February 11, 2011

anything doesn't mean everything

I have always wanted to be too many things at once.

My to-do lists are crumbling beneath their own weight.  My mind works double time trying to process my regular daily thoughts alongside my creative inspiration thoughts.  My craft room....nevermind, I don't even want to go there.

When my creative plate is this full I can't stop it from spilling over.  That means I get crumbs all up in my personal life.  The crumbs manifest as stress and self-doubt and newflash! - those things are never a happy addition to any relationship.

Anyway, I'm not here to whine about how busy I am.  Instead, I just want to take a moment to reflect on the notion of anything vs everything.  Or more specifically why the idea "I can do anything!" compels so many of us to do everything.

For so many years I've operated under the belief that if I was no multi-tasking at all time then I was failing.  If I didn't have a headache and sweat on my brow then I wasn't trying hard enough.  My perception of success was so distorted that I began to believe that all successful people had a love/hate mostly hate-filled relationship with their craft.

Then one December I noticed a tweet from Sue of Giant Dwarf, and the message has stayed with me since: "Thought about pulling an all-nighter, but realized I should stay true to my mantra: I'm just one person + I can only do so much.

Her sentiment was so simple, so common-sense and had absolutely never occurred to me before.  So what - you're telling me that this artist that I adore, this woman who is wildly successful is able to step away from her work and just enjoy her evening?  I'm almost embarrased to admit that this was a revolutionary moment for me.

My focus and goals have shifted a lot during the last few months.  While my days are still quite full, my to-do list no longer suffocates me.  I've decided to create for my Etsy shop on a more casual basis (make when I want to make) and focus my creative energy on blogging and graphic design.

As for the rest of my time? Many of those happy moments are spent as a family.  Sometimes we even sing and laugh and jump on our crumb-free bed.