Sometimes I have to ask myself if I seek out a schedule that is overloaded. Like I can not stand to be idle. Like I attract the hectic and challenging situations in which I find myself.
"Well, you do, you know", says myself.
9 years of freelancing (and the years prior of full-time employment) conditioned me to be able to work 20 hour days. I don't recommend it, but after a while of burning the midnight oil, I believe your body gets accustomed to the lack of sleep. And once you are conditioned to be awake, it seems you will be, whether you need to be or not.
Since stopping the freelance work and doing the art thing full-time, the hours got slightly better and the stress level went down. As my art business has ramped up over the last two years, and as I opened another shop to supply folks with the findings I use in my rings and video tutorials, the hours necessary to stay on track in both businesses increased, and the stress level spikes a bit every once in a while.
Most of the stress comes from making people wait for their purchase, and more often than not I put it on myself. To not let myself get stressed about a delay in an order seems like I am not giving that customer's order proper attention. Folks are great about being understanding and most times exceedingly patient.
From time to time (see Day to Day, or daily basis), I say to myself, "I just can't do all this". Though I have known for a while that if I tell myself such things that I am ensuring that I won't be able to do it all, I still do. It's only recently that I have begun to catch myself and to say, "I can do all this". Yes, I talk to myself. A lot. It's not like I buy myself 2 cups of coffee so that the 2 me's can each have one while we sit down and have a real conversation at the coffee shop. Yet.
What I try to remember these days, more than any thing else, is that none of what I deal with is truly a problem. I am so fortunate to have a business with stress to worry about. I truly believe that if I was still freelancing, or even full-time at a design firm, I would be facing down-sizing or a complete lack of projects. It is by pure good fortune that I am in the position I am in right now. Sure, I have to consider every day that I might sell no art, but I really believe that with the reach of the web, I can continue to find customers. I just have to make sure that my reproductions are affordable and continue to do things that put my name and my work out there.
I gave up long ago trying to understand why people connect with my ideas and images, and now just count it as a blessing that my art continues to connect. That's really all I can hope for business-wise, as that is what supports my art business. It is a job, with stress and problems, but if you have a job without stress and problems, you don't have a job.
So, on any given day, one might find me down on the capacity I have to do it all, or one might find me thinking I have it all under control. I just have to remember that I need to just be happy that I am being found by you and many others. And to hope that I am not talking to myself when you find me.