Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Parapet.



So, here I am ...finally. Popping my head over the parapet and wondering whether it is wise to do so. It has been a strange year so far, this coldest of winters leading to the coldest of springs. Illness has been at the forefront of it for us with the usual coughs & colds superseded by horrifically debilitating 'flu; real 'flu that knocks you sideways and leaves you reeling for weeks & weeks. We have all had it and other things too including some unforeseen problems which cropped up during routine visits to our wonderful doctor - we are almost bestest friends by now I should think!




Add to the mix various dance commitments for the two girls & a school play with endless rehearsals for weeks on end meaning much running around when the body just wants to stay prostrate, work commitments which I have been completely unable to meet & just the usual never-ending demands we all have...well let's just say I haven't really had a lot to blog about lately though I have had many thoughts about the difficulties of working for yourself. 





Thought no 1:  It isn't quite like you read in Country Living! Yes, there are many wonderful things about it such as being able to stop when you want, being able to make school assemblies, etc BUT if it is supposed to be bring in a decent wage & not a little pin money (and there is nothing wrong with that) then you can ill afford to take the time off for eating, let alone take whole hours at a time away.

 


Thought no 2:  There is always more you should/could be doing. Work/life balance is really a myth isn't it because if you love what you do & care passionately about it (which I do) then every time you sit watching a film or making something for yourself you are thinking of all the admin/making-up/prepping you should be doing instead. In other words, there are never enough hours for all you want to do at home, with family or for your business.



 Thought no 3:  It's a hard one this - however hard you try, you WILL let people down and those people will be some of the loveliest people ever. They are your customers who you want to please & who are so important to you. They are the very fabric of what your business is about & yet once in a while there is absolutely nothing you can do but mess up. 





This has been the most upsetting thing for me this year as I have repeatedly been out of action with such short bursts of thinking we are back to normal only to find the spiral starting again. I am lucky in that almost all of my customers have been fantastically understanding, unbelievably patient and truly have made me cry on occasion. However, obviously not all can be so and truthfully why should they? They have ordered & paid for something in good faith, & I have accepted in good faith, believing that I will be getting their order to them as agreed. When this has been totally unable to happen is it not fair they should have a grievance? I always refund of course, but even so...





 It all sounds a bit negative doesn't it, yet if you asked me to give it all up, to close down my shops and call it a day would I? No, not for a moment because I know things level out and you pick yourself up once more, get enthused once again & generally prove to yourself that you can not only do this, but that you do it well. You can face the challenges & even find them inspiring, possibly liberating when you overcome them. And so, on that not-intended-to-be-negative at all post (think of it more as a reflective one maybe) I will end for now & hopefully my head will stay firmly above the parapet....



once more x

75 comments:

  1. Awwwwww pretty lady. This blog post hits a nerve with me too. I think we are living parallel lives right now. I have not been truly well since Christmas and for some weeks, very poorly. I hate it and the time it takes away from me to do the things I love. I am now rushing around trying to play catch up, fulfilling orders, preparing for fairs, answering emails etc. My little one asked if we could make a dress for her today and I felt terrible saying I can't, I just don't have time. We need to clone ourselves Pip x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I so know how you feel Donna! It's awful isn't it? I always feel so bad for my littlies yet I know they probably don't worry - guilt is a wonderful thing!!!! Good luck with all the fairs, etc lovely lady xx

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  2. And there you are at the end of the post looking calm and wearing the most beautiful print. Sorry to hear about the trials and tribulations with some customers but there are many others who know what you do is fabulous and find you totally inspiring (that includes me by the way). Chin up, spring must be on the way soon.

    PS: I've been reading about vitamin D deficiency, might be worth a Google if you've been suffering from recurrent winter ailments. We're all vit D deficient in rainy old GB it seems. I've just ordered some via Amazon. Mxxx

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    Replies
    1. Maggie, thank you for such a lovely comment. I have thought about vit D & am ordering some now spurred on by you! xx

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  3. what a lovely post.. and quite necessary to say too !! Life is sadly not always a bed of roses- but it's tough and beautiful at the same time. Keep on hanging in there!! XXXX Bea

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  4. Ah Pip, I nodded along to that one. I really feel for you all being so very ill - that is the nastiest flu by the sounds of it. And the own business thing... yes, yes... onwards and upwards dear heart, onwards and upwards! x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you sweet Caroline (& make sure I know when you are down so we can meet up) xx

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  5. Oh, Pipany, I am sorry you've all been feeling so rough. I really hope you'll be back up to par soon. Your post can't have been easy to write but your honesty is wonderfully refreshing. Sending healthy, springy thoughts!

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  6. Pipany, you've written a beautiful post, full of truth, reality and sensitivity.

    I think that those of us who've been reading your posts for some years admire you very much for all that you've somehow managed to achieve. Your Cornwall life is beautiful, in a way that a magazine article could only hint at in a superficial way.

    You've such original talent in your textile arts, and such love connecting your family. Just thinking about that little Isabella tucked on your hip in that photo from way back when gives a marker. She's now a lively, creative little girl. Your other children are also rather wonderful. Mr Dave is a one of a kind.

    Please do smile your own beautiful smill from your parapet. I've learned so much from you over the years, and look forward to seeing many more future episodes.

    Happy Spring! xo

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  7. That couldn't have been an easy post to write Pipanny but here's hoping things return to normal for you very soon. It's good to see you back here.

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  8. So lovely to see you here again :) And so sorry you have been plagued by poor health ... don't I know what a bummer that can be!

    Hang on in there, where there are downs by definition there have to be ups ... and keep stitching your lovely stitching m'dear, 'tis a tonic for many folk :D

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Annie. That's so lovely to hear xx

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  9. Oh I really feel for you, it's so difficult to be sure about time frames for commissions at the best of times but if unexpected illness calls you're stuck! Thank goodness for the understanding customers. I hope you're all out of the woods now, I'm sure it's warmer today.
    lots of well wishes xx

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  10. Oh Hun, I've just posted about being more honest on my blog and here I am reading yours and there is the most glorious out pouring!

    I think everyone in the UK is feeling a little bit this way at the moment and when you have people counting on you it must be even worse. All you can do is your best though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello. Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your Pinterest boards. Very nice pins indeed. Niki.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Pipany, Whenever I pull on my beautiful "Pipany" apron, or get out my beach bag (another "Pipany") I feel a little wave of appreciation as these things are special to me. They weren't made in some factory with an army of employees, but by a mother and craftsperson whose blog I've enjoyed over the years. I love buying things from small home businesses. Of course real life often intrudes on our best intentions but it's so important to be understanding, as these setbacks can happen to anyone. Wishing you health and happiness!

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much Deb and how lovely to think of you using your bag & apron! xx

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  13. I was sad to read your post but you know what..... it really is tough trying to find the right balance between work and other commitments.
    Plus when you are feeling 'under the weather'as well caring for your poorly little ones ~ you get ulled from each and every angle. Do what you think is best and from your heart.. with out a healthy heart & body you can do nothing.. Folks will understand and it will all come good again
    God is always watching us and that includes you and your L'il ones... he will guide you and all you have to do is follow your heart thru Him
    Huge hugs for a wonderful post that so many of us can relate to ✻❤♡•••★•••♡•••ѕмιℓєѕ
    jULiA and CatchaDragonfly
    X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Julia. That means a lot to me xx

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  14. I am so sorry to read you have been ill Pipany and hope that is well behind you now. These things will come along and knock us sideways and as you say, you will pick yourself up again and carry on. You do make the most lovely things with such care and passion. They are well worth waiting for!

    ReplyDelete
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