Saturday, December 17, 2011

On a more personal note

For me, being genuine is an important part of keeping this blog. There are parts of my life I won't share because they're too personal, or because they're not relevant to the things I write about here, but there are also things that affect every aspect of my life, including my art. It feels false to ignore them.

So... no more ignoring.

I'm going through a rough time right now, and I have been since November. I don't want to go into too much detail, but I'm having a health scare. What I'd hoped was a false alarm turned out to be more than that. Not a whole lot more than that -- it's the kind of thing that usually doesn't turn out to be serious unless it's left untreated for years and years. But it's still a thing, and there's still a possibility, however remote, that it could turn into something bad. And the possibility has me scared out of my wits.

Yesterday was a day for being disappointed, then scared, then upset. And then scared again. I tend to project into the future and imagine the scariest possible outcome -- I think it's my writer's imagination. I'm sure there will be more days like that, but you know what? I don't want it to be like that every day. That much misery is draining. And, frankly, boring.

So in the months to come, my task will be to enjoy life even when there are stressful things going on in it. To pay attention to the wonderful things around me, even when the awful things are screaming at the top of their lungs. There's going to be a lot of conscious effort involved, but I do have a plan.

I'm going to continue to throw myself into my jewelry work. Bead embroidery has been such an amazing thing in my life. Every piece I make is like a message to myself that no matter what happens, I'm still me, I'm still awesome, and I make beautiful things. So I'll let my creativity have free reign and really surprise myself. Tackle some of those crazy ideas that have been gathering dust in the back of my brain.

I'm going to do as many nice things as possible for myself -- spend time with friends, have craft parties, see movies, and learn interesting things (including more beading techniques). I'll try to focus on all the things I have to look forward to, like the Bead and Button Show this summer, and Mama Sequin's chocolate coconut cherry cookies over the holidays, and a Zoe Keating concert this February. I'm also going to take stock of all the great things going on right this minute, like this blog and the wonderful people I've met as a result, and my fantastic friends, and Mr. Sequin.

I'm going to work on my jewelry career again. For the past month and a half, it's felt like my life has been on hold, like I've been holding my breath and waiting to see what's going to happen. I need to breathe again. Time to work on magazine submissions, my Etsy store, and a dozen other things. I like to think of it as thumbing my nose at my fear.

Finally, I'm going to accept whatever lesson this experience has in store for me. If I let it, it can teach and shape me as much as that injury did. I don't expect it to be easy, and I certainly don't expect to go through the next few months without the occasional (or more frequent) private pity party, but as long as I'm open to the idea, this health scare doesn't have to break me.

So that's where I am right now. Thank you, a million times over, for reading this post, and thank you to all the brave bloggers and artists out there who've inspired me through their own honest and candid writing. Either later today, or tomorrow, regular sharing of sparklies will resume. For now, I'm to rest and take it easy. And to eat lots and lots of chocolate.


  1. I am sorry you are having some scares right now. Hopefully all will be well. Just know we are all out hear ready to listen anytime.

    Be well.

  2. I really appreciated the last three paragraphs of this. I love that you're looking to take something from this experience--I think it's easy to get so caught up in it that there's nothing obvious to be gained. Cake and/or cupcakes and awesome crafty time soon? :)

  3. Sarah, I know how it is to want to be personal but not too personal. I think you'll find that you'll be glad you opened up and unburdened yourself a little. You have support here and it sounds like you need the support- who wouldn't? However, it sounds like you have a great attitude and plan, too. You sound very wise and brave- ready to take everything on! You go, girl! ((HUGS))


  4. Sarah - I am also sorry to hear about your rough time lately. We've been having some of that in our house the last few months, too (different problems, but not a fun time...) I agree with other comments that it's good to unburden yourself here. We are here to listen! You certainly do have a terrific attitude - your statement on bead embroidery really resonated with me. Are you familiar with Robin Atkins? She does amazing improvisational bead embroidery and founded the Bead Journal Project (I participated back in 2010...only got partway through the year...) Anyway, I am glad to hear you are throwing yourself into creativity. I, for one, can't wait to see what you pull out of the dusty recesses of your brain! :) All the best wishes to you!

  5. Sarah - I can not tell you how your post personally speaks to me. I too have been going through health issues, which have resulted in stress for me, stress for my family, my art and studio going untouched for over 6 months, and as the final blow, the loss of my job (and hahaha, health insurance). I pray you have great doctors who can give you answers and can treat you. While I understand not wanting to share to much with us, please keep us posted, so we know how our favorite sparkly artist is doing and so we can encourage you. Hugs!

  6. Bad news is always hard to swallow, we can try to deny it, cry and fall into the depths of depression. It takes courage and strength of character to stand up and decide to face life straight on, accept and savor each and every day as they come ... we love and applaud you for showing such a wonderful attitude and such valor. My prayers are with you and we all look forward to seeing some of the glorious jewelry and beaded embroidery that you will be creating.

    Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog I will certainly consider your helpful and thoughtful suggestions and I am sure others who read your comment will also benefit from it. Thanks again :)

    May your holidays be blessed with the love of family and friends and abundant with joyful moments.

  7. The best advice anyone gave me is to take one day at a time and to enjoy the present.

  8. I know exactly what you are feeling right now, and well, I think we should discuss this in person in more depth (if you feel like it, that is) because I think it's a VERY healthy attitude to really take something from these experiences and try to live in the now, to appreciate the good and beauty of each day and what it has to offer. It's something I've been struggling with lately and am working very hard on right now.

    I'm very grateful, for example, for write group and the good times and friendship that has offered me this past year! <3

  9. So sorry to hear about your health scares. We are strong believers in the healing power of doing what makes you happiest and can definitely relate to pouring yourself into jewelry and other creative pursuits to boost those good feelings.

    Be well in the new year, we'll be thinking of you :)

  10. I'd just like to say... wow. Thank you all for your kind words! I truly have an awesome, supportive bunch of blog friends, which gives me a lot of strength and comfort.

    I wanted to reply to all of you individually, but each time I tried, I found myself getting teary-eyed. So this mass reply will have to do, for the sake of my poor not-waterproof laptop.

    Thanks again! You all are awesome. Seriously.

  11. I am very glad for you that your health issues sound like they are manageable; and am so sorry you've had to go through it at all. I know exactly what you mean about your imagination running away from you and coming up with all the scariest possibilities. I have to remind myself that it can also be used to visualize the very best that can happen.

    Your refocusing is so smart!

    All the best! Karen

  12. Thanks, Karen!

    What a very good point that imagination can also go the other way. That we can use our powers for good, so to speak.

    So far I'm doing OK. There have been a couple bad days, and I had one nightmare, but for the most part I'm calm and focused on cookies. Oh my gosh, I've eaten so much. :)

  13. All I can do is offer my encouragement through this time. Love the things you love and hold fast to your friends.

  14. Your encouragement means a lot to me! So thanks. I'll try to surround myself with as much love and fun stuff as I can. :)

  15. Only just found your blog Sarah but you can be sure I am sending all the positive vibes I cab muster over from the UK. You take care of yourself. I think you have a great outlook 'think postive' my grandad used to say, he was a very wise man. The power of the mind is phenomenal! x

  16. Thanks, Glenda! *Hugs.*

    You're very right about the power of the mind. My task will be to spoil myself with good treatment and fun things!


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