Endings and beginnings

4 09 2018

Weather: Summer has been weird. September is no different. In the upper 80s today, and sticky. Hope we get a fall this year, and not a trip-over-autumn-and-squarely-in-Winter again. 

So. A lot has happened since my last blog post. A lot has happened in the past week. And that’s just talking about my personal life 

As you can probably tell from the title, change has been the rule rather than the exception.

The endings part has been bitter sweet.  We lost 2 major big names recently- Sen. John McCain and Aretha Franklin (RIP Queen!). And I lost two people close to me- My uncle Dan and my husband’s Aunt Kathleen. Both had been ill a while, but the end, when it comes is never welcome, though there is a small tinge of relief that they are no longer in pain. That relief comes wrapped in guilt, because you exhale and cry in the same breath.

Another ending, which is not so much a death, but an farewell nonetheless, is I left my job. I had given 3 weeks notice so there wouldn’t be too much of a gap in coverage. But it was time. Over the past year, after being diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder, I was suddenly hit a series of related health issues, ending my summer with a nice hearty case of Gastritis. (Thankfully caught before it turned into a full blown ulcer.) I’ve lost a bunch of weight due to being on an insanely restricted diet, so silver lining I suppose.

Stress is an unrelenting bitch of a thing to deal with.

After a very brief, ugly, UNSUCCESSFUL flirtation with anxiety meds, I, (and my doctor,) made an executive decision to stick with a therapy focused process. Therapy has been  amazingly helpful for me, mostly in that I’ve managed to unburden some long forgotten baggage. I have new coping methods and the anxiety, while never gone, is less frequent.

In addition, I really had to face the fact that I was going to have to quickly and definitively remove the main sources of stress from my life. My job, while surrounding me with good and supportive people, was not mentally or emotionally healthy for me. The job itself had morphed from something I enjoyed and could handle, to something much more complicated that required a level of commitment and energy I couldn’t honestly give it. This was not fair to me or to my coworkers, so I discussed with the husbeast and my managers, and it was pretty much unanimous what was the best course of action.

This particular ending was much more in my control, albeit still a difficult decision. There were financial and insurance related things to consider, so we crunched numbers and realized that it was workable, given some changes and some reasonable efforts to be made on my part.

So, back to the art, writing and photography mines for me. I’m taking this a lot more seriously than I did before. There’s more at stake this time. Weirdly, I’m not stressed out by it. I’m taking the tact of flipping a negative (lack of income) into a challenge (make more stuff, sell more stuff, HUSTLE!).

I work better with a challenge I can tackle than getting stuck brooding over the negatives of a situation. Yes it’s a concern, but it’s a workable concern. My actual goal is to generate income without having to hold down another job. The income won’t be as stable as a job would be, but we can accommodate and set the surplus aside for a rainy day. I have three main areas I can produce creative output- Mosaics, photography and writing. There are a number of subsets under those three areas, so opportunity abounds. I also know there are numerous outlets I can approach to sell these various creative outputs. But, as time and experience tells you, you can’t sell what you haven’t made.

The next three weeks are going to be work intensive. A lot of editing, a lot of planning, a lot of jumping in the car with my camera and taking some time to explore. Taking assessments of resources. Reaching out to vendors and doing the promo work.

I’m excited. And motivated. And for now that is all I need to get started.

Beginnings can be glorious, and sometimes made better by having a clean slate to start with in the first place. Changes are on the near horizon and I am eager to embrace them.

 

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