Friday, April 30, 2004

Angst and Affirmation...

It’s been a VERY long day. I once vowed to myself (and to Nick who has to put up with listening to me rant) that when I started to only have negative things to say about the cross stitch industry that I would just get out.

Today, I came very close to hanging up my needle and just walking away from everything.

Supply teaching with a local license for $100.00 a day was looking very appealing as Nick struggled to find supply teachers who could speak French. At one point today, running away to another country to raise pygmy goats was looking far less stressful and more rewarding that being a cross stitch designer that people could steal from. Being informed about a foreign site that was hosting over 20 of our patterns illegally was not something I really wanted to face less than 48 hours after listening to someone tell me why she couldn’t afford the “pricey patterns”.

I never wanted this blog (or my career as a designer for that matter) to be an extended pity party... just the chance to give a more honest look into what it really means to try to do what you love as your career. At one point, after more than 2 hours of trying to sift through sites seen through translator programs (when I really needed to be proofing my article and instructions to go with my Just Cross Stitch ornament, I could actually feel my blood pressure spiking and took a break for lunch.

“That’s it!” I thought as I took my frustration out on the breakfast and lunch dishes. “I work too hard at what I do to have it be so easy for people to steal what I create!” Bubbles flew, pots gleamed and I even tore a hole in my rubber glove. “I am SO tired of sounding negative! I just want to go back to earning a regular paycheque!” Even a phone call from a very dear friend didn’t quite dispel the frustration (though it did make me feel cared about!)

Nick was a sweetheart about cooking supper so that I could fax a more complete list of class selections to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival for their show this fall before their office closed in Toronto. We had a great supper, but my stomach was still a bit in knots over the days events. I joked about everything from learning how to be a short order cook (Nick knows I can’t handle the smell of grease cooking very well and am a bit of a spaz with sharp objects when I am in a hurry) to running off to some remote corner of the planet where there are no computers.... but I was having serious doubts about continuing to design.

Nick went down to check his e-mail and play a few games on my computer, when suddenly he came bounding up the stairs. The fax had beeped and there was a huge order from one of our distributors which will have us scrambling for the week to batch up. A kitting company I had contacted called back with the details I needed to submit my project idea to them, a store called with an order and there were two more waiting on the e-mail for me tonight.

Coincidence or affirmation?? It feels more like affirmation to me... and a reminder that you have to have both sun and shadow in your life’s design. There are far worse shadows that could have fallen in my life right now. As hurt as I felt by the fact that these posters seem to want to ignore the fact that there is a PERSON behind the designs they are scanning, that is nothing compared to the pain that so many people around this world are facing right now.

“Count your blessings instead of your burdens!” I think to myself as I wrap this up before heading off to bed. “That way you won’t sound like you’re whining!!”

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