I just dug out of bed after too little sleep and a short painful night. I think everyone has experienced at least a few of these miserable times. You know the kind; you're sound asleep and all relaxed when you unconsciously roll over onto or bump into that unhappy arthritic joint, and shoots pain everywhere!!! I tried to resettle and find a less painful position, but just as I fell asleep again my dog (who sleeps with me) gave a sharp little yelp. Evidently, my dog was having one of those doggy dreams. Of course, by that time, I was wide awake. I finally gave up and got out of bed for the day after watching the numbers on my alarm clock for an interminable amount of time. 3 AM---YUUUCK!!!
I've been understandably stressed, since in a few short days I have my first two for real-professional photography shows. For years, my friends have all said that I really needed more marketing for my framed nature photography, since I'm really good at what I do. Okay, two or three people have said they wanted to buy my work! I have been selling lots of my greeting cards, but have only used "word of mouth" advertising. I've known that I should step out of my secure little place for a long time... Yeah, But....I seemed to always find an excuse not to do it. Having my work enlarged and framed would be too expensive. It IS, but the irony of our society is that you seem to have to spend money to make money. What if no one wants to buy my work? I'm illiterate with a computer. I don't know how to do this and, probably my favorite (I'm not particularly bragging here) I just don't have time!!! I didn't say that any of these were good or valid excuses, just the ones that I've been using.
At this point, my favorite bank comes into the picture (literally). They are honoring small business owners by giving us an opportunity, at no charge, to showcase, demonstrate and explain our wares and our companies to each other WITH FREE PROMOTIONAL SIGNS AND ADVERTISING. So, there goes excuse #1! When the main bank downtown found out what their branch was doing, they called and requested I come in with my boxes of greeting cards and some framed pictures so they could all admire my work and purchase it for Christmas gifts. To have things professionally framed IS expensive, but when I explained to a local framer why I was doing this (to raise the funds for my summer volunteer job in East Africa), they immediately did the first job for free and have continued to give me a 25% discount on all other work because they admire and believe in what I am doing! Oh, and two close friends even helped me produce a pamphlet of my work for the same reason! So, I've gradually been getting rid of all of my excuses for this challenge.
However, I've found that I still have a lot of "Yeah, Buts" in my life. I think we all do. I will put up with this knee-pain a little longer, even though I know I should see the doctor. Yeah, But I don't have the time, the money, the insurance, the courage, the emotional support, or the right doctor. YOU CHOOSE your excuse of the day. For years I've wanted to lighten the proverbial load by getting rid of some stuff at my house and un-cluttering my life. Yeah, Buts have always been there to interfere with this goal. But, when my son and his wife said they were having a huge garage sale and I was welcome to "unload," I FINALLY did. It's amazing/depressing how much stuff I had that I never used, never even wanted, and would never use again! I realize, because of my continuing battle with Osteoarthritis, that it's doubtful I'll use my ice skates or those cross-country skis again. That backpack I used on a trip to Isle Royale when my kids were in high school also won't be used anytime soon (my kids are now in their late 30s!) Oh and then there's the odd collections of mismatched glassware, plates, and even some weird casseroles shoved in the back of the cabinets that I've been wanting to get rid of. I don't know if I somehow thought these things would gain in loveliness or attractiveness if shoved to the back (they don't-they're still mismatched and ugly)! What's almost scarier is the number of people who pay good money at garage sales for these things. I guess that they keep hoping they'll buy a special gem that will be featured on the next "Antiques Roadshow" as being an incredible find worth tons of money!!! As long as I'm on this "tear"....for years, I think I've tried every lotion, potion, and cream put on the market in an attempt to "cure" my arthritis pain. I'm sure that many of my readers have done the same. After a few attempts, when these products didn't seem to help, they were all relegated one at a time to a drawer in the bathroom. I guess I thought that, like a fine wine, with a little aging they might get better. Since time hasn't improved them, I'll finally get rid of them along with curlers and other lovely things I don't use. At this point, I wish I could give a giant sigh of relief and say that my life is now in incredible, uncluttered order, but I've just scratched the surface. I discovered last night that I have several photo frames that are in such weird sizes, I'll never use them. "Yeah, But" they were SUCH a bargain at the time! My shows WILL be a success. I WILL have tons of sales. I WILL continue to try to unclutter my life. I WILL return to working out to help my arthritis. I WILL try to watch my diet--Yeah,But--did you see that awesome chocolate cake?????
Read blogs from our site expert, Dr. Jonathan Krant, an Arthritis Specialist.
Published On: October 26, 2007