Jul 13, 2011

Life Cartography

It's been one hell of a time since I've taken on the role of stay at home mom.  Myself and Mimi are getting our routine down, she's sleeping for longer (neglected, outside the door in her stroller) and I'm getting a little more work done during the day.  I've also been making a lot more mistakes.  I know that mistakes are a part of life, inevitable occurrances that show you're still learning and growing, but I'm wondering if they're not a sign that I'm heading the wrong way.  For the past 2 or 3 jobs I've done, I've had to reshoot at least one screen per job because I didn't place the transparency in the right spot, or somehow it didnt' shoot up right, or I tried to remove some ink with my spray bottle full of emulsion stripper (which, for those of you who dont' know, STRIPS the screen bare) instead of ink remover.  Today I rushed to the studio to work while Mimi slept and things went well until I came back up to the kitchen to find...bright yellow ink.  On the chair.  Which came from...my ass.  Somehow, I managed to rub up against something that was covered in ink.  This likely happened because i was wearing a poofy skirt in the studio.  STUPID.  Yup, I was in such a rush to work that I neglected to put on proper studio clothes.  At least when I brush up against something in pants, I feel it on my leg and wipe it off.  But with a poofy skirt swooshing around,  I have no idea what kind of trouble my hem is dipping into.  The worst part of all:  I found a box of t shirts that I printed for a client a month ago.  To be fair, it was a really huge order, it was my first week alone with the baby, and *insert other really good excuse here*.  There is nothing acceptable about that, and making a mistake like that is a really bad sign.

The problem is, the more I work, the worse these mistakes seem to get, and the worse I feel about the whole thing.  The pressure, the deadlines, the rushing, and the baby are not things I can handle all at once.  Separately, no problem.  Together, they form a life that I'm not sure I enjoy.   I was nervous about being a work at home mom, looking for all the tips and tricks to make it work.  Now I'm thinking: do I even want to make it work?  Don't get me wrong, I still want to have my own business and do what I can while home.  But perhaps I need to pull back a bit, give myself some room to breathe, a moment to myself when I don't have to rush, allow myself a mindset that isn't consumed with deadlines and finances.  I keep forgetting that people do childcare for a living.  They get paid for it!  I do it all day for free, and then go work some more until I'm too tired to stand.  I'm like that stupid Halls candy that's got "2 jobs man" (remember those tropical Halls throat drop things? They were delicious.)

Every now and then in life you have to stop, take a step back, and really evaluate what you're doing.  You take inventory of your life, and then decide where it is you want to take yourself. This is by far one of the hardest things we have to do.  Although you can get all the helpful advice you want, ultimately it's going to fall on your own shoulders.  Some people are lousy at it, some people rule.  I feel like I fall somewhere in between that.  I don't feel like a stagnant person, never changing and accepting life as it comes.  But I also don't feel like a real go getter, a tiger who plows through life making their fate just what they want it to be.

So, what do I want?  Where do I want my life to take me?  I know I'll keep printing, but I want to be able to watch a movie in the evening, or read a book during Myriam's nap without feeling guilty about it.  I'd rather be working more on my own projects (sewing, printing, crochet, etc.) instead of only printing everyone else's designs.  As my own boss, I should be able to decide how many hours a week I work and what projects I choose to take on, right?  I have said before, in a post long ago, about how owning your own business is really about being in control of your own life.  But somehow, I don't feel so in control.  I am still letting life fall into my lap, instead of reaching for what I want. 

I'm curious to hear from you, dear readers, if you've ever felt like you're straying from your path, and what did you do to fix it?