If you're a regular reader or know me in real life, you'll know that my working life has been disrupted over the past couple of years by one thing after another and particularly in the last 9 months. I seem (fingers crossed) to be ok now and able to work in the pottery once more. It's just as well; stock is very low in both shops where I sell and my showroom here at home is getting emptier too. But here's the thing: I'm letting go of the idea that low stock means more work to catch up. It's scary. But it's also right.
Since last April, when I turned sixty and started receiving my small teaching pension, the idea has been that I can now afford to work part time, which should mean the work/life balance improving a bit in favour of life (in the garden, in the kitchen, with friends, etc). In practice there was catching up to do at first, and then life went pear-shaped, but when I was able to work I was still doing so more or less full time. Now, though, the complications seem to be over. I'm back from my travels and have no plans for any long trips in the forseeable. There are some nice events coming up but nothing that takes over. I was looking at throwing myself into the pottery all day and every day in order to try to catch up with stock and orders. But that way, when would I know it was ok to actually work part-time? In reality, one never seems to have done enough, so it was unlikely to happen.
So this week I have drawn a line. I now work part time. I am still alarmingly low on stock and working part time means it will be even longer before I progress through my usual cycle of throwing and drying and then having a batch of firings, but I am letting go of all those thoughts. Letting go of the worry that I won't have enough work to sell. Letting go of the lists of pots I should have made. It's done. Life happened. I wasn't able to work. But now I am. Part time.
It's a bit scary. But I've been self-employed (part time and then full time) for 31 years and I've done ok so far. I'm letting go of previous pressures and putting my faith in my work, whatever direction that takes me next.