Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm fully focused, man

OK, this post is a little braggity-braggy so if you're not into that, then feel free to skip it.  I even borrowed the title from 50 Cent's master work "In Da Club" which is one of my favorite "I'm so awesome" rapper songs.  I think it was the track that made TJ wonder exactly who he was married to when he borrowed my iPod one day...

Remember way back in January when I said one of my necklaces was accepted for publication in Bead Trends magazine?  I held my breath, figuring it might get cut at the last minute, and not getting my hopes up.

But, as it turns out, there it was, in the June 2012 issue with my name on it and everything :)  There was another page in the back with my website details and the materials list.  So weird and surreal to see my name in print, but I am *totally* stoked.  (Click on the image if you want to see a larger version.)

The lesson I learned from this?  Don't be afraid to put myself out there.  I've still got my eye on Cards magazine, but haven't had a ton of time to sit down and make a bunch of new cards aligned with their submission guidelines.  But I printed up the guidelines and marked the deadlines on my calendar so I'm sure gonna try.

The second little braggy bit is that my blurb about Canlis, our absolute favorite Seattle restaurant, was published on!  It was an opportunity I got by being part of the BlogHer network, and I wrote it figuring it wouldn't make the cut.  But it did :)  Hooray!

This ties back to something I saw on the anonymous question list at work (man, that thing is full of blog fodder!).  Someone was worried about performance reviews and how despite getting good feedback from people they still get lower scores than they expect, and were feeling really bad about it.  Like bad enough to go to therapy and get medication.  Which I'm all for, by the way, if you're feeling crappy.

But it made me realize how important it is NOT to let your entire identity and self-worth be based on how you're doing at work, and how easy it is for us to fall into that trap when we get all the accolades, awards, and bonuses.  Then when they slow down or stop coming, you start to feel useless, or "bad at your job" and this can spiral into worse mental health issues.

Those work rewards are tangible, whereas something like being a great parent is often unappreciated.  Sure, occasionally your hubby or mom might give you an occasional compliment (which I treasure for months and revisit in my head every time I'm feeling down), but by and large, your efforts seem unnoticed and the "rewards" come much later, when your kids develop into well-adjusted adults.

This is why I like to have things outside of work that I can work at, and be good at.  By and large the activities themselves give me joy.  My perfect day is one with a HUGE chunk of uninterrupted crafty time.  Getting published, or selling my work, is an added bonus. 

This can also become unhealthy if you stop getting joy out of the process and just want the external rewards, but at least you're diversifying, to borrow a term from the personal finance arena.

But having all these different "passions" in life means I'm probably doing well in at least some of them, even if the others feel like they're not going well or the results are not yet evident (as in the case of BabyT who is doing a great job of being 2 years old, if you know what I mean).

I'm *so* much happier now that I have a lot of different things I'm equally excited about, as opposed to pre-2007 when all I had was work.  Sometimes I struggle with having enough time to commit to all of my interests, or context-switching between them.  But that's a time-management issue and one that can be easily solved.

So, what are you excited about outside of your "day job"?


  1. whoo hoo! this is all wonderful! honestly, i'm more excited about blogging and anything non-day job lately. I'm finding it hard to get motivated at work! :(

    1. I hear you - I think the job excitement goes in cycles. Sometimes it's better, sometimes worse.

  2. w00t!

    um... outside my day job? uh...

  3. First off, congrats! That necklace is beautiful and so exciting to be published.

    For me, as you know, I scrapbook. I'm not professional and I didn't even think I'm all that good at it (mostly because I compare myself to what's in the magazines). Then I started getting asked from people to do scrapbooks for them, and it dawned on me that I only need to be as good as I WANT to be. I don't need the professional approval, I have approval from friends and family.

    The other "outside of work" thing that probably doesn't count, but I'm going to use it anyhow, is my recent journey of a healthy life style. It takes a surprisingly large amount of time to be healthy.

    Work to me, while I love it, is just a paycheck so I can do the real things that make me happy. But thankfully I do love my job.

    1. Yes, the weight loss/health thing is HARD and time consuming. I never made it to the point where I didn't have to think about it (and coincidentally I'm not skinny either).

      I have seen your layouts and do think they are good enough to be published ;) So maybe you should try if you wanted to!

  4. Congrats on getting published. That is awesome!! Keep going :)

  5. Congratulations!

    For me, it's crochet - I'm really getting into it & going to a monthly craft afternoon. I've finished a couple of projects & am working on a couple too.

    1. Cool! I've never learned how to crochet or knit, and I do not need another craft with copious pretty supplies like yarn :D Glad to hear you're enjoying it. I love the idea of a portable craft, too. I see lots of people knitting or crocheting on the bus, etc.

  6. Congrats on your necklace being featured! Very striking. Outside the day job...well, there's the kids...:) Actually, one of the things I find best about having two major identities in life (writer and mom) is that I seldom have a bad day in both simultaneously. Both have their bad days. But seldom the exact same bad day. Running takes some time, too, and I turn it into a pursuit by signing up for races, sometimes in fun locations. And I serve on the board of directors for a choir I used to sing in. I used to sing every week in the choir, but we moved and so that's no longer possible, and I do miss it. It was fun to have that creative outlet. I'm totally non-crafty so that's never going to happen. Sometimes I try to write fiction or poetry on the side, too, though that is sometimes a bit too close to the day job.

  7. Congrats on getting your necklace published!! I'm super happy for you!!!!

    "This is why I like to have things outside of work that I can work at, and be good at." AMEN! I'm an amazing downhill skier - good at it, love it, live where I can do it as much as possible. yay!


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