Thanks for making the time to read this blog today!
You see, that already tells me something about you.
The fact that you take time out of your day to read my blog tells me you MAKE time for things.
This is something that I am having to learn;
to make time to do things other than work.
And I bet I am not alone; hands up all those of you
who struggle with the Work / Life balance, like me!
But take comfort in the knowledge that you ARE stepping out of the Work Frame right now, whilst reading this blog.
I am too, actually.
That’s what this blog does for me.
My pledge to myself to blog every single day
ensures that every single day
I have to take myself out of the mainstream workplace
and either get arty or get thoughtful.
To me, being creative is not work, not at all.
We just had a manic 5 days at the NEC, pedalling like loonies.
Was it a success? Financially, it sure was.
Were we wiped out by the end of play on Sunday?
Not too bad. It was gruelling.
Long hours, hot hall, loud crowds.
But was it hard work, showing people how to get in the groove?
Nope. Apart from when people were rude.
I always find that gutty.
But then again, the excited, motivated people far outweighed
the nigglers and cynics.
Was it hard work getting arty with the Gelli Plate?
Nope. Apart from when people sneered at me
and dismissed me as a sales con.
I tend to find that hard work and gutty.
That’s when I could have pulled the pin out of the hand grenade
and walked away, because at that point in time I really would really rather have been at home with Dave,
and not being abused by a bunch of rude strangers.
But again, they were few and far between.
So work for me only becomes work when I have to work at it.
When I am in full flow demonstrating, I am having fun, because I am being creative and it is mostly appreciated.
When somebody is being rude to me, I have to work at not reacting, and then it becomes work.
Don’t you find that too?
There were a couple of very poignant moments at the NEC this time.
A little girl had come to see me, but it was late in the day,
and we had agreed to make a card together the next day.
She told me her name: Millie.
The next day, a couple of unpleasant women rattled me,
so I turned the other cheek and carried on,
but to be really honest I wasn’t present,
if you know what I mean.
I was doing a Gelli demo in front of a big crowd, and it was fine,
but my head was elsewhere; I was in auto-pilot.
I worked my way through the anger in my head and by the end of the demo, I was back in the room.
That’s how craft works.
Well at the end of the day, Paul handed me a card.
it was from Millie and inside it said, “Thank you”.
Then it hit me.
“Oh no!!!” I wailed,
“she was standing in front of me and I ignored her!”
The whole time I had been digesting those blimming rude women,
I had been oblivious to the little dark-haired girl standing right in front of me. I had obviously registered her, otherwise I couldn’t tell you she was standing right in front of me.
But my absence had stopped me recognising her.
I felt awful. And just to seal my guilt,
that little innocence had made a card for me.
I could have cried.
Now I will never be able to apologise to her for being just as rude as the women were to me, without even realising it.
But what Millie did for me was this:
the following day was Sunday,
and whenever anybody talked to me,
I made a conscious decision
to be 100% authentically present.
Not thinking about anything previous or peripheral,
or anybody except the person in front of me.
Try it. You will be surprised how distracted you actually are,
even when you think you are in the room.
And the fascinating fact was that by the end of play on Sunday,
I was feeling fit and full of energy, not too drained at all.
So in conclusion, perhaps I expend unnecessary energy thinking at loads of different levels simultaneously,
when all I have to do is focus on what’s right in front of me.
Thank you Millie.
And I’m sorry.
What must that little girl have thought.