Wanted: Juggling Teacher

I’m looking for help and advice. I didn’t start this blog to gain followers. I began the blog as a way to publicly blackmail myself into moving ahead with my art. (Don’t get me wrong, it is nice when you learn that someone cares to read your ramblings. In my case way too personal ramblings, but there’s no looking back, only moving forward) It worked for a year, and then I fell back into old habits and worse yet the land of self-doubt.  So here I sit getting older by the second (I think I can actually feel a wrinkle forming), and still trying to gain the confidence to succeed. Here’s where you come in, the person who has decided to take five minutes to read my thoughts. I’ve been a stay at home mom for a good portion of my life. Now the kids are gone, but I’ve spent twenty plus years living by their schedule. From school to after school activities, vacations, and bowing to (almost) their every need and whim, I think I’ve forgotten how to schedule myself. I need to structure my day, which when you work at home can be difficult. There is always a bathroom to clean, laundry to do, meals to prepare, etc. I make lists of things I want to accomplish artistically in a date book. A date book that I purchased last December that quite frankly has very little written in it. Does anyone out there work at home? How do you manage your time? How do you ignore the dirty socks and paint instead? How do you fit in time for friends, grocery shopping, and doctor’s appointments? Despite my best intentions I can’t seem to walk though my house back to my studio without stopping to clean. It isn’t that there’s a lot to do, and there are only two of us here, (well, five if you count the three cats, needless to say cat hair tumbleweeds abound). With no clock to punch, or school bell to answer I’m at a loss. I’d appreciate any advice.FullSizeRender(13)

 

Now that I’m done with my plea for advice, I’d like a little help. The help is with social media. I’m not so old that I’m computer brain dead. I have of course my blog here on WordPress, but I also have two Facebook accounts, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Pinterest account, and an Etsy shop. Everyone tells me that I need social media to move my art business ahead. I am a one woman glitter factory making fairies to sell, I am also a fine artist working on three pieces at the moment, and I just don’t know how to get to all of the posting, descriptive tagging, tweeting, and hash tagging required. I currently have three thousand one hundred and fifty five emails, and that’s in only two of my four email accounts. Clever me, I thought having one for business, one for personal, one for the house, and one Hotmail account (that’s from the dawn of the internet, I can’t seem to shut it down!) was a good idea. It’s not, it’s a nightmare. Facebook sends me “You haven’t posted this week and your followers want to hear from you” emails. Not to mention (but I will) all my friends and loved ones who post on Facebook that I feel obligated to “like”, and then those same people who post the same photos on Instagram. I feel a surge of Catholic guilt wash over me and must “like” again. Daily notifications from Instagram on who is now following me, and the new posts from the people I “follow”. From Etsy Success and Etsy there’s the “Here’s what you need to do in order to succeed in your shop”, or “remember you looked at this” emails, and Twitter notifications. New posts from the people here on WordPress whose work I enjoy reading, but again don’t know where to find the time. (Insert screams here) It’s never ending. I have no staff, or management, it’s me doing everything. I currently have only sixty pieces listed on Etsy. I have more than two hundred and fifty created. Why aren’t they in my shop yet? It’s because I have to write a description for each piece to try to help buyers understand my vision, and I have to tag each fairy or print with the recommended and allotted thirteen tags. I have more than two hundred pieces to list, that’s more than twenty six hundred descriptive words to come up with. Yes, I could use the same tags again and again, but I must vary them so that when potential customers search with certain key words I might be “found”. It has in fact become a dreaded chore, like the homework I once hated. To say I’m feeling overwhelmed is an understatement. HELP! How do you manage all of this? Are you scheduling time for each? I would really love to hear from anyone who can help me in this juggling act. And now the tags for this post….sigh….

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Not So Cleverly Disguised

Have you ever had someone tell you a story about someone else, when you KNOW that they are in fact talking about you? Trying to say something to you about you, but quite frankly not having the nerve to say it to your face? I’ve had it happen several times in the last few weeks. I’m feeling a little, shall I say, pissy today? Unless you have been through what we are going through, you have absolutely no idea what this feels like. No more than I, the pasty white person that I am, has any inkling what it feels like to be a person of color. (Any color, since I have none) I can sympathize, empathize, and offer support, but I haven’t walked in their shoes, therefore I should keep my colorless opinion to myself. I hope those in my life who have been generous in their support of us don’t think this is aimed at them, it isn’t. What has been getting to me is the judgmental way that remarks are being made to me, or as mentioned above, the fairytale fable of someone whose situation is just oh so close to mine, who made a bad decision, or is expressing virtues of which I am apparently lacking. Really? I may be losing a lot here, but it certainly isn’t my brain.

More than one person in the last several weeks has been aghast at my decision to turn down a job I applied for and got at a local grocery store. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. As I have mentioned here on these pages before, I have had six knee surgeries. My first at the age of fifteen, and then five more inside four years here in Temecula. Five on one knee. I tore my ACL, had it repaired, it didn’t work, had it repaired again, and guess what? It didn’t work. Two more surgeries for torn tissue, and then because I thought my left knee was feeling neglected I tore tissue there as well, one more surgery. Let’s throw in the atrophy of my Achilles tendon of the left ankle and..WHAT WAS I THINKING??? This isn’t about not wanting to work, or not wanting to “suck it up”, this is about pain. Pain that wakes me nightly. Pain that had me in tears earlier today because I’ve been on my feet too much packing boxes. Let me show you something…

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Nice…right? (I have knee envy, and by the way, thank you stranger with beautiful knees that I found on Google images)

Check these babies out…

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I’ll bet you are jealous. I think the right knee is the real beauty. Don’t even know where my knee cap disappeared to. (I apologize if you happen to be eating)

My pissy point is this, unless you walk in my shoes, or in my case on these knees, don’t judge me, it pisses me off. Yes, we need money. But if you read this blog you also know that I possess talents far beyond what standing on my feet all day can earn. Be mad at me for that. Be mad at me for not using my God-given talents. I’ve spent the last few days packing away my supplies and my work. I’m mad enough at myself for everyone. I mad that I haven’t had the self-confidence to make a living with what I can do. It’s time to try, no knees required.