I’m home! I’m home!

Well, it was an intense trip full of learning. I was in Minnesota for my day job. I haven’t been to MN for about 4 years so it was nice to go back (although when I went last time it was a much prettier time of year).

It was good timing for me. I’ve been contemplating going back to school to finish my midwifery education. So, I was getting paid to test how well I liked being away from home and learning new stuff that really stretches the brain. Enjoyable to be sure but not something you can just bliss out on and enjoy (like when I go to fibre school). Well, I rather think I didn’t enjoy it and am grateful I got to explore that (because I was feeling quite determined to do midwifery).

I found that being away from home, even when ones (is there an ‘ – is it like its where it’s obvious that it’s possessive?) expenses are paid for, is a long and trying experience. I loved what I was learning, was glad for the coworker who was there with me – we got along really well and enjoyed all of the adventures we had. We’re both really excited about the work were doing so it was great.

One important thing to be really clear on, before I delve into this whole big thing is the fact that I work at a day job for a living – and that’s a not negotiable at this point. I also will not ever get student loans again. I never want to be chained to that system. I also won’t sell my house to finance my education. Those are some absolutes. So, going back to school and working concurrently are required.

My big epiphany came in the Mall of America – of all places. I wanted to get stuff for everyone I knew but there’s no way I could either a) afford that or b) carry it all (I had a duffle that I could pack full but literally had to carry).  So there I was, realizing I had a symbolic representation of the choice I needed to make staring me right in the face. Much like shopping, for those of us with finite resources, I am always weighing what I want and what I’m willing to give up to get it. I realized this is the perfect approach to take with going back to school because I know I want to and I know why but now I’m at the “assessing my motivation” stage. So, I obviously family isn’t going to go (although i know midwives who have made a very different choice – either not having children or not being the custodial parent because they couldn’t manage it. I’ve already got the young man – and am happy for it – and don’t plan to miss any more of his life than I have to). So, that’s that one sorted – and clearly. Not optional. Done.

Then I started thinking about my livestock and the conversations I’ve been having about Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I don’t have any yet but they’re bouncing around (literally) in my mind. And I have geese and ducks coming, bees housed last night and chickens and ducks already at our place. I wondered which of those could go. I mean, I could just not get anymore, not add in goats, for example, but would I give up the creatures I already have?

I read a book about geese the whole way there. It’s what I did when I wasn’t knitting. Hmm… I couldn’t think of where to cut there. So, that’s where you, dear reader, comes in. I started thinking about cutting Flannelberry. Do I cut out the shop to pursue this other dream? When I actually phrased the question in my mind, the answer was a resounding NO. I couldn’t imagine giving up the fibrey goodness, the conversations I get to have with customers about their WIPs, helping people chose just the right fibre for their project. And that led to the realization that I’d have EVEN LESS time to play with fibre for my own enjoyment. One of my few complaints about Flannelberry has been that it’s cut into my own fibre arts time. So, there was no way I could reduce that.

Ok, so I’m keeping my family, my job, my farm (and really leaning towards negotiating an addition) and my shop. Hmmmm…. well, the messy house can go (not the house, just the mess) but that doesn’t really help.  And realized that I don’t need to have it all. Just like when I was shopping, I could see that gorgeous Kitchen Aid in Williams Sonoma, marvel at the price (and I really did, I couldn’t belive how cheap it was) and start planning how I could sell the one I have (a slightly lesser model) and buy that one and… but I have one I really like. It’s good enough and doesn’t really need replacing. We happily bake bread together and cookies and mill grain and all of those sorts of things.

I can see how it would be better than the one I have now and that there would be benefits but there would be costs too and the costs don’t really outweigh the benefits. So ironically, the Mall of America helped me grow in awareness. I could see how midwifery was just like the Kitchen Aid – lots of benefits but the cost just isn’t/wasn’t worth it. What a strange place to have such an epiphany!

Now, enough self dislosure :). It’s time to check on my bees, make some pancakes and spin.

More on what’s come into the shop and what’s coming in later. I promised an update on our CANADIAN yarn (alpaca/merino and merino) and alpaca blend spinning fibre and I will deliver just not right now.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “I’m home! I’m home!

  1. And, just to add to our wonderfully clarifying thoughts……the time opens up as the kids grow up and there is new time to explore some of those interests. Hang in, doing the juggle, balancing act and joy in each day.

  2. Thanks Joanne. That’s totally what I came to – not right now doesn’t mean never.

  3. Wow, big thinking you did on this trip.

    I had a similar thing happen several years ago when I considered changing careers. The ROI just wasn’t there, not at that point in my life. I started a career in IT by accident (’cause it was where I found work), always planning to go back to school and switch careers after my kid was in school. Then my life fell apart, and I had nobody to support me while I reskilled, and then, eventually, it just didn’t make sense anymore.
    Now, who knows where my career will go next? Hard to say. As long as there are animals in the yard, veggies in the garden, and fibre and wheels in the house, I can be productively employed in some fashion … and that counts for something too.
    ‘Course the big paycheque is still needed … gotta do more thinking on that yet. 😉
    Glad you have clarity on what needs to happen in your life right now. Right now’s all we ever really have anyway, eh?

  4. Oh Ms. Frazzle,

    Did I ever think on my trip! It was good though – perfect timing. I do have a sense of loss but I think you summed it up perfectly (even though it took my a minute to figure ROI out!). It isn’t worth it, not now. And as Joanne said, there’s plenty of time.

    Plus – it’s not like I don’t like what I’m doing now.

    It’s nice to be clear all around. I know I want it, I know why and I know it’s not now.

  5. Clarity is really good.

    And NOW is what really matters – it’s all we ever really have.

    I had cucumber plants sprout today! Isn’t that cool? And my latest knitting project is doing what I want. And my kid drove today and did really well. And the bottle lamb is growing. And I got to talk to my husband on the phone, even though he’s far away earning money.

    Life is good, just the way it is.

  6. It’s so true – we do only have now and my now is really, really good. I think it’s just that I’m part sheep (or goat) and the pasture on the other side of the fence always looks that teeniest bit tastier 🙂

    I’m glad the bottle lamb has turned the corner – good job with her.

    And The Boy is driving – hard to imagine. I think we first started chatting when he was… what… 11 or something? CRAZY!!!

  7. I used midwives for both my pregnancies and I was probably the kind of client they like to have – I had done considerable research, my ideology was in line with theirs (give or take, you know), and I was very enthusiastic about the whole midwifery concept. After an early visit with my second midwife, she said to me, “have you ever considered going into midwifery? I think you’d be great!” I looked somewhat aghast and said “No way, your hours are NUTS. I have *kids* you know.”

    I’m sure there are those who make it work, but especially when the kids are young, they just really need that warm, welcoming harbour, you know? I stress about the things that I’d love to do with my business but can’t – do shows, teach in the evenings, get a studio so I can get all the storage totes out of my living room — but ultimately, being at home is the first priority, and everything else comes from there. Good on you for figuring out what will make your life happy, and letting the other stuff fade away, at least for now.

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