Sunday, November 18, 2012

Triaging the Season and Trying Not to be Whelmed

Lately my head has been overflowing with all the things I need to do for the upcoming holidays, my upcoming holiday show, my upcoming gallery opening and reception, random household chores, and continuing the moving process. It’s easy this time of year to get overwhelmed. One response to that feeling leads me to going off on random internet searches for things like whether or not one can be whelmed. (Turns out you can, if you don’t mind sounding archaic and/or just plain dumb. It pretty much means the same as the modern overwhelmed. Underwhelmed is actually a fairly young word, originating in the 1950’s as more of a joke than anything, but persisting because it turns out to fill an empty spot in the language.)
When my friend invited me to a spur of the moment dinner to celebrate her birthday yesterday, my first instinct was to make up an excuse not to go, because I just didn’t have time to spare. Think of all I could accomplish in the four or five hours I’d be at her house. But ever since Glenn had his heart attack, I’ve tried to remember what’s important. And number one on the list is people. Tied for number one is taking care of your health. So I went to Kristine’s party, and I had a great time and came home ready to spend today getting down to business. Maybe I’ll have one or two fewer pairs of earring to sell. Would that have been worth ignoring my friend's special day and missing out on an evening with great friends AND carrot cake? I think not.
So I’ve promised myself that I’m going to triage the season. If I’m not enjoying something, I’m going to stop and ask myself if I’m at least going to enjoy the result. (Because, let’s face it, cleaning toilets just isn’t that much fun, but I’d rather do that than live with yucky ones.) I make jewelry because it makes me happy. Selling it makes me happy, too, but I can’t get lost in that aspect or I won’t succeed. (And if what really makes me happy is making lots of money, I should be thinking about picking a more reliable way to go about that!) During this hectic holiday season I’m going to try to set my priorities so that taking care of myself and of the people in my life don’t get set aside for the sake of urgent, but less important, tasks. That means my walks with my walking buddy get squeezed in even if we have Pillsbury pie crusts instead of homemade. Birthday dinners for dear friends always get to take priority over making a pair of earrings or searching for which box is hiding the Thanksgiving placemats. And if my blog gets posted on Sunday instead of the previous Wednesday, I’m going to cut myself a break and pat myself on the back for posting it at all. (Insert back patting here.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Goals and Challenges

Despite all my good intentions, my blogging has been pretty much non-existant. My daughter, Amanda, has challenged me to a blog challenge. We're each going to try to do a post a week from now through Christmas. If any of you want to join in, feel free! If we manage this goal, we may up the ante after the New Year. I know that setting goals works. My walking buddy and I have moved from one very slow walk a week to a minimum of three hilly walks a week, all by setting goals. I've moved forward in my jewelry work by setting goals, too. One of my goals for this blog is to publish some tutorials--but first I need to just write regularly!

One goal that I just acheived is getting my work in a gallery. I just set up my display in Gallery Saratoga last night, and I'll be one of the December Featured Artists there. Woo Hoo! Stay tuned for the dates for my Artist Reception. You're all invited!

This weekend I took three days of soldering and fusing with metalworking teacher extradordanaire, Joe Silvera. I'm setting a goal to practice my soldering regularly until I am as comfortable with it as I am with metal clay. I've also recently received my certification in New Mokume Gane, and I will be developing some classes in that technique.

And, the best change of all is my new studio in Gilroy. Glenn and I moved here in May, and I'm thrilled with my new space. I can have up to 10 people at a time around my gorgeous table that Glenn built me, and I have a spot for soldering, finishing and an office corner, too. My goal here is to get it set up in the most efficient way, and to keep it that way! So far I'm having trouble with that, as I still have too much stuff. (The photo at right is from our inagural workshop with Lisa Barth.)

What goals have you set lately?