I would love to spend my day just working on my craft business, but alas life gets in the way. I grew up in an area known for our work ethic and strong family values. In the last few years I've found myself pulled in more ways than I can count. At any time I am juggling the men in my life, home, career, two businesses, a second job, and anything else the good Lord sees fit to place on my plate.
First of all, the men in my life... I have three sons ranging in age from 15-21 and a wonderful husband of 23 years. My goal with my boys is to make sure they are self sufficient enough that they will never need to rely on anyone else to clean, cook or do laundry. I want them to realize that they are responsible for their surroundings and their debts (monetary and otherwise). I want them to realize that no matter how much they hate each other at one time or another that in the end they need each other. Each has his own endearing or not so endearing qualities.
|Family vacation Summer 2010|
The oldest has a strong sense of right and wrong. He has always stuck up for the underdog. He is my saver. He knows how to save his money for long term goals. By May 2012 he fully expects to graduate from college with a BA in Justice Studies and BA of Psychology. Over the years he has been one of my greatest joys and greatest thorns in my side. If he wants to he can argue the sky is green and convince you. He's always been the one who thought about the trouble he caused and how he was going to get out of it before he jumped.
|Oldest son and his girlfriend|
Family vacation 2010
My middle son is the typical middle child. He's been a ball of energy from the day he was conceived. My mom once described him as perpetual motion. We've focused his energy on sports over the years but that's not to say he's the typical jock. He earns every grade he gets - good or bad, mostly good. He spends every dime he earns. He also catches the most flack for his behavior; he's been the hardest to keep a thumb on. He'll graduate from high school in May 2012. He's quick with a hug and cuddly. He'd hand most people the shirt off his back. He sometimes jumps in without concern of the consequences. When he was younger his way out of trouble was to bat his big blue eyes, present his chubby cheeks and give a big hug with an apology... for a while it worked.
|Youngest and middle son|
Youngest's confirmation Summer 2010
The youngest has been the most difficult to pin down. His personality really didn't start to shine until middle school, but what an awesome personality he has. He was born early and had an oxygen deficiency, which has contributed to his past struggles with infections, asthma and a processing problem. We've worked through all this and now he's as individual as the other two. He excels at math, he's active in sports and has gotten past his disorganization of not handing things in. He's always been the "instigator." He'll start something between his brothers and step back and say "not me."
I always try to make sure they along with my husband come first.
|All the boys plus me...|
Family vacation summer 2010
Then you have everything else. I work full time for the local university. My husband owns and operates a quick lube and small repair shop that has been in his family for over 50 years, in one form or another. We have our ceramic business, that was brought in to help take away some of the stress from the down time at the quick lube. I do our book work for both businesses. The economic down turn has caused both of us to expand into second and third jobs. My mother-in-law is aging and I am considered her caregiver when things go wrong. With the boys coming and going the house is in disarray six out of seven days of the week. When the younger two are participating in sports one of us is generally there.
With all of this I'm trying to grow the ceramic business. We've always done craft shows and now we're expanding into the online marketplace. Many days I find myself coming and going. I have inventory that needs to photographed and posted. I have a consignment shop that needs inventory generated on a regular basis, and I have the orders that come through my husband's shop that need to be filled. We have a collection of molds that need to be sorted, shelved and logged. I need to make a photo catalog of the molds we have available to be able to sell bisque and greenware (this has been a six year long project so far). Somehow I am going to figure out how to get it all done.
In the past few years I've learned a very important word when it comes to my time - NO. Organizations that I am proud to be a part of are having to take a back seat. I attend the meetings I can and I'll donate anything but my time at this point. It's just far too precious a commodity.
So how do you solve your time management problems? I admit I don't deal with mine well all the time. There are days when things just don't get done, and others where it all gets done.
|Can't forget the furry boys. |
The only time to get a picture of the them together when their not chasing each other.