Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Thoughtful Thought

I have never been one to rush into a decision.  Well, hardly ever.  So I spent a lot of time thinking about the post I wrote yesterday.  Thinking about how much energy I may - or may not - have in the coming years.  How most people my age have long ago retired from their job/career.  About what I want to accomplish, really, and truly, with the rest of my life - however long that may be.

The past few years I have cut way back on my teaching.  I have threatened not once, but several times, to quit teaching altogether.  But then my health would take an uptick and I would look at my dwindling bank balance, check my energy levels and think, oh sure, why not?  And book another date with another guild.

But after writing out just the next four months of my year with all that is scheduled?  Looking in the mirror and seeing someone who has fought the good fight, but who is getting tired?  Who would like, once in a while, to not have rolling deadlines?

I thought about where I want to spend my time and energy. 

Recently I told someone I wanted to teach myself out of a job.  I was, at the time, referring to the Olds Master Weaving program.  And I decided that if I really want to do that, then I need to conserve my energy for that program.  To help create weavers who can receive the torch and continue to teach more weavers, on into the future.

At this point I have zero contracts for anything beyond this year.  I have had one inquiry for possibly doing a 'remote' video class sometime in the new year which may, or may not, materialize.  But other than that, no contracts.

Every other time I have threatened to quit teaching for guilds I have been at the low part of the 'poor' health trough.  But right now I'm not.  I'm not exactly healthy, but it is being managed. 

So I feel as though I am clear headed enough to be making a significant decision affecting the rest of my life.

The older I get the less and less I like the dark o'clock departures to go anywhere.  The less and less I enjoy the stress of traveling long distances (even though I'm delighted when I arrive).

The older I get the less inclined I am to hare after the rolling waves of deadlines. 


Drum roll please. 

I will not be accepting any more engagements for teaching for guilds.  I will be concentrating on the Olds Master Weaving program as my venue of choice for teaching. 

I will continue to work on stash reduction.  I aim to 'retire' from doing craft fairs at the end of 2020 although I reserve the right to continue doing one or both of the local fairs.  But I'm done driving pell mell through winter weather to attend craft fairs far far away.

I will finish The Book,hopefully before the end of this year, primarily because I'm sick of the whole project hanging over my head, but also so that I will be able to sell it at our conference here next year.

No, I won't be teaching at the conference, I will be one of the worker bees running it. 

For those of you who, at times, email me to say they really want to learn from me, keep an eye on the Olds College  website.  Because I will travel places to teach the college program. 

I will continue to contribute to Handwoven when their theme matches my interests - and they want what I have to contribute.

I choose to limit my activities in order to encourage serenity.  Who knows, maybe I really will drag my bobbin lace stuff out again.  Maybe I really will read all those books sitting on my hearth.  Maybe I really will make those jigsaw puzzles I've accumulated and had no time for.  Anything is possible?

Currently reading Island of Blue Foxes by Stephen R. Bown


Rhonda from Baddeck said...

It's a tough decision, but I hope it lifts a burden now that you've made it. Your blog posts and videos are also a great source of information and inspiration that I look forward to.

Peg Cherre said...

Your strength of character and rational decision making are yet one more inspiration and teaching points you share. Thank you for that. I cut back on the number of shows I'm applying to this year - only 2 large and 2 small - and still wonder if I'll do even these next year. Do I still enjoy the weaving? Sure do. Do I like the pressure of producing enough in terms of quantity, quality, and variety for the shows? Not really. Do I like the customer interaction at shows? I do. Do I like the physical requirements involved in shows, the van packing, set up, tear down, and unpacking. Not for one minute.

So how will life unfold? Too soon to tell.

Laura Fry said...

Life is a process. Things change. We can change direction. Change our minds. Change how we approach our craft. And we go on, just differently than before. :)

Louisa said...

Sounds like a plan, Laura. I wonder whether it’s the aging body or the mind that says “enough already” first! When life doesn’t seem so infinite anymore it makes sense to focus on the important stuff. Of course your idea of slowing down is everyone else’s crazy busy!

Laura Fry said...

I think it is a combination. And both of mine are in agreement. It’s time. ;)

Doreen MacL said...

Good for you, Laura! I wish you pleasure in whatever form your
"Retirement" takes. Gradual semi-retirement sure worked for me.