discussed his plans for marketing his beautiful pens he is creating and I suppose you could have called it a mobile business meeting.
After I returned home, which was around dinner time, I did the mail (there is always email) and caught up on some correspondences. By then it was nearly eleven and time for me to call it a night.
I feel good today and refreshed and motivated. Since I work pretty much every day of my life in one way or another, these impromptu breaks are important to me. I love my job, as you all know, but I also want to enjoy the rest of life just a little bit too. After all, isn’t that what I am working for?
It seems funny that I have the need to justify these breaks, even in my own mind. I hear how people loathe their jobs on a daily basis and there is part of me that feels somewhat guilty because I like mine so much. Others work for the day they can retire, and in my own mind, retirement simply doesn’t exists. I have built my life around teaching and creating and sharing what I create with others and I realize that I am very lucky to make it work for me.
I live a much simpler life than many of you would choose. I don’t possess a lot of ‘things’. But I am comfortable in where I am. Isn’t that what it is all about anyway? Of course, I would love to have a bigger shop one day and loads of cool tools and not worry about whether or not my patterns would sell. But I suppose that is the price I need to pay for having things the way I have them now and being happy doing what I do. I believe that I am much better off than a lot of people with much bigger bank accounts than I have. And of course, I have my health too. How could I ask for more?
So I thank you my friends for helping me stay grounded and see what the most important things are in life. I tend to get too worked up about things sometimes and it begins to overwhelm me. It is a wonderful gift to be able to vent a bit here and in return have so many wonderful people to encourage me and sometimes bring me back to realty. I appreciate you all very much.
Today I will finish the painting on the figures and make the stands for them. The Creative Paperclay that I use for the stands is an air dry product and takes at least a full day to cure. While that is happening, I will begin to lay out the instructions and get the pattern packet into shape. I found a couple of minor errors on the original pattern and I want to be sure it is correct this time. I have a friend who is a painter that offered to review and proof read the pattern for me. I think I will take him up on it.
I feel calmer today and ready to take on most anything. The past few days I have felt a sense of anxiety, as you may have noticed. But I am ready to move ahead now and it seems that a ride in the country for a couple of hours did wonders for getting me out of the mud I was stuck in. Time to move onward.
Have a wonderfully productive day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"