One of the best things to come from conversations with my friends Betsy and Valerie in Colorado was this analogy…
My life is a Dagwood Sandwich.
It has all these wonderful things in it that all look so tasty (well most of them – I don’t know what that purple thing is!).
But I can’t possibly eat it all.
I ran into a good friend in the market last evening.
She is a very talented artist and concentrates on one medium.
Her work is doing well enough that she will soon leave her part time job to devote all her working hours to her studio.
Something about that simplicity of purpose is SO appealing.
But, at the same time, I know that is not me. To begin with, I could not choose one medium because I have a high level of devotion to two, and enjoy a very lively relationship with a third.
That’s three layers on the sandwich already and we haven’t even started with the businesses, husband, dogs, cats, garden etc.
When I come to the realization that I have always made a Dagwood Sandwich of my life and am unlikely to stop anytime soon, it becomes clear that the ingredients to remove from my sandwich are the ones that don’t taste so good – like that purple thing perhaps.
Like stress, multitasking, unreal expectations, shoulds, hurry, etc.
The thing about being self-employed is that you work for a boss who is too demanding.
It’s almost like you have to over perform to make up for not having a “real” job.
And the lack of a “real” paycheck that comes along at a certain time, is a real motivator for doing too much, too fast.
There are things that must be done on time – like planting the bounty from AJ’s Nursery before anything dies.
But most things could be approached in a more reasonable manner, and get done when they get done, and I could drop the guilt about that.
I am the one making this sandwich, after all.
I could make it more manageable.
I learned a lot over the past two weeks:
1. I can’t be a daily blogger unless I make a sandwich of just that. And the result of blogging more was nothing to write home about. It did not increase business, slightly decreased subscriptions, slightly increased readership – blah blah blah.
2. My two businesses are seasonal. The online business slows down in the Summer, and Summer is the high season for the gallery, so shifting my attention seasonally is a good idea (thanks to Valerie and Betsy for that one).
3. I have written a MONUMENTAL amount of instruction material over the past 13 years – more than would EVER be expected of any author anywhere. So I am taking a hiatus from writing new workshops and workbooks for awhile. Instead, I will dust off and refresh existing stuff which is as good as ever, and should be made available again.
For example, I have the best digital photography course on the planet. I stopped offering the workshop because giving feedback on all the students’ photos was way too time consuming for the income produced.
But the course is great on its own, and I can make a Whenever Workshop of it, or series of Workbooks maybe.
That is just one example of many.
4. I can still keep this blog if I am true to its name “Whatever . . .Whenever”, and take the self-imposed OBLIGATION out of the sandwich.
I know it is not you, dear readers, who put the pressure on – it is me, and I can change that. I know you will be fine with whatever, whenever I manage to post.
Better than never, right?
These are not all the answers, but it is a start.
If I can’t eat that sandwich all at once, at least I can balance it meanwhile.
And speaking of BALANCE . . .
Many of you are familiar with my sister, Cassie Schindler, from past blogging days.
She is now an MBSR instructor (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) in Silicon Valley trying to help de-stress the employees of some of the biggest corporations there.
But she is also trying something new – based on what she is learning in her practice.
She is creating an online life-balancing “buffet” workshop which is individually customized to your needs.
It starts with a personal phone conference with her in which you both decide which learning modules work best for you, and that then becomes the structure of “your” workshop.
It’s a fascinating concept and the first session starts next week (AND it’s very affordable).
I know Cassie has some fans among my readership, so I wanted to let you know about this. Details are here:
Stop, Balance, Go Customized Workshop