Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's Worth It

When I was pregnant with Peanut, I managed a small women's clinic which was a 45 minute drive from my house.  It was the middle of my 3rd year at that location, so the scenic drive through southern Wisconsin was monotonous.  I loved to spice things up by singing or stopping off at local small shops or restaurants on my way to and from work.  So, it's no surprise to me now that Vincent loves to ride in the car, sing along to my favorite music, and even have the occasional mother/son dance party at the shop and at home.

Vincent saying "smile" instead of actually
smiling for the Boys Will Be Boys photo shoot
Lately, I've had to start calling him Mr. Sassypants, because, like his mommy, he can be quick to respond to comments with a roll of his eyes or a, "Don't even go there."  I can't decide if it's annoyingly entertaining or entertainingly annoying.  My answer will change depending on the day.  Like most moms, especially ones that stop into the shop, it really depends on what's going on that day, or how sassy he actually gets.  Three going on 13, Vincent may even lecture me on how I'm supposed to be organizing things in the shop.  Maybe he takes his title of VP of Sales and Marketing a little too seriously (then again, he did insist upon that title).

Am I giving a little too much credit to my son's intelligence?  Not in the least.  For almost 2 years, I've been his interpreter.  I picked up what his nonsensical babbling meant from an early age, and you cannot imagine the relief it was for him when he noticed that I was starting to understand.  It's almost as though he was learning English as a second language.

With all my projects going on, I've had to come up with my own way of communicating with myself in order to keep track of everything.  I've never been one for writing anything down, drawing diagrams, but I did like making lists.  I occasionally ask Siri to remind me to pick up my medication, but a lot of it just stays in my head.

On the Lido Deck of the Carnival Legend cruise ship
wearing the All the Stops Dress that took
about a year to knit
It's been a process: teaching myself how to sketch an idea so that I don't forget about a cool design; remembering to eat my breakfast, even though it's sitting right in front of me; and yes, responding to emails and writing a journal or blog entry.  As someone notorious for taking on too much at once, I'm learning how to say "no" to more projects, or putting some things on the back burner while I work out other, more pressing items.  I believe they call that prioritizing.  Meh.

I don't like things to be too structured, that's just not how I function, but I know that if one day I'm obsessed with knitting a certain project, I have to tell myself, you only have until midnight before you do something else or you can only work up until this row on the chart.  Then, I make myself take a break, go to bed, take a shower, etc.  

And so far, it's working.  I've got one pattern in testing, three that are in the sample stage (knitting a sample/taking notes in order to write the rough copy for testing), and quite a few sketches that are currently just ideas that are looking for the right yarn, colors or designer call.  Is this what professional designers end up doing?  If only I could talk to someone like Debbie Bliss or Jenny Watson, or anyone who churns out more design ideas than I'd know what to do with.  

Could those same designers also run their own yarn shop while caring for a toddler and keeping up with other fiber related hobbies?  Who knows?  I feel like I'm barely holding on to sanity at times, but all I know is that I'm enjoying it ten thousand times more than all my other jobs combined.  And part of owning a business is about taking the risk, not knowing if your gamble will inevitably fail or if it can continue to sustain itself indefinitely.
Me dressed up as Aretha Franklin after the
Carnival Legends show with the cruise ship dance
staff member assigned as my "escort" for the evening

I wish I could know that one day all these days of struggle would mean something.  Will I be able to make this a career or will this just be a couple of years where I tried something that didn't work?  It's worth the shot.  Though word on the cruise ship was that, if all else fails, I'd probably be able to make a good living as a singer.  :)

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