Friday, March 11, 2011

Finding Balance

Yes, it's been over a month since my last blog post, so much for my good intentions of blogging daily or at least bi daily, ah well C'est La Vie.

This week I have come to the huge breakthrough realisation that what I lack the most of in my life is balance and what I deal with the most is perfectionism. If I were to tell my husband that I'm a perfectionist he would most likely laugh his butt off, but no I am a perfectionist and my perfectionism has paralysed me and in short I've lost balance to my life.

Perfect examples.. I now not only sew and sell in my Etsy store I also sell to a boutique. I had a crazy busy holiday season with my Etsy store (very good thing) but the B&M (Bricks and mortar) store was also busy, both shops were left almost empty so I had to work my butt off to fill them both again. My priority was my etsy shop, Etsy doesn't rely on foot traffic, the B&M store is outside in a quaint shopping area  that's not very heavily populated in the cold Winter months. So for almost a solid week I frantically stitched, took pics and listed  for my shop, during that time the house started to look a little neglected, but I managed and managed pretty well as long as I ignored the upstairs of my house, I also started preparing for things in the B&M store, ordering supplies, picking out fabrics etc. Then my dishwasher broke down and one day while washing dishes a glass broke and sliced open my right thumb right on the joint, it required 4 stitches. Suddenly I was out of commission, orders for my etsy were pouring in, I was well stocked in that arena and it felt great, but then I got a call from the owner of the B&M store, the weather was getting warmer, people were venturing out again, though I'd had a great month there things were going to rapidly go down hill if I didn't send her some more inventory. She in particular needed more key fobs, I had the supplies and had had them for a while I had just put off making them because I was too focused on my etsy and now here I was unable to make them because I needed my right thumb in order to do the fabric folding while making them.
The week after my stitches came out I did nothing but cut, iron and sew fabric making oven mitt sets, key fobs, zippered pouches, kitchen towels and clothespin bags, during that time guess what ? My Etsy sales slowed down because I was lower on inventory and I hadn't spent any time on that shop, my house became cluttered and dirty, laundry piled up, dinners went from delicious and nutritious well balanced meals to mac and cheese, burgers, hot dogs and the only vegetable served was French Fries. At the end of the week and once everything was boxed up and sent off I just sat and took inventory of what had just happened. I was totally burnt out. I looked around me and nothing was pleasing and yet I'd spent the last week looking at and making gorgeous items that people were going to purchase and those items were things to make people happy and here I was the creator of those things feeling anything but gorgeous and happy.
I gave myself a full day to really take stock of my feelings and regroup and it's within that time I realised that lack of balance and too much perfectionism were what had got me into that mess. I'm all or nothing. When I'm sewing I spend a full week sewing just for Etsy or the B&M store, when I'm cleaning house I'm not just doing one room at a time I'm doing the whole house. If I can't fill up my Etsy or the B&M shop I freeze and wait until I can take a full week to do so, if I can't clean my whole house in one day then I don't clean any of it. If I want to make a gift for someone I have to make sure I can get it all done in one day or I'm stressing that it won't get done, the other week my youngest needed jeans and sneakers, I waited until Saturday (even though we go near stores every day that sell those items) because I knew I had nothing else planned for that day so we could hit every single store if we had to (which incidentally we did).  By the end of that day we were exhausted, it was an enjoyable day but it would have been even more enjoyable had we checked out a couple of stores during the week while we were driving by so we didn't have to go every single store that day, we'd have already known they didn't have what we wanted.

So this week I have practiced being less of a perfectionist and bringing a better balance to my day and here's what's happened. I have added something new to my shop every day, I sent off another box of stuff to the B&M store (it was just a small box, but it's excess inventory for her to put out instead of calling me in a panic that stock is low) I made a dress for my niece (enter back sewing just because and not to pay the bills) baked bread from scratch, made jello cups for after school snacks, have cooked a well balanced dinner every night, laundry is caught up ( though not all of it is put away) the house is picked up, some rooms have only had the vacuum run over them, others have been vacuumed and dusted, others have been vacuumed, dusted, polished and windows cleaned. all the bathrooms are clean.
Gone are the days (I hope) of not washing clothes because I know I don't have time to fold and put them all away later, not cleaning house today because I can't get the whole thing done, or I'm not going to vacuum the living room because I don't have time to dust and polish too.
No more not sewing that cute dress or cool shirt because I don't have time to do it tonight.

And the reason I haven't been blogging ? Because I haven't been able to sit down and complete a full blog post in one sitting or I don't have pictures to go with it, oh and I don't like my blog background so I can't blog until I have a new blog look.... it's not going to be perfect so I just won't do it.

So goodbye perfectionism, it's going to be hard to let you go, but oh, it's going to feel so liberating and welcome balance my new found friend, I hope we have a long and happy friendship


Emma said...

I hear you there on SO many levels Penny. Expectations can get in the way of living life fully, perfectionism can too. I am working on it and praying that the Lord take these burdens from me as His yoke is light. Loved this post.

DangAndBlast! said...

Yes! I'm having a good friend from work come over to help me clean house tomorrow, because I'm like you... but she's not (and she's also not my mother, who's in town and a perfect housekeeper, so I'm not as emotionally invested in having everything perfect for her). So she can be around and we can make one room fabulousish and ignore the rest. It's kind of nice for a change....

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