I often find myself doing a lot of thinking about goals… what am I trying to accomplish? what do I want to spend my time on? what am I learning? how am I growing? what is my “big picture”? how am I getting there?
Towards the end of 2011, I decided I needed to narrow my creative focus. With three little ones – one of them six-months-old and not the biggest fan of going to bed at night – I realized that by trying to focus on jewelry creation, photography, and web design, I was not even coming close to accomplishing any of them well.
I decided I would give up jewelry creation for 2012. I wouldn’t buy new supplies (unless I found some irresistible deal), wouldn’t take any classes, wouldn’t design any new pieces, wouldn’t attempt selling, and wouldn’t even make any gifts. Once I made the decision, I felt like a weight was lifted off me. It was the right thing to give myself permission *not* to do.
Instead, I would make the conscious decision to focus primarily on improving my photography skills and secondarily on web design. I knew that trying to create jewelry with a little one would be a fight for both of us, but photography was something I could work on while being with her.
I was doing a fairly decent job of it for the first five months of the year. I’ve switched to only shooting in manual. I’m improving, but I’ve hit a kind of wall. Something is not “clicking” (so to speak), but that’s a post for another time. My frustration has made me pick up the camera less and less in the last several weeks.
Then yesterday two things happened so close together that I’m not sure which one came first.
I received Lori Anderson’s email about early signup for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party, and my first thought was, “that’s nice”. And then I started thinking, “what if I did…?”
At nearly the same time, a message popped up from Facebook from my friend and kind of jewelry creation mentor, Melissa Cable. I have lots of gushing to do about Melissa, but not right now.
Melissa is working on publishing her second book, which is going to contain her metal garden series. She was messaging my sister-in-law and me about needing some help cutting flowers for the cover art. I didn’t even hesitate with my enthusiastic, “Yes!!”
Those two things have told me that, no, I am not giving up jewelry creation for this year. And I’m okay with that. Back in November, I needed to give myself permission to give something up, and now, I’m okay with giving myself permission to shift my focus around a bit. Opportunities arise, and as I am constantly telling myself, nothing is permanent.