24 February 2014

It's Me




UPDATE: 25 Feb 14

I can't thank you all enough for the amazing support, kind comments, and encouraging notes you've sent me in regard to the below posting.  I've read them all and will be replying to each in turn as I can.  Overall, I feel incredibly thankful and happy this morning.

There is, however, one thing I want to clarify that, based on many responses, I don't think I explained very well.  I'm not quitting.  I'm not even taking a clean break... after all, a girl has to eat, and all those Pinterest recipes I'm wanting to try aren't going to pay for themselves!  No, I will still be posting new work regularly. 

What I was and am ultimately trying to say is that I just need to cut out the majority of the visual and audible chatter around me, and get back to focusing on my own work and process... expand my inspiration point into realms that I've not given enough time and attention to pursuing.  My hope is that by doing so, I will find my way back to loving the process of creation.  Hopefully the work will just get better, but what is even more important to me... is that the practice of building itself will once again begin to feel enjoyable.  So all this rambling, friends, is essentially me declaring an intentional introversion into my art and life; however, this is not me leaving the field, ending relationships with friends and peers who metalsmith, or otherwise going completely off the grid.  It's me finding balance, rearranging priorities, and editing my horizon line.  There.  Maybe that is a bit more clear.  Then again, I've only had two cups of coffee, so who knows.

I will be teaching for the remainder of this year and hopefully, always in some capacity...  I love my students and the coordinators I work for- fiercely.  I simply don't want to put other dreams on hold in order to be on the road twice a month.  Gardens and gutters and little league games can't wait.  

Again, thank you for the incredible support.  Though I am not dropping my hammer by any means, there is a genuine feeling of liberation in knowing that I COULD, and have it fall amongst such blessings and understanding on your part.

You give me hope.



* * * * *


I've been a bit surprised by the amount of notes I've received over the past twenty-four
hours regarding my announcement of this upcoming blog post.

I certainly didn't mean to concern anyone.

I'll try to keep this relatively simple- the truth is that my decisions are in fact personal, and I owe no explanation for having made them... but I felt, true to my sensitive nature, that an explanation might be a good thing.  I do not mind being disliked or overlooked so much as I mind being misunderstood.  I don't know, that's just me.

So here we go:

I'm quitting metalsmithing.
I want to be a computer programmer.

And I am, of course, kidding.




But this is the fact.
I'm burnt out.  I'm beyond burnt out.  I've been burnt out then lukewarm, and the spark comes and goes in sputtering puffs of smoke, but I honestly cannot remember the last time that I couldn't wait to create something.  And I miss that.

I miss that part of me and my life.

In thinking about things over the past several months,
in reflecting over more recent life events-
Clara Dale's passing away,
a new love blooming sweet and promising here at home,
life on the road,
my finalized divorce and financial shifts/limits/fears...
I can see why and where some of the passion has fallen away.

When one loves what they do and they can make it a career, that is a wonderful and blessed thing- but survival mode can zap the juice out of anyone, and honestly... I'm tired.  I have reached the point I wanted to reach because I COULD reach it, but this is also the point I never wanted to reach because I HAD to reach it... and that is making for money.  Building to survive.

I can do that, and I do, but I think any honest critic can look at a lot of my recent work (say, the past year or so) and see the paleness of it.  I think financial pressures, emotional stress, being away from home, family shifts, and personal growth have all served me well... but at the same time, they've laid me out.  I've been relatively rocked, and I'm just rolling now... and I don't want any part of the hamster wheel.



I feel like the vast majority of my life has become jewelry.  It has evolved from hobby to passion to profession to Overwhelm.  My Instagram has been nearly all jewelers.  My Facebook friends, my social media groups, a large portion of my friends... all involved in some fantastic and passionate form of adornment.  It used to inspire me, at times intimidate me, but for longer than I can really explain now... it has simply exhausted me.  It exhausts me.

And that, as terrible as it may sound... is the truth.

This is not a job that you leave at the door when you walk through it.  I work out of my home.  I interact daily with peers and colleagues, other teachers, my students, customers, and friends who do what I do.  It is in every angle and aspect of my life in some way or another.  It feels at times as though I'm in a beautifully crafted box... and yet as lovely as it might be and as much as I know that my box is an incredible box to exist within... I don't want to live in a box.  Do you understand?  Because I get headaches from all the echoing voices and all the visible walls and I want more than this.

I want more.


* * * * *


To be clear, I do love what I do.  But I used to love it more. This is a post about how I'm trying to get back to where I belong, with my heart centered and my spirit saturated with inspiration.  I've made some decisions.



UNPLUGGING:
Well, not entirely.  I'm too much of a Pinterest addict.  I have, however, unfollowed about forty or so jewelers on Instagram in the past few days.  I've done this because I need some visual rest from what everyone else is making, saying, creating.  I have not done this out of distaste or disrespect- but because I need inspiration of another kind.

I want to be inspired by gardens.  Flora, fauna, nature as a whole... photographs of these things.  World culture, beautiful foods, my southern roots, my desire to see places I cannot pronounce.  I want work built from shit sketches I made after waking from a gorgeous dream or a heartrending nightmare.  The architecture of Savannah and Morocco and spaces in between, and the strength of iron gates and the delicacy of lace.  Tribal traditions, childish whims, street fashion, all that is ladylike... all that is not.  I do not want to remain where I have- by my own fault- allowing myself to become stagnant and ignorant to the possibilities around me, as I've grown so comfortable in my existing networks and their trending definitions of art and jewelry and adornment.  Don't get me wrong, the value and talent in these networks is enormous... it's just that I somehow have begun to feel claustrophobic.

It is not personal.
It is not them, or you...
Honestly.  It's me.
I just need to make some changes in the landscape of my life and work.

I have unfollowed the talented jewelers.  Many my friends.  Many my students. I did it to get that proverbial clean slate and gulp of fresh air... because part of me needs a new beginning with my work,
just as much as I needed that new beginning with myself.  It was time to take that next step.  In their place, I've gathered up a slew of photographers, tattoo artists, lifestyle bloggers, chefs, world travelers, painters, musicians, florists, SAHMS, farmers, authors, marketing and branding professionals, thrifters, yogis, interior designers, and even a historian or two.

I'm avoiding groups and private networks as of now, preferring to play something more along the lines of an observer.  In the wearing of selective blinders and popping in my earplugs, I do feel that I find a sort of bliss in the ignorance.  It comes down to me needing to feed my own soul, and stay out of the social media jewelry feed.  I am drawing lines in the dirt, distancing myself from drama (and yet I know that in unfollowing people, I will be in essence bringing more drama upon myself for awhile... because people will talk, assume, and generally feel and think as they want to feel and think.)  This is fine.  I have reached my changeling year, and it's time to do whatever it is I feel I need to do in order to be the best (and happiest) artist, woman, and mother I can be.


HOMEBODY:
Well not entirely, but I will be taking most of next year off.  I don't know about beyond that.  The traveling and teaching have honestly been the most rewarding and inspiring aspects of my life over the past two or so years.  I do not wish to stop, and yet, I do feel again that herein, I need to make some shifts.

See, I want a vegetable garden.  And it's been far too long since my dad and I had a date with our pistols or my mom and I spent all day baking.  My son's teacher has informed me that he does better in school when I'm home.  There is a man in my life and he makes me laugh... I think I would like to see much more of him.  I am thirty-one and not sure at all that I'd like to be done with motherhood.  There are parties I want to throw, old friends I'd love to see, a gorgeous NC coastline that gets far too little of my attention, a swing waiting to be hung, woodworking tools gathering dust, daytrips to nearby towns... hell, even gutters that need cleaning.  I want more living in my life.... I want more TIME... for things other than those that relate to work. 

 I honestly believe that by being here more and traveling instead those other avenues of interest, I will somehow find my way back to my passion as a jewelry artist.  


*deep breath*


* * * * *


I have written this post largely as an attempt to concretely lay down goals and hopes for myself.  I have written it so that I may hold myself accountable.  I have also written it for you... not that you need it nor do I owe it, but because I want to be clear, mainly about this one final point:


You do inspire me.  And you humble me.  As readers, followers, peers, customers, instructors... you always have.  I understand that as creatives, it is so easy for us to take things personally as we are largely a sensitive structure of people... but I hope you know that if I left your news feed, it is something I'm working on for myself, and not something I'm trying to say to you.  More often, I wish that we spent more time building each other up and less time critiquing one another... I honestly believe that teaching has softened my point of view on this, and I learn more and more that we are all just trying to find our own way.  This is me trying to find mine, or at least find it again... and while I hope the tone of this post has not been overly dramatic or somber... I also hope you know I have meant it.

I am so fortunate.
I am thankful for this life and the privileges offered me,
and I am not saying that I am unhappy.
I simply feel dry....



So here's to wrenching open the spicket.


xo,
Ro























55 comments:

  1. What a brave and beautiful post. You are making the right choices here, for the right reasons, and you are not obligated to engage the drama that will inevitably get stirred up over them. Keep your eyes and heart focused where they need to be and the rest will follow. Praying for you!

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    1. Francesca, thank you. Cannot wait to see you next week and hug your neck.

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  2. Ya' know something....I was just thinking this the other day as I sat down at my bench with a literal instagram feed of someone else's work filtering through my brain, I couldn't find me. I remember being so inspired at one time with everything that I saw and for the first time it was only the work of someone else's hands that filled my brain. To that end, I've also made the conscious decision to spend less time plugged in and more time plugged out, growing my 11 month old, spending a few extra minutes with my husband over breakfast and holding my mom's hand. Ya' know, I don't regret it. Not ever and I honestly don't think I ever will. Oh, and we're planting a vegetable garden this year also. Zuchinnis and peppers mostly, though I hear tomatoes grow well in the NC soil. I just started my 31st year also and it definitely is not what I thought it would be, but it's mine and it's yours and we have to live it so that twenty years from now we'll look back on it and have no regrets. I wish you well, Rosy.

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    1. Thank you, Marcie.... "It's mine and it's yours and we have to live it so that twenty years from now we'll look back on it and have no regrets." I wish you all the best too, always.

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  3. your bravery and raw reflections have always been what inspires me the most about you JJ...I have watch you rise and fall and rise again...and so you will in your way, your style, your time. I am a far away observer and yet this that is happening does not come a surprise to me...I think it all makes sense and it is the best thing for your soul right now, so again good for you for doing what you need to do lady!!! What ever your path is, you will be brilliant and kick ass on it!!! you will be gentle and reflective!!!! and you will be you...and that is the greatest gift you give to this workd...not just the things you created but you, your heart, your spirit. Blessings to you as you venture forth. I will be that much more grateful when I wear my Gilded SnowFlake Ring..for that ring speaks of your passion and your deep love for your craft...I wear it with honour and gratitude....much love to you my friend....love and light

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    1. Thank you, lady. You've always been such a wealth of support and kindness... Much love in return. Love and Light.

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  4. I am so happy for you aund for the places your heart is taking you! I've been waiting all day to read this blog, curious after yesterday's love of the earth spoke so deeply to me. I know your garden's 'gonna' rock! Enjoy every minute of this new life you so deserve. It's a wonderful ride and I would love to hear of the places it will take you. With the multitude of gifts you posess, live it to the full. God bless you! My prayers are with you also.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pamela! I really appreciate you being here.

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  5. I understand your need to write it and make it so. You were my first inspiration when I began my metal journey, thank you for that. I wish you all the best for what is to come! ♥

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    1. Emma, that makes my heart burst a little. Thank YOU so much. <3 right back, and always the best to you and yours.

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  6. Jessica, as a once upon a time single mother of three I not only admire you but I wish you all the best. You have to take care of you so you can take care of little man. You will never again get these years back....cherish every moment. I only wish you the very best and look forward to hearing about your next adventure.... don't be a stranger. xoxo

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    1. Lisa, your support of my words and work mean more than you know. Thank you for all of it. xoxo

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  7. Amen to that, I only just discovered your work recently but can so appreciate what you are describing.
    This post could not have come at a better time for me too.
    The thing most people do not know about me is I was an artist at a very young age. Constantly drawing, making, creating everything and anything. To the point that because I never wanted to go to summer camp my Mom actually signed me up for jewelry making classes instead.
    Year after year all kinds of classes - crafts, sculpture; stone carving too.
    Everyone expected me to make art for a living, that it would be my career.
    When faced with that prospect as I got older, it made me completely shut down and run the other way.
    I am 47 now and never went back to it. I am in a very different kind of career. Although anyone that knows me and works with me today would tell you my creativity comes out in other ways.
    Hearing what your saying, I am reminded that I did not make the wrong choices, but rather that I myself could not face turning what I truly loved into work. I could not see that for myself.
    I know many people do and can find that balance. But I knew enough about myself to know that I just couldn't.
    Of course to this day I get the comments, you should make jewelry again or you should get back into clay sculpture but the bottom line is I know deep down I can't make art because everyone else thinks I should.
    I have to be ready and to be able to find that balance.
    Wishing you all the best in whatever you decide makes you happiest.
    Kristen

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    1. Kristen, thank you so much for sharing some of you with me, and for taking the time to read this post. You're so right about having to be ready and able to find the balance! Wishing you all the best right back, and hoping you are happy creatively and otherwise. :)

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  8. Understood and totally understand. I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know.

    XO

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    2. Right back at you, lady. I love you and appreciate all your support and care. Looking forward to seeing you next month. xo

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  9. i totally understand ALL of this.
    simply because i have felt it, too, and have spent most of the past couple of weeks wondering "who" to let go of and "who" to hang on to. and that's not silversmiths or crafters of whom i speak. i'm talking about people in my own personal life. i ask myself: who applauds my growth? who hinders it?? who defines me, mostly in the wrong way? who supports my freedom to be the real me i choose to so freely and unabashedly expose to the world?

    i'm not a jeweler or a silversmith, i simply love being adorned with pieces i have collected from so many silversmiths and jewelers.

    whatever you do, i wish you great luck and lots of love and starlight.
    and i want you to know, i cherish the pieces of silversmithing i have acquired from rosy revolver.

    love love love.

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    1. "who applauds my growth? who hinders it?? who defines me, mostly in the wrong way? who supports my freedom to be the real me i choose to so freely and unabashedly expose to the world?" For me... YOU DO. And I thank you for that. All my love, woman.

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  10. You know..... I know exactly how you feel. Because I felt that too last year, and I did what you did. Maybe even more so - I quit completely. I withdrew from almost all jewellery people, I planted a veggie garden, I spent and I am spending time with my daughter and son (she's 10 now and he's 19 and has left the nest to see the world, they grow so fast)... and I packed up my studio. Turned into a sewing room / general craft room.... and I'm more at peace then I've been for a long time.

    I hope you will find your way. Of course, I hope I will get too see more RR jewellery in my feed because they always bring a smile to my face. But most of all, I hope you will find peace too. That you will be able to relax and spend time with the people in your life. Old AND new.

    Love always,
    /anna-karin

    PS. A little bit bummed I couldn't explain my situation to my friends last so eloquently as you just did. Tee-hee... ;)

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    1. AK, thank you so much. I remember when you did that, and even then, I felt what a release that could/must be. I'm so happy that you have found your peace. All my best to you, now and always. <3

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  11. Like Anna-Karin, I have been there too, already about 2 years ago. And I realized that there is so much more int this Life to enjoy than just jewelry and everything around it. I do make something, to amuse myself, friends and family. But other crafting has taken a part of my Life again, like it used to be, when I was still enjoying about creating.
    So you go and do all the things in Life that you enjoy. It is worth it :)

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    1. Thank you, Sirpa! So good to hear the reassuring words. I so appreciate you taking the time to leave them, and I am sooo happy you feel that creation has found a sweet balanced place in your life. It gives me hope. :)

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  12. I am so happy for you to have realized this about yourself. Many people don't take the time to understand they are in that hamster wheel and what they can do to get out of it. I applaud you! I know you will find your way through it all. You are an incredibly talented artistisan and deeply thoughtful person. I hope you will keep us posted and show the pictures of you and your Dad shooting and you and your Mom baking! Good luck.

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    1. I will definitely do that, Susan, and thank you so much for being here! :)

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  13. Cheers to you, I've been smithing for over 2 years now and the garden has now been on the back burner for 3. My passion is still burning but I know ot cannot last forever. I often contemplate wheter or not ig and facebook are.too much of an outside influece. Cheers to you and your beautiful journey.

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    1. Thank you! I so appreciate your words and you taking the time to read/comment on this post. Wishing you all the best on your path, Ness. Hugs to you. :)

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  14. I left a msg last nite but it didn't publish so here it is - Your passion is there, your energy is depleted so go take care of your family, your health, your happiness, your love and when you are ready, we will all be waiting anxiously to see what your next adventure will be. We love you and I am so happy I got to enjoy you in Tucson - now go refill the well:O) XXOO Sal

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    1. Sal, you are the classroom love of my life. Thank you for always being the amazing support and friend that you are. XOXO and see you before too long.

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  15. I surely enjoyed reading this blog. I very much enjoy being your customer and look forward to building more to the small collection of a beautiful sparrow necklace and rose studs for those rosy lobs. I don't think you could have written this more exquisitely. I understand and relate to the things you have written. If you have the opportunity to make a change for you, then I would too do the same. I hope everything you wish for finds its way to you! happy journeys lie ahead of you!

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    1. Melissa, thank you, both for your support in the Etsy shop and especially here. I so appreciate the encouragement. :)

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  16. So good. As I am in the beginning of this artist journey, this blog is my fear. I am trying so hard to not lose my excitement. I am trying hard to figure out the balance and remember the point was to love to create and to spend time with the priority in my life, my children. I am looking forward to the new chapter of your art. I am so so so so so glad you are doing what is best for you. Be gentle with yourself and enjoy this time. Love coming your way.

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    1. Thank you, Brigid. I suppose some of the beauty in the balance is in the fact that it can be so hard to achieve! Wishing you all the best in your own journey as you find your equilibrium. I have no doubt you will. A big hug to you and yours.

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  17. I've followed your blog for yearsssss and I love it. I love your honesty and truth. I love how creative and talented you are. You make me feel human.
    xoxo
    Olivia
    www.wintermoonblog.com

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    1. Wow.... just... thank you, Olivia. I so appreciate that. xoxo

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  18. So interesting because I see this big shift coming almost globally. I have physically made myself ill over the past month thinking of show apps that I don't want to fill out. 3 months ago I felt as though I were cranking pieces out, not making what I really wanted to make, so I cancelled that show (my biggest), and I can't tell you the relief it brought. I've thought a lot about this since then, and realized that it is not a coincidence that so many are coming to this conclusion at the same time. I'm taking a year to learn whatever I wish and make whatever I wish, doing only 2 of my fav shows....cause they really do make me happy. Also, I think that handmade is going to make a huge comeback, and maybe I/we want to go into that time refreshed and feeling whole. Thanks for putting it so eloquently....it's something that eludes me:). And.....just reading this has made me think I'm just tossing away that app that I have been dreading. Thank you. All the best. And.....just a note....I was a single mother of 2 20 years ago. I honour your desire to be the best that you can be. It is such a difficult road, but so it goes. Everyone has their path and their struggle. xo

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    1. Sue, this comment really just filled me to the brim. It lifts me on so many levels: as an artist, mother, woman. I love your ideas about taking time to learn as well as create... I don't remember the last time I took the time away from making to actually be the student again. Cheers to you, to motherhood, and to that "refreshed and whole" feeling that we all need from time to time. Thank you for this. xo

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  19. I was a potter for many, many years. It started as a hobby, then I sold my work, then I started teaching it. I taught for 10 years in art museums and studios. It seems to be the natural progression of things. But... you need to guard your creative heart so carefully. I burned out so bad, that I haven't touched clay for 4 years. Not even a finger poke! Clay was to me what eating is to most, and I never thought I would give it up.
    I am starting to miss it now, and dreaming of the day when it will be a part of me again. But I will never teach it again. It will be just for me.
    Now, I am learning metalsmithing, and selling what I make, and very aware of balance. It is very different when you need to make it your livelihood, I think. Then, finding that balance is crutial since you can't fully quit.
    I believe more and more people are stepping back from social media. It has become so much a part of our lives. It is almost as if an experience is not complete, or real, until you have hit the share button. Its ridiculous, really. I have always had a love/hate relationship with it.
    I think not travelling will be the best decision you ever made. I heard somewhere recently that we will never regret the things we did, but will sorely regret the things we didn't do. All that matters is that precious boy, and not missing his lightning fast growing up years.
    Also, by seeing the work of others all the time, it is nearly impossible to find your own "voice." I think about that often. I only follow a couple of metalsmiths on IG because I want to hear myself, not just the constant echo of others. Even a few are too many sometimes.
    My best to you, dear.

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    1. Erin, you've always been so supportive and kind. Thank you for these comments, and for taking the time to read the post. I agree with so much of what you said, and love that you have kept pottery as something for just you. Voices, share buttons, chatter, drama, comparison... I do not think that stepping away from these things is something I'll regret. It really IS a love/hate relationship! I so appreciate your perspective and spirit... all my best to you in return. xo

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  20. What a wonderful post, you have such a way with words. Oh the noise! It is all too much. I too am paring down, cutting back, getting back to what I love most. It means some sacrifices, but overall the happiness and peace it brings is well worth it. As exciting as change can be, it is overwhelming, and during these times it is most important to take care of oneself, and find what makes you happy and do only that. Best of luck to you, I think it's going to be a fantastic year for you!

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    1. Thank you, Erin! Your words have me excited, they feel so contagiously energetic... how refreshing! It means so much that you read the post and left a comment, and I hope that in paring down your extras, you're able to get back to what you love as well. I agree that the sacrifices are well worth it. All my best to you, lady! :)

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  21. So happy to have met you this past Fall in Spring, TX. How wonderfully brave of you to want to declutter the part of your life that is polluting your creativity. Sometimes the whispers are so loud that they drown out the alarm in our souls warning us to take a breath. To literally stop and smell the roses. I'm so excited for you on all the new love in your life. Be proud of yourself for being true to yourself. You show great courage, and I can't wait to see the art that all of these changes inspire.

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    1. Denise... Thank you, thank you. Your words really strengthen my spine. ;) The reassurance means more than I convey. If you're around Spring in March, come say hello. Hugs to you, lady.

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  22. I'm cheering madly for you, Jess. I think this time to unfold yourself will bring great beauty your way... both personally and for your work. Much love to you!

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    1. Rich back to you, Adara. Thank you for filling my daily feed with beauty, rawness, realism, and humor. You have always been that rush of fresh air blowing across my facebook page. xo

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  23. What a WORDsmith! Thank you for this, a lovely and honest post on a feeling all creatives can relate to. Your writing has always been the most inspiring, and I hope you find some peace and balance over the next chunk of life. Hurraw!

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    1. This made my day. Thank you! I so appreciate your words, and you taking the time to read mine. :)

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  24. <3 sounds great! I'm a firm believer in simplifying and doing an every now and then noise reduction. Sending you lots of love across the way.

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    1. Thanks, girl. Hugs from my corner of The Quay to yours. xoxo

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  25. Love your blog though I have never commented. I quit making jewelry for sale 10 years ago and now I will do a piece maybe once a month. At the time I quit I was not "creating" I was "manufacturing". What a bore, sucks the life right out of you. Success to you in your garden. Sincerely Debra Freeland

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    1. Debra, thank you so much for your words and empathy. I understand about manufacturing... it is not a business I want to feel I'm in. Well worded, and much appreciated. All the best to you! :)

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  26. I just read this and can really relate to you and the lady who posted about clay. I worked in glass and couldn't get enough of it. I taught, did shows and spent many days at the kiln until a serious health issue forced me to stop for the better part of a year. I haven't made anything substantive in almost 5 years. I have been working with stones, metal and wire, searching for that new inspiration. I am finding it but I still don't know exactly what I am going to do with the techniques I am learning. I feel like I am on the brink of a new (for me) creative venture.
    I applaud your decision and I wish you well. My former career had me on various committees, boards, task forces and I found myself being pulled in different directions. I continued to do all of this in addition to my primary job. Demands on my time were great until I finally said...ENOUGH. I withdrew from most everything except a couple and focused on my primary job. I also learned to say no.
    Life is there for you to experience...your son, new man, parents are all part of that. I am glad you recognized the need to spend time with them and doing things you love to feed your spirit.

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  27. I believe that many of us creative folks suffer stagnation if we compleatly immerse ourselves in one area. We need to play in the garden, spend time in the sun, surround ourselves with friends that challenge our minds and fuel our souls.
    Enjoy your step back. The rest of your life is waiting to be created.

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