Tuesday, January 17, 2012

whew. glad I got that all out.

I hope you will read this. It's kind of important to me.

Someone once admitted to me, "I really liked [having a handmade shop] but I was never really good at juggling things."
I immediately thought, "Yeah, I am not good at juggling things either." But did I keep trying to juggle? Yep.

Someone once commented on a picture, "You guys always look like you are having such blast." 
My thoughts, "Ha! You mean we are as fake as facebook?" I say that very sarcastically meaning we only show what we want people to see. Even when we show our "real life" pictures we only show a fraction of real life. My response to that comment was an email reassuring that person it's a blast alright - a blast of messes and tears and lack of sleep and chaos. I wanted to make sure I wasn't giving the wrong impression.

A friend, someone I consider a close friend, said to me in an email, "I was wondering how you did all you did... I was wondering if you were superwoman or something" (paraphrased). That hit me hard. I didn't want her, or anyone, to think "How does she do it?" about me. 

I share all this because:
I know what it is like to feel like you are not enough. 
I know what it is like to feel like everyone out there has this perfect life going on and yours doesn't look half as sparkly.
I know what it is like to feel everyone is successful and accomplishing their dreams and quitting their day jobs and you are standing there trying to get someone to notice your talents and hard work.
I know what it feels like to go all day wiping noses and rear ends and have the house be a wreck and you can't even remember if you have brushed your teeth.
I know what it is like to feel that everyone around you is wearing a cute outfit and is a total trendsetter and you just hope you fit into your mom jeans that aren't supposed to be mom jeans but you blinked and now they are. (hahaha I am laughing b/c it's funny but true)
I know what it is like to feel everyone out there is feeding their kids healthy, organic, gluten free fantastic meals and you are struggling to get your kids to eat a (blankity-blank) peanut butter sandwich and raisins.

I know what it feels like to be left out.

I know what it is like to (you fill in the blank) - because even if I haven't gone through it you have and you know what it feels like and it doesn't feel good.

When I started this blog in 2008 it was literally just a place for me to post pictures of my art. I didn't have any knowledge of Etsy or blogging "communities"; I had a personal blog that like 3 people read, and I wanted to have a place on the in-tra-net to share examples of my paintings.
Shortly after I discovered Etsy, connected with other bloggers and this little corner of the world wide web grew.
Then my shop grew. Then my family grew. Then, well then I realized I wasn't ready for all this.
I put on a happy face. 
I tried to make this blog a fun place to share our "real life", the art I discovered, the art I was creating, the crafts I was doing, etc.
I worked really hard. I tried to juggle it all, but something had to give.
Something was always lacking because I was trying to give too much of myself.
Thankfully I took a little break over last summer to refocus. It helped so much, but when the break was over I was back in over my head.
Finally towards the end of September I realized I had to make a decision. I was at a place where I knew things had to change and I began focusing on my family, myself, my friends.
I was scared though. I worked really, REALLY hard to grow this blog and had developed some amazing friendships and felt like we had all become a part of each other's lives. I worked really, REALLY hard to grow my shop, to come up with original ideas, to develop my State Love Paintings, to make good connections. What if people used my ideas? What if I lost connections? What if everyone forgot about me?
Well, what if?
What if I spend more time playing and teaching my children?
What if I spend more time learning how to do new things?
What if I spend nap time exercising and doing things for myself?
What if I spend more time taking care of my household?

So here I am in 2012 sharing that things are going to change.
I enjoy blogging. I think it's a good thing, but for me, for now, it's not one of those things I want to juggle (as you may have noticed you haven't gotten much other than Instagram pictures for the past few months).
I enjoy painting and having my shop. I think it's a good thing, but for me, for now, it's not one of those things I want to juggle.
Like I said, I am not good at juggling.
For now you will see me when you do and you can miss me when you don't ;)
I frequent Instagram with photos of my kids and my coffee so if you are on there come find me @paintmeapic
You can always email me if you want to chat or have a question. I still like to talk a lot.

And please know, I am not sharing this to condone or condemn how other folks juggle. I am share because I want those of you who read my blog and connect with me here to know why things are changing and how I am changing.

That is all.


  1. Good for you - do what works for you - I do - and it constantly changes. Constantly. Just when I get used to things, something changes and I have to adjust. Give those cuties some kisses from me!

  2. Thanks for this post, Lindsay. I really appreciate your words! We are expecting a baby in July and I have been so sick that I just let Charlie eat cheese puffs for breakfast and watch PBS for 3 hours each morning. ha! Everything has its season.

  3. Awesome. I love your honesty with us and with yourself. I struggle with many of the same things. (Healthy, organic, homegrown lunch? I'm eating leftover pizza here!) Love your stuff, but I love your courage more. Good for you!

  4. Oh my gosh, I feel the same way all the time. Thank you for sharing--so brave of you to share the "real" you. Bravo.

  5. Oh my goodness I can't tell you how much I needed this blog. Sometimes it seems to easy to forget that everyone else is NOT a superhero. Sometimes you need to step back and live your life.
    I'll miss your blogs (I hope you'll still blog when you feel the urge) and I will really miss your shop. I've been waiting for it to come back so I could order a couple paintings, but I totally understand. I'll be here when and if you decide to come back. :o)

  6. I'm so glad you wrote this post. You know how I feel about all of this because we have discussed it many times :) I love you, and I'm proud of you for putting your family first, and for keeping it real & honest.

  7. Great post! I'm glad we can keep up on IG though =) I had the false idea that I could do a blog & shop & be a stay at home momma all at the same time....hence the reason why there's nothing new in my shop anymore. I love your wording of wiping noses and booties ;) So true! & brushing your teeth! Isn't it funny how we make sure our kids get everything done but we will run out the door without deodorant!? I'm so glad I've met you on this adventure and will be checking in with you!!

  8. & it reminds me of how I was feeling this past fall - remember the bottom of this post if you read it? ;) http://www.geekyandsassy.com/2011/10/reality-fall.html I think it's funnier to go through the craziness with others - it can get crazy when you're at home with them all day and have images of perfection in our heads. Keeping eternity in mind - what will matter 100 years from now - that's what I have to keep asking myself. Now I'm rambling again ;)

  9. yes yes and yes! it's such a tug-of-war between real life and shop-owner/blogger/"fantasy life" isn't it? i know all about that. i'm terrible at juggling things too. terrible. it feels really good to admit it and then let go of stuff that doesn't matter as much. good for you :)

  10. augh. wrote a comment earlier, but left my laptop - & left it unplugged. lost it when it powered down! so here i go again. BUT. 7-8 years ago when i had 2 little toddler boys there were no blogs & no facebook. [ok the only blog i ever saw was one someone showed me where a girl was bragging about her affair with a married man whose wife was my friend's friend ... so i thought blogs were for weirdos.] life was tough & you go through the motions & struggle to get done with each day knowing when "they're older" it'll be easier. then in the blink of an eye 7-8 years breeze past you & you have a new busy - like trumpet lessons & sports practices, games, camps, scouts, etc. they start spending more & more time AWAY from HOME. and you don't get that back. :( i long for the days of being a toddler mommy when all they knew was me [& their dad] & what i provided for them. SAVOR IT. as i KNOW YOU ARE. you ARE a super hero mommy. and you ARE sparkly & trendy, too. :) love you girly. you rock.

  11. I feel exactly the same. I feel like quitting all the time because I have other priorities I want to pursue. What I don't feel though is that it is ok. I feel that people still expect so much from me for developing #setupshop chats, being a part of 3 blogs, having an etsy shop and working full time. I juggled for awhile, put myself out there at a conference, tried to sell my wares, and have done so many things that I never succeeded at. I hate throwing in the towel but all of it is costing me so much more than what I am getting in return.

    Sending you a big hug. I understand.

  12. Edit to say: Savor it like I know you are TRYING to do. :) I know it's hard - thus your post. :) And I'm your Christmas Carol-like future ghost telling you you're doing the right thing! I wish I would have slowed down back then. And I hope I can follow your example & listen to myself and slow down to enjoy where I'm at NOW. Because inknow I can't get my toddlers back, but I can squeeze more out of my 10, 7 & 4 year old! :)

  13. This is amazing... and beautiful...

    I completely understand where you are coming from and why you are doing it. Good for you!!!!

    I'll just have to stalk you a little harder on IG now.

    (And PS - I always looked at you and went "How does she do it!?" So you were totally working the smoke and mirrors...)

  14. sweet sweet friend... whether it's instagram photos or just a quick one word on your blog... I will be forever your faithful follower ;) You are precious for writing those words, and although we've never mind...I just know we'd be kindred spirits!

  15. Your honesty is beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us! I always think to myself, I'm going to have to give up or at least take a major step back from blogging when I become a mother (some day). Thank you for sharing what you have with us and I look forward to staying connected via email, Twitter and someday when I get an iPhone with instaGram :) just another argument for me getting an iPhone, so thanks ;-D

  16. So proud of you, girl! I will miss your blog, but I'm hoping it'll mean I get to spend more time with you in "real life." This precious real life business - we'll never get these moments back, so sava the flava! (even if it is PB and raisins...) Love you.

  17. Huge hugs to you! You know how much I love you and I do think that you are a super hero. For real. You have been such a help and inspiration to me, thanks for being you!

  18. Miss you sweet friend, and enjoy the time with your boys! You are one smart and talented lady, and I'm so thankful that the world of blogging brought us together. :)

  19. Thank you SO MUCH for being honest! Blog-land can get depressing sometimes bc everyone appears so perfect. I appreciate when people are "real". Thanks again :)

  20. well, this is my first visit here. and i am grateful i found you. loved this post, thank you!


  21. This is such a great post, Lindsay! I can relate so well to all you have said. I, too, enjoy blogging, but it can sometimes be a burden because if I take a break from it, it is nearly impossible to start back. And then I feel like a loser because there are so many out there who somehow manage to post amazing things every.single.day. And it can make me a girl feel inadequate.

    But, it is a relief to embrace being ourselves, enjoying our children, being creative, etc. without have to write about it every day. Thank you.

  22. i just ended up here from another blog where a friend was guest posting, so completely accidental! though i have seen you trade comments back & forth with my friend amy (comment right above mine).

    what a LOVELY post! it really is amazing to see such honesty. even though i know absolutely nothing about you besides what you shared in this one post, i really respect your decision to put this out there, especially if your art/shop/blog has lots of followers.

    very awesome. thank you for sharing.

  23. Psst. Hi. I finally wandered over to your blog. Another step toward actual non-instagram-exlusive friendship!

    So, I just wanted to say, YES. I understand so much of this (except for the part about art, of which I have none). I, too, struggle with the juggle. I, too, feed my children bleepity-bleep PBJ sandwiches, 75% of which they toss on the floor. I love my writing, my "craft" if you will, but I just. can't. do. it. all. Not the way I want to, at least. Just this week I decided that I would stop. I still love to write. I still post on my blog. But I'm going to stop making decisions about my time based on what I think the intranet (I say that, too) expects of me and instead make them based on what truly matters most to me. My husband, my children, the end. The other stuff is rubbish when I really think about it in the right way.

    I want to keep writing. I believe I should keep writing, and I know that I will. I have to. But it's the perspective shift that matters here. It's so simple, yet I feel like my life has changed with just one simple realization. I can't do it all. And if I'm going to forfeit something, it will not be my children.

    I'm with you, new friend. And I'll be hanging around here when you're ready to come back. xo

  24. I'm fairly new to this bloggin thing and I have found it difficult to juggle everything. I needed to read this post today!

  25. So I am totally reading this months after you posted it, but this is so how I was feeling at that exact time. I took a two week break that lasted 6 weeks and have decided that I'm only going to do what I have time to do and somehow that freedom has enabled me to do more than I was doing before. I really appreciate you sharing your heart and am so glad to see that I'm not the only one feeling a bit crazy with trying to keep all the balls in the air. :) You have way more followers and way more success on Etsy with your shop, but I get it. I don't want to lose any connections I've made, but luckily it doesn't seem like that has been e the case and I'm sure it's not the case for you. I'm so happy for you and the new changes you've made! Such fun stuff. Okay, this is turning into an email. I'm glad I posted this so much later because now the likely hood of someone seeing my ridiculously long comment is rather slim.


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