Feb 2, 2017

Running this fundraiser has had me thinking–whether I meant to or not–about actually running a regularly stocked shop again. On the one hand, it’s fun to make a lot of things and then sell them and bring in extra cash for our family. It’s really fulfilling creatively and personally. It’s a rush to have people actually want to buy what you’re offering. It’s fun to package it all up just so and send it off, imagining how fun it’ll be for the recipient to open. 

On the other hand, it just never stops. I’ve only been running the fundraiser for a little over 24 hours and I’ve been constantly bombarded (in the best way, but still) with orders and messages and questions and extra listings to set up for one reason or another and, while I’m super grateful for it all, it’s also exhausting. To worry over how every response you have to someone is going to effect your long-term relationship with them and, by extension, how they’ll talk about you to others. To be conscious of making every package your best work because everybody deserves a special experience. To do your best to respond to every question and message in a timely manner so that people don’t end up feeling ignored or confused. It’s a lot.

And for every extra message and listing that goes up, it’s that much less time I’m spending focused on my kids. And husband. And laundry. Which for a fundraiser that’s only going to run for a few days anyway is totally fine and good and worth it. The family’s not going to collapse after a few days of me being on my phone and the computer a little extra. But I know how easily things can spiral out of control when it’s an on-going, never-ending real business. I’ve been there. And thank goodness it didn’t put a strain on my marriage or having any real damage to my relationships with my children, but it very easily could. It’s the kind of thing that never stops if it goes unchecked. So it’s you who has to step in and set limits. Which are healthy because they give you the room you need to breathe and read to the kids. But those same limits keep you from earning the extra you could have earned and that gets hard sometimes. I think we’re made to grow and progress and keep doing better and sometimes it gets sticky trying to sort out in your head and your heart where some growth needs to be stunted so the most important growth can take place. Maybe it sounds silly to say, but go there, have that success, you’ll understand.

All that being said, it would (or at least could be) a very different story if, say, all my children were in school and I had a few hours I could devote just to personal endeavors. It’s not running a business and being on the computer I feel guilty about. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those things. It’s just doing it all instead of being present with the kids that weighs on me.

But I think there can also be a balance. I think it’s perfectly healthy and ok to say to myself, “I”m going to take this pre-arranged time while Bryan or a grandparent or a babysitter is with the kids and they’re all fine and being cared for and I’m going to work on something that’s personally fulfilling.” You can’t never take time for yourself. You’d wither.

If I’m being honest with myself I think I really could use more personal time. Not just when I’m so far gone that I need it, but scheduled out, on a regular basis so I don’t get to that point of feeling like I just need a few a minutes to myself. Time I can count on to chase personal dreams. Time to balance out the diapers and constant kid chatter. It’s like when things are a million times better if you have date nights scheduled in advance and can look forward to them happily instead of calling the babysitter at the last minute because you have got. to. get. out. of. the. house.

Anyway, I’m just rambling now. I don’t have some grand plan for running a business or something. I loved making all the little house wall hangings to sell for the fundraiser and I might even be up for making them to sell just regularly, but I don’t know that people would buy them if it weren’t for charity. Not that they’re not charming and well-made–they are–but, I don’t know.

I guess we’ll see.

One thought on “Work

  1. Megan Calkins says:

    I feel these feels just about every day. I’m currently working well over 40 hours a week between 2 jobs and commuting at least 8 more. It’s not because I love my job and want time away from my family, but because I don’t have a choice right now. I actually do love both my jobs, but not having ANY personal time is really wearing me down. I agree that scheduled dates end up bringing more joy than last minute “I need to get out” impromptu dates, so perhaps scheduling me time would work….if children decide to honor your schedule and give that time. The other frustration for me at least is that working does fulfill me to an extent, I can’t pretend to not be proud that I can single-handedly support my family financially, but being the breadwinner isn’t fulfilling my deeper desires, not the way that consistent scripture study, yoga, prayer, temple nights, girls nights, reading or playing the piano fulfill me. Balance is so hard. I’m glad you found joy in that fundraiser though, I’m really excited to get mine, and won’t love you any less if it’s not packaged perfectly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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