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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1382: Looking Ahead

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-15-2014 12:04 PM 1165 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1381: Some Final Thoughts on All American Crafts Part 1382 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1383: New Project Ready to Cut (At Last!) »

As we find ourselves on Friday already, I  am once again in awe of how another week has passed so quickly. I can honestly say that this has not been one of my 'favorite' weeks, as there were several things that happened over the past several days that were not very positive.



I missed writing for a couple of days because I found myself in somewhat of a state of 'limbo' and I didn't feel that I accomplished as much as I would have liked. Much had happened over the course of the week and while much of it did not affect me directly, some of it did and it took all of my energy to digest things and keep myself in a positive state.



Sometimes stepping back and watching things unfold without participating is the best way to learn from situations. Observation is a valuable method of studying something and understanding things a bit better. By not actively  participating in things, I sometimes feel it is a far better way to asses things and make conclusions regarding things. It also allows me to study and asses the behavior of others as well, and judge their credibility by seeing how they act and react with others, without becoming personally involved. I feel that this allows me to be more objective – especially when I am close to the situation.



As you can imagine, I was feeling rather low this week. The circumstances of one of the main avenues of my business and income had changed drastically and while it was only part of my business, it was also something that greatly affected not only my colleagues, but my friends and customers -all whom I care greatly about. Since I put myself out here in my blog almost every day, I became a sounding board for those who were also affected by the events. I realize that since I make myself accessible to the public on a daily basis, not only do I benefit from this exposure, but I also sometimes pay the price for it. Besides the many questions and inquiries that I received from the several places that I post this blog, there were also countless notes, letters and emails sent to me privately. Many were supportive, but many were not and were filled with anger. I tried to deal with each one of these notes and emails and comments with the same personal care that I always give them, but for the most part I am in the same position as everyone else. I have shared what I know and as someone who also lost a large avenue for my business, I am trying to make the best of what was dealt to me and move on to positive things. I would think that would be natural and expected behavior.



For the most part, people have been kind and understanding. However, some feel the need to vent to me and blame and call names and chastise me for feeling bad for those who not only employed me and helped my business tremendously over the years, but whom I also considered my friends. I don't really understand this behavior at all. 



For over four years now, nearly every morning I write here in my blog and share my thoughts and experiences with you. I have always admitted that I began this blog to improve my business and exposure. That is why many people blog in the first place. But I also stated time and time again that one of the residuals of writing here each day is that I have truly made some wonderful friends from all over the world. Places such as Lumberjocks.com, where I began writing in the first place, has very few scroll sawyers and even fewer painters, and I think I can safely say that by posting there, I in all likelihood picked up far more friendships than customers. I list that as an example only because it is probably the venue that I am able to track the best (my own software on my site is not good with tracking such things). This means a lot to me.



I come here in the mornings and spend the first couple hours of my day writing and sharing experiences because I continually receive letter after letter from those who appreciate that I share my personal experiences – good and bad – with them and they say the learn from what I discuss. For every 'comment' I receive on the many public boards that this blog is published, there are usually several more private messages from people with questions, encouragement and gratitude to me for being open and honest with them every day and giving them insight to some of the aspects of small business that they would not otherwise be able to see. They can attest that I answer each one personally and carefully, as if we were having a cup of coffee and discussing things between friends. It doesn't matter to me if they are potential customers or not, or which type of business they are in or if they are even in business at all. I try to help whenever I can. Keith often chides me that we help others who will ultimately compete with us! I smile at this because I feel confident enough in my company, business practices, designs and integrity that I honestly wish them all the best. I believe there is lots of room in this world for many designers, and that the only way our craft will survive is by supporting and promoting others. And I try to do that. 



What I don't understand is the people who feel the need to attack and belittle me or my opinions. I fully understand that there will always be others who don't agree with me. As I peruse the web, I certainly see others express their thoughts that I don't particularly agree with. But instead of confronting them and trying to pick an argument with them, I simply click a button on my mouse and move on. After all – whether I agree with their thoughts or not, they have every right to them as I do mine. I certainly don't think that I am always right, but I do believe that I have the right to express my thoughts – especially on my own blog – and not be attacked or called names because of it. Maybe I expect too much. 



This happened a couple of months ago when I began posting my blog in another forum. Prior to doing so, I obtained permission from the site owners to do so, as I really don't want to post where I am not wanted. But a new member came in after several weeks and began harassing me and calling me names and I guess you can generalize what they did as 'bullying' both myself and Kieth to the point that I decided it wasn't worth it. I no longer post there and I don't see doing so in the future. The bully crawled back away and hasn't posted since I left, which leads me to beleive his entire goal was to remove me from a site that he had no intention of participating in or improving or adding to in any way. It makes one wonder – why? 



I truly try to weigh and consider all the opinions that are posted on my blog. Whether they agree with my own views or not, I treat them with consideration and respect. I don't block people or comments because I honestly feel that everyone has a right to their thoughts and opinions. The only time I did was at the aforementioned incident, as the poster was extremely abusive and the moderators did agree and remove the remarks. Because I try to follow this line of thinking, I usually just leave the post there and move on and not be drawn into an argument. But sometimes that isn't enough for some people. They can't state their side and leave until they engage you in an argument. If you ignore them, they try harder. 



What fascinates me even more are those who create a new account just to troll my post and anonymously attack. In a way it flatters me that someone would go through that much time and energy just to try to put me in my place. Yet they won't do so under their own identity. They will use a screen name to mask themselves from the rest of the group. They don't even have the decency or back bone to confront me with their real face. I look at those individuals, not with anger, but with pity, as I realize how empty and sad their lives must be for them to go to all that effort to spread their poison. No wonder they are miserable. I would be miserable as well if I spent my day looking for arguments under the mask of an internet identity. I truly feel very sorry for them when I think how empty and angry their lives are. 



Today I begin the 54th year of my life on this planet. Perhaps number-wise I am considered "middle age" (I could only be so lucky as to live to 106!) I look back on the last half-century of life that I have lived and I believe that I have learned a great deal from the many, many mistakes and observations that I have made. 



One of my favorite things that I have learned is a phrase that I recite often here in my blog: "We follow where we focus." 



No other phrase has served me better.



I choose to focus on the good in people and situations. I like to give the benefit of the doubt. Even if I am wrong about someone, usually there is something there that serves as a positive that I can walk away with. I try to treat people with decency and respect – even if they don't return the sentiment to me. I try to allow for others to express their opinions and while I may sometimes agree to disagree, I still feel they have every right to have them. I don't actively try to hurt or belittle people, as I feel this world is a harsh enough place and those who are unkind and abusive are fighting their own demons, which are much more powerful than I can imagine. And I always try to look for hope. Each new day is another chance to make a difference. Whether it be large or small. If writing here makes even one person smile, or learn something or feel better about something, than it was worth my time, and I will continue to do so.



Is this an idealistic way to live? 



Probably so. But it is the way I choose to live and by thinking this way and being this way I find I am my happiest. This is how I am true to myself. And because I am happy, it affords me the great luxury of sharing that happiness with you, my readers and also my friends.



With that I will end this very lengthy post. As always, I appreciate every one of you who reads. Whether you comment or not. Whether you agree with me or not. Whether you are a scroller, painter, small business owner, or just someone looking for reading material with your cup of coffee in the morning. I thank you all for taking the time to allow me into your day. It is time now for me to get back to creating. I can't wait to share what the next year will bring!



Have a wonderful day!



(The most adorable birthday card in the world!) 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



18 comments so far

View Rick13403's profile

Rick13403

213 posts in 2155 days


#1 posted 08-15-2014 12:33 PM

Happy birthday Sheila. Hope you have a great day and weekend.
Rick

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 - www.thescrollerandtoler.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#2 posted 08-15-2014 12:38 PM

Thank you, Rick! The years are flying by! :) Thanks for always being a great support and friend!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View athol's profile

athol

51 posts in 1167 days


#3 posted 08-15-2014 12:46 PM

Happy Birthday Sheila.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#4 posted 08-15-2014 12:51 PM

Thanks, Athol! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View 54curly's profile

54curly

27 posts in 445 days


#5 posted 08-15-2014 01:33 PM

A very Young 54 at that! Hang in there Sheila! Enjoy your day!

-- Curly, South Dakota! Now where did I put that board stretcher?

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4559 posts in 943 days


#6 posted 08-15-2014 01:43 PM

“What I don’t understand is the people who feel the need to attack and belittle me or my opinions. I fully understand that there will always be others who don’t agree with me. As I peruse the web, I certainly see others express their thoughts that I don’t particularly agree with. But instead of confronting them and trying to pick an argument with them, I simply click a button on my mouse and move on. After all – whether I agree with their thoughts or not, they have every right to them as I do mine. I certainly don’t think that I am always right, but I do believe that I have the right to express my thoughts – especially on my own blog – and not be attacked or called names because of it. Maybe I expect too much. ”

Right on!

My favorite mantras are: (1) Quitters never win and winners never quit; (2) cream rises to the top; and, (3) what doestn’t kill you makes you stronger. Probably shared too much, but that my opinion.

Happy Bithday and may you enjoy many more!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#7 posted 08-15-2014 01:51 PM

Thanks to both of you Curly and John. I did just only turn 53 though (I may have been unclear because I said “entering my 54th year”. The coffee obviously hadn’t kicked in all the way yet!) Some women are ashamed of their age. I look at these last 53 years as an accomplishment. My grandfather used to say “consider the alternative.” (I loved him dearly!)

I love all your points you made, John. Thanks to you as well for your friendship and support.

:)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View kepy's profile

kepy

157 posts in 924 days


#8 posted 08-15-2014 02:09 PM

Happy Birthday Sheila. I enjoy reading your blog every day and really don’t understand some of the negatives that are aimed at you. I think the computer gives these people a feeling of secrecy that allows them to say things that they would never dare to say to a person face to face. Having been around for 3/4 of a century, all I can say is that I am glad that I won’t be around to see where all this ends up.

-- Kepy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#9 posted 08-15-2014 02:16 PM

Thanks, Kepy. I also view the computer as a double-edged sword. But . . . I still feel I gain far more than I lose through it. As I said – we reap what we sow. I never mind someone expressing their opinion on my blog (even if it doesn’t agree with mine!) but rudeness and name calling is something that I feel is uncalled for. I don’t do that to others and I expect the same respect offered to me.

If someone wants to take up their own cause, they are welcome to start their own blog, build their own credibility and audience, and preach to their heart’s content. We all are offered the same tools here. Adopting an ‘identity’ to spit in someone’s face and run and hide to me isn’t a credible way to discuss something. But again – I am getting older. I was brought up in different times.

That’s how I see it from this side of the hill, anyway.

Thanks for the kind wishes, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

800 posts in 724 days


#10 posted 08-15-2014 09:05 PM

Happy, Happy birthday Sheila! Have a great celebration and do something special for yourself. You deserve some spoiling! I believe every birthday should be celebrated :)

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#11 posted 08-15-2014 09:31 PM

Thanks, Anna. I just finished today’s drawing. I went out for a nice lunch too. I hope you have a wonderful wekkend. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2644 posts in 2363 days


#12 posted 08-16-2014 05:19 AM

Sheila,

I hope you had a very blessed birthday! (By my CDT clock, it’s already over!) Thanks for clarifying your age. I wasn’t smart enough to pick up on the “entering” part and thought maybe your math skills were a little lacking! ;-) I should have known better. (I’m a little slow.)

You stated your thoughts very concisely and I agree. Since I don’t blog (or even comment) regularly, I can only remember one time that something I wrote caused numerous venomous comments. When I read them, I wanted to clarify what I had said because it was all misconstrued, but I considered the source, clicked the unwatch button, and put the thoughts out of my mind.

Some people are just argumentative and seem to thrive on angry confrontation. Others live in peace. I choose the latter. This reminds me what it says in Romans 12:18: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” I think a real key to understanding that verse is the phrase “if it be possible.” There are some who do all in their power to not let that happen. We can only do what we can do; we can’t control others, so we can choose what is right. It is good that you show pity and compassion for them. I can only imagine how miserable their lives must be.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3033 posts in 491 days


#13 posted 08-16-2014 09:01 AM

Late to the party…hope it was a happy one, Sheila! Thank you for your ‘pink cloud’ attitude!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7648 posts in 1571 days


#14 posted 08-16-2014 10:45 AM

Thanks L/W and Candy.

L/W – Math is NOT my strongest asset (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!) – especially before coffee! LOL! ;) I don’t think I stated things clearly. I can just round it off to being 29 years old and call it a day! ;)

Yes – I am ready to go back to my “happy place” and make some pretties. There is plenty of room there for all of you – come join me! :D

I hope the dust settles on this drama soon. It sucks the life out of me!

Have a great weekend!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1573 days


#15 posted 08-18-2014 02:07 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHEILA!

Just reading today my e-mail. I’m still going for some woodworks but I do refrain from blogging and posting my projects because I just set it aside. There are some priorities. Hope I can do many tasks without hesitations… negative thoughts always comes first and that is why we always tend to set aside. However, you are different. Despite of everything, you still have time to for us to write. Keep it going, I will always treasure the information you shared and so with the future ones.

God bless,

-- Bert

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