Kelly: Weekly Challenge…What’s Next?
The dog days of summer are upon us, and the leaves of my gerbera daisies have browned along the edges, having long given up having the energy to bloom. These dog days bring about the start of Fall term in my world, which usually brings about a renewed sense of energy for me. Yet this year, it has not. Today is the first day of Fall term, and instead of feeling invigorated and ready for the start of a new year, I’m tired, hot, overscheduled and, as I set up a tent and lugged around 30 cases of water and drinks for Welcome Back at 7:30 this morning, sorely missing my staff person whose position was recently eliminated.
I spent a good part of the weekend doing what I so rarely do: absolutely nothing but sit on the couch and watch movies (well okay, in between six loads of laundry and a few updates on my website). I really needed that down time. The girls lounged around with me, and DH took some good long naps, not feeling well. Over the course of the weekend, I did a lot of thinking about what’s important and what’s not…what’s needed to keep me happy and what just weighs me down. Being overscheduled is nothing new in my world, and as a working mother, much of it is out of my hands, but I’ve hit the point where I need to take some things back to make the required parts of the juggle a little more manageable. I find that I probably spend a little too much time online, and while some of that is necessary to manage my online business presence and keep up with good friends who are far away, some of it is voluntary. It’s those voluntary parts I need to let go of to make room for those more important things…like more time with my kids and more time to make art just for me and no one else, the kind of art I don’t have to worry about keeping an inventory of for the Riverside Arts Market and my juried shows…the kind of art I can make with my girls…the kind of art that just lets me play without feeling the pressure of a deadline.
One of those voluntary things I’ll be letting go of is my role as team leader for our North Florida Craft Revolution Etsy team. I’m proud of the blog I created and manage for the team, but I’m also tired of having it all rest on me; I spend more time on the team blog than I do marketing my own work, and that seems a bit backwards, don’t you think? Another of those things is this weekly challenge. I’ve enjoyed keeping it going, yet submissions have dwindled without that $10 Amazon prize carrot, and it’s become a struggle to make sure there’s at least one entry each week. I do this with a catch in my heart because I’ve gained much through this community, but my time is becoming more and more precious. So with this, I bid you adieu, weekly challenge. Should someone else want to take over the coordination, I’ll participate when I can.
It’s scary to let things go sometimes, isn’t it? I know it is for me. Since I’ve started blogging I’ve come across more and more blogs that talk about being true to your authentic self. I have to admit, at first I thought that was a bunch of baloney. I’m very much a “what you see is what you get” and “it is what it is” kinda girl. Yet there are pieces of that authenticity movement, if you want to call it that, that have hit home with me. And maybe the biggest part is taking charge of your life, doing the things that mean the most to you, letting go of the things that don’t matter, and finding that balance between managing your day-to-day real life while still reaching for your dreams. It’s in my nature to juggle, so I know that won’t change, but I am working towards not having quite so many balls in the air at once.