November 29, 2009

on time management and other grown-up things...

Oh, it's just me and my camera.

Lately, I've been busy. I've been filling up nearly every moment of my day with something productive. It's given me a great sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense of purpose, I suppose. Being a girl who is generally overwhelmed when there isn't plenty of time to relax and be lazy, it's been an interesting step out of my comfort zone.

And although I'm making time for happy hours and movie nights with my husband, holiday get-togethers with friends and family, consuming only popcorn/cake/a bottle of wine for dinner (and other general shenanigans), I feel a bit like I don't have much time to breathe.

I've been working feverishly to keep my etsy shop stocked for the holidays, and have had many custom orders to fulfill. I'm busy stitching and snipping and stamping and shipping. Buying supplies, fulfilling orders, making sure my head doesn't explode as I attempt to find a way to stay organized as business picks up, taking time to slow down and enjoy the creative process as much as possible. I'm working hard to find the balance between the business side of things and the happiness side of things. It's been overwhelming and exciting, and really? I love it. I only feel more motivated and I feel like dancing around on my tip-toes when I think ahead to what the next year will hopefully bring.

However, my issue of the moment is the fact that not only do I have what feels like a full-time creative job, I also have an actual full-time "real" job. I don't talk about my "real" job often because, quite frankly, I would like to keep it. I'm not a fan of getting fired over a blog. So, to give you an idea in broad, general terms: I may or may not work in customer service, and it may or may not be at some sort of an airport. Okay, there. (If I get fired over that, then my brain will implode, so help me God.)

I've been working there for nearly five years, and to be completely honest, I find myself becoming more and more withdrawn from it. First of all, it is not my passion. It isn't in a field that I ever saw myself working, and although there are coworkers and customers that I love to bits and pieces, it's definitely not a place in which I thrive. There is little to no opportunity to move up within the company and it's a decidedly uncreative business. In short, it is a job that I'm very thankful to have, something that I'm quite good at, but I'm not very invested in it...if that makes any sense.

More and more I look forward to the time in my life where I can break free from the 40 hour work week, time cards, a corporate environment and, above all, nylons. (Nylons are a large part of my own, personal hell.)

In the last few months, I've really begun to feel the strain of balancing two very important things. And I definitely feel like one of them is holding me back from truly excelling in the other.

I've had to juggle so much of my time and energy between what I love doing and what I have to do to pay the bills. I spend all morning crafting and then quickly throw on my uniform before realizing I only have only five extra minutes to spend shipping things at the post office. Then I realize there are three phone calls I haven't yet returned, I didn't have time to pack my lunch and there are three half-read books and one neglected Real Simple magazine on the coffee table, staring up at me like I'm a freak of nature. I run out the door, make sure I have my skirt zipped up, have just enough time to ship a few packages and then it's off to begin my "real" workday. After 8.5 hours I rush home and snuggle with my husband (read: try to lay on the couch with him before he gets irritated by my squishing him) only to continue making a list in my head of things I need to get done.

I need to make three new wallets, finish up the custom notecard order, place an order for felt, organize my crafting nook, ship two packages.

I need to figure out who I still need Christmas gifts for, decorate the house, try to find time to take a decent photo of Jay and I to send out with Christmas cards, actually buy Christmas cards, or New Years cards, or any cards at all.

I need to get back to the gym, stop eating so much crap, buy more vegetables, actually start making some recipes I've been meaning to try for the last year, clean out the fridge, hang shelves in the kitchen to display my adorable new lotus bowls, stop being so hard on my body, work harder on loving exactly what I am.

I need to call my family more, edit the rest of the photos and video from my vacation, answer the emails piling up in both my email accounts, respond to blog comments, actually post in my blog, catch up on everyone else's blogs.

And so on and so forth. Such are the thoughts swirling around in this head of mine.

The thing is, I'm okay. I'm enjoying my life and all the brilliant things it is filled with at the given time. I guess that what it comes down to is this desire I have to work towards my creative goals...full time. It's not even scary to me anymore, thinking of moving away from my "real" job and full-speed towards crafting/writing/photography. More and more I feel like it's less of a daydream and more a matter of when it is going to actually happen.

That's exciting, kind of.

Mostly because it lessens the feelings of the twenty-something angst I know all too well. The ones that make me wonder what it is I'm meant to do, what I should be doing, what choices I should make. When I think of doing things on my own terms and having my own business, I can't help but feel like I've finally found the answer to all those questions. (Well, some of them, at least.)

Makes me feel all grown up. Which is certainly a welcome change.

39 comments :

  1. I'm so excited for you as you potentially look at moving on. Living a more creative life sounds so lovely. You're incredibly creative and talented---you deserve to be happy, and I know job has a lot to do with that. I'm pulling for you! xo

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  2. This entry I think echoes the way a lot of people (see also: 20-something women) think. I am actually in the process of composing a very similar blog post about re-prioritizing. We are running like little hamsters in a wheel, but luckily loving every minute of it. Best wishes with your etsy shop!!

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  3. Have you read '20something - 20everything"? Very interesting book. (Another book on your to-read list is just what you need, right?);)

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  4. I am totally feeling you right now! So hard when you just want to craft nonstop but alas, you have to go to a job that takes all your energy!

    Not to add something else to your list but I was wondering if you had posted about your little crafting nook yet? I would love to see it!

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  5. You are just delightful. I love reading your blog! Good luck with expanding your creative work!

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  6. I am looking forward to seeing where the next year will take you... and I can't wait to read it about it. You truly are an inspiration!

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  7. Good for you for following your dream. I know the feeling of being stuck somewhere in a decent job, but not loving what you do. I need to follow in your footsteps and get back to my creative side.

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  8. I love this post. Its so much like what I have been thinking. As a {recently} 20 year old woman, I am finding that it is getting harder and harder to balance being a daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, follower of Christ, student, crafter, blogger, worker, etc. Alot of what you have said really echoes in the pits of my heart.

    PS: I would have never guessed that you would have worked at some sort of airport type thing {hoping saying this doesn't get you fired}. Whenever you talked about work, I always got a vibe that it was some sort of customer service type business, in which you had your own office, no uniform {but clearly nylons were in the work clothing description} and so forth.

    Either way, keep the chin up. Its all going to come around just fine. :)

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  9. I just found your blog and just adore it. Good luck with your growing up things! Sometimes I enjoy being grown up sometimes not so much ;)

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  10. We've talked about this, so you know I feel exactly the same way most of the time, but I am SO glad you wrote this, because there are so many people who can relate. It always helps when other people are in the same boat.

    And now I'm off to search your etsy shop for some fun holiday stuff :)

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  11. I really enjoyed this post. It makes me think about the changes and transitions that happen in life.

    I'm wanting to be more creative and wishing I could have a job that I truly love. But it can be hard when you need a job just to live.

    I truly hope you are able to do what you love full time xx

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  12. You are so talented and creative. I think everyone deserves to do what they love, and if you love it enough, it WILL pay the bills! Go get em!

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  13. I get it. You finally know what you want to do and are ready to do it. That's so exciting, and a place I hope to get to sooner rather than later.

    By the way, I've missed reading your blog. And that's completely my fault, as time has seemingly slipped away from me!

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  14. You know, I think most people's lives are that hectic. It seems like the crazy never stops.

    But I think you're onto something very important at the end of your post here: satisfaction. Go after it! And like Herding Cats said, you can make it work for you.

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  15. I relate to this one thousand percent. My job pays the bills. It passes the time. Is it what I'd ideally like to be doing or what I feel I'm best at? Not necessarily. The question always comes down to money unfortunately...and whether I can afford a more creative and more flexible job at the expense of having extra moolah. It's a sucky dilemma!

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  16. This reminds me on how much I wanna do my music full time. Which is impossible here seeing my genre isn't very popular and all popular working artists are in the line of cheesy pop or rock :(

    So juggle it is, for me.

    Good luck to you though! I can see the whole crafting and home made products are so much in demands, people especially women will always look for things like that. I hope business continues to boom for you, since your works are gorgeous :)

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  17. Good for you, I'm happy for you. I too have struggled with these nuances of choosing between guaranteed paychecks and happiness (it's unfortunate those can't always come together in a pretty little tiffany's box), but regardless, this time of year is hectic for everyone. I'm not sure what it is, I don't have to buy that many presents, but just the thought of organizing and holiday fun starts to get stressful every once in a while.

    xoxo

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  18. This is so exciting! I'm lucky enough to work in a day job that I'm passionate about, but I still see it as temporary. Lately, I'm daring to imagine a different kind of life for myself. It's scary...and awesome.

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  19. I'm so excited that you're getting into that comfortable spot where you really know what you want to be doing. It's really great- and makes all the hard work completely worth it.

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  20. I can totally relate to this feeling. Growing up I was so involved in so many artistic things. I sang, I acted, I created things... and now I work full time in retail and I'm going to school for business full time. I feel as though I'm sacrificing the side of myself that has so many talents and passions in order to keep paying the bills and find a decent job.

    I've come to accept the fact that there will be a time in my life when I get to let those creative juices flow again, but in the mean time I just have to wait for the right balance to fall into place.

    I know you'd definitely be successful using your creative talents! It's just matter of finding the right time for you to make that leap :)

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  21. Oh your banner is so cute!

    If anyone can make a full time go of it you can! It sounds like you're going about it in the perfect way, a step at a time, and maybe the next step is to step down to part time so you can start getting your shop income up to balance with your work income?

    Whatever you choose, I'm so excited for you chasing your dream & feeling grown up for it. I'm looking forward to feeling that feeling more and more =)

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  22. I just love this post!
    I am still waiting to "grow up". Getting married and having a baby somehow didn't make me feel any more adult like.
    I am so excited for you to get into your full time crafting/writing job!

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  23. I'm so happy for you.

    And only a little jealous.

    It's 80/20, really.

    Okay, okay 60/40!

    You are a rock star and you totally deserve this!

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  24. I can completely relate!!! I feel like I just want to make time stand still, if only for a day, to get things done and not be rushing all the time. And the job thing? Right there with you as well. Soooo right there with you.

    :)

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  25. I hope you can get one step closer to reaching your goal. I, too, hope to do something I actually WANT to do one day, rather than something I need to do to get the bills paid.

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  26. Great post! I think a lot of us have your same feelings/frustrations. Good to know that you are on the brink of doing what you really feel passionate about though...I think that's what we're all looking to do.

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  27. Well, I can certainly say that I'm in that boat often. I balance my time between what I love to do and what I have to do to live. It's frustrating to say the least.

    What I do love about this post and about you is that you go about life with a positive, happy outlook and that is something to be proud of!

    Let me know if you can figure out a good way to balance everything cause I'd love to hear about it.

    And also? I hate nylons too.

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  28. That sounds a lot like my head. Except insert photos into there a bunch more times. LOL. Congrats on all the busy-ness!

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  29. Lately I've been feeling like I'm only pretending to be an adult- going through the motions for everyone else's sake but not really living it at all.

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  30. I get this. I currently have 3 unfinished books and 3 new magazines on my bedroom floor. I have bags of felt and stamps for the Christmas cards I will eventually get around to making. I have travel stuff waiting to be packed, a lifetime's worth of belongings to store and a classroom to pack up, plus 2 weeks of school planning left. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Busy is crazy, but it's the best. Good luck for next year's pursuits and stay inspired!

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  31. I have no idea how I got here but I absolutely LOVE your blog! I totally know what you mean. I hope you will achieve your goals. You are so talented :)

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  32. First of all, you look adroable in this picture! Second of all, I love that you have so much going on and are coping with it the way you are! (I also really need to clean my fridge out.)

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  33. aw you are quite the cute grown up, one day i'll be adding grown up things to my to-do list too, and hopefully they'll be as crafty as some of yours, haha.

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  34. I think this is something most people go through in one way or another. I'm not sure how many have had the courage to take that step, but I certainly hope you do! Wishing you luck!

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  35. It's hard to juggle your professional career with your creative skills. The truly brave make the leap and you seem the type to excel at anything you commit to.

    PS - Before today's post, my guess was that you worked at a hotel.

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  36. Haha, thanks for that post. Your internal dialogue/personal situation completely mirrors mine. Only I'm 27 so I'm feeling the pressure a bit harder I suppose. Eeks. I have been practicing Reiki (life force energy) and it has certainly helped me push forward with my life. I would recommend looking into it. Until then, may we get up the nerve, (and the cash) to quit our day jobs, and pursue total happiness! Anyway, keep up the great work- I just found your blog via Etsy :)

    Julie

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  37. This just got starred in my reader. I absolutely adore your writing, love.
    Continue chasing your dreams. I love hearing how they are that much closer to coming true.

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  38. I'm ridiculously excited for you that you are headed toward being a full-time crafter. Because really, it's PERFECT for you. you have so much talent and I can tell how much joy you get out of it. Also, that way, when you have all those adorable wishcake babies you can be at home with them and revel in their sheer adorableness every minute of every day.

    :)

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  39. greenieweenie12/13/09, 3:44 AM

    wow, I SO know what you mean! In fact, we have a few things in common. I've been married five years, but I'm a little older. We don't have kids yet either; we've both been going after that job we want to have, not the one we have to have. We packed everything up and moved to a very distant country. I decided that this year, I would say 'yes' to everything I'd always wanted to say 'yes' to. 'Yes' to moving hemispheres; 'yes' to sclerotherapy (holy PAINFUL); 'yes' to learning another language; 'yes' to taking on more work at work than I can handle; 'yes' to...well, it just goes on and on. I don't have a single minute of my day in which I have nothing to do...which means, I just try to take it all one class, one hour, one subway trip at a time. Isn't it great, though? :)

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