Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Year of Quitting

So far, 2016 has been my year of quitting. I didn't do it on purpose. One thing just led to another and before I knew it, I'd pretty much removed myself from society. Here is how it's gone down:

1. I quit volunteering at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Or at least, I tried to. Volunteering my time is super important to me, but sometimes there just isn't any time to give. Greeting patrons there and ushering was a great way to get myself out of the house and, as a bonus, get to see a free show or movie now and then. But Lofted Designs got extremely busy in January (see last post) and I felt guilty about never signing up for any volunteer shifts. So when the time came to confirm my commitment and sign on for another season with The Music Hall, I opted out. I didn't fill out the form. I quit. At least I tried to, but for some reason I continue to get their emails each week asking for help. Who knows...maybe I'll go back sometime.

2. I dropped out of my book club, which is actually way cooler than a regular book club (it's a deep dive into a specific topic for several months, looking at literature, film, cultural relevance, art, music, etc.), but the pressure of committing to regular get-togethers was too much. I might re-join again soon because they are discussing super interesting topics right now. I'm just feeling non-committal.

3. I stopped consigning my jewelry at Pear Tree Gifts in Dover, NH. I've been consigning jewelry there since the store opened, and long before that when it was Lucy's Art Emporium. It's a fabulous store, filled with many wonderful things, but consignment just isn't a good fit for my business right now. It took me a long time to come to terms with that.

4. Finally, I just recently made the decision to close my Etsy shop. It's temporary, but my work-life balance was (and is) way out of whack. Lofted Designs has never been my full-time job, but has always been a creative outlet and relief from a long list of full time jobs I didn't quite like. For years, I worked in bustling offices filled with energy and noise, and the studio in the loft was my respite. My evening and weekend haven, with space to myself, quiet if I needed it. About two years ago, I found a day job I actually like that allows me to work remotely from home! This removed some of the need for quiet studio time to myself and I "needed" the loft less and less.

Then, in the last few weeks, my day job got a little crazy. I've taken on some new responsibilities (not necessarily by choice) and I find myself traveling quite a bit and working until 7pm or 8pm most days just to keep up with the extra workload. This doesn't leave any time or energy for creativity in the evenings, and I am reserving my weekends for recovery from my weeks (i.e. doing absolutely nothing). I've received a few desperate emails from customers who were hoping to place orders and it pains me to view my shop stats and see all the sales that could have been, but I'd rather miss out on some Lofted Designs studio time and disappoint a few people than end up working 24/7 and risking my sanity.

So that's that. I'm hoping to relaunch the shop this summer with a new look and some exciting additions to my jewelry line. In the meantime, I'm coming to terms with being a quitter. And I think I'm OK with it.

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