Saturday, August 13, 2011

Evaluating What's Important

I wrote not too long ago about thinking about my direction in life, in particular where I'm going in jewelry design.  More than a few people emailed me expressed the same feelings, and I did what I could to encourage and to help people submit their work to magazines.  I'd love to see some new blood in those pages!  A lot of people have said they feel like "why bother" when they see many of the same names month after month, and with as many blogs as I read -- I know there's a ton of amazing people out there.  I'm sure you'll see some at the Bead Soup Blog Party (which starts September 17th but the hop will continue for a while afterward) and I'm going to invite as many magazine editors as I can to watch the show.  So bring your A-game, folks!



Now, don't get me wrong.  I LOVE to make jewelry and meeting up with my customers at shows is SO much fun.  But I need to take the time to explore some things without the pressure to compete.  I've been a runner but not a winner, yet the memory is still sweet.  Trying to compete has made me see some people in a new light and it has been stressful.  I'd much, much rather lift someone else up than be stepped on being passed over.



It's SO very hard to avoid drama.  Life seems to revolve around it and it can be SO very interesting -- let's be honest, now.  But regardless, it's a TOTAL waste of time.  What in the world is it with the bead world?  For heaven's sake, it's just glass and a bunch of pretty rocks!  But I'm taking a stand -- I'm starting to take control of my angst and moving in new directions.  Two days ago, I turned in my very first submission for a writing contest.  And while it's a really long shot, I could care less.  The very action of making a change, of stopping the complaining and doing something different to see if it will change my creative expression in this other thing I love, jewelry -- it's liberating.


I'm learning that the people who don't like me -- don't like me.  And that's totally fine.  As I tell my son, not everyone likes everyone.  It's how you TREAT those people that shows your worth.  The people who smile to my face and write kind things, then turn to snark to others -- they aren't worth my time. 


Remember that, folks.  YOU have the power to make it go away.  If you feel you're being left behind, or you feel like your creativity isn't up to par with someone else's -- quit looking at them.  A mentor is someone who lifts you up, not someone who you feel inferior to.  YOU need to be a friend to YOU.  If you need a break, turn off the blogs and put away the magazines.  Pull out the glass and pretty rocks and remember why you bought them in the first place.  It should be for the fun and the beauty and to advance YOU for YOU -- not to compare yourself to someone else.



THIS!  This is so important to remember.  With me, what you see, what you read, who you meet, is what you get.  I'm not a made-up character I play for the benefit of an audience.   I have thin skin -- I'll be the first to admit that.  I'll also be the first to admit that will probably never change.  It's just how I'm wired.  But I CAN realize it doesn't matter.  I've fought thirty hard years to be able to reach the age of 42 and be able to say the opinions of myself, my husband, and my son are what matter.   Cliques and mean people are so middle school.  Just laugh at that nonsense.



If you don't get anything at all out of my post today, remember this quotation.  YOU ARE PRICELESS to someone.  And I guarantee it's more than ONE someone, and you may never know who that person is.  But they exist.


Put that into perspective.  If you feel like your life isn't going the way you want it to, stop for a second and pull out a sheet of paper.  Instead of writing down everyone who loves you,  write down those people for whom you've done small kindnesses.  Who have you loaned a dollar to in the grocery store when they were short?  Who did you share an umbrella with?  Who did you mail a card to lately (you know who you are).  Who did you email and let know you were thinking of them at that very moment (you know who you are, too).


You have absolutely no idea how very, very important you are.  Remember this when you feel down. 

Love yourself.
The rest comes after.




Quote of the Day:  "Under Pressure"
Book Review:  "A Game of Thrones"


Photobucket


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene and is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

71 comments:

  1. So true, Lori! Thank you for reminding me!

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  2. Bravo!!!! Well said, Lori! I'll bet you wake up tomorrow full of energy and excitement, and loving the you that you see in the mirror! Maybe I need to eat the same thing you had for supper, because I could use a heaping helping of what you've got going on right now.

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  3. I have run into this before. I think another thing that makes it tough for a creative craftsperson or artist is that art is so subjective. One person may view your work and think it is the greatest thing to ever have seen the light of day, whereas thinks it's bland.

    I think I was fortunate enough to have an art teacher in school that explained this in great detail.

    What she said, and what you've stated here in your blog, most definitely still holds true.

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  4. I have heard people complain about this. Perhaps I haven't met the right (or wrong?) people but I have been so lucky to meet wonderful supportive people blogging and making jewelry. People who send a note if you don't blog for a few days or just say *Hello* or send something in an email or a surprise by snail mail. People I've never met in person who I cannot imagine now not talking to on a daily basis. We've shared laughs, crys, advice and cheered each other on and I feel better for knowing them!

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  5. Hi Lori, I would love to be part of your party!! I do make my jewelry too. So let me know if is still space for me!!!Thanks Andrea
    Goddessandmagick.

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  6. Thanks Lori - that was a wonderful post!

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  7. Glad you are taking steps forward into new territory. That is so good for the soul! Will you be going to Beadfest this year?

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  8. Thank you Lori, for your words of truth and inspiration. Good luck to you on the story submission.
    Therese

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  9. yes, lori - you could not be more right... as eleanor roosevelt said 'no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.' it can/does hurt when people are unkind... but if you know who you are and what you are doing, that is all that matters... you do so much good for so many - sending out loads of ripples into the world...

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  10. Thanks...wow ... what a meaningful post --- you hit is right on the head of the nail with everything... you really shared... That is what life is all about... I am a free style long arm quilter and blogger. I follow many blogs to get inspired in all areas and art forms. You inspired me today thru' your words! Thanks! I look for the blogs that put their heart into it. I am still striving to do that. I can't remember how I found you -- I think it was the bead soup logo on a blog that attracted me to your blog. I am glad I found you! Thanks again for such meaningful post...

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  11. Really nice post Lori! Best of luck with the writing contest, I love your writing so I am rooting for you!

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  12. Gorgeous, Lori, and what an important message to share!!

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  13. I love you man. You hit it. Beautifully said. One of the best things I've read and in a long time and can completely relate.

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  14. Good post, Lori. It's one of those things that we all know in our hearts but need a little reminder every now and again. Thanks for saying it so well.

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  15. <3 to you Lori.

    (I am more of a quiet reader/ blog follower than a commenter, but your post today made me want to say thank you 'out loud').

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  16. Your "thin skin" is what makes you so special. Your emotional honesty is an amazing gift and it's what you share with every post and piece of jewelry you make.

    I'm glad you're in my world.

    Love and warmest regards,

    Cathie

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  17. Thank you so very much Lori. I feel like you wrote this personally just for me...however I realize I am only one of many who feel this way. Your words of wisdom are precious and I shall begin anew...right now!
    Your writing is life affirming and poignant and I read every word. Thank you again and Bless You...

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  18. I could say a few things here but Ill just say that you really spoke alot of truth. Thats what has always made you shine on Lori. Your real and you reach out. You always Bring it! I so agree with every single word you said!! Your not alone in your feelings Im right there with ya! You always take the time your one of us! You are so loved and admired Lori! And I mean that from my heart! xx

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  19. LOVE IT< love it,,love it.
    I had an interview this week and it did not go well at all, in fact I was told that I should act one way at work and one way in my personal life. I need a professional persona. Well after much thought and soul searching I realized I am glad I did not get the job. I have tried to tell my kids to " just be yourself" and that is what I will continue to do. I do not have to pretend to be someone else. Your loss if you can't appreciate me for who I am. Good , bad, and ugly I am blessed from God and have all to offer He has given me.
    Alice's Beads And Baubles

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  20. Good luck with your submission, I love all that you have to share and I am crossing my fingers for you. I am a thin skinned soul to, I have tried to get better and learn not to take everything personally but that is a work in progress. We are all on a learning path, ever day of our lives it is our choice whether we wish to learn and grow or if we choose to stay the same and not broaden our horizons.

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  21. Thank you for writing this. I'm so glad I came by to read your post. I needed it. Hopefully I'll remember your words next year and join in on your bead soup blog party. I was too intimidated i think to try it this year.

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  22. Great post, Lori! Kudos to you for following your dream - whether or not your first attempt is successful is not so important - but I have my fingers crossed for you.

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  23. I'm excited about this new direction you're taking. Writing has to be one of the most comforting things available to us as humans. Sharing is another. And you do both! Pretty incredible, Lori! Stay away from the snarky sharks. (I just made that up, silly me!) Some people just like to bite. Sad they have to attack others to feel good themselves. You're smart to just swim away from that feeding frenzy and find calmer waters! Hugs!

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  24. Lori, I loved this, can you re-post it about 4x a year when I need a quick kick in the pants :-P

    Seriously though as I get older I am becoming more aware that how I feel is created by me not by anything outside of me..wish I could have realized that at 20 not 40.

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  25. Lori you are a very special person and even though I have never met you in person, I still feel as though you are a friend.

    My jewelry still isn't of the standard that I expect of myself but that's okay as long as I keep learning. But I am damn find editor so if you ever need someone to look over your work, let me know.

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  26. As another person wearing a really thin skin (bah, I swear, it shows up each and every time when our manager has to do her annual evaluations of us subordinates ...), this touches a nerve, and I can so totally relate to this post.

    I worked out ways to handle my being terribly timid and insecure - or else I wouldn't still be working in retail after what's been 14 years now (or 15? I'm starting to lose track ...). But there was a time when I was close to the edge, so very close to be doing something utterly stupid.

    And I'm so very glad I didn't do it. I would have missed out, on wonderful people, on wonderful experiences, on watching my niece grow up.

    Don't EVER let anyone make you feel like you're worthless.

    Because you're not.

    Love,
    Sandra

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  27. Thank you for this post, you have eloquently put into words what a lot of creative people feel but are afraid to profess, and that is what good writing is all about.

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  28. Oh wow, this post made me cry! What an amazing piece Lori. I agree with everything you've said and sat along nodding thinking 'yep, that's right!' Hit the nail on the head.

    Good luck with your writing contest. And thank you for being amazing :D

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  29. A very inspiring post and wonderfully written Lori.

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  30. Inspiring words... Thank you.

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  31. Very well said Lori. Thank you for writing it. <3

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  32. Funny how life will give you just what you need.You just have to keep a look out, because it might show up where you least expect it.
    Or you might not realize you needed it !

    I think I read Bead blogs for good "bead stuff".
    But, sometimes that turns out to be good
    "life stuff" !!!
    Thank you,Thank you,Thank you for this post !!!!!
    m.e. :)

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  33. Well said, Lori. Too much of our lives seems to be defined externally, or at least we let that happen. Thank you for the encouragement, support, and wise words.

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  34. Lori, You ARE priceless ... to me! You've heard the expression, when you're at the bottom people are giving you a boost, boosting you up and when you're at the top, people are trying to tear you down. Hey, look at it like this, you're at the top, baby! You can't combat someone else's jealousy because it's not about you, it's about them. I was watching Alain de Botton on TED.com and he was talking about jealousy and he said that it only exists in people who are closely paired in some way ... such as having the same interests. I thought that was interesting.

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  35. Hi Lori-
    I am a mixed media jewelry artist who has been following your work for awhile now, I am signed up for my first bead soup party and have been coupled with a great gal.I am so excited!! In reading your blog this morning the one thing that struck a cord is that all that negativity and back stabbing is hiding under many a rock... not just one, inflictingmore than only one undeserving person. I applaude you today for bringing this whole subject to the forefront of your blog. I am a disabled artist w/ spinal cord injuries and I have a group called Crafters Creating with Pain on fb and I would like to use your blog as a jumping off place for both my page and next blog post. All of this has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time and I think it is time it was addressed in my neck of the woods.I will give your quotes complete credit if I choose to use them-if that is ok. with you... if not pls. email me @beadon96@gmail.com
    Bravo-Well Done-
    Liz
    Ps. I am a very green newbie blogger(still trying to figure out how to post badges -he he) my blog is: www.clarityofpurplesage.blogspot.com

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  36. This post is the very reason why I prefer to read your blog over other ones in the bead industry. You've got a handle on it all, Lori! You are perceptive, honest, and wise. I wish you well in your writing endeavor.

    I've recently realized that one of the reasons I have had "beader's block" is because I have been pouring over every bead magazine and blog, telling myself that I can never be that good. My other realization is that it's time to just start beading again and see what happens!

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  37. I am not quite sure what I would do without you. You may not realize how much you, your kindness, your words and your heart impact me and my small world. Thank you.

    This is all so true. It is speaking directly to my heart at this moment in my journey. I am holding myself to the wrong standards. I need to do more that nourished me and my soul, and in turn my family. Thank you.

    Thank you for everything! :)

    cb

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  38. One of the very best posts I have read on ANY blog...ana isn't being in our 40's such a gift? I can't wait to watch you on this new journey into writing...and I am smack dab in the middle of figuring out the same thing for myself...have a great weekend!

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  39. Hi Lori! Coming through FTLOB and sending you some love on love comment day.

    In life, there is drama everywhere, it's up to the individual to play or not to play. I usually tend to not play. ;)

    Good luck with everything!

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  40. Yep, nothing prompts feelings of inadequacy like too much blog reading! Very exciting that you're moving in new directions...Thanks for your post :)

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  41. Oh Lori, This is an awesome post. Thanks, but you have no reason to feel as if you aren't as good or much better than any other artist. You are at the top. Mean people de-mean orhers when they feel inferior to make themselves feel better.
    You are an ENCOURAGER it takes so little to make some one feel worthy. a smile, a kind word, a greeting card, a phone call. So be blessed to ne a blessing

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  42. Amen, Lori! Thank you for sharing from your heart and being transparent. Cheers to the positive, nice, generous people like Lori in the creative world!

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  43. Lori,
    I don't know what to say to this other than THANK YOU.
    You saw and commented on my recent post and I was waiting for this one from you. YOU are amazing for being so strong and still for continue to encourage others. . .simply amazing.

    Best of luck on the writing entry!
    And, again, thank you for this reminder. It's one that's always needed.

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  44. I love your openness and honesty. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As creative individuals, I think it is a common trait to compare ourselves to other artists or be competitive. You are reminding us that happiness and success is achieved through the heart. Just having the courage to follow your heart is a success all it's own!

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  45. Thank you for hosting the Bead Soup Blog Party!

    Thank you too for this post! You know how somethings just seem to come at the right time? Well that's what this post meant to me. I've been in somewhat of an adjustment period myself, reevaluating direction, etc. I've had an idea of what I've wanted to do and I am going to do it! :) Thanks Lori!!!

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  46. Today's post has affected me so much..thank you!

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  47. Beautiful and so true! The haters will always find something to hate. Let them. Love is the only currency that always has a tenfold payback. :)

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  48. Thank you. I needed to read this today. I've had a week of feeling very unimportant and hopeless both professionally and personally. Thank you for the encouraging words. You just confirmed that your writing is powerful and will touch many.

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  49. Thank you. I needed to read this today. I've had a week of feeling very unimportant and hopeless both professionally and personally. Thank you for the encouraging words. You just confirmed that your writing is powerful and will touch many.

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  50. Very well said. I might have to steal some of those quotes for my granddaughter. She seems to find drama at every turn. Your a very creative writer hope you do well in your submission.

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  51. What a great post, thanks for the encouraging words, we all need to hear that over and over again. Thanks also for the complimentary post on my blog, I was just thinking I should look at your gallery for inspiration, you always make such amazing (and yes, pretty) pieces!

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  52. Lori, you are just sweet. I wish you were living closer, because I would definetely invite you for dinner (and obviously also share my umbrella with you since it has been raining for a few months straight - but luckily I am 6 days away from a vacation in Sardinia ;-) YEAH).

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  53. Oh Lori
    Well said, I so much needed to read your blog today.
    My life seems to be a series of ten steps back for each one forward and I have to keep reminding myself that I am able to do something I love to help to make a living.
    Will start on that list today! Everything of the best for your story submission.

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  54. Wonderful posting Lori, I have recognized so many of my own thoughts here. Writing is a good choice to push your creativity.
    I am drawing, sculpting, reading, drawing again and when I don´t feel creative at all I am going for long walks, calling my best friends for a giggling or just looking to the sky.

    I have met so many wonderful people through my blog and first of all because of making beads that I will be always grateful for the gift of being able to work with glass. It is magic and it puts a magical light to a lot of wonderful people.

    Learning loving myself was my greatest goal .... I am still working on ☺ and a lot of unexpected wonderful feedback is helping.

    xxoxx wishing you a wonderful day.

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  55. Such a beautifully written and honest, heartfelt post. Thank you!

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  56. Thanks for your post. You really have a gift for writing. I liked the saying about changing how to react to people and what they say. So true. I have to pass it on to my girls.

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  57. Very nice post. I have learned to create what I love and if others love it that is great. My best times are when someone sees a piece of mine and it talks to them and they have to have it.

    I on purpose have not submitted to magazines because I am not creating for them, but for myself and the people who buy my work.

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  58. Great, heartfelt post Lori and spot on! I have slayed this dragon several times before but he occassionally rears his ugly head. It is hard sometimes not to get caught up in the "striving for success" that we imagine we are not having.

    I am guilty of wearing my heart on my sleeve all my life. But I think it is that trait which allows me to feel so much for others and be sensitive so i wouldn't trade it for anything.

    I have not submitted to any magazines and fortunately I have had really wonderful experiences blogging, meeting such warm, gifted, strong women and I am grateful everyday for having met them.

    I am trying to stay focused on what I enjoy doing, from family to photography, to jewelry and let what i do fall where it might. I'm not at the top but not at the bottom either. I have always told my children growing up, that life is like being on a ladder, sometimes you are higher up and other times not but ALWAYS there are people both above and below you and to just be happy for where you are at the moment and glean all you can from being where you are.

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  59. Hi Lori,
    Wonderful post. I just did my post about an article I wrope for SoftFlex about creativity that you might enjoy!

    http://www.patsyevinsstudio.com/blog/

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  60. Diddo! I could not have said it better myself.

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  61. Lori - what a great post - so honest and heartfelt. But that is one of the things that I enjoy so about your blog is your honesty. This one was especially right on. Don't let them get to you - you are your own special person. Please stay yourself! Good luck with the writing submission.

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  62. Wow Lori. I'd say this posting is a keeper. I need to reread every so often. True words.

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  63. Hi Lori, i have been catching up on post's i have missed over the summer, it's been one crazy busy summer with a festival every weekend and life in general.....anyway i am glad i did what a lovely post and one i really needed i have felt very defeated as of late it just seem no matter what i do nothing seem to work out for me, i give so much of myself to everyone including people i don't even know, you know even small thing like letting someone ahead in line at the grocery store, but i try my best to not let it get me down like you said it's just who i am always has been always will, i just have to remeber myself sometimes and that's really hard for me this post really gave me a kick in the butt to do just that so thanks dear friend,. things are slowing down and school starts in 2 weeks so i will be back for my daily morning coffee & hop i miss everyone so much.....& thanks so much for all of your hard work especilly with everything on your plate, i hope things are going well with your Dad.
    ttfn Lana :)

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  64. I came over to get some eye candy with my morning cup of coffee and got much much more. Each one of us IS so special and a gift to someone, even to ourself. To paraphrase an adage: what others think of me is none of my business!

    Thank you!

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  65. Lori - Thank you! Truer words were never spoken. As a fellow "thin skinned" soul, I appreciate your thoughts and words. It took me over 40 years of smarting when people called me "sensitive" to truly feel in my heart that it is a gift to be sensitive. Rock on!

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  66. Love, love, love this post-
    Thanks. Linda

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  67. Beautifully said, Lori! You rock! You and your writing are a boon! Those of us with thin skin have to stick together! Looking to other avenues to express your bounty of creativity is awesome! I can't wait to hear more about it!

    XO

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  68. Amazing, true post...thanks. There are so many us that appreciate and care about you and each other. My Husband and I were talking the other day and he was kind of joking with me about my bead groups when I told him that I feel like I have made so many new friends. He said they can't really be friends because you have not met in person, and I totally disagree with him. I feel there are many people in these groups that when one day we are able to meet face to face, it will be just like a friend you had lunch with last week. And friends have each others back..keep on doing what you do. :)
    Sonya

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  69. You keep being you Lori, you are real and inspiring. The haters will keep hating and you will keep rising above.

    Regarding the writing submission - I'm sending out good thoughts. I hope it works out for you.

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  70. Loved your post Lori!!!! Just got my bog up and running and am so thrilled to be apart of the blogging community.

    Your honestly is refreshing. I hope to strive for that in my bog, might be hard to do...leaves you vulnerable but I truly believe if you please yourself in your art no matter what it is writing or other. Not much can touch that in a negative way. Rock on Lori!!!!!

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  71. I live my life by all those quotes! Thank you for the reminder!

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