Sunday, March 14, 2010

soul searching when I should be sleeping

This blog post is intended as a note to myself... a reminder to come back to as needed. If you came to see a card... then scroll on down... I posted a new one. If you continue to read... it may get lengthy! And... if you are not a card maker ... this is really of no interest to you and you wouldn't understand. Even if you are a card maker... this is probably of no interest to you!

I started this blog... not really knowing what to expect! I loved making cards! I have always felt like a 'crafty' person but didn't really know how to express myself! I jumped in with two feet and hit the ground running!

What I have found, as a blog keeper for almost a year... and a full blown card maker for over a year, is that what brings me the most joy is something that I never expected. It is all of the wonderful and encouraging friends that I have made. That is the joy that still continues to touch my heart on a daily basis.

I have also found, since starting this blog and submitting cards for publication, that I am in constant turmoil over finding the time to do it all... finding the energy to do it all... and trying to keep things in perspective as far as what is most important.

I stink at all of it! It is time that I accept that! :)

Lately, I have been working on ways to make it all work... by trying to eliminate some things that I don't 'have' to do!

I had a 'revelation', so to speak, tonight! And it feels good! I don't 'have' to do any of it!

I think God finally got through my thick skull and said... "Let it go!" "Duh!".

I stay up late EVERY night and let my health and appearance go most of the time because I am so tired. I spend time making things for submissions that I don't even want to be making for the sake of having a card published in a magazine. Since I am so tired... it affects my mood thus affecting everyone around me... mainly affecting how much patience I have and my energy level. I don't work on things that I want to be doing like scrapbooking our family pictures/memories. And... that is what I should be spending my craft time doing! That is what Carver is going to have to look back at and what he is going to care most about. Not a few cards in a few magazines!
Okay... Carver may never care about it but maybe his wife and kids will one day! :)

The 'competition' of the whole challenge and publication thing brings out the worst in me. Yes... sometimes jealousy. Mainly though... it makes me feel bad about myself when I am 'rejected'! It takes me a week to recover from those feelings! So... why do I continue to do it?

I spend too much time, money, energy, and thoughts on something that doesn't even bring me the most joy. Shame on me for being so 'consumed' for so long. It is time to get back to what brings me the most joy... Being a GREAT mother and wife... not just a good one on a good day! Crafting for me... when I have time... and making whatever makes me happy!

Will I still submit? Maybe... if I can get to the place that I can submit if I have something that fits the call and not worry about it if I don't! I hope to get to that point!

Will I still participate in challenges... don't know yet. Maybe on occasion!

Will I continue to create and blog... of course!

Now... if you are reading this.... anyone out there in blogland... you may think this is silly and why did she post this.

Well... this blog is my journal ... this was my intent when I started it. I am just documenting the journey that I have been on since I started blogging!

And... I am practicing what I have 'preached' before about sharing your feelings... no matter how silly... because you never know who may need to hear it.

If you don't have any of these 'issues' that I have then great.... don't take offense thinking I am saying you are as messed up as me! :)

This is my post that I will come back to and read when I am feeling the pressure/drive to submit submit submit! This is my reminder to let it go and focus on what is most important at this point in my life... and it is not me... it isn't about me... it never will be!

I have to face the fact that I am not the type of person who can do it all! And.... this is okay!

You can do it Kelley... I know you can! :) Let it go!! You can be a gray area kind of gal... it doesn't always have to be black or white... all or nothing!


Tammy said...

Wow Kelley--thanks for sharing your insightful moment. I started blogging this fall and I have been starting to feel the same way (ie. getting disappointed when not winning a challenge or getting a card published, and most recently not getting on to DTs I've applied for). I too realized scrapbooking memories of my sons is more important--I spent last week catching up on that and only made a couple of cards. I originally made myself a goal this year for getting myself published in a magazine, but I've since ditched that goal--too much pressure and way too many more important things in life. Besides, the whole beauty of Blog world is that you can publish your own work everyday--no need to what for someone else to decide if your cards are "good" enough.
Any way, reading your post this morning was just what I needed! So thank-you!! It's great to know that people I admire myself in this blog world are feeling the same way I do!
Now go enjoy the day with your hubby and son!! That's what Sundays were made for!!

Jeanne said...

Kelley, you are a very smart woman. I know you don't know me very well as I just started reading your blog recently, but in the short time I've been reading, I have thoroughly enjoyed what you have shared. Your enthusiasm for life and your style appeal to me, plus you have one darn cute little boy there. *Ü*

I admire those who can honestly admit when things are not all rosy and reflect upon the reasons why that might be. Your honest post is sure to help many. I've never felt the need to be published, but I have been struggling a little with a lack of card making mojo, feeling a little guilty that I am not making cards (when I have tons of supplies to do so). But we all grow and change and my current interests may not be in making cards but other crafts and like you have said, you need to do what brings you joy. Keep focused on what brings you joy and the rest will fall into place.

Thanks for sharing!

Karen B. said...

Thank you for opening up your personal thoughts for others to read, I will surely come back to this as well, if that's ok.

It's Jenn! said...

Hang in there Kelley. I am grateful you share this with us. Makes me feel like I'm not the only one. I DON'T submit at all for fear of rejection. And I totally do the same thing, staying up late at night trying to come up with ideas when I could be getting my rest. It's an addiction sometimes, lol. I feel like if I HAVE a little free time, I SHOULD spend it doing what I love.....but I come to despise it when I don't have any ideas and it becomes a chore.

Nancy said...

Good Morning, Kelly. I too, appreciate your honesty. I have only been blogging for a short while, but I agree that you can get caught up in the competition. I started my blog, and dedicated it to my grandmother. It was a way for me to write about my wonderful memories. Yes, I have made cards and entered challenges, but I have decided that at least every six months, I will go back to just writing and remembering. I also think that the competitions sometimes take away from the creative process. I have a background in art and a degree in fine arts as well. If I find myself compromising my ideas just to meet a challenge, I too will back off. I think you just have to find a balance. Exchanging ideas, memories and thoughts are equally as important. In addition, when you take a break, you usually come back with even more creativity. This has been my experience. Do only what is right for you, and you will surely find joy.

Carly said...

Hey you! I totally know where you're coming from, I've been there before myself. You have to not put so much pressure on yourself. I almost never create for pub calls anymore. Why add that added stress to something that should be fun and enjoyable. This is a hobby and you have to love and celebrate your hobbies, not hate them. I say create what you want, share when you can and if you say "hey, this is so great I want to submit it" then do it! But don't just create for submissions, challenges or what you think others want to see. I'm going all over with card style these days and just lovin' trying new things. Do what's fun for you, enjoy it and enjoy life outside this hobby too. I'll always be here to read your lovely blog and I am always just an email away. (((hugs))) Carly

Karen said...

You said things that a lot of people forget. This is a hobby! It should be just for fun unless you are trying to turn it into a job. I used to sew all the time. I started participating in craft fairs making little bunnies, dolls etc. Eventually I owned a twice yearly craft fair. I thought I was combining my love of sewing with selling. The best of both worlds. What I found is that I started to dislike sewing. It was a must now. I stopped sewing altogether. I missed having a hobby, an outlet. That is when I started making cards. They give me an outlet and make me happy. I don't submit, I don't have a blog and I have been making cards for 17 years now. I do it for me and it really doesn't matter if everyone else likes it. I still have a hobby. Thanks for sharing with us. Do what you love for you and no one else and you will be happy.

naomi chokr said...

Hey Kelley! Warning i think this will be a loooong comment. I've always loved how honest you are. Thanks for being that way....i can relate... when i was blogging. Havent done that in a long time....i liked using it as my journal too. AKA putting myself out there. I like to always tell myself.... who cares what people think.. a part of myself does but then i snap out of it. its mine...i maintain it not you. So keep doing what you do.

As for having to prioritize and choose the most important things in life that matter to you most. Well i commend you for that. Its so refreshing to see another crafter who I've admired for so long open up about it and say it. I have been battling with the same issue since i started blogging in 2007. I've been on and off since then. It's tough....its a second job. Its exhausting...and when it starts affecting your mood and change you and suck the fun out of it...well its time to re-evaluate the current situation.

I've been gone for a while because I've had to decide and choose. I've had to ask myself...what is important right now? Unfortunately my hobby has to come last and everything else like my husband, my job, maintaining my home and my personal growth has had to come first. I finally told myself's ok. The craft world is very forgiving and no matter what "we" will always cheer you on. So go ahead and post everyday things..... we can all learn from what you do.

I may not be as successful in the craft world as all the girls i admire....i have never been published..dont design stamps (yet...hahah...maybe one day), dont win or submit to challenges everyday but my house is finally in super successful at work (and proud of it) husband and I are happy and healthy. I'm sure when i feel that i have everything in order and the time is right....I'll be back..maybe even better. Who knows. I just go with the flow.

I'm hopping that I can get back to blogging and creating soon because i do miss it. It's just that right now...other things have to come first and that is ok.

Keep me posted! Love yah for saying this!!! I always wondered how crafters balance their life. It's good to hear that we are all not wonder woman..... im sure a lot of crafters out there can do it. But its nice to hear that like me....its tought to balance it all.

Lea L. said...

Kelley- I was a lot like this when I first started out on this card making thing too. I think many people go through this. They get that first taste of publication, and they want to keep it. So then you tend to try too hard. And it gets stressful, and not fun anymore. That is when you step away from it for a bit.

Then you come back and realize what it is you love about this hobby, and you begin to revel in it. And that brings on so much inspiration! I don't make projects for any publications. I make cards...whatever happens to suit my fancy at the time...and I submit things if they fit a call. Not the other way around. I still get published, AND I still LOVE what I do for a hobby and have fun. You will find that happy medium, I promise! I LOVE your cards...your CAS style is fabulous!


Sarah said...

I KNOW how you feel!!! I have never submitted to a magazine due to fear of rejection. I started blogging and have made the bestest friends. I was posting daily..then 3 times a week..then 2 times a week. Then I was spending hours commenting and feeling blogger guilt. It is affecting my family life...I even feel my joy of crafting diminishing due to the need to produce ....esp for DT stuff... I think it must be that time of year as I am hearing this from others too. To create something is a joy in itself and sharing it with your readers a plus. That is enough ....and the drive to get published takes away from that.
Thanks for sharing Kelley...I have been going through this too...:0)

AnitaRex said...

Hey Kelley thank you for writing this. I haven't tried for publication yet but I have tried a lot of challenges and never win! It gets me upset, makes me feel bad about myself and all that. I almost feel that before I started doing the online thing of competing and such I liked my hobby better. But I do enjoy having so many blogging friends who love it as much as me and get me with this! What I have been thinking is that it's important to be true to myself. It's all fine and dandy to do these challenges but when my brother in laws birthday passes and I have no card for him it's all silly! I read that one girl who gets published does it just make cards that she wants to and likes and than later sees if it fits to a call. I like that idea. I am happy to read this post Kelley and I totally understnad how you feel. Our hobby shouldn't leave us all upset and ruining us for our family and friends, it should be something that brings up enjoyment!

Handmade Creations by Stephanie said...

I know that I just discovered your blog and I am so happy that I did!! I love your style and your blog!!! I know where you are coming from about publications it is alot of preasure and thats why I am taking a break from it I much rather devote my time to my blog and making creations for fun and not for something that feels like work and stresses me out in the end. You are not alone and I hope that you still will do your blog for fun!!!

Alanna said...

Oh Kelley, it sounds like you are on the right path. I too went through a phase when I was just making things but not really enjoying myself. I also went through a long phase of not doing anything crafty. About a 3 year phase.

In all things, there must be balance. Right now, I am truly enjoying making cards so that I can send them to someone. I want to be remembered as the friend that you can count on and the one who will remember you just because.

Have I let some of my scrapbooking go? Yes I have but I have gotten back into it by doing some digital scrapbooking right now which I am super excited about.

As for blogging and submitting things, which is something I haven't done yet, just do what feels right for you keeping in mind to have a balance in all things.

Anyway, I think that ended up being a post about my own soul searching but just know that things will be okay and to just take one day at a time. And definitely don't let your health, because I know you know how fragile and precious that is, be affected.

Okay, I'll quit my ramblings for now. I appreciate that you share your thoughts and heart with us.

Alison F. Collier said...

AMEN and so breath taking to hear this from you. You know your posts exhaust me. I've asked you before how in the world you do all those cards, keep a sparkling/clean home, a stay-at-home wonderful mom and wife. So proud of you to have come to this place in your life. Remember our "Paper Dolls" discussion.....all about accountability. LOVE YOU SISTA!

Sarah Craig said...

Kelley, I admire the way you can articulate your feelings so well - it's hard to put some things down in writing, I know. I always hate to see you get dejected about your cards when they are rejected for publication, because truthfully, I like your cards more than most I see out there, and not just because I know you! You have a refreshing and clean style that makes beauty out of simplicity. Now you just need to apply those same principles to your life! It sounds like you are on the right track - just do those things that bring you joy and you'll be ok! This is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it! If what you are doing keeps you from being joyful, ditch it! (As you know, lots of days housework keeps me from being joyful!!) Love you!

Winter said...

This is why I love you so much! I love how honest you are and that you have the courage to say what others are feeling! Thank you for the post and I too need to work on things in my crafting life. Love you! :)

Marie said...

Yay and double yay for you! I can so relate. I originally started with the craft blog for posting my cards, and discovered that people want more of my words, more of "me" than they want to see ANOTHER card. So I started a second blog (lol) that is just for that purpose: and have been amazed by how freeing it has been to share myself instead of my cards. (I do still have a craft blog, but have resigned myself to the fact that I don't have the drive to ever be "great" or competitive. Sigh. Let go, Marie :)So now I occasionally post (mediocre) cards for me, but regularly post writings for the Lord.
Thanks for sharing your journey!

Karen said...

Seriously, tatoo those last two paragraphs to yourself (okay, okay....even if its a Mom's best friend...a post it note! :>)!! I have never submitted to a pub (yet). That's not to say that I won't, but for now, I haven't had the drive to do it. I do enjoy challenges, but I'm not driven by them. I do them when they inspire me or I have the materials or an idea that will work with it.

And I think YOU ROCK for sharing your thoughts and feelings here!! I often wonder how Mamas get it all done. I just don't know how to. So, I do what I can. I love that you are creative, crafty, a Mama, and an online friend. I look forward to your posts, your comments, and your emails. And I think you've hit the nail on the head that *balance* is something that we *all* need to continue to *craft* in our lives! Thanks for your post, thanks for YOU! :>

~amy~ said...

Kelley, I don't think that I can say anything that hasn't been said...but you gotta love what you your gut...

Alice Wertz said...

thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Kelly. I do get caught up in doing challenges. i have recently decided that i will take things easy, too. i want to try just making cards that i want to make and if a challenge happen to inspire me, then i'll go for it. i am also trying to accept the fact that i am not as good of a card maker as i thought/expected i was. i want to work on improving myself rather than thinking too much about challenges. maybe it's good that i have not start trying too hard on submitting yet. =) thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

oh girl...leave it to you to sum up the thoughts of many papercrafters out there in blog land! this is exactly why you have all those followers & why we all love you! It's so much more than your fabulous cards, Kelley. It's you - honest, reflective, and heartfelt. I think it takes a brave person to admit when too much is too much. While I can't send you time, energy, or a sense of peace to go with your creations, I can send you loads of love - which I know is the best part of any blog. Please have faith in the fact that YOU are a fabulous YOU whether you give 100% of your time or less than 100% of your time - you're showing your son that his mom is his mom, his daddy's wife, and a person of her own as well. {{Love ya}}

Chris and Paige Evans said...

Oh Kelley! You are so great! Your creativity is inspiring and so is your life story! I hope that you're able to find your happy place and do what makes you feel good! Keep up the awesome work :)

Summer said...

From the look of these comments, you are obviously supported. I love when you said this: "I spend too much time, money, energy, and thoughts on something that doesn't even bring me the most joy. Shame on me for being so 'consumed' for so long." I think more people should look at their lives in such a similar fashion. We all tend to get out of whack at time, yet very few of us take the steps toward a solution. Kudos to you! You make me proud.

Cindy Lee said...

Thanks for sharing this post with us Kelley!! You definitely open up my eyes as well as my mind. When I started cardmaking, being published is one of my main goal but until now none of my cards are yet to get pick. I have to admit that being rejected is really hard to accept. I've been trying too hard concentrating on the calls that I feel exhausted and forget how much I used to enjoy this hobby before all this publishing frenzy started.

It's a huge relief knowing that I'm not alone. For this, I thank you, Kelley!! I'll come back here more often! I love your work!

~kelly marie~ said...

You are amazing. You write and express your feeling so well! I am always here to support you with whatever you do! I am so glad you are making decisions that make you happy! It is also comforting to know someone else out there feels the way I do sometimes. hugs to you :)