Why I’m not crafting right now: the true Holland story

If you’ve been kind enough to keep reading my blog, you’re probably thinking “where are the crafts?” I am here to answer that question.

Maybe you’ve heard – or even told someone – that there is a difference between an excuse and a reason. The truth is that a reason is just a socially accepted excuse. The more people do amazing things and overcome dire circumstances, the fewer reasons we have and, conversely, the more excuses. All of this is to say is that I hope my excuses can, at least in this gallery, be socially acceptable.

When I first moved here, I was in desperate need of decompressing from the classroom. I was a terrible teacher – a great mentor and support for my kids – but a terrible teacher. I am not used to sucking so bad at things, and Arkansas was just such a miserable place, so I sought some time away from things. I rediscovered my love of making things then.

I was so excited to have free time, and I had so much pent up creativity that I dove into sewing and drawing and painting. It was a great time. But I am not good at staying inside, and I have had a job of some kind since I was 14. It was only a few months before I started buckling down and looking for jobs again.

For various reasons, I ended up taking a part time job in retail. I worked shifts starting at 5am, so when I got home, I was exhausted, and my bed time was 8pm most nights. Even though I had time to spare, I was always tired. I worked with craft supplies all day, though, so I was often inspired, and I found ways to fit things in. I also had every weekend off, and that made the summer months flexible.

Wanting a little less early morning and little more cash flow, I took a full time job – still in retail. I started during the holiday season, and while I had previously pledged to create all manner of Christmas gifts, I was suddenly working 40 or more hours per week and at fluctuating times. Some weeks I closed 3 nights, others I opened. I had forgotten how hectic a retail schedule can be and how hard it is to juggle life with consumerism.

And now…now I’m just worn down. I have always tended to be anti-consumerism, and yet here I am feeding it. I am still tired, but for different reasons, and most days, I come home, cook dinner, squeeze in what time I can with Eric, and then go to bed. I work most weekends, so my evenings (or mornings) are now precious commodities for laundry, dishes, or reading a book.

I feel guilty.

I am apathetic at best and nihilistic at worst lately, and my creativity is suffering for it. Even on days when I feel the spark, I go to my craft desk, and I end up staring at it for what seems like eternity. The only place I haven’t lost my drive is in the kitchen. I feel like that’s cheating though. I can’t very well be a polymath if I’m only ever cooking.

So consider this my reason for not bringing out the big guns. I hope that, once I start school (which seems like a far-away dream), I’ll be able to introduce a new type of craft through engineering. We’ll see.