Thursday, April 13, 2006

A sigh of relief.

Today was my last day of working at the LSS. I've been holding my breath for three weeks until I could slip away, and I think I've finally done it.

The job was not a bad job. It was the easiest job I've ever had. The owner is a sweet person and easy to get along with, and she really relied on me. Which was a bit of the problem...

The store is failing. It's been failing since I started over a year ago. At first I tried to come up with ideas...kits to promote and sell, classes and make-and-takes to offer, cleaning things up, rearranging and organizing....but none of that will work if the person who makes the decisions isn't backing you up. I had responsibility for maintaining day to day, but no power to make the decisions and changes that could have helped. And I felt, and still feel, I knew the things that would have helped.

One thing I learned from my 13 months at the LSS was that I know more than I thought I did: both about the SB industry in general, and about running a store in particular. I hadn't realized how valuable the past eight years of being steeped in the scrapbooking world has been for my knowledge and experience. And I found that my common sense is real and deep and that I need to rely on it more. I pinpointed problems with that store, then came across business articles and trade journals, weeks or months later, that completely affirmed my instincts. I know more than I gave myself credit for.

It was a mostly good and valuable experience. But I felt myself getting more and more unhappy, especially after I decided to stick it out after we bought our house. Business had picked up after Christmas, which helped, but soon I was back to sitting in an empty store for hours at a time, bagging die cuts in the back room. More of a punishment than a job!

I felt so guilty, being so unhappy at an easy and mindless job that could bring in extra money for the house. What did I have to complain about? Meanwhile, the house was filthy, we ate out way too much, and I couldn't keep up with anything at home--because I was coming home every night exhausted from my empty day. It was like I was absorbing failure through my pores, working in that failing store and powerless to do anything about it.

So one day, I took an old Somerset Studio magazine to work for something to leaf through while eating lunch, and I got all weepy while I was looking at it. The magazine is total eye candy, lots of paper art pieces from artists big and small, and although I don't aspire to that level of artistry, I got teary-eyed about halfway through it, overwhelmed at the nice things other people were creating while I slid die cuts into plastic bags 8 hours a day.

That was when I finally, finally realized it was time to let it go.

Todd said tonight, "So are you going to pick up your blog again, now that you have some free time?" Isn't that DARLING of him, to miss reading what I write??? He's so precious.

And indeed I was and am planning to start writing again. I felt like I couldn' write, talk, or think until I had that job out of my life and was safely away. And now I am, and now I am going to enjoy having my life back in my own hands again. Hooray!