Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

I am LOVE this Santa I made. Isn't he cute? It's a bit strange that what feels like an expression of happiness inside of me, my smile, turns down at the ends. At least, my eyes are smiling.

Three years ago I got the idea to sell ugly Christmas sweaters. I labored for a year, felting, sewing, gluing, altering an abundance of sweaters. Every time I saw a red sweater or a Christmas-y sweater in a thrift store, I snatched it up. I thought I had hit on a great prospect for making loads of cash since I predicted that this would be a new trend. It would go viral  #uglychristmassweater as they say on Twitter. I worked way too hard on every detail forgetting the big picture. By the time I was done, my sweaters were a little too precious. I did not really want to part with them for the measly sum folks expected to pay for a once a year joke purchase. I sold 2 on Etsy for half the price I wanted and about 8 of them for a quarter of the price. That was it. I was done. Or maybe my efforts to keep teaching got in the way. I did used to be able to do it all: make crafts, raise a daughter, make dinner every day, decorate for holidays in the style of a trained Martha Stewart soldier all while becoming an amazing math teacher. I stopped altering and selling sweaters and forgot about my brief foray in business. 

And now look! NPR reports on a woman who expects to sell 2,000 sweaters this year: Ugly Christmas Sweaters Turn A Pretty Penny

I am tempted to draw some sweeping conclusion about myself or contemporary American society or the state of the capitalist economy from this experience. I expect a big pay-off to come from my efforts and dedication. I am a dedicated and work hard with every endeavor I undertake. The appreciation and reward does not match what I feel I put in. As a result, I begin to conclude that the way to go is an easier path. Put in less so I will expect less. Or, concentrate on quantity instead of quality. I should have focused my efforts on cheaper production costs, less time invested, and appealing to the masses. I have some appreciation for successful entrepreneurs but I know way too many people who put in the minimum because it's good enough. To do that, you must have to stop thinking. You probably lack self-awareness. Who would want to see that sort of laziness or indifference in himself? 

Let's outsource the work to another country with a cheaper work force. Let's dole out sub-prime loans to make more money for now. Let's put a credit card for in the hands of every college student who is already buried in student loans.

Not me!
Not I!
No sir!
Not me!
So there!

I am not going to stop working as hard as I can. I do what I do because I love doing it. I do it because I have to. I do it because it makes me feel good about myself and if I didn't, I would be disappointed in myself. I am renewing my effort to put it out there and forget about the results. I am going to try not to care what I get in return. 

So, like they say, F%¢k 'em if they can't take a joke. 

And by "they," I mean America's Nielsen family. (A quote from one of my favorite underachievers, Adam Scho----ld.


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