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Kelly: Weekly Challenge…What’s Next?

dog days

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.   

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. time is our most precious commodity. sorry i’ve been lax, it wasn’t the lack of prize money for me. i was a last hold out in away. i liked the interplay when it was more active on the weekly contest.

    you have to do what’s right for you, absolutely.

    August 31, 2009
  2. Jen #

    I was lax, too. Not because of the lack of a dangling carrot but because time here has been becoming increasingly precious and scarce — so I totally understand where you’re coming from! Thanks for the time you devoted to this. Thanks too for your many amazing entries. Even when I wasn’t putting my own stuff out for the week, I enjoyed reading what others had submitted.

    Here’s to making more art with the kids! amen to that.

    August 31, 2009
  3. Kelly, I’m so grateful that you kept the weekly challenge alive for as long as you did.

    I’ve had a significant break from the online world during the past few months — in part due to work overload, and in part due to realizing that a lot of what I do online is just wasted time. I don’t put this blog in that category, because I do find that it feeds me in an important way, but I’ve had to draw some brutal boundaries around my time. I completely understand, Kelly, your need to do the same.

    I am looking forward to settling into some kind of “normal” within the next few weeks, and spending more time on these virtual pages because they do mean so much to me — as do all of YOU.

    We may be taking a break from the weekly challenge, but no worries — I have many ideas for other ways for us to connect and support each other here. Stay tuned!

    September 1, 2009
  4. Brittany Vandeputte #

    I second all that’s already been said, Kelly.

    It wasn’t the gift card carrot for me either, but just general summer ennui. I can’t think right now. I can’t create. I’m not inspired. It’s just too darned hot.

    September 1, 2009
  5. brittsany, what about your felt stockings?! they’re gorgeous!

    September 1, 2009
  6. oops, trigger typing…i agree, the well has been quite dry around here. hence my recent post…

    September 1, 2009
  7. Brittany Vandeputte #

    Thanks Cathy, but they didn’t require thinking. Had some nervous energy to burn off and it felt good attacking the fabric repeatedly with a sharp needle. 😛

    September 1, 2009
  8. thanks all. i appreciate your support and understanding. i have to admit i felt some weight come off my shoulders just letting those two things go. when i told dh this morning, his response was “wow, glad i was sitting down when you told me that or i would have passed out,”and then he added, “so what else are you going to let go?…that was only a start!” he’s always on me about constantly going full-throttle, and he’s right, but regardless of what else goes, i’ll definitely still be hanging around here. 🙂

    September 1, 2009
  9. Kristine #

    Kelly, I’m very proud of you. 🙂

    I think it’s great that a lot of us are taking stock of how we spend our time and making concrete decisions to do what’s important to us, even if it means sometimes letting go.

    September 1, 2009

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