Monday, October 18, 2010

Downshifting

Baby K just a few months old
Being home with my daughter has been wonderful, and I wouldn't trade this time for anything. Seeing all the little changes as she grows and blooms, being present for the little miracles and watching her become a strong, smart little girl has been totally awesome.

On the flipside, it has been a very tough transition for me professionally. I left a full-time career as a National Educator for a major sewing machine company (a dream come true) to become a stay at home momma. The great part of that has been the freedom to do whatever I want! The tough part has been figuring out exactly what it is I want to do. I've had lots and lots and lots of ideas, and in trying several have ended up going in too many directions, forcing myself to do more than there is actually time in a day for getting done.

And, I have to confess that as I follow highly succesful and talented stitcher/bloggers (who work from home and who have published a book, or patterns, or fabric lines, or all of the above) I have felt more than a little inadequate. I read another great post about another great sewing book/pattern/fabric line coming out, and I can't even pull it together enough to post to my blog more than once or twice a week. Honestly, every single night I collapse into bed totally exhausted all I can think about are the 3 or 4 more things I should have gotten done that day. It sucks, and I feel like a failure.

I had a dream the other night that pretty much summed it all up.
I was in line at the newest, hippest, coolest and best breakfast doughnut shop ever. Each doughnut was made special order, by hand, right there on the spot. I watched the people in front of me call out thier special order, and watched as the staff brought each handmade, delicious looking, still warm and oh-so-sweet creation out on a platter, contemplating how tasty mine was going to be. The line was getting shorter, and soon there were only two, then one person in front of me...and I was next! I was savoring the choices, getting ready to order the doughnut of my dreams! But, as I turned to watch the person in front of me walk away with thier hand dipped-honey glazed, pink frosted, sugar sprinkled doughnut, I turned back to find a giant line in front of me all over again. That's right, I was doomed to watch everyone else order up and eat the doughnut of their dreams while all I could do was watch. Thanks, subconcious, way to really rub my face in it.

That being said, in an effort to simplify my life and keep my sanity, I have made some hard choices about my current commitments. I am downshifting, so to speak. I have had to let some things go, and hope to be able to focus on what's left on my plate in a way that keeps me satisfied without going insane. It goes without saying that the biggest part of my plate is a heaping helping of my family; my incredibly loving hunk of a husband that puts up with my insanity, and my sunshine-of-my-life toddler daugher. And after that, here's what's left on my plate:

Work
I am still working in a small capacity from home a few hours a week for the very same sewing machine company I was previously employed full time with. I would not give this up for anything. I absolutely love the little bit of work I do each week, it helps me to stay connected with people that I LOVE working with while promoting a brand that I believe strongly in, not to mention it's all about my biggest obsession; sewing!

Teach
I can't give up teaching, and I have missed it terribly ever since I stopped. I have found a wonderful place not too far from my home that is a possible place for me to teach, and am working towards offering a few classes after the new year.

Sew Creatively
Okay. This is a small part of the plate, but a big step for me. I haven't created anything "artistic" (or should I say just for the art of creating) in a long, long, time. I have a sketchbook, a scrap book, and I have been filling them both to overflowing, and it's time to start working forward from there. In order to do this, I must first tie up all loose ends, finish any sewing committments I've made, and complete all random sewing projects I've started. Then it's on!

Whew!

Of course I also plan on continuing to update this here blog, as often as I have time to sit, write, and compile some photos. Just know that the few things I will be talking about will be the few things on my plate that I intend to concentrate fully on. I started this blog in order to make some connections with similarly minded people, and have met some wonderful stitchers and stay at home mommas! I am so eternally grateful for my readers as well as the bloggers whom I regularly follow - you all help me to stay positive, feel connected, and know that I'm not alone.

And on that note, I'm exhausted, headed to bed, and hoping to wake up to a less stressful tomorrow.

6 comments:

Terriaw said...

I think you have found like-minded people because I can relate to your feelings of being overwhelmed! I love your title "Downshifting." When I'm feeling stressed and inadequate, I am going to tell myself I need to downshift.

Great idea to make a list of what's on your plate and prioritize things! Sounds like a reasonable and do-able plan, so I wish you the best with it.

BTW, Baby K is so adorable and precious - enjoy!

Madame Samm said...

Ahh my dear Erika, this too shall pass. There is without a doubt few women out there who have not felt your exact tug...Your precious baby is just that, she needs you sweetie. Everything else can just wait. As the days go by you will note a sense of balance, it does come and your world will be as full as you want it to be. Enjoy the moment, create memories, it will sustain you...blessings madame samm

linda68701 said...

I just found your blog and enjoy it so much. After reading "Downshifting", I want to encourage you in your attempts to balance your life. Attending to your family is the best work you could ever do. You can squeeze in sewing, but life is what happens in your home. It seems to last forever, but it is a very short season. Enjoy!

Papgena Made It said...

You should know that you are not alone: we, women, tend to be too hard to ourselves, we all should relax more and do waht you just do: focus! Choose only the important things!
Good for you!!!

Laurie said...

What a precious baby!!! working from home is "sew" much fun!

Steph said...

I also feel inadequate when reading sewing/crafting blogs. I just don't know how some of those women do it. Sometimes, in the interest of sanity and time management, I have to cut myself off from blog-reading for a while. Like you said: cut out the stuff that's not important. Sometimes, that means focusing more on my own life that what other people are doing.