Burn Out

As a young adult I did a lot of traveling. I was always ready to go: Costa Rica, Greece, France, New York City, Houston, etc., you could always count me in.  My love of traveling intrigues me because I suffer from home sickness, but I also wanted to go explore new places for inspiration.

When I started Bella Joy Pottery the only “traveling” I did was to different art shows.  It was fine, it was a new adventure. Two years ago, this August, I was able to go to Maine with close friends from high school.  It was amazing, it was like going home. We stayed with my dear friend Molly outside of Eastport, ME.

We stayed in a cabin along the ocean, cooked delicious food, visited rural Maine life, went sailing, and ate fresh lobster. I could have stayed forever. I sketched and sketched and felt that internal rebirth that an artist feels after a period of over work.

Doesn’t this look like an advertisement for L.L. Bean?

My neighbor Jenn, lent me Pocketful Names by Joe Coomer. When she handed it to me she said, “It reminded me of you. It’s about an artist and finding a black lab.” That piqued my interest. I do love my dog, Hunter, a 12-year-old black lab and being an artist isn’t so bad either. 🙂

It’s a great read. I don’t want to give to much away, but it made me long for a solitary life by myself on a island, off the coast of Maine. Reading Pocketful of Dreams, I felt that freedom that I felt when I stayed in Maine.

I’ve hit that feeling again; between acute pain, that has turned chronic, and taking on too heavy of a work load. I’m burned out.  The phrase that no one says upon their death bed, “I wish I worked more.” Luckily, I will be current with my orders in two weeks. I took on more than I could handle: teaching too many classes, making websites, taking on 37 new wholesale accounts, an 18-day long migraine, and retail shows. I’m spent.

I’ve always been that person who added more, more, more. It was if I was trying to prove how much I could do. I let my ego get in the way and now I’m paying for it. We live in a society where we crave more. We wear a badge of being busy. I can make pots, blog, run a Facebook account, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Pintrest account, an Etsy account, a Big Cartel account, teach, make websites for other artsits, wholesale work, retail work, sell out of the studio, cook, clean, blah, blah, blah. Here’s the truth: I can’t do it. More importantly, I don’t want to do it anymore. My quality of life is suffering and my body is screaming at my ego.

I should take some time off, but I dread getting behind again. I dread being in constant pain more.  I met with a new (to me) Chiropractor, Dr. Prater. It was amazing. I was in agony, but after my visit I was a lot better.  I found out my right leg is about 9mm longer than my left (surprise!), I have a herniated disc, and torn cartilage in my right hip.  The good news is I got a small lift in my shoe, exercises for my L5 disc, and warnings about which activities to avoid. Hopefully, this is it.  I have been struggling with my damn hip for over a year and a half and it’s annoying.

It’s the sciatica pain that drives me to the brink of not thinking coherently. When I speak with gallery owners all of them who have suffered from sciatic pain understand. It’s one of the things though, where you look fine, but internally are screaming.

I will take some time off. I won’t be going anyway exotic. It is too painful to sit for extended periods of time. I’ve decided to blog about some ideas that I keep putting on the back burner: craft show etiquette, teacher/student relationships, a detailed look at setting up your wheel to stand throwing, etc.,.

I hope you will join me and please, if you hurt, take a break. Don’t push through the pain! We aren’t training for the Olympics.

Have you had any feelings of burn out lately? You can have my badge of busyness.


10 Responses to Burn Out

  1. Herb Ayres September 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Love your blog!

    • admin September 17, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks Mr. Ayres! I hope you are well. 🙂

  2. Marta September 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Let’s go back to Maine!!

    • admin September 25, 2012 at 8:57 am #



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