Saturday, August 18, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons... Make Jewelry

I am not doing very well at keeping that promise to blog every day, am I?  Again, almost another month has gone by since my last post.   Blame it on Facebook.   I'm trying desperately to keep up with all the things that go on there, things I want to comment on and things I want to participate in, and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

Does it ever seem like to you that as soon as you learn how to do something, anything, a new and improved version comes along you have to learn all over again?   One step forward, two steps back... that's how I feel.

This selling on the internet thing is not for sissies.   The pace is relentless.  If you want to be successful, you have to keep up, when all you want to do is create.   That's the easy part, isn't it?  It's the photographing and listing and promoting, the constant promoting to make yourself stand out among the bazillion other talented artists out there trying to do the same thing, that is so exhausting.

Just when you think you have a handle on it, life throws you another whammy.   In my case, my job of 20 years as a real estate and probate paralegal, a field in which I have worked for 32 years, will come to an end at the end of October, 2012.  For a person who has worked constantly since I was a teenager (when other kids were taking vacations and playing, I was working my butt off to help my mother support our family), sometimes holding as many as three jobs in one Summer, it's very disconcerting.  I have never come to the end of a job before.  I've always been the one to leave to go on to something else.

Over the years, I've been a babysitter, a convenience store clerk, a clothing store clerk, a library helper, a video store cashier, a grocery store cashier, a bank teller, the advertising manager for a local paper, a florist, a restaurateur (for about six months) and owned by own gift shop (for about six months.)  I also did craft shows several times a year.  Since 1980, I've been a real estate and probate paralegal with two firms, a genealogist for hire, a jewelry designer and now a polymer artist.  Hmm, come to think of it, I have never held only one job at a time.

Two years ago my hours were cut back.  I should have seen the writing on the wall then and gotten out and looked for something else, but I didn't.  I kept hoping things would get better, because I had invested so much of myself in it and I really didn't believe what is happening now would happen.  Now, in less than two months, it will be over.   I am 53 years old, not in good physical health, and even though I have a keen analytical mind and a reputation as being one of the best in this state at what I do, I am finding that it means virtually nothing in this economy.  All the networking I did, a lot of which helped other people find jobs over the years, apparently means nothing either.   People are encouraging me to relocate to a big city, but personal and family obligations make that impossible.

So, even though my dream of being a full-time artist was only a pipe dream 5 years ago, now it is a reality.   I am REALLY on my own.   Come November 1st, 2012, I will be totally dependent on my own  ingenuity, creativity and talent.  It is both exciting and terrifying.   Up to this point, I never had to pay attention to how much I spent on clay or the cost of supplies or tools I wanted.  I am contemplating yearly budgets instead of weekly budgets now.  I am trying to figure out how far one bottle of shampoo will go, and I have a feeling I am going to become very familiar with each and every flavor of Hamburger Helper,  It's a good thing I love Ramen noodles, eh Laurel?  

I am trying to focus on this new phase as being an opportunity to live out a dream, but part of me can't help wonder if my creativity will suffer as a result of having to sell consistently to eat, or if the extra time I now have will make me more creative and improve my work.   It is a good thing I know how to type and sew, too.  My mother always said, if you can type and sew, you won't starve.  We'll certainly see.

So here's to the first day of my new independence as an artist.  Wait, let me cut that glass of champagne with some water first, okay?  Got to make it last... 


Laurel said...

I've already emailed you my thoughts about this - it sucks, doesn't it? But you are SOOOO talented, persistent (gotta thank that OCD of yours, right?) and all-round great at what you do, that I have tremendous confidence in you!

I meant to send you this link earlier, but here it is:
Chinese Chicken Salad with Ramen Noodles! It's pretty good, I must say, and easy on the budget!

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Laurel, thank you so much. I know you know what this feels like, better than anyone.

I didn't get your email. My old hotmail account was hacked a couple of months ago, and hotmail shut it down. I'll convo you through your shop to give you the new one.


Jacki said...

Hey girl! You can also cut the shampoo with water! Seriously though I have no doubt that you will do just fine and more. Believe in yourself like I do in you.


Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thank you very much, Jacki. I'm so lucky to have such good friends to lean on!

Bonnie Kreger at B-LEE KREATIONS said...

Lynda, I was at your place in life and I was terrified. For some reason, things work out. You are a wonderful, talented person and the God of Art is going to watch out for you. I bought the Cd "The Secret" and it really changed my thinking and my life. When this door closes, someone is going to come along and open one for you that is going to amaze you. I'll be more than happy to send you some shampoo. You've been so kind to me, I would be happy to pay you back.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thank you, Bonnie. You are so sweet. You hold on to the shampoo. I'll let you know, okay? You're the best!

Lupe Meter said...

I agree with your followers here, Lynda. You ARE very talented and gifted as an artist! If you could juggle several jobs at one time in the past, I am sure whatever the Lord has in store for you in the next chapter of your life, He will continue to give you the strength and wisdom to continue forward successfully. Bonnie is right, when the Lord closes one, He opens another. Hugs!

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thank you, Lupe. I appreciate that very much.

John(SC) said...

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade and dump it on the person you ordered oranges from. Or they woud make some very attractive jewelry.
Seriously, some things have to get out of the way so you can receive others. As in giving, you have to give in order to make a space for receiving. You'll do just fine Lynda. John