Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spread a little too thin.

I've been struggling (again) lately as to which direction to focus on taking my bliss, and the added challenge of my new full time big girl job has made me realize that trying to have my hand in too many pots (blogging, baking, thrifting and creating for a booth space seasonal shows....) just isn't gonna work. I want to be focused, and be the best I can possibly be at whatever it is I am doing.

There simply isn't enough time in my week to do all I want to do.

I was surprised to discover yesterday as I was chatting with a friend, that I am not the only one struggling to make the smartest use of my limited time and still have a full and happy life. It seems that another friend is at a similar crossroad.

I think creative minded people struggle so much with things like this because we truly want to do it all....but just because we want to do something may not mean that it is going to always be financially worth while, and if we are not careful, we end up working long and hard on a project- items for a faire, furniture for a booth space, whatever it may be, the end discover we spent more on product, gasoline, and precious time, than we will recoup in the end. Then, we're frustrated.

And stressed.

And that's not good.

Right now my Barbie Condo looks like Santa's workshop, since I do my painting at the kitchen table and store in-the-works-products on the living room floor in the corner. (which is quickly growing past the sofa area) I do not like coming home to this. I want my home to be my haven. A nest away from the stress, not to add to it.

I've made a Pro-Con list of all my different interests...some hobbies, some part of my income...some hobbies-turned-income and some supposed-to-be-income-turned-hobby-like. I know I've got to cut back somewhere, and some things are going to have to fall off the list. It's just that it's so very hard to decide which is what, and what is which, if you know what I mean.
All I know for sure at this point is that I'm pretty happy that I have the option of choices, and I think over the next couple of months things will settle out. Then I will (hopefully) know where it is I am supposed to focus my energy. Right now I am just waiting on a sign from God.

I continue to be accutely aware that I am not driving this bus.


  1. Boy I hear you! I need several more hours every day to do all I want to do! I have my antique store to tend to and keep clean and put out new merchandise all the time. I have my dealers to take care of and keep informed. I have my home, my husband and my boys. I have my outdoor work to do this time of year....I'm in Montana so this is just the start of the season to clean out flower beds and do some planting. I am garage saleing to find new merchandise. My house is a mess. I have some taxing, financial issues that need my immediate attention. Plus it is nice once in awhile to spend some time with a friend..............I need to make money so I concentrate on the store. I just don't know how to do it all. So please figure it out and let me know!.....Nicki

  2. Hi Tracey, I know how that feels... I've been trying the same thing lately, a creative minda never stops and when the stress comes around it really isn't a good thing. Right now I have decided to quit my booth space at a local antique shop and I really hope I'm making a good decision. I know I will miss it but hopefully I will be able to a bit of the stress away and get focused on something that really means a lot to me. The most important thing is to keep the faith. Blessings to you, Vanessa

  3. I despise that feeling!! I seem to be overcome by it even when I have (what feels like) all the time in the world! Lately I can't seem to find a happy medium no matter what. I have a craft room (we were lucky enough to rent a house with an extra room that I claimed!) full of so many projects to do...a house that still doesn't feel 'moved into'...a friend coming for the weekend in a few weeks...a yard that needs major help...a garage that needs major help...a spastic dog that is testing us big-time...the list goes on. And on.

    Anyway, I love your new blog look and hope your blog isn't what hits the road!! ;)

    Take care and I know things will work out for you in the way that suits you best!!

  4. Rather than list all my crunch issues, I will just say amen in agreement to your post and the comments so far. I will be praying for you to hear from "the driver of the bus". I so enjoy your blog, so I, too, hope it is not the thing that goes away. Just do what is best for your life. Hugs.

  5. Nicely said. I am asking God to help me with this crazy journey we are strving.. Hugs Mary

  6. Boy did this hit a cord with me today. I am pretty stressed this morning. I have a growing sewing business and the paths on this road keep expanding to new paths, all stretching my comfort zone. Which is all good, but anything new is pretty stressful.
    On top of that I just signed on for my 4th part time job.I don't have the luxury of saying no to these. Fortunately they all have somewhat flexible schedules, which is why I chose them. But, keeping everything straight and meeting all the deadlines is pretty scarey sometimes. I have to just keep having faith that everything will be all right. Take lots of deep breaths and keep a "big" calendar with me at all times.
    One thing I did do, is move all my sewing clutter upstairs, so that my main living spaces are not work related. That seems to have helped a little.
    Reassessing what is going to make money and what is just for fun is really important. Because you are right in saying creative people want to do it all. However, don't we have to do fun things too, just to keep our insanity..errr I mean sanity. Heh!
    I keep bribing the "driver of my bus" with chocolate and goodies so she doesn't drive me off the cliff.

  7. Looks and sounds like my life and my house. My poor husband tries to support me emotionally, but is getting tired of climbing over my projects at their various stages of completion. It's true that we are not driving this bus, but it is hard to be quiet and listen for the Driver to tell us where next to go. Free will is not all it is cracked up to be sometimes. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I clicked over and read your friend's post too. My solution:

    Combine forces. You already rent a booth. Get your other stressed friend to share it with you...a loose arrangement, nothing legal or binding. You both could still junk, redo and stock the booth, but with less pressure because 2 people are doing it.

    One could continue to 'own' the booth and take the others items on consignment--maybe charging a flat monthly rate plus a percentage of the sales when the item sells. Or if the cost of the booth rent is not of concern to the renter-- i.e. you're not strapped financially-- only charge a percentage of each item sold.

    The booth renter would handle all the money, take out her percentage and cut a check for the amount due the seller. Biweekly or monthly.

    If I'm understanding you both, you must work, love to junk, and need to stock your booth. Combining forces will reduce the stress of keeping enough inventory ready for sale in your booth.

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. For me, I start getting overwhelmed and then ultimately get nothing done which equals more stress! So, smart to make a pros and cons list. I'm opening a spreadsheet right now to do just such a thing! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Interesting post. You are not driving the bus, but you choose the stop where you get off. If it "ain't" fun any more and you "ain't" making a profit.....ring that bell to alert the driver.
    Besides, who knows what is around that next corner? Good Luck & God Bless!

  11. Amen to all of the above and to your post! What to do, what to do? I wish I could figure this out too, you hit the nail on the head!
    Hope we can all get our answers soon!

  12. Hmmmm were you the person that picked Balance to be your word this year....I'm not sure?

    Just starting a new job is stressful in itself. I understand wanting to give everything your best, right now perfect is expecting a little too much. No one lives forever. Don't get in the rut of thinking if my life isn't crazy busy and upside down something is wrong.

    You know what you have to do. Don't feel guilty about it. Do what you have to do and still dabble in the fun stuff.

    Off my soapbox,

  13. Tracey, I can imagine you are overwhelmed!!You will get that sign from God!!!
    You are an amazing woman.
    Have a pretty day,

  14. I think any time one is involved in selling anything, there is going to be a certain amount of stress involved!

    I'd probably decide between the booth and the seasonal/faire thing, and I'd base it on which one was most profitable.

    The booth seems slightly less stressful, because you don't have to be there all the time, and there is not a time deadline you're working against. It would also be the easiest one to let go in terms of not losing anything, right? (I mean like losing your space at Camas)

    If you decide to keep the booth, you could still go and enjoy the faires.

    The seasonal/faire thing might be better because even though there is a deadline, you only have to meet it a few times a year, with time in between to make things perfect. (Or at least you'd have more time if there wasn't the booth to be dealing with as well.)

    Again, I'd decide which was helping you the most financially, and take a break from the other one for awhile. You can still visit and keep your connections up.

    Good luck!!

  15. Hi my friend!!!
    Thank you for your comment. I wish there was an easy answer for us over achievers!! If you do ever want to buddy up for a show...just let me know. I could use less stress!!!

  16. Hi Tracey! It does seem as though our 'big girl jobs' seem to get in the way of our real life! I, like you, am totally on my own, so there is no decision on the job. That is first, and the rest seem to follow along. Some weeks, I get nothing else done, no sewing, no decorating, no crafts. It's so hard to keep any balance. I just wish the my bus driver would slow down a little and let me enjoy more. Funny, my word to live by this year was JOY. I have since changed it to OVERWHELMED! There are no simple answers, it's a moment at a time.

  17. Oh my, does this situation ring true for me as well. I wish there was somebody local for me to buddy up with! (Any Salt Lake area junkers and crafters out there?) My feeling is that the bus driver is just driving, and it is up to me and all the other passengers to pick our destinations. Problem is, everything is so interesting!! I only work part-time (16-20 hrs/wk), have my own large studio area at home, but still don’t have enough time to stitch, do yardwork (assuming it will ever stop raining), keep up my Etsy Shoppe. I have already dumped boutiques for this season.

    The good news is that we are never bored, right? I feel sorry for those people who have no interests. From this side of the fence, I see how green my grass is.

    Good luck - and please share any revelations you may have! Love you and your blog....

  18. I've been reading your posts, your life, for over a year. I really hope that whatever you choose that you maintain an online persona. I love reading about you and your life. The how to's are fun aside from that you have a great writing technique that really brings people into your life, you can't find that on many blogs. Whatever you decide, I hope you keep telling us about it.

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  20. I'm with ya on this one girl! Think about this all the time. I call it my creative curse!

    Linda FJS#2

  21. And yes, I love your blog - could write a lot on different posts, but am just going to say a little about your picture on this one - I see you have tons of those little pots of paint also! I love the photo by the way - but It reminded me of my house a month ago, when we were trying to decide on a color for our living room and dining room - I bought tons of samples, and we picked one, and I hate to say - I think we picked the wrong one! I picked a light beige/tan, but it sure looks pink in some lights! Oh well - just had to share - God bless!!!

    Hugs from Michigan - Diane


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