It’s traditional when launching a new endeavor, such as a website or rebranding, to explain one’s goals or dreams.
In one sense, this post is no different; in others it is completely different. Instead of telling you I’m amping up my work, explaining how I’m pumped up for sooo many new things, I invite you to something else:
Join me as I slow down.
For years I’ve believed that I need to do it all – family, career, self-made hobby careers. I’ve overloaded myself to the point where my life is a scatter of post-it notes, all demanding to be given attention first; their neon scraps clamor for my time and energy.
I’ve bought into the lie that if I just push hard enough I’ll “succeed.” That I’ll have value because of tangible accomplishments that I can tally up and lay out before others. It’s taken me years to realize that’s what I’ve been chasing after – the approval of my peers and even, to some extent, my husband, though he never placed this demand on me.
It’s hard to look at yourself and realize you’re chasing the wind
– always grasping at what is just out of reach.
The truth is, I know where peace is. It’s not a mystery to me. Peace is found in surrender to Christ. It’s counter intuitive in some respects, and completely intuitive in others.
If you’re not a Christian and are still reading this, you’re probably a little angry right now – here’s another Christian preaching about peace and giving up on her business and dreams. It’s ok to be angry. I’ve been there.
I’m not giving up on dreams or goals, I’m realizing that where I am and what I’ve been pushing for isn’t where I’m supposed to be, and that I’ve been aiming at the wrong target this whole time.
“But Ruth, this is a step backwards.”
Ah, but is it?
There’s a Greek word used often in the New Testament: “Metanoia.” It literally means to change one’s mind in the sense that you turn away from what you should not be doing, and turn to what you should. Frequently, it is translated into English as “Repentance” – but not the sad kind, the good kind.
I’ve always been taught that when you drive a car, the sooner you realize you’re going the wrong direction and turn around, the sooner you will get to the place you’ve been trying to go all along. That’s Metanoia. The act of turning around from going the wrong way, and heading back in the right direction.
In my case, it’s significantly cutting back on the “business” work that I’ve been doing.
How did I get here?
I started with knitting and crochet just for fun as a kid.
It branched out into design when I was in college and has been an almost compulsive habit ever since.
Another branch of this fiber arts pursuit is yarn dyeing. For years I watched others create start up businesses in their kitchens; dyeing beautiful yarns and soaring to internet fiber arts popularity overnight. I knew it was something I could do well, and have spent quite a lot of time, money, stress, and tears, and hours of sleeplessness over trying to replicate the “success” of others. I’ve failed.
I’m ok with that failure.
It means that I tried, and also that I’m being honest enough to stop when I realize i’m not pursuing what I should be, and also that the business side of things is just not working.
Failure isn’t negative by necessity, but often we deem it so.
Recently, in attempting to assess why my dyeing business isn’t exploding with “success” as others’ are, I’ve come to a few conclusions:
- Success in the indie yarn dyeing industry takes more hours of my life than i’m willing to devote. In order to do well, you must give 3,000% of your time and energy. Many do that very well, and I admire their dedication and hard work, but it’s not something I can give right now.
- I’ve been focusing on the “now” instead of the “later.” By which I mean I’ve been focusing on individual batches of yarn, current projects, and short term “success” rather than where I will be in 1, 2, 5, or 10 years if I keep following this trajectory. So many dyers and designers are burning themselves out just to try to keep up in this fast paced industry, and if that’s what success looks like, I don’t want it.
- My heart is not in the business end of dyeing. I want to create art, to give it to people who appreciate it, and watch their faces light up.
My realization has been that I would rather spend time with my kids than be traveling to do yarn shows. If I push super hard, succeed in becoming a popular dyer, work with renowned designers and artists, and make a profitable career, that will mean i’ve worked through my children’s childhood. You don’t get the little years back – or any years for that matter.
I know for some that’s not an option, and that to even have the choice to stop us a luxury. For many years, I haven’t had the option to think about whether I want to push this hard trying to help keep our heads above water financially. Now I do. And by the way, keeping on putting money into an unprofitable business doesn’t help my family anyway.
This isn’t defeat.
Motherhood isn’t defeat.
Motherhood isn’t a punishment.
Motherhood isn’t what happens to women who don’t have enough drive.
Motherhood isn’t failure or second best.
We live in a culture that pushes children to the side,
But Christ teaches that their lives are precious.
So i’m choosing my family.
I’m going to be faithful to the needs of my family, and with God’s help be the best stay at home mom I can be – to raise and teach my kids before they’re grown and I’ve missed the chance.
Will I still design patterns? Yes.
Will I allow it to consume me? No.
Will I still dye yarn? Absolutely!
Will it be on the scale and intensity that it is now? No.
What will you find on this website?
- A consolidated hub of all my doings. Right now that consists of mostly fiber arts – knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing yarn, etc.
- Yarn will stay where it is right now.
- Designs will stay on Ravelry, with some coming over here as well (primarily the free ones, but possibly others as well).
- I’m hoping to get back to reading. I used to read more than anything else, and I haven’t read a physical book in years. So, you may see book reviews or notes about what i’m currently reading. This will potentially include Bible study thoughts, or reviews of Christian faith based books.
- I’ve kept my faith separate from my design and dyeing work for a long time, but holding it back is eating away at me. I know lots of people don’t like Christ, or don’t want to hear about Him. Those posts will be clearly labeled (as will the fiber arts ones), but they’ll be here. To what extent, I’m not sure. I’m not trying to become a Christian lifestyle blogger or Bible study writer.
I don’t expect that everyone who started reading this page will finish it.
I’m sure that to some of you this is a huge disappointment.
Please rest assured that this is a choice I’m making freely, and that even just typing out this page of explanation has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.
For dyers and designers I currently have contracts/
verbal agreements in place with:
I will be honoring those contracts. If I have agreed to create a design, or have sent you yarn support for you to design with, I will not change what we’ve agreed upon. If, after reading this, you feel you need to change what we’ve agreed upon, please email me with questions, concerns, or thoughts. I’m happy to chat!