I feel I need to give a warning with this blog post--it might get real, it might get long (cuz when n gets real, it's rarely short) and it might get messy. So, if you don't have the time, the patience or the heart to hang tough with me, you have my permission to scroll to the end and find the cliff note version!
There has been a funk that has been growing in my heart for many months. It has been hard to see through the fog and get to the bottom of it. There have been thoughts that I have been afraid to even whisper, and when I have dared, the response of those I trust has been an echo of my very deepest fears.You see, the journey of N's Whims has become such a part of me that I had difficulty even separating it. But, through a great heart to heart with my M, I have come to see that while the story of N's Whims doesn't exist without N, the story of N is so much more. What began as an interest, grew into a hobby, then a tiny business, then a part-time job. It has been such a thrill! I can remember the thrill of making the first item that I was excited to wear, and how quickly that thrill exploded as each of you have found something you are proud to wear! If I am honest, my self-esteem has grown with each 'like' of my pieces, each published approval, each and every purchase, and the confidence you show when you entrust me with your special orders. In the beginning, I thought of myself as a dabbler, an imitator even--now, through your eyes, I see myself as an artist. You don't know the gift you have given me! It is so scary to even think of closing that door even an inch....
However, what began as a way to renew myself, be creative, play with my mind and my hands, take a break from reality, has turned into an obligation. N's Whims must be fed. I have packages of new beads that are waiting to be opened. I have beautiful beads piled up in a basket waiting to be put away! There was a time when a package of beads would come and I would tear into it, sit down and make something from the package right away. I have tupperwares of vintage goodies begging for my time. If I am honest, I have begun to create what I think you will want rather than let the pieces speak to me. While that may not seem huge on the surface (I still like what I make, it still feels like N's Whims to me), it doesn't renew me as it once did. I no longer challenge my mind in the way I used to, I have become complacent.
Another issue is that there is more to me than N's Whims. I have always prided myself on being a good friend. Thoughtful, aware, present. When I got married, this flowed into good wife and later good mother as well. This is and always has been a huge facet of my persona. However, in the past few years, I have used the excuse of "not enough time" more than I am proud to admit. I have allowed my obligations to commandeer the time I used to readily give to my relationships. Today, I admitted to Mike that it sounds hollow in my heart when I use the excuse that I don't have time to sit for coffee, or to attend Bible Study, or to take a walk or to just sit and chat. I hate that I don't have the energy to call a friend or one of my sisters after I put the girls on the bus or to bed. Many of my relationships have suffered as a result, and this undoubtedly has added to the funk! Now that I have said it outloud and in print, it seems ridiculous that I have been telling myself that I just don't have time for the important relationships in my life. As long as I can remember, I have always maintained that relationships and making the world a better place for others is the biggest reason we exist! How did I lose sight of that?!
Yes, there are many other things during these last two years that have also changed in my life to take some of my time and energy. My children have needed me more--even though they are now in school full time, challenges keep arising that require my attention to help them succeed. But, that is part of my role as mother, and one that I cannot remove. I will never be able to control how much they need me and will try to relish every time I can be there while they still beg for it!
I have also started teaching group exercise classes again--7 a week. But, again, this is what my body needs to stay healthy (I have PCOS and it is controlled largely through my weight). I cannot lessen the amount or intensity without having it negatively affect my health, as well as my ability to be emotionally present in my life.
I am sure there are other changes that I haven't even identified yet, but they are not something that I am willing to let go of. While it is scary to think of letting go of N's Whims, I have to imagine it. I have to see if I can still be N without it--if I want to. Maybe in the end I will go back to making jewelry as a hobby (with a much better stash of beads :). Maybe I will just make things for gifts. Maybe I will only open once or twice a year. Maybe I will find my passion and balance again and just adjust a few things. I don't know what the future brings for N's Whims, but what I do know is that I want to be proud of N again. Not just proud of N the artist, but N the friend, mom, wife, sister, community member. I want to read for fun again. I want to make a wreath. I want to decorate my house (have you ever noticed that other than the boutique and a few other half-hearted attempts, my house looks much like we just moved in?!). I want to finally make something with those goat bells I found over a month ago! I want to have coffee and just chat. I want to follow the whims of N again.
N's Whims is changing. I am not sure what it will look like at the end
of the metamorphosis, but I do know the first stage is going to be
dormant. I want to stop and be in each moment, listening for what is important.
Cliff note version: N's Whims is going to take at least a few months off. If I have already agreed to work on your special order, I will be working on it before I take a break. If you have a jewelry need, let me know and we can find a good time for you to stop and shop. On April 20th, there will be an amazing open house from 9-noon. We will be raising money for An Orphan's Wish, and as always, you will find wonderful hand-made items from several vendors. As a huge thank you for all of your support and encouragement of N's Whims on this crazy ride, I will be holding the second sale in the history of my business. All N's Whims items will be 10% off that day! Following the open house, I will take some time away from N's Whims. I will not be taking any special orders and may or may not even be making jewelry. I don't know what will follow that hiatus, but I am hopeful that if jewelry continues to be my whim, the jewelry will be even more inspired and joyfully created. You will be the first to know!