Felicia’s latest post, Craft as “a little space to collect oneself”, on The Craft Sessions hit me today. I wrote a comment in response, but I realized as I posted it that it probably would have made for a better blog post than a comment.
In a nutshell, her post is about having lost a private, physical space to craft in and how it’s affected her. There are more interruptions to her craft time because she’s out in the open and available. And sometimes she feels guilty about taking craft breaks since everyone can see her taking a break. She’s basically lost all craft time because she lost the privacy.
My circumstances are a bit different than Felicia’s. While I’ve never had a private space for crafting, I do have private time. It’s me that’s holding myself back from taking time out to craft, not someone else. This is what resonated with me from Felicia’s post:
“I may be voicing a universal longing for enough space to breathe and put things in perspective…… More and more we’re challenged and unsettled by it in part because I think we’re more and more addicted to our busyness. ”
— Pico Iyer – Dumbo Feather Issue 46
And Felicia’s feelings of guilt for not filling her time with busy things…
“But thinking about it I’m not even sure the judgement I’m trying to avoid is external. I have the feeling some of it, might be coming from me. My feelings around what I should be doing.”
— Felicia from The Craft Sessions
I have been struggling with this lately. I don’t have a full time job anymore, which clears up so much space. I had hoped to make room for crafting and design as a freelance career, but it seems that I have filled every nook and cranny with my old job (web design), just on a freelance basis. I think I’ve done this because I swear that everyone around me thinks I’m sitting at home just drinking a cup of tea. (They really don’t. If anything, they imagine me doing magic with two wands as I knit up a project, since most people I know don’t know how to knit and think they never could.)
The process of crafting from scratch is slow. Web design is much faster, so I think I’ve filled my time with it as a way to show those around me that I’m being productive. I’ve been saying “Yes” to so many things I don’t even really want to do! I’ve been valuing my worth by how many ‘things’ I’ve accomplished.
As Paco said, I seem to be addicted to how busy I am. Ticking off small, quick items on my to-do list. Forgetting about the bigger goals, like becoming a knitwear designer. (Well, not forgetting… More like anguishing about it while I do other things that aren’t moving me toward my goal.)
I feel like I have to earn my time to craft.
It’s good to consider how well we’re treating ourselves. We’re not robots. To me, life isn’t about how hard we work, it’s about family, friends, compassion, growing, enjoyment…
How do you give yourself permission to do what you really want to do, even when it doesn’t pay? Even when you already have enough money?
Emma Mitchell touched on this during her interview on A Playful Day. She quit a well-paying, high-power job to craft because it felt better. It’s a great interview, give it a listen!
I’m going to get a little Buddhist here, but I think it has to do with remembering that our human lives are precious. Yes, we need money for food and shelter, but if you’ve got that covered, it may help to remember that you’re lucky to be here, alive, as a human.
In Buddhist views, you could have been born a cat, doomed to nap all day! No thumbs to knit with!
The fact that you’re able to craft should be celebrated! Take the time for yourself to do what makes you feel alive. Everyone and everything else can wait 5 minutes. (Or 30!)