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.