first day

first day
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Over the past several weeks I've been mulling over life, work, my priorities, and how best to achieve what I want, long term, what my family needs, and how these goals work together. In the end, everything boiled down to the fact that I tend to have too much on my plate. Too many responsibilities (self-imposed, I'm just that way) pulling me in too many directions. I realized that in five years I'd like a happy family, a happy home, and a happy career as a potter.

After much reflection and a hard look at our finances, I decided to focus my attention on pottery and my family. Yesterday I resigned from the best job I've ever had- with a clear conscience and a light heart. I loved teaching at the museum. Love working with kids, especially fourth graders. My salary was more than adequate, the hours were good- when little boy was in school- but when I was working teaching I could only take care of my family. The job was seasonal, but I didn't have time to work on pottery like I felt I needed to. When I go weeks without having my hands in clay, I feel like a part of my life is missing.

So this means that pottery is a business- I've had a business license for almost a year, paid sales tax for almost 8 years, paid self-employment taxes for 8 years. Last year was an excellent year- my pottery income matched my teaching income. I was so so fortunate to have wonderful customers and friends supporting me.

This also means that my family will have to make a few small sacrifices. Gary and I both drive cars that are over 10 years old. Happily, but it will remain that way for longer than it would if I were bringing in a regular paycheck. I've had fun with etsy- buying from other sellers. I'll have to be a little more careful on that front. But little boy will be starting our public neighborhood kindergarten in the fall- it is in walking distance from our house. And I'll have much less driving to do, which will help reduce expenses somewhat.

This is a big step for me, but I'm excited about the potential- both in terms of growing my business and making a less-harried life for my family.

So today, on my first day of full-time self-employment, I made some ladybug pottery (haven't applied the bugs yet), trimmed some pottery from last week, and have a few pieces to pack and ship out. It is time to develop a new routine!

Thanks for helping me make this decision- your enthusiasm for my pottery and kind comments over the past year has really helped push me in a good direction. I'm excited to see what the future holds!