Saturday, June 27, 2009

When does Passion become Obsession?

For those of you who know me from past blogs, or from the social networks, you know I fancy myself an entrepreneur, crafter, artisan, and a variety of other titles that are endearing. Well, it turns out, I can add a few more adjectives not quite so positive to my list!

I came home from my full time job last week, opened the door, only to be confronted by my husband with an exasperated look on his face. "We can't go on like this anymore! I just can't live like this"

"Like what?" I asked as I stepped over a huge tote of soap boxes blocking the hallway.

"Like this" he said waving his arm around the room to focus on the boxes, the mail packages, the 10 pound blocks of wax stacked up on the dining room table.

"Hmm..." I said as I entered my craft room. Just then my plastic organizer against the wall fell over, releasing about 50 skeins of yarn all over the floor.

"This is crazy! You are crazy! This is way too much!" my husband interjected.

I glanced around the room and took in the two tables stacked with all of my scrapbooks, supplies, my hundreds of skeins of yarn, my shelves packed with tiny buttons, beads, snaps, glittery little add ons, etc. I then proceeded to the dining room where I have set up my mailing station. Postal boxes, wrapping paper, tapes, soap boxes, and more are lined out all over the surface. I moseyed into the bedroom where my book shelves no longer hold books but are jam packed with patterns, books on beauty, herbs, oils, scraps of paper with crochet patterns and stitch instructions are pouring out, and piles of magazine articles with my "ideas" are stacked.

Ok, maybe he is on to something. But, I love to work with my hands. I think about it all day. I am constantly coming up with a new idea, a new way of doing things, and I hate to think I will forget any of it. It's not that everything is a "mess" per se, it is just overtaking every room of the house. I have a small craft room where I used to house my yarn, crochet needles, and a few pattern books. Then there is my workshop in the basement where I make soaps and candles. Somehow, when I wasn't looking these areas multiplied and took on scrapbooking, sewing, rug making, and more.

Then there is my guilt over garbage. I am so worried that there may be some way I can use that empty milk jug, that old coffee can, that jelly jar, that I have packed all of my kitchen cabinets with every left over packaging there is out there. Although my intentions are good, reality is, I don't have time to recycle every item that enters my house.

Besides my crafting, I am a full time Nursing Home Administrator which is a 50+ hour work week on it's own. I then have a husband and 4 year old son who are the top of my list. And I can't forget my studies. Last year I started work on my Master's in Child and Adolescent Development. Before my crafting, I already had a full load.

But, the crafting has always been there. It was just recently that I found there was a market for it. I am a junky to the thrill when I sell a piece or item, and get the feedback from someone who truly appreciated my time, effort, and talent with it. I am an addict to the need to touch things with my hands, to take something like a ball of yarn and create a cute headband that everyone comments on. I love the feel of yarn in my hands. I love the scent of herbs in my house. I can't wait to get home each day and custom blend the ingredients, cook, mold, create a bath bar that is unique and different.

That is not the problem. The problem, or "obsession" as my husband call it, is that I keep expanding. I keep pursuing new avenues, trying to learn new methods and modalities. Basically, I want to learn how to do everything! That is where the obsession lies.

So, I have come to terms this week that I can not possibly engage in every craft, art form, and creative outlet that I aspire to. Instead I need to regroup, think about which focuses I really enjoy, and direct my energies towards those. I have decided to limit myself to three outlets (for now, anyway). All of my other odds and ends I will relinquish (wow, that is going to be hard!) So, I started this morning at 5am, going through my craft room and separating the supplies that are needed for my 3 venues, and those that are not necessary.

This morning I presented my new plan to my husband. He was ecstatic. "You mean we might be able to eat at the dining room table again?" "Yes" I said! When he asked me what I was going to do today, I told him "I am going to take all of the items that I won't be using, get pictures, and start selling them on eBay!" I am actually very excited about this. Instead of being thrilled at my new found focus, he rolled his eyes at me and said, "Here we go again!" What? I thought.

Have you ever become obsessed with your crafting outlet? Your passion for your talents? Tell me about it! I would love to know that I am not the only one who goes overboard!

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