Why aren’t you painting anymore?

I know what you are thinking. A blog post from Twig and Twine Nest? Yes, after 8 months I am writing again, and this might just be the cause for all of our recent snow! Ha. Okay, that’s the last time I will speak of the evil white stuff again.

Anyway – I have missed blogging, crafting, painting, etc. I took some time off from it all to focus on other things -like my family. And myself. You see, I kind of got carried away with my little side business. And that’s what it was supposed to be – a fun sort of hobby, that I could do when I wasn’t working my book job, or taking care of hearth and home. 
Instead, I dove in head first. My hobby got a name, its own business cards, a blog (a full-time job in itself), and a Facebook page. It started to grow and breathe and consume me. I invested in training, books, and countless hours of YouTube tutorials to hone my craft. When I wasn’t learning, I was painting. In a garage that was either 80 degrees or eight. 
And let’s not get started on the search for furniture – hours at auction, or driving from one thrift shop to another for a deal. Hours in bed at night searching Craig’s List. Taking my husband’s truck and begging neighbors to help me lift my haul. 
Soon I was painting furniture to sell, and taking commissions. At any given time, I had half a garage full of stuff waiting for its turn. The cars had to sleep in the driveway. It irritated my husband. The gym became an afterthought and I gained (more) weight. But, I loved the satisfaction of a finished piece of furniture – the transformation. So, all else took a back seat. Laundry piled up. The house wasn’t its usual spotless abode. Saxon had to fight for my attention. And my husband was last in line. 
And right when it was becoming clear to me that something had to give, the paint business started changing for me. Selling was becoming difficult. The local area seemed to explode with interest in repurposing furniture, and suddenly everyone was dipping their brushes into the collective paint can. I lost commissions to lower priced painters. My inventory wouldn’t budge (unless I slashed prices like Crazy Bob). Tax time came and when my accountant told me I took a loss on my “hobby,” I was devastated. Here, I thought I was helping my family earn additional income, while doing something I loved. Instead I SPENT money. Ouch, that was a tough realization. 
Soon, I decided to hang up my paint apron. I sold off my inventory. I stopped taking commissions. And while it gave me more time to focus on other priorities, I missed it. I felt ashamed, like a quitter. And my blog, which once gave me delight, became a source of sadness. It hurt to look at previous posts. And as each month passed, I felt guilt for ignoring it. I still do.
But, a lot of good has come from my time away. My jeans dropped 5 sizes. Saxon is reading like an “above grade level” champ, and I like to think its due in some small part to the time I spend with him and open book. My marriage is stronger than ever. 
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on myself. It’s obvious I am an all or nothing kind of person. Twig and Twine was my baby, and come hell or high water, I was going to see her to the prom. Yet, I skipped right through the joys of infancy. That business model might work for some, but it wasn’t right for me, or my family.
In the past eight months, I’ve still enjoyed decorating my home. I have painted a couple of things, too. For myself and a friend – without the pressure making a profit or turning it around in time for the next project. I’ve enjoyed trying new crafts, cooking healthy meals, teaching fitness classes, walking my dog, playing board games and other activities. I’ve found a better way of living I think. One that gives me flexibility, while still including so many things I love.
I’ve learned one person can only have so many jobs. My plate is still full. But at least now I have time for a blog post! So when someone asks me, “Why aren’t you painting anymore?” I just say that its not the right time in my life for painting as a business. But painting will certainly remain a hobby. Until the next thing comes along to absorb me!
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