A few weeks ago I wrote about “thinking big“, not in terms of size but as a state of mind. I wrote about not getting caught up in the things of life that can make me a “small” person.
When I began making my “How To Keep Your Husband” quilt I was thinking big. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, I just had an idea that I thought was a really good one and acted on it. Unlike some of the other “big” pieces of art I’ve made, this one got its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go till it was finished.
Usually I work on a big piece a little at a time, working on smaller pieces in between. Often these big pieces need the space and I need space in my decision-making. And that process also works out practically, because while I’m working on the big piece, I’m also making money on the smaller pieces.
Because I dedicated two full weeks to my “How To Keep Your Husband” quilt, and haven’t sold it as quickly as I usually do, my bank account has gotten unusually low.
This is not a plea for money or for someone to buy my quilt. That’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m writing it because it’s the truth about a part of my life that I rarely show on my blog. I’m writing it because it helps me to sort out the truth from my anxiety. Because doubt, no matter where it occurs in our lives, is universal, something most humans feel from time to time and it’s too easy to lose faith.
Like so many other people, when it comes to income, I live week to week. I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive partner, so I don’t have to worry about being homeless or hungry. But my income is an important part of the our income.
This is the life I chose.
It’s not one where I get a regular paycheck or benefits. But I do get to make the choices about how to spend my time and what I create. That’s part of the trade-off and especially at times like this, when I get anxious about money, it’s that reality that helps keep me going.
This isn’t a lament or complaint, I don’t believe anyone owes me a living and I’m grateful for my life. The fear is an old one, a fear I’ve always had that I can’t take care of myself. But It’s actually my taking responsibility for my life and decisions that gives me the determination I need to keep going.
I believe in my How To Keep Your Husband quilt. Whether it sell in 3 days, 2 weeks or not at all, I’m glad I made it. My art is my voice, expressing what I’m thinking and feeling is not a luxury anymore for me, but a necessity.
And each time I get scared like this, scared about not having enough money, scared that I can’t take care of myself, it’s a chance to pull myself back. It’s a chance to recommit myself to my art, to my life’s purpose. I get to remember what’s really important to me and to choose not let my myself get small.
And then I get to go into my studio and make something new.
4 thoughts on “Fear and Money, Not Getting Small”
Interesting that you would write this today. I normally wouldn’t share the thoughts I’m about to share but I think it is appropriate. I have had many deep and very hurtful struggles with my daughter over the years. She is now 34. I love her dearly but we had a difficult past to sort through and I worry that I will die before we get to that work. She is having a very difficult time now with a relationship that has sucked the life out of her and my grandchildren and our relationship. I can’t reconcile how she has come to accept this treatment. There is obviously much more to say than I can here right now but that is the essence of it. I feel heartbroken a lot for all of us. This quilt of yours is so remarkable and says so much I want to say to her and I have dreamed of being one day in a position where I could just jump in and buy something like this that would say so very much at a time when it is needed and words just cause more hurt. This quilt is so special it has to go to just the right person and the Universe is busy sorting that out. My heart tells me that person will come forward quite soon. One day a very special piece of yours will be mine and I will have the where with all to snatch it up. Everything in it’s proper time. You and the work you do is so very much appreciated by so many.
Thank you for writing Wendy. I’m sorry for your troubles with family, I do understand that too. I do trust the quilt will find it’s home. I know it speaks to a lot of people, and that’s so important, so much what I’m trying to do.
Hi, Maria. I like the quilt, but I think one reason it might not sell quickly is that it isn’t as colorful as your usual work. Color is really one of your talents, and this quilt is very subdued. Good luck with the sale!
Thanks for your thoughts Elsbet. It’s true, it is a very different quilt in many ways. I’ve made two quilts similar to it. One using pillowcases and hankies that someone sent me to use in a quilt for them and the Emily Dickinson, Secrets quilt. That one was very popular, I have many people who wanted to buy it. So some pieces touch many people enough to want to own the, and some touch people, yet it may not be something they want to live with. I did sell the quilt today to, it seems, someone who connects to it and wants to live with it. That feels good.