Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 16,215: The Having and Eating of Cake

I am inclined to feel guilty over the fact that I have not posted since Monday, but in my defense (if only to myself for myself) this was an unusual week ... one that has me reconsidering my plans and goals for this year, my work, my business, my life.

When I travel the internets for inspiration, I find a healthy abundance of amazing women who have cast off their otherwise uncreative full-time careers for full-time creative self-employment. I heartily applaud them and thank goodness for their stories, how-to's and, most especially, for blazing that trail for others. And yet at the same time I long, hunger, and thirst to hear from and connect with those who, for whatever reason, have decided (or had the decision made for them) to continue working at their full-time job while, in tandem, sustaining an artful business. (I include the healing arts here with the creative). The more disparate their job is to their craft, the more desperate I am to meet them and hear about their journey.

After nine years of doing my job full-time from home, I must return to an office setting for the majority of the work week. My routine has been turned upside down. It was easier to make the transition from my day job to a nightly/weekend business when they were both occurring in the same location. Okay, no, that's not true. It wasn't easy at first, because it felt like everything was clamoring for my attention at the same time. I had to put very clear boundaries around what I needed to do and when I would do it. But once I crafted a solid (but flexible) plan, it helped having everything in one location.

Now that I am back in a traditional work setting, I return home feeling depleted and devoid of the inclination to update websites, blogs, Twitter/Facebook pages, or my Etsy shop ... much the inspiration to create anything. The weekend has arrived (granted, my first since this new chapter began) and I still feel some measure of apathy toward doing what it takes to maintain a thriving business, although I am less motivated to chuck it all. Thank goodness for small favors.

I will try to convince you (and me, both) that I don't have any choice in this matter. Yes, I have a child who is less than three years away from starting college. Yes, my income matters and, quite frankly, a regular paycheck becomes me. Not to mention that living hand-to-mouth can be creativity killer. Since I don't have to worry about how my family's bills get paid, the energy that would have been misspent fretting can be directed toward creating/offering whatever I feel inspired to share, rather than pandering to what would be most profitable.

In truth, I know full well that I do have a choice and I'm free to stay or leave, but my dirty little secret is that I really like my job and I am also very good at it. Yet in no way does it completely fulfill me nor fully reflect the many facets of who I am and what I can do. Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop gives me balance and a venue through which to share gifts that may otherwise go ungiven. I will even go so far as to declare that it makes me better at my job as a result. Maybe the greatest display of sacred selfishness is to settle for no less than having my cake and eating it too.

But after a week like I have had, I wish to be pointed in the direction of a mentor, a role model, someone, anyone, who shares this "dualing" path with me. I want to know how you do it all in a given day. Bonus points if you are in a relationship and/or parenting on top of it all. I want to know what you do for yourself to keep your energy up. I want to know how you transition your focus from the work that you do to your business. I want to know how and when you find and make time for you and, best of all, doing absolutely nothing at all.

I can't be the only one and I can't be in this alone. Please contact me! We're all in this together.

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