When I talked to my previous employer on Saturday, she had another interesting observation. In her forty-eight year career as a hairstylist, she's seen a particular cycle at least four times. When sales of higher priced items like cars or houses are on the increase, sales of smaller priced items like hair and nails will be on the decrease.
In her opinion, when there isn't enough money for the larger item, there is money for small treats and when there isn't enough money for small treats, it's because the money is being spent on larger items. She also said that one of her good friends is a real estate agent and that sales of real estate have actually gone way up recently. That's not evident by the for sale signs I've seen - however - if so - and if her observation is correct - that partly explains what I've been seeing.
I spent the weekend thinking, researching, and running the numbers and came to the same conclusion made a couple years ago - which was frustrating - so I asked three women whose opinions I highly value for a yes or no answer and they all said no, that going into hair was not a good idea. SIGH.
There's no point dismissing their opinion especially as I'd asked for it - and especially as they know all the other swirling things going on in my life that won't see the light of blog - and especially as their opinion corresponded with what I was thinking - except - I really didn't want to go around and around on this issue again. I wanted an answer. And a fix. In the end, I asked myself if I was holding the money in my hand, would I spend it on retraining and establishing a business or would I spend it elsewhere. Bottom line - I'd put it on my mortgage.
Which leaves me right back at the beginning of a topic I was already really tired of and one that I thought I'd settled but somehow end up cycling through again and again. I imagine that's because life cannot be isolated into one compartment. Life is a composition of those holistic areas - emotional, physical, financial, relational, spiritual, and creative.
I've changed my mind three times in three weeks. That's not something I want to keep doing so I'll stop talking about it now and sit with what I know to be true and see what develops. If I can. I hope. It's not as easy as those pat phrases imply. A penny saved is only sort of a penny earned. It's not in my pocket to do what I like with.
We've all heard them. Phrases like let go and let God or when God closes a door, he opens a window. They drive me crazy. As if when that door slammed in my face all I needed to do was turn to the side and climb out a window. Not.
What about if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That might work for piano scales, welt pockets, and chocolate cakes but it's rarely a good approach to keep banging your head against the same wall. Sometimes it - whatever it may be - didn't work out because it's never going to work out. And so we attempt to find a way to move on - which is damned hard work - as I know.
It's a lesson closely connected to the definition of insanity - if you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got. Often, when I think I'm doing something entirely different, I come to realize - eventually - that it's not different at all. It's simply a different version of the same story. SO frustrating and leaves me wondering how with the same interests, skills, abilities, characteristics, and so on, do we actually move in a completely different direction. Apparently, I'm not U-turn material.
And then there's God doesn't give us more than we can handle to which I often reply that God and I have a significant difference of opinion on how much I can handle - except - recently - I've started to think about the things that God has given me to handle and the things that I've decided to handle all on my own while believing on some level that God gave them to me. That leads to another interesting question - what have I taken on that wasn't mine to take on? Better yet, how do I put it down and leave it down?
On Saturday, I was talking to a friend and at the end of our conversation she said I wish I knew what to say that would help but I don't and I don't think there is anything that would help. This is something you're going to have to figure out how to live with. And then she gave me a hug. And said I love you. And THAT was far more useful and encouraging than a pat phrase.
As you can tell, I've started on the alphabet book. We are not buying a house - THANK GOD - however, my focus is definitely on paying down our mortgage and not on small treats so I'm working really hard to use what I have in the studio. It takes a bit of digging at times but I've found that when I don't rush off to the store, I eventually come up with an answer and usually a good one.
The letters are from a quilt I made for my daughter twenty-seven years ago that alternated strip pieced fabric blocks with cross stitched alphabet blocks. I took the original quilt apart and used the fabric blocks to make a play quilt and now I'm using the letters for an alphabet book. First, I backed the cross-stitched squares with Misty Fuse, an adhesive like Stitch Witchery - that I had a roll of from my textile art days. It's light and non-gummy. A great product.
For the pages, I used a remnant of grey linen backed with Misty Fuse and then with tissue paper to make book cloth although when I watched the video again, I realized I may have misunderstood the purpose of the book cloth. Either way, I used it for pages ending up with 4 signatures of four pages each or sixteen faces over which to distribute the twenty-six letters.
Before fusing the letters to the pages, I pinned them onto the faces and then flipped through from front to back to make sure the letters were in alphabetical order. I can only imagine trying to explain to my grandchildren why Grandma's alphabet is different than the one at school - LOL. Right now, I'm figuring out how I want to stitch the letters to the pages.
I've never made a book like this before. I'm winging it step-by-step and I'm sure it'll turn out fine but if I need help, this darling little girl definitely knows what she's doing. Too fun. Talk about an innate teacher.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - friends who tell the honest truth