When a Craft Becomes an Obsession

I’m struggling to find a work/life balance. I used to be very analytical, organized, driven, and anxious to climb my way up the corporate ladder, to the point of being stressed out and not spending enough time with family. Then a year ago I discovered the craft project that I quickly turned into a business because it was like an addiction.

I cannot stop making these things (my angels, fairies and pixies), even though they aren’t selling much (yet!) What I find is that I’m burying all that stress, but the new problem is that I’ve become disorganized and can’t manage my time well (because I literally work on my craft from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed). To add to the problem, I recently got laid off from my 40 hour a week job. So, when I’m not looking for another job, I am working at my craft business.

The thing that drives me is that I have myself in the mindset that my product could be the next “pet rock” or “beanie baby”, ideas that (because of or in spite of) being so ridiculously silly, they really took off. Another thing that drives me is that they are so incredibly fun and fulfilling to make, because they are art. I’ve never considered myself an artist before, but I probably feel the same way many artists feel.

There are aspects of it that have been positive. I’m not just making these products, I’m marketing them. I have an Etsy shop and my own website, post on social media (probably less than I should) and am looking into packaging so I can sell them at local gift shops and craft fairs. I feel like I’m putting my marketing degree to good use. Plus the experience that I’m getting from running a business looks great on a resume.

I look down upon what I have created with a little melancholy, because I’m probably the only person in the world who thinks they're as beautiful as I do. They’re like an extension of me, and I’m not even sure why. I love doing it, but it’s an unhealthy(?) obsession. It is no longer a part of my life, it “is” my life.

In the meantime, my husband is still complaining that I don’t spend enough time with him, but for different reasons. And I’m starting the last semester of my MBA program on January 3rd, plus I’m very much looking forward to getting back to work so I can bring some income into my house (husband is disabled.) And most importantly, I need to get out of this pattern before I am forced to by these other things.

Tomorrow is Christmas. If I could have anything I wanted for Christmas, or if I made New Year's resolutions, it would probably be the success of this business. If I could make enough money at this business that I didn't need to do the 9-5, there's nothing that would make me happier.

Thanks for riding out this roller coaster ride with me.


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