Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to February...

Ok I'm breaking some of my rules here, first off I'm talking about my health and secondly I'm probably going to whine a little which breaks my "don't be negative on your social media rule" and my "don't talk about your health it has no place in business rule" but the last 8 weeks have been kicking my little felted but so I have to! I've almost written this so many times but chickened out because of "the rules" but I've been reading a lot lately and am beginning to think my rules are stoopid!

So a funny thing happened earlier this year, I'd closed all my shops for Christmas and reopened them in the New Year but I just couldn't get going. Over Christmas I had been hit with a virus that left me passed out on a friends sofa on Christmas day with a temperature, a hot water bottle and some fluffy slippers (Thanks Eva). I'm not going to lie Christmas was BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!! To this day I have presents that were opened in a daze that I have no idea where they came from, who lovingly wrapped them or if they belong to me or Mr Felt (we share pretty much everything anyway so no biggie!) The tree came down early and I put off reopening my shops as long as possible.

I did reopen my shops and every order, every stab of the needle felt like a gargantuan effort, my arms felt like lead, my needles felt blunt... I felt blunt! I began to panic... Did this mean I didn't want to do my job anymore? I started reading blogs, books, everything about how to beat burn out, how to find your creative mojo, I bought a new planner and workbook for the year, I tried meditation (I can meditate... but I get bored and I can't breath thru my nose so I spend a great deal of time worrying that I can't breathe thru my nose) I tried everything I could think of... and then I went on holiday and realised that I can't holiday... I'm not good at it.

I'm failing at life... I can't even holiday properly! (My crazy brain wailed!)

Getting home feeling a bit more refreshed but still despondent at not being capable of relaxing I spent a day doing absolutely nothing, not beating myself up about it, just doing nothing except faffing on facebook, playing ridiculously repetitive games, watching videos of otters and eating homemade macaroni cheese with way too much cheese in it followed by eating too much fudge and singing out of tune in the bath... while Mr Felt went out with pals (he's social he needs people, I like people but in short controlled bursts and I like being able to take my bra off which I can't do in polite company)

And then I woke up today and thought "I know what I am doing wrong!" I realised I was trying to fix something by using new methods and neglecting the things I knew worked so I got out the giant pad and sharpies and hashed out a plan for the next month.

And I thought about it... I do feel better, but I'm not ok... and pressuring myself to get better isn't going to help. So I'm not going to... the next month will be taken at a different pace. I'll be looking after myself and maybe the business will just have to wait... or maybe not... these things have a way of working themselves out when you aren't looking.

Lets see what happens eh?

Any advice on beating burnout I'd appreciate it... I'll try anything!

(Oh and check out the only birds I managed to make in January! These are Eclectus Parrots, Male and Female)


Goblinf said...

Yes. I have advice! Find ways to make the SAME amount of profit using less of your time and energy.

No I don't know what those ways are. But. I very much doubt that needlefelting by hand is good for your health long term on the sheer industrial quantities you have been doing. This is why industrialisation and mechanisation happened! There's a limited amount of time and energy in one person's day - and once one is successful, demand outstrips supply.

I recently saw a post from an American lady who uses KoolAid to dye her wool and needlefelts them into monsters Tanglewood Creatures maybe is her name? Anyway, she's having similar issues. Mrs McGetterick of Fuggler fame also hit a brick wall last year through not being able to keep up with orders

I luffs you Capn Felty. But remember (speaking as someone who overworked in a different way and is now a housebound cripple) you only have one life and one body. Your customers may be temporarily disappointed, but if you do too much work, then yes individuals may be satisfied with another hand felted bird and appreciate it hugely, but if it costs you the capacity to support yourself in the future, the price is too high for you personally!


camelama said...

I would say perhaps it isn't burnout, perhaps you are still recovering from being sick! Perhaps you need to give yourself a few more weeks to recover. Friends who had bronchitis or the very bad physical ick that went around here at Christmas time, are only now starting to feel slightly human, and one was told by both her doctor and acupuncturist that she should expect six more weeks of recovery. Sometimes these things hit us much harder than we think and we need to let our body heal. I'd say give yourself a few more faffing about days (except maybe don't overdo it on the cheese), and give yourself time for both mental and physical recovery.

WinnibriggsHouse said...

Hi Mel, I have a very talented daughter just like you whose creative craft means she is physically hammering parts of her body day in and day out, and in the end something gives! She too doesn't like to let down her customers, but if you can't work at all no one wins, I am a pretty fit ( and I am very grateful for it) old bird, but 2 years ago around November I got hit with the weirdest bug/ virus I have ever had. Completely floored me and I landed up almost every day having to lie down, it sounds to me like you have had something similar and it did take weeks to get over it. Give yourself time, have a few more faffing days. If your business is based on a craft you love, that love will return. Your mojo hasn't gone its your health that is crying out for a little attention. Sending you big hugs. Xx

Dotty said...

So sorry you aren't yourself at the moment. Probably a combination of post-viral thingy, overwork, post-Christmas-January yuckness. I can really identify. I've just bought a SAD lamp because I realised by the number of my friends who said "I know how much you hate January" that I have been struggling with this time of year for years.... Take care of yourself & be kind to yourself. It will work itself out but your body probably needs a little TLC.xx

Melanie Ann Green said...

Thank you all for your comments, I'll take it on board. I wish I could rest longer but a girl has to pay the bills somehow!

... there is no such thing as too much cheese (except perhaps in my macaroni)