Several years ago, I bought this antique gumball machine at a garage sale. I used to have it in the living room, and now it is in the studio. But no matter where it has been, it is the first thing the kids look for when they come. They make a beeline for the gumball machine. It actually takes pennies, which is pretty cool, since the same gumball is 25 cents in the mall. And Mimi (that's me) is good enough to leave a teacup with pennies in it RIGHT NEXT to the machine. Of course, I get a lot of flack from my daughters........who go on and on about cavities, and the perils of sugar, etc. Which brings me right back to the Corner Market, 12 houses down the street from my house growing up. Penny candy......ah, does that tell you how old I am???? Caramel pinwheels, and fireballs, and candy cigarettes, licorice, bubble gum........and I still have my teeth. And I grew up fairly OK, by all reports.
This week has gone by in a blur. Call it mid February blahs, but I just can't seem to get out of my own way. I don't have my usual zest, my normal energy level. I get to the studio early, and by 4pm, when I get my coat and get ready to go home, I look around and wonder what I did all day.
I did cut up a lot of fabric, and I cleaned the old kitchen, which is where I sew and do all the fabric prep. I did a perfunctory cleaning job in the pantry, which is just ONE of my fabric stashes. It isn't wonderful, but at least you can walk in there, which was impossible before I started.
I played with my new Schacht electric double winder all week,winding spools off huge cones of yarn, which I used to put a 14" wide warp on the Hammett Little Dandy, for silky, lightweight scarves.
But I mostly just wander from one task to another, starting this, finishing that, feeling overwhelmed at times, and wondering why I can't get in the groove.
This is the warp I put on for scarves........and this is one of many photos I took of it...........experimenting with my Nikon D40. I like the way this one turned out.
Sometimes, I need to weave for fun like this, instead of doing production. I need to just play, and have fun with what I do, and put deadlines aside. If I don't, then I have missed the mark. As much as I love weaving rag rugs, and selling them, I have to keep reminding myself that I am not 20 anymore. This is not my first career. I am giving that life up. I had a "profession" for 30 years. It served me well, paid the bills, put my three daughters through college, bought the family homestead.
This is my "retirement career". (although most people say that they don't see any evidence of retirement taking place.) I am doing this for me. I don't have to be wildly successful, I only have to pay the studio bills.
But it is hard, when you have been a certified workaholic your whole life, not to persist at what you do so well.
So sometimes, I think that weeks like this one, when I can't get out of my own way, are perfect. They make me slow down, reevaluate, regroup, and get back to what matters most.
Tomorrow I am picking up my two granddaughters, Gabby and Ava, 4, almost 5, and 3, almost 4, respectively. They are spending the weekend with us, and I have planned things to keep them busy and occupied. And while it may not appear evident to anyone, I will be using the weekend to teach myself how to let go, and NOT WORK seven days in a row.