Exploring Options

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Last night, we watched Julie & Julia, the dual stories of Julia Child during her time in France, and how she produced her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julie Powell, the almost-30-year-old who decided to cook through that cookbook in a year and blog about it as a personal growth experience, as well as a way to further her writing career.

Today, I don't know if I'm more inspired to blog or to cook! Before we were halfway through the movie, I had informed Jason that the cookbook was now on my wishlist. Julia and I share a common love: butter.

The movie re-inspired a train of thought in me, though, about doing something that I love AND that would eventually make me money. Blogging? Frankly, I gave up on the idea of making money with a blog a long time ago--I really don't have anything to blog about that would produce income. Either that, or I lack the know-how to produce income from a blog. I've looked at the sites that supposedly coach you in creating income from a blog--none of the ideas (which are the same ideas, over and over) really seem to work for me.

Music? Well, I can't really teach piano in my current living situation--my piano is sitting at the end of my bed, and if I push the bench back as far as it can go so it is rubbing on the footboard, I almost have enough room to sit properly at the keys. As far as having a student in there, never mind the lack of space--my piano is in my bedroom. That's not going to work. And frankly, I don't really have the time to teach piano right now.

Also, I have a musical that is in stasis at the moment. It's a good musical. In fact, when it is finished, and produced, and in full, living colour, it will be amazing. Unfortunately, it's one of those projects that requires a lot of time and energy (like, years of it) before you start to see any real results, let alone fiscal returns. Thus, the reason for the stasis.

Songwriting? Well, despite the fact that I recently won an award for my songwriting ability, this is still something that would require a lot of time and energy before it starts creating income. Time seems to be at a premium in my life right now. If I were to start investing time in this, it would mean something else would have to go.

Scrapbooking? I barely ever scrapbook for myself, let alone creating income doing it. However, I could maybe design papers or something, but again, that sounds like work to get started.

My problem, really, is that I have TOO many interests. I have already had to limit the ones I pursue several times in the past. Only recently, I have had to admit that I do not really have the time to pursue my Young Living business as a source of income for us. Fortunately, this is partly because my eBay business has been SO busy, and we are actually starting to make a semi-decent part-time income from it, so that is a blessing. But that just brings up the irony that the only real source of income I have right now is something that I am completely NOT passionate about, although it is something I don't mind doing. There is nothing creative about it for me, except the once-every-two-years re-work of my store look. It is dealing with people (via internet, so not even one-on-one), putting out fires, and doing paperwork. All the dryer parts of being in business, without the creativity and purpose of actually producing something myself.

So, right now, I am filling up my time with the following things: being a wife; being a mother; cooking for my family (not as much time invested here as I would prefer); home schooling; gardening; chicken farming (fortunately, not as time-consuming now that they are all outside); developing our property; running my eBay business; volunteering as a worship leader at church. In between these things, I try to maintain relationships with friends and extended family and work in a little bit of "creativity time," which I usually sneak in on Saturdays (when I take a "day off") or while watching soccer or visiting (great knitting time).

I think anyone would agree that this is a lot for one person to do. My husband has let me know that he is amazed by my work ethic, and my ability to do a great many things. However, there is still a limit to how many ways I can divide my time. So, if I were to start a new business or passion-pursuing venture, which one of those other worthy and/or necessary things would have to go?

I already have several projects sitting on the back burner, which keep calling to me, and I keep putting cotton in my ears and turning a blind eye because of the "lack of time" issue: the afore-mentioned musical; the rumoured soup cookbook; oodles of knitting and sewing projects; several years of photos to be scrapbooked (only falling farther behind these days--you notice that scrapbooking wasn't listed in the above-listed "things I currently do") including a heritage scrapbook of my paternal grandparents' lives.

The musical is the one that keeps getting me. It is like producing a baby: Candace and I both put pieces of our souls into it, and although it is becoming a thing in and of itself, it has not yet reached full gestation. But we love it. It has been hard work. Someday, we want to see it go out into the world and touch lives, much like our hope would be for any of our children. But it still needs training, and changing, and growth, before that can come. And right now, I am not giving it any of those things. (It's my job to write the music down, see. I'm only partway there.)

Sigh... While God has been teaching me for the last several years that I do NOT need to do everything that I want to do, and learn everything I want to learn all at one time, it is still frustrating to have to constantly put aside the important things in my life for the most urgent.

However, I know that, looking back over my life, I will not have any regrets that I have neglected the most important things God has given me--the care and raising of my family. My flesh-and-blood children are the ones that need my time right now. The musical one will still wait there, ready to grow, until it's time of stasis is done and I can give it my attention.

Still. Sometimes I pick up my older dreams and blow the dust off of them, just so I can remember what they looked like.

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  1. It is hard to put things on hold. But sometimes I wonder if those projects increase in quality over time with our gained experience and life perspective. Glad to hear you're heart and energy are in the urgent.

  2. Anon - Thank you for that comment. I have often had that very thought. Even though I have not been physically writing down the music for years, the experience I have gained in the interim will produce a far better end product.

    Now I am very curious about your real identity. I like me a good mystery, I do... :-)

  3. I agree with Jason. The amount you get done is nothing short of amazing. The time for everything else will come. I don't think you should rue the fact that you have too many interests - that's what makes you uniquely you.

  4. I can relate to this post on so many levels - thanks for sharing this.

  5. You are a wise woman with a wonderful husband and family! And I thank God for blessing me with all of you!!

  6. Can I just say, finding your pattern online has been a delight simply because I am able to relate to you so stinkin' much?! Goodness!! It's almost ridiculous- (minus the music & scrapbooking(although I tried the latter)- we are very similar. Too many interests but more importantly- the raising up of 'our blessings' in life. I feel ya. My husband laughs (with love) at me now: I have started a bazillion businesses in my head, sold my knitting, started 3 different blogs, write for some websites for minor cash and love,love, love selling used things around the house on craigslist ;o). Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Rohini - Thank you for that encouragement! I guess I'll just keep on with my schizophrenic diversity of hobbies! :-)

    Angela - I thought you might. (I actually thought about you while I was writing it, because I knew you would be able to relate!)

    Mom - Gosh. Thanks! We're glad to have you, too!

    B-EG - Your comment has been running through my mind all day. Mostly because I was wondering where you saw that in this post. I think I know, but I think the bottom line is (and I know you live this, too), when you love, you give, and that's all there is to it.

    Jennifer - Funny how you can find kindred spirits anywhere in the world, isn't it? Sounds like our hubbies could swap stories! Ha! Thanks for commenting!


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