The Security Myth…

August 18, 2009

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No one needs to tell us these are tough times.  The economy is in a deep slump.  I have the distinction of graduating from college (at 46) during this fabulous economic time.  Jobs are nearly impossible to come by, especially in my small town.  I have promised my daughter to do everything in my power to stay here until she graduates in 2011.  That’s proving difficult.

I’ve been praying a lot lately for God’s provision.  I keep asking for a job.  Instead, good things keep happening with my jewelry business.  I have picked up a new gallery, and things seem to be going well there.  I was contacted by an old friend who wants to shop my animal lovers line around in his far-away state.  Things are good, which has me wondering…is this what God wants me to do?

I have a problem in the area of security. I was married for 17 years and was very secure in the fact I was going to grow old with this person.  So much for security.  I have listened and watched as the economy has shrunk retirement accounts down to nothing.  What is security, exactly?

I have been wanting a steady, secure job.  No surprises, no upheavals, no uncertainty.  But is there such a thing?  Day after day people are getting downsized, laid off and let go.  So why do I still think a full-time job is secure? 

I need to have more confidence in myself than I do in some unknown employer.  I need to trust my abilities to make a living for myself and my children.  Maybe God is telling me to trust myself and to use this opportunity to take my jewelry business to the next level.   A sure thing?  No, but then again, is there such a thing?

If this is what God has in store for me, I need to trust His leading and trust myself.

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Gratitude

February 26, 2009

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I’ve been watching too much news and I need to kick the habit.  It keeps me in negative thinking much too much of the time.

So I need to think about my blessings.  The economy?  Well, the recession will end and eventually I will find my ideal job.  Until then I have my jewelry business and a part time job that will keep food on the table.  No jobs?  I will have a Bachelor’s Degree in May that will eventually pay off, if not immediately. Weight?  Hmmmm.  Too much to eat – many people in the world will never know what that’s like.  Too busy? I don’t have to worry about sitting around bored or lonely. Old van with 196,000+ miles on it?  It’s paid for!!  I’m trying to learn the art of being more grateful.  My blessings may be different and less visible than others people’s, but they are worthy of gratitude and thanks.

The bracelet above is from my “Fiesta” line and is for sale at my etsy site: www.sweetanniesjewelry.etsy.com.  I make quite a few variations and earrings to match – they work especially great with summer clothes.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

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I admit it.  I am a total bead shopping junkie.  If I can’t get to a bead store, I’ll be on a website looking for my next big thing.  You  know, that thing that will inspire you, drive you to creative heights you’ve only dreamed about, make you rich and famous…THAT next big thing.

So what do you do when the economy pinches your pocketbook?  When a new bead order is just not in the stars for you?  How do you stay creative in times like these? 

Today I had a creative awakening when I took a new look around my studio.  There are drawers I haven’t opened in months.  There are piles of idea sheets I haven’t gone through in years.  Stacks of old bead magazines with sticky notes hanging out are piled in the filing cabinet.  I literally have hundreds and hundreds of dollars in beading supplies just existing all around me while I always gravitate toward favorites.

But what if this economy forces us to take a second look?  What about that bead strand that looked so cute in the catalog but wasn’t what you thought it was once you got it?  What if you took another look with new eyes?  As for me, I have a huge bin of tarnished and broken jewelry that only need to be cleaned up, taken apart and sorted.  Voila!  Beads again!  I have a treasure trove of tarnished silver that would probably pay for a year of college just sitting around unused because it’s – gasp! – tarnished.  Well, this bead chick is getting out her cotton gloves and getting down and dirty!

What about a new line?  What about that technique you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t take the time?  What about incorporating the beads you already have and aren’t using into a new type of craft project?  I’m looking into incorporating my collection of old jewelry into some new purposes – collage, sculpture or wire working.  I took a basketryclass once and loved it…can I somehow use that?  How about practicing soldering like I always planned on but never took the time to do? 

And, with those things I can’t use, I can always bag them up and sell them on Etsy or eBay, because I’m sure someone else out there can use them.  Then I can use the extra cash to put gas in the tank or something. 

I will keep you posted on my new visions, and I’d love to hear about your ideas for stretching your beading budget during these tough times.  We can all share and help each other out, which is what makes the tough times bearable.

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