Channelling Anxiety into Action: Gearing Up for Big Changes and the Recycled Art Market Tomorrow in Grand Rapids

by jennifer

It’s been a roller coaster week. The sky fell at the newspaper that has been the main source of my family income since 1998. Massive layoffs were announced and many talented people were let go. My husband survived the cut, but we’re still not sure what the future holds for us. Once the company reorganizes what will my husband’s next job be? Where will we live? Will I still have the opportunity to write a weekly art & craft column? How long before the economy takes another giant bite out of the journalism industry? What happens then?

I’m not sure about any of this and I don’t like to waste time sitting around worrying about things I can’t control, so I have kept myself busy making CraftSanity Weaving Looms of all sizes out of reclaimed wood to sell at tomorrow’s Recycled Art Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at City High/Middle School, 1400 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Channelling my anxiousness into action that requires minimal mental concentration has resulted in sore hands and a record number of finished looms. So, come what may, I’m ready for the sale and looking forward to chatting with some of you there. :  )

I will also have print copies of the first four issues of CraftSanity Magazine for sale in my booth (PDFs are available for instant download on the left side bar of this site.) along with finished woven goods and supplies and maybe a few other little surprises that I whip up tonight.

After the sale I will dive back into production of the winter issue of the magazine and other projects with newfound energy. It’s amazing how focused I get when outside forces rock my boat. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. None of us do, really. And as unsettling as that is at times, it does make the story of our lives all the more riveting.

I think the important thing to remember in times like these is that even dead ends are opportunities. If my column is cancelled, it will have lasted far longer than I ever expected and I will have more time and energy to channel into writing for my own site and maybe even get going on that book I’ve been too busy to write. I’m not good at waiting patiently to find out what happens next, so I’m going to treat this as a “choose your own adventure” scenario and decide what I want to do next. Do I want to continue writing a weekly newspaper column? Is this the best use of my time and skills? What could I be doing instead? Podcasting on a regular schedule, book writing, daily blogging, filming a documentary? I have plenty of interesting projects to keep me busy.

It’s easy to slip into a pattern of living in response other people’s decisions and choices and forget that we are the ones in the driver’s seat of our lives and we still get to decide how we spend our time and energy.

It’s time to crack open the ol’ notebook and make a new list of goals and dreams for the future. And chances are good that if we can set aside the fear of the unknown for a bit and begin to fill a blank page with hopes and dreams and goals, something tells me we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the future of our own design that begins to take shape.

Today’s question to ponder in my favorite one to ask:

If you could do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do?

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