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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh, the Times, They are A-changin'

...with apologies to Bob Dylan...

Change is afoot. Yes, deliberate change (as in the Year (More or Less) Of Transition. But methinks something else may be afoot as well.

Yesterday evening, my partner suggested that I might want to "sense" my wardings, as he felt "a wind" that he had not felt before. My first thought was that I should strengthen them at dark of the moon, and his response to that was that no, that was not necessarily what needed doing, for what he felt did not mean me ill and that it might be beneficial for me.

As I prepared to go to bed, the thought came to me "the winds of change." I decided to let it steep for a bit.

Today, I think that is an accurate assessment. Possibly it was stirred up by my Year of Transition, possibly the coming full moon and autumnal equinox factor in... maybe something is up in my chart, though I will admit to not being terribly focused on astrology.

What I do know is that this week -- once on Monday and again today -- I did something so atypical for me that I cannot actually remember ever having done it before. I turned down work, paying work, at that.

Up until now, my focus was on building business both as a designer and artist. If a possible client or a commission presented itself, and my being able to complete the job was anywhere within the realm of possible -- even if it meant a big stretch in my capabilities, or even learning a new skill on the fly, I went for it with all I had. Now, I didn't get all the opportunities that presented themselves, but I did get a good lot of them, and often spent time paddling like mad below the surface while presenting a cool and competent exterior. "Never let them see you sweat."

I enjoyed the excitement and the challenge of each and every opportunity.

Monday, however, when returning a call about a web consult I left the caller a voice mail saying that I was "not accepting new clients at this time." Admittedly it was bad timing; I have just renewed a contract with an old client for an annual big project that will have me burning the midnight electrons much of next month, but in the past that would not have given me pause. I really didn't want to do it. I am not sure why. I do enjoy working with the clients for whom I currently webmaster, but a new one just didn't feel right. My voicemail message, however, felt very right.

Today I got an email inquiry about a hex sign. Something in the tone and the way the email was phrased put me off a bit, as did the fact that the person required a phone call. She said in the email
" We are in the process of having our barn painted and want to have one done @ this time-could you please call me for I have many questions about what type might work for us and if you do just the drawings or the completed work only."
The way that question was phrased made me think she had not ever been on DutchHexSign.com, for even a basic look at the site shows the store front with many signs for sale and describes the process.

I started the conversation asking how she found me and the long explanation -- involving a KindleFire and "not being a computer person" and looking at pictures of barn stars and quilts and hex signs -- never really gave me an answer. She also was not really able to elucidate what she DID want, other than a strange insistence that her sign be painted on a square "with a border around it, because it is going on a white barn." She was also not sure what size she wanted, but seemed insistent that it would need to be painted in sections and pieced together upon installation. 

I tried to explain exactly what it was that I did, and why I did it that way, but she was not hearing me so as quickly and politely as I could I explained that I did not work in the square, only in the round but that I did know other hexeri who did paint their circular designs on rectilinear pieces of wood. She jumped on that like a flea on a dog and asked for a referral.

I hope my colleague to whom I referred her won't sling any lightning bolts my way... I have the feeling that she will be a very difficult person to work with.  But, in the past, that would not have mattered to me and I would have done my best to "sell her."

I am pretty sure that I would not, however, have compromised and painted a barn quilt square for her, or painted a hex like a painting, which is what she seemed to want. That is not how I was taught to work and that is not how hexen do their thing.

So... change... to a focus more on doing the things that I enjoy in a way that I can still enjoy them and have income. Less stress? We'll have to see what comes of this.