Over the years, my career/business has ridden the roller coaster of highs and lows, ups and downs. There have been times when I have had to choose - continue bashing my head against the brick wall before me, or walk away.
Or as Kenny Rogers so famously sang "Know when to fold 'em".
There are times when things just don't work. Or for some reason they stop working when they had been working just fine before.
When it comes to selling something - any thing - the market can become saturated and the sales dry up.
This happened to me over and over again. When I was younger and full of stubborn determination to make this work, I would fold and discontinue a design, a product, come up with something new. A different design. A different product. A different approach.
Cut my losses.
I am at that stage again, but this time I am not young. I am not healthy (particularly - I'm certainly dealing with a damaged body), and I find myself unwilling to keep beating my head against all the things that it would take to continue doing this thing that I have loved for 4 decades.
So I am following Marie Kondo's advice - if it does not bring me joy, let it go.
I love the weaving. The exploring of new techniques. Even dressing the loom, and the hundreds of shuttle tosses. I don't even mind the wet finishing all that much because it is The Final Step, bringing a collection of interwoven threads into one cohesive whole - cloth. It truly can be magical, to see that transformation happen.
As for the traveling, I stopped loving that a long time ago. But it was necessary so I did it. I never did like the selling part and as the years scrolled by, I found myself liking it even less. I'm an introvert and find dealing with the public wearing - exhausting, really.
So this afternoon when I packed up from doing the last show I will do as a separate entity, I had no regrets that it was The End. It was more relief than anything.
Doug is working on the next set of shelves which will hopefully be installed in the next couple of days. I have fringe twisting to do and once that is done I will go back to the Megado and start dressing that loom with the next test warp. See if I can do a longer warp with minimal tension issues. If I can, then I can begin planning the next warp after that - more tea towels to use up more of the linen stash.
I also have an order of place mats, but for that I need to place a yarn order. As soon as Doug gets the things back from the guild room, I will drag the Brassard catalogue out and place a small (for me) fill in order. I kind of banged through most of the usual colours I like to keep on hand, so I'd like to get an order into Brassard before they close for the holidays.
Some friends came by the guild room today, one with a 'retirement' gift, one with an early Xmas/retirement gift. As soon as the fringe twisting is done, I will set out the puzzle board and spend some time vegging with jigsaw puzzles. I got a couple of small puzzles done early in the year, but 2019 was such a stupid crazy year - launching The Intentional Weaver, launching the conference, then not feeling well for much of the summer and into the autumn. I am hoping 2020 will prove to be a less stressful year, one in which I can begin to see healing happening in my body. The reduction in stress, just finishing up the craft fairs, has been noticeable - and welcome.
Sometimes what we want isn't what is actually 'best' for ourselves. Sometimes we have to fold 'em and have the dealer deal a new hand.