Guest Post by Shelley: Doing What Scares Me--Life After Littles

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

You are in for a special treat!  My dear, funny, talented friend and fellow blogger is here to guest-post today, talking about her experience with the Do Something That Scares You challenge.  I’m also posting on her blog, here. Take it away, Shelley!
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I'm sure you've noticed that our friend Monica is pretty focused on overcoming fears, and when we talked about swapping blogs for a day she said she wanted me to write about doing something that scares me. "How completely apropos," I thought, since I am knee deep in a project that scares me silly at the same time that I'm super excited about it.


Oh wait! Before I dive into my story I should introduce myself.
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My name is Shelley. I have four kids and I've been a stay at home momlette for, no joke, twenty-two years. Good times for sure, but now that the kiddos are growing up I've been wondering what, exactly, I should be doing with myself.


It's kind of great but also a little worrisome to find myself with the freedom to pursue what I want. Like, how do I even know what I want? I've spent the last two decades focused on what everyone else wants...and needs...and has to have...for school tomorrow, for dinner, for a birthday party. It kind of never ends. You feel me?


But, even though it felt like it never would, that time is winding down. I still have two teenagers at home, and the mom job is a big deal, but there is finally room in my life to do something else too.


Side note: please, please, know I am only writing about my experience. Yay for moms who have been able to work and mother, and a big cheer for moms who have sacrificed what they want to support their families, and a huge high five to moms who have figured out how to balance following their dreams with parenting. I salute you all!


So - back to what I should do with my life. Besides vacuum and wait for kids to get home from school.


I thought about getting a grown up people type job but my degree in art history coupled with years of not "working" doesn't lend itself to much money making AND, plus, in addition to which, having a boss is no fun.


I've become accustom to my in-charge-of-myself lifestyle and I don't want to give it up.


Of course, I considered increasing my volunteer work, but guess what? After a billion years of being room mom and serving in my church, I don't really want to do that either.


Over the last few years I have considered and discarded a multitude of employment possibilities and kept coming back to the desire to spend my time creatively and, hopefully, find a way to make money from that creativity. I dabbled in painting furniture for clients. I love doing it, but I stress myself waaaaaay out worrying about delivering perfection. That coupled with the time and multiple steps it takes to complete a project make it not quite right.


After loads of soul searching I decided I wanted to really give blogging a go. And at the same time, I opened an Etsy shop where I sell zipper pouches and other handmade lovelies. I’ve shifted my blogging focus from family and parenting to updates on how we’re renovating our old ranch house and DIY project tutorials. I’m curious about how to make all the things and as I experiment with decorating, designing, cooking and creating it’s fun to share with all my internet friends.


BUT.


It’s Scary. I mean, my dad will laugh when he reads that; whenever I cop to having anxiety he says, “no one was shooting at you today, right?”


BUT. It is scary to put myself out there so much. I’ve created facebook and instagram accounts for my shop. I feel like I’ve bombarded my friends with photos of what I’m doing. What if it doesn’t go anywhere?


I'm not terribly afraid of failing, but I'm really uncomfortable with the possibility that all my friends and family will see me fail. A nice quiet, private failure I'm sure I could handle, but a giant, public, face plant makes me squirm with anxiety!


“Look! There’s Shelley,” they might say, “She thought she could do something, but nope!”


It’s a little bit of a catch twenty-two though; it’s tough to grow a blog and handmade business if I don’t tell anyone what I’m doing.
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So I fight the boogie monster of fear and self doubt by making small goals, checklists and plans that I can feel good about when I complete them. As a smart lady I know told me: I need to measure my success in the things I can control, and not stress too much about the other stuff.


It was Monica who said that :-)

Thanks for sticking with me till the end of my confession. I hope you’ll visit my blog www.barnaclebutt.blogspot.com where she’s blogging today. I’ll wrap up with a little shameless self promotion and invite you to visit my etsy shop too. It’s https://www.etsy.com/shop/BarnacleDesigns.

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