Playing

Old record on vintage stereo turntable

What do you have on repeat on your mental turntable? What pieces from you childhood and youth do you keep allowing to spin over and over? It can be very hard to separate this soundtrack from your daily playlist. After all you have been hearing it for years.

* rich people are crooked or they wouldn’t have wealth. *never leave a job even if it is a bad fit *good people are content with what they have. *wanting better is a sign of greed. *you will never amount to anything * you are just like so and so

The list goes on and on, is tailor made from our experiences, and can take years to breakaway from. It is always waiting in the background for the moment to drop the needle and start playing again. There are ways to break the replay, and maybe the whole record, but it can take hard work. It takes time to unlearn lessons you unconsciously took in during formative years. Some people find success through therapy, others through meditation. Self help books can be the route for others, exercise can work too. The biggest things seems to be knowing what is on repeat, breaking the flow of it and writing new lines. Much as Wierd Al Yankovic uses news lyrics set to familiar tunes.

Doing it

Thumbnail for latest youtube video

Sometimes you just have to dive in and start swimming. It is only important that you can swim, not that you are an Olympic class athlete. If you wait until you suddenly wake up and have perfected a skill overnight you will be waiting your whole life. As I have been redirecting my creative life I have taken that to heart by making videos and retooling my website for this next phase. Full disclosure it did take me months to weigh my options and make the choice, I am not a person to rush right in to things. I also knew I had to fit anything I did in around work and home responsibilities.

My ultimate goal is to replace my workplace work with my online work. It is not an easy shift as I do enjoy my current job, and the fact that there is a steady paycheck plus benefits to count on. However, I need to look further down the road at the impact my working outside the home has on quality of life. I get to see people and interact, but my husband by default sees fewer people and gets out less. In weighing the options of having occasional companions for him vs. me being around more, it becomes a pretty clear choice.

It is nerve wracking, but I can juggle both while things get up to speed and profitability. But the timeline is fairly tight. I have been fortunate that my daughter has been home since being laid off and starting her online masters program. It has an end date though that I need to keep an eye on. I am pretty excited about this whole process, feeling less overwhelmed than I would have expected. There are moments of “What am I thinking!?” but over all progress is occurring at a steady pace.

https://youtu.be/TosK2yGrT98

In between

I am stuck in an in between place, trying to decide whether or not to rebrand my website or dump it altogether. This choice has been bugging me for months now with no clear answer. The site has never gotten me a sale or a gig, it ends up just being an introduction to my art. Last year wiped out my workshop hustle, and given my increased hours at work and caregiving, I am not sure it should be revived. Not being a techie person, going down this rabbit hole tends to get me no further along. I know this is not an uncommon problem for artists.

As I have read one business book after another, I have noticed the bulk of them tout becoming BIG, and completely ignore the idea that maybe not everyone wants a huge, intricate business. The same applies to the online business gurus. They completely bypass right sized options. I do not want employees, headquarters, manufacturing sites or warehouses to deal with. My goals are more of the cottage industry size, and thus overlooked by the “bigger is better” mindset.

In an attempt to avoid total inaction, I did get a new domain name. My original one I never really warmed to, yet I needed one when I needed it those years ago. I also touched base with someone techier than I am, who suggested leaving my site behind and starting anew. Which feels a bit overwhelming, and feels like the site was a waste of money. Rather like the way we hold onto clothes we paid a lot for that no longer fit. We know it is illogical, yet can’t let it go.

Should I make the decision to keep a web site, all it does is open up a host of new issues. Traffic being just one of them, growing my email newsletter another, and reworking it all with a new host. I know all this can be tackled a step at a time, or a least a stumble at a time. It is more about whether it will get me further along or not.

I do know artists without web sites who get plenty of exposure and regular sales. And I know those who get loads of business and leads through their sites. There appears no one right way to get your name out there. Which further muddies the water. It would seem after months of mulling over the options I would be closer to a decision than I am, which is discouraging, and causing me to swing pointlessly between options.

Perhaps I will see the map and discern the path out of all the overgrowth. I am open and looking for it, or at least I think I am. It is easy to fool ourselves into thinking that, when actually more aimless wandering and second guessing are what is really occurring. I have given myself until the end of August to figure out and implement a plan.

Patterning

I am a big one for seeing patterns, both the obvious and the anomalies that stick out in what seems a random way. Numbers, colors, and the like catch my eye. Sometimes these pattern occurrences will lead to a specific result, sometimes though I seem to miss what is being pointed out. My mind isn’t able to gather and form the information into a full image that I can process. Perhaps some of those times are just shout outs to me to pay attention, to be open and aware. Much like practicing for a marathon, recital or speech gets us ready for the big event while giving us something along the way.

I believe some dreams can do the same thing, slipping snippets of information we need in amongst all the other things happening in a dream. Recently my dreams have had very specific names, first and last, of people I have never heard of. Chloe Valdon, John Probien, Dan Heglin. The names are always on something; a book, check or sign, yet I am not able to figure out the reason for the specificity. Since last year I have felt as if I am on the cusp of “something” which I have yet to figure out. My mind swings between “is it this” or “could it be that” possibilities with no clear answer. Which can be very frustrating, as I prefer clarity and action vs cryptic and obscure.

It is a safe bet that over the last year many have felt poised for something to change, to unfold, to be revealed. Lives have been upended, routines shaken up and priorities completely reordered. We have had the ground shift under our feet as society has grappled with many longstanding ills. I like to think people want better for everyone, to be open to a new age of humanity and creativity. The other option of sinking into stagnation and cruelty is too heartbreaking to consider even as it seems many want to regress to a darker age.

As we step out from the shadow of the pandemic and learn to live in a revised world, I plan to be ready to seize opportunities as they present themselves. To trust the process, to see things in a different light and to keep myself open to seeing a new path.

Seasonal things

It is midsummer now, and though one week feels much like the last, I can feel the changes. I am currently job hunting, knowing it is time to move on. It is a process even in regular times, this year it is a whole different course to follow. Many applications have been submitted, some sit in the oblivion of internet caches of job hunting sites. Others have received attention, and stalled, and others have move to that intermediate stage of requesting additional info only to sit some more. It can be very frustrating, yet each day new postings go up to pursue with fingers crossed. When the right one comes along, things will fall in place as the prep work has been done. All I can do is keeping trying and be ready.

These crazy days

It can’t be just me, it really does seem too many people are getting too upset about things they know are wrong, but can’t admit they overlook to keep life pleasant and simple and fitting their own mindset. So deep is the entrenchment of ideas, beliefs and political ideologies, the outdated ideas that should long ago have been cast off. Everything seems to be met with a “Yeah, but…” or “Well it doesn’t mean I…” type of response. It is worrisome to me to hear this sort of mental separation of their thoughts, words and actions, and the of those they support, from the “Liberty and justice for all” that they claim to as Americans. I am struggling to reconcile these types of behaviors from people I would have thought of as salt of the earth people. Now I am not thinking that is so, and I am not sure of the boundaries I want to set in place to in order to keep them peripherally in my life. Or if I even do.