It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Before starting this post, I felt compelled to look over my posts form 2018. And one thing I noticed was last year found me struggling with finding better ways to work and better ways to balance life and work. I wrote about taking a 10-day staycation and explored my thoughts about the need for social media as a small business. Which naturally led to taking a social media fast for one month. I also shared with you my conflicted thoughts about where I live and my desire to settle somewhere else in the near future. It was a year full of challenges and growth - growth that could only come out of struggle. When I look back over these posts I know one thing that many of you don’t: most of last year I was working harder than I ever have and dancing with burnout in the process.
Last year could have only led me to where I am now. All of our choices are always taking us one step at a time to the next place we need to be. And last year was bound to throw something at me to slow me down:
Welcome in back problems like I’ve never had - sciatica pain, a herniated disc, tingling, numbness, pain so bad it takes an elephant’s worth of will power just to get out of bed in the morning.
I think one of the only reasons I can write about this in any way where I’m even remotely grateful for what I’m dealing with is because a few days ago it seems like I may have passed the worst of the pain. As I begin physical therapy I’m trying to reconfigure my life around a slower pace. Around a TRUE acceptance in my head that to be less busy is OKAY, that relaxation does not equal being lazy.
I always like to take some time at the beginning of a new year to write about what I hope to realize and bring into being in the new year AND what I would like to let go of. The things I wrote about this year are less things and more ways of thinking:
To be more accepting of what I am capable of doing in a given span of time (be that an hour, a day, a month, a year, heck, even a lifetime.)
To let go of guilt. Whether that’s guilt for taking time off or guilt because I actually do love my work and sometimes, when it feels right, I WANT to work all day (now, the caveat is, so long as I’m not overworking my body.) To realize that all of the pieces and parts are necessary and not anything to feel guilty about.
To run with the things that spark my excitement and imagination and let go of many of the things that drag me down.
To better embrace the “middle” and transitional times in life. Whether that’s when I’m in the middle of a work-related goal and don’t know when the dream will be realized, or just in the middle of a big closet clean out. I tend to be bad with “middle” energy. I’m all excited when I’m getting a project started and feel very proud once I’ve realized the goal/dream/clean closet, but overall I just end up trying to rush through the middle. The middle is where a lot of the good stuff is, and I know that when I’m rushing through it I’m missing a lot of life.
And so, I move forward, one foot in front of the other, seeing quite clearly that slowing down is the only REAL way to enact REAL change in my life.
This year is off to a bit of a muddled start. I had a tradeshow very early in the month, that I had to be prepared for. And so I put on my big girl pants and I got it done, even while dealing with an immense amount of pain. I will report: the show went well. And I can happily say there are some new stores that will be receiving Tangleweeds goods for their shop in the weeks to come. But as soon as that show was over I slowed the train down. I’ve mostly taken the last week off and it’s felt great. I even took some time to really clean up my workshop and it now feels like a space I am excited to (carefully) get back to work in. Maybe I’ll even offer up some more mini-tutorials on Instagram like I did last year.
Overall though, Tangleweeds isn’t going anywhere. There are some significant changes ahead, but given that I’m not quite sure how quickly things will happen around here for now, I’m not going to offer up any timelines.
What you can expect to see from Tangleweeds this year:
A remodel and pairing down of the online shop. Many designs will be discontinued and overall the shop will have a new, more shopper friendly look. (I will of course announce the re-model and design discontinuation with plenty of notice in case there’s something you’d like to get while you still can.)
A new series of limited edition pieces. These will be released on Instagram on a schedule that I have yet to set. I will announce all of this on IG as I refine this way of releasing designs.
A PODCAST!!!! I’m beyond excited about this idea. It’s my way of continuing to further the building of the handmade/maker/artisan community, especially as I consider moving out of the bay area this year.
More workshops. Definitely my Metalwork Made Easy class, along with some other ideas in the works.
A more paired down craft fair schedule. I most likely won’t do any events at all until April or May of this year. This is both to give my back time to heal and to focus on other areas of Tangleweeds.
A different focus on my newsletter - I want to grow the arm of Tangleweeds that is about finding the beauty in the everyday. And I want to share it with all of you!
That about wraps up my thoughts for 2019. I could write an equally long post reflecting on 2018, but I’ll just leave it at this: I realized a lot of my goals. Now the challenge: continuing that journey towards new goals while incorporating more mindfulness, more self-care, and heaps more “living in the moment” types of energy!!!
Tell me about your new year goals. Or conversely, how do you feel about the way 2018 went? I love the practice of looking back/looking forward.