Sometimes it is hard to work for yourself, by yourself. Sometimes it is lonely.
Sometimes there is so much work you don’t know what to do, other times there is so little work you don’t know what to do.
Sometimes you talk to the jewelry. Sometimes you yell at the jewelry, because “WHY ARE YOU MAKING MY LIFE MISERABLE AND WOULD YOU JUST SOLDER ALREADY!”
Sometimes when you have a ring all done and beautiful and you are polishing it, the buffing wheel sucks it out of your hand and throws it to who knows where (probably into the furnace or under the hot water heater) and it is gone forever. Gone. And it was such a perfect little ring.
Sometimes customers get angry because their package never arrived in France and you sent them another one free of charge, but it never arrived either and they needed that ring to propose to their girlfriend and it is all your fault.
Sometimes people send their ring back because it just “isn’t what they were expecting.” What exactly were they expecting?
Sometimes it is hard to work at home. Sometimes your day consists of going with your husband to drop his truck off at Big-O and then driving him to school, going back and picking him up from school, driving him to pick up his truck from Big-O, driving one or other daughter to dance class, taking the dog to the park, picking the daughter up from dance class, and making dinner. And the next thing you know it is 10pm and you still have 10 rings to make before you go to bed.
But sometimes when everyone is gone to work or school it is very quiet and peaceful and you kinda wish they would never come home.
And sometimes you get a letter like I did today and it is a good day.
I’m sure you don’t remember me but…
2 years ago I purchased 2 of the oui rings from you for my best friend and I. We both have worn the rings every single day and even traveled through Europe this past summer together wearing them. They have been through so much and survived a lot, so there is tremendous sentimental value there…
Unfortunately about 2 weeks ago my roommate got her ring stuck on something and the gem popped out. Then this past week I left mine in a bathroom at the doctors office. I called to see if anyone returned it to lost and found but they didn’t. I can only hope it brings as much luck and happiness to whoever found it as it did for me.
Regardless the rings were super important and my best friend and I are graduating next month. I would like to surprise her and get both rings replaced since we both aren’t coping well without them. I just wanted to thank you for creating these rings because not only are they beautiful but they were great conversation starters and up until the day I lost it I was getting compliments. Not to mention it brought a ton of happiness and motivation into my life whenever I looked down at it.
People who work for THE MAN assume that being your own boss means:
1. Sleeping in and working (or not working) whenever you want,
2. Working in your pajamas,
3. Just LESS time working overall,
4. And there is this vision of getting rich somehow while you are sitting on the beach and your business runs itself.
Now I can’t speak for everyone, maybe there are some small business owners that have it all, that are wearing their pajamas on the beach and their business thrives…. I don’t know.
I can only speak for myself and I am an artisan, so maybe it is different for me.
It is true that I get to pick my own hours, which I love. Though that often translates into working in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep. Honestly it is the best time to work. It is so quiet and it is easy to be productive.
As for the pajamas thing, well I MIGHT work in my pajamas… sometimes.
But as far as working LESS, it just isn’t true. The truth is I work more now than I ever did at my 9-5 job. There is ALWAYS more to do and it is sooo hard to just leave things undone to give myself downtime.
So, I spend a lot of time in my jewelry studio. Some days it feels like the only time I surface is for the hour a day I take the dog to the park. My kids have come to know right where to find me. When they get home from school they come straight downstairs to my studio and sit on the washing machine (remember I share with the laundry room) while they tell me about their day. It gets really funny when the whole family gathers in there to visit with me. We have a great home with plenty of real places to gather, places with couches and chairs. But noooo, everyone congregates in my studio where there is neither couch nor chair. I am a one person shop and my studio is a one person studio. So, the kids sit on the washer and dryer or the dusty floor and my husband pulls up a bucket seat. My sweet dog has made a place for himself under my desk where he can keep my feet warm. It works, but it is kind of ridiculous at the same time. Sometimes I fantasize about there being enough room to have a couch in there, but there just isn’t and it would probably ruin all the fun anyway.
Somehow, thanks to a wonderful husband, meals get cooked. Occasionally I open my eyes in the kitchen long enough to realize it is dirty, so I clean.
But mostly I make jewelry or work on other businessy things. Sometimes I think about people who come home from work at 5 and spend time in the evenings on their hobbies or watching TV. What would that be like?
I can’t remember.
But it is a new year, sort of. It is a time for me to make changes right? Maybe if I schedule time for ME and my family; if I force myself to shut the studio door after dinner, I can regain my life outside my business.
I can do this. See, I am doing it already. I am spending time with my husband right now while I blog about making jewelry. Well at least I am spending time near my husband….