What am I doing?

I posted a link to Melanie Falik’s blog post this morning on Facebook. If you didn’t read it yet, CLICK HERE.

She so succinctly put what many of us might be going through. Changes in our industries and our jobs. I see so many more of my fiber business friends branching out and changing. It’s the nature of the beast and also as we age, we change. What we want to do changes and we also start to realize there are more things we want to do that maybe we haven’t gotten to yet. The clock is ticking y’all.

I’ve always found comfort in lists, though my goals have always been these loosey goosey sort of ideas that come and go as my life goes on. Like the dream from when I was a grade school kid to get full tattoo sleeves because I saw some guy in McDonald’s one day that had full sleeves and a snake. Also I wanted to own snakes. Check and check. I didn’t really realize that my loose (and maybe silly) childhood dream was being fulfilled until I was in the tattoo chair finishing up the last arm and I had a realization moment.

Not a pic of the actual guy of course.

Then there are other ideas like getting skydive certified that once I started I realized, that’s really not what I want to do with my time. I had bigger fish to fry. Or at least, different fish for me. I think skydive certification is a valid goal but for me, it wasn’t going to put me where I really wanted to be even if I wasn’t sure where that was.

Here I am at some transitional points in business and life with one kid entering her senior year of highschool (she’s strongly looking forward to college) and the other going into 7th grade (still being homeschooled). BUT What am I going to do when I grow up?

What do I want out of life? What are my whispers and what am I doing?
1. Keep on fibering. I really love the business I’m in and I hope to be able to keep it running a good long time.
2. I want to “Make” more things. I love teaching and enabling others to make stuff but in the past few years I’ve made precious few pieces that I would consider amazing pieces. This means more silk painting and weaving for fabric.
3. I want to finish my herbal certification courses. I’ve already started working on that and I’ve been doing herbal healing for myself with herbs and nutrition since my early twenties. I can’t say the first course load has given me any new insight but I know the final years of study to come will and I’m excited.
4. More yoga. Not sure what the more is but I’ll find it.
5. Get rid of the lawn. There is a lot of lawn around here between my house and my Mom’s house and the open lot between the two where I started an herb garden this year. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve earnestly started to remove lawn to expand my hosta garden. This is an easy spot to work on since the trees don’t foster a lot of good looking grass so it’s coming out easily and I just need to spend time working on it and planting. My goal is to have very little lawn at the end of it all. low maintenance. Though I may just be fooling myself. It’s ok, I do that often.
6. Travel…? I don’t have the wanderlust like many have. I don’t have a strong desire to visit any particular place and I suppose that’s good since the farm is a big thing (another check list item for me, the farm). I do enjoy travel but only in the way that I get to meet new people. Not that I don’t enjoy visiting sites too. So travel teaching works out so perfectly for me. I have a destination and I have new people to meet and the best part is that they all love fiber too. For this, I’m happy to go where the winds may take me.
7. Build my daughter a little roadside stand to sell her eggs out of. Right now she has them in a cooler with a little sign.
8. Raise bees.
9. Make pots again (pottery). I still have one potter’s wheel and other equipment and clay sitting there waiting on me.
I know there’s more but it’s not coming to me. I have my little list and I’m sure I’ll add to it in time and change or remove things as needed.

If you decide to make your whisper list, please link to it, I’d love to read what everyone is whispering about in their own heads.

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6 Responses to What am I doing?

  1. caribayb says:

    This has been a good reminder to me, thank you. As you said, life happens, and this has been a huge change for me this year with my dad dying in April and my mom (with extremely limited mobility) coming here to stay (but not committed to moving here permanently yet). I feel like my fiber life was just beginning to take shape when all this happened, and I got seriously derailed. Everything seems so overwhelming and full of unknowns, the “what do I want to do” question is fraught with anxiety. Maybe this little whisper list is a less overwhelming way to think about it.

  2. enallagma9 says:

    Life is shorter than we think, damn it. Cram everything possible into it. Turn that lawn into a meadow and watch the bees and butterflies (even hostas take work, although the hummingbirds love them) (but meadows need mowing every year or two) (sigh …. OK, grow a forest on that lawn; that’s easy enough) (aside from removing invasives) (do you need another parenthesis or two?).

    • Amy King says:

      ha! enough parenthesis already! I’m planting natives and hostas and ferns. Things that will grow on their own and reseed and spread. Fill in and hopefully not need much from me within 5 years or so….hopefully. And medicinal herb weeds. Spread and regrow year to year to fill in and take up space. In my mind it’s pretty and easy maintenance.

  3. I’ve been a software engineer for 20+ years. I’ve been a fiber artist for 20+ years. The whisper in my head is the Open Textiles Design Initiative. Build open source software to design textiles. There are many closed source alternatives out there, but I believe the fiber community is inventive enough that if we made it open source we would have tons of contributions and could build something truly universal which would be a stepping stone to CAD (Computer Aided Design) clothing becoming mainstream. I’m imagining a web site which puts the design software in the cloud so everyone can run it. That lets you design everything from a knitted sock to a woven jacket, and then having the back end technology to actually create those things (computer driven knitting machines, looms, and some creative fix for the seaming thing). How’s that for a festering whisper in my head?

  4. Emily Johnston says:

    “Bringing Nature Home”, a book by Douglas W. Tallamy, is a great resource for native plant inspiration. This snippet from the book overview says it all: “There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. When native plant species disappear, the insects disappear, thus impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals.”
    Kudos to you for reducing your lawn. We’re on the same journey, starting with a sloping section of lawn that is a pain to mow. The birds and resident turtles seem very happy with the change.

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