The Older I Get

…the less I sleep

…the more I worry

…and the more aches appear

But I haven’t stopped loving to learn.

The thing about letterpress printing is each time I ink up the press, I have something I need to figure out. Maybe it’s the paper. Is the ink too cold? What about the packing? Is that metal letter chipped? Why is it printing more on one side than the other?

At first, I feel frustration rising. And then I remind myself: you got this. I take some time and figure out what the problem is, and then…. Ta da! I love the feeling of success, too! I wish I’d discovered this early in my life. But I’m going to enjoy the time I have left with it.

Before the arthritis kicks in too much. #gettingoldhurts

Retreating…

Once I year (I can say that now because I’ve done this twice), I attend a camp in Asheville, NC. It’s called Life is a Verb, directed by author/speaker Patti Digh.

We make art, write, connect with friends, share quiet moments by the pond, and laugh at the raucous talent show. It’s an amazing experience, and I come away inspired to create and share my work.

So, for now, I am holding on to what is good. I am not going to let world events (and specifically our frustrating US political situation) get me down.

Creating Custom- But No Weddings!

When I first started letterpress printing, I wasn’t sure which direction I would go. I love working in wood, metal, and polymer. But I knew one thing I didn’t want to do– weddings!! So I assumed I wouldn’t want to do custom work of any kind.fruit

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find I LOVE doing prints and cards for people. I’ve had many people ask for specific quotes or themes, and it’s been great fun to work them out.

Here are two about to head out the door! Fruits and veggies for our local organic grocery story, Kickshaws, and a quote card for a fellow artist.

Who knew I’d have so much fun?

prints

The Waiting

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One of the benefits of getting older is realizing that one has less time ahead than behind. I am beginning to come to terms with that.

The other realization is we can’t wait to “be picked.” Actually I learned this almost 12 years ago, when I first began finding and then creating community online. Nearly every opportunity I’ve had– professionally and personally– has been because I reached out and said “why not?”

Whether it was starting my running blog┬áin 2004 and finding myself in a solid community of supportive runners, or reaching out to an online teaching community and spending years learning and growing together, these moments when I say “pick me” usually result in a fantastic experience. Most recently I made a connection with Mary Anne Radmacher, and we are going to partner on a small project. As Mary Anne says, “everything is possible.”

Not every opportunity comes to fruition. But that’s ok, too. Because if we never try, we may wait forever.

I’ve not always been the first to put my hand up. As an introvert, my tendency is to hold back and hope someone finds my work. But over the years, I’ve been able to put my discomfort with being discovered aside.┬áRejection isn’t easy, for sure. Nor is failure. But I know if I want to move in a certain direction, the only one who can get me there– is me.

It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.” Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work. ~Seth Godin