Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm in a funk.

This one is a little long, and mopey, so if you're not up for that, skip it and come back next post -- I'll understand.


I kind of figured this would happen at some point this year. Usually it hits me after the Christmas rush, when I'm so exhausted and burned out I can't stand it. But right now, I'm just in such a blue funk that I wonder if I'll be able to muster my enthusiasm for jewelry design ever again.

Or let me put it this way. I can keep going with the status quo, making what I've been making for the past five or six years. But making new things, expanding my horizons? I wonder if I have it in me.

I know a lot of my problem is living in constant pain. When my eyes and head and neck are always hurting, I can't think, let alone follow tutorial directions or dream up new ideas. I see the creative world passing me by and it bothers me -- but I feel powerless to stop it.

I buy new beads, bring them home -- and stare at them blankly. My head hurts. My heart is sad. Something has to give.

Home life is just fine -- my husband is supportive and says it doesn't matter if I sell another thing, that this year is for rest, and to play, and to not worry. But for me, this year was to play, yes, and to rest, yes, but to LEARN, and to EXPLORE. And many days all I can explore is the back of my eyelids as I squench them shut in pain.

Crap. This is such a lousy post. I'm sorry.

There have to be others out there that feel this way, or have felt this way at times, who can share with me their stories. I feel alone, like I'm being left behind and will never find my voice again. I feel I have it in me -- it just isn't stronger than the pain.

What do I do? I fear losing customers, losing momentum, losing ... it. Whatever "it" happens to be on any given day.

If you've read this far, thank you. If you stick with my blog, I promise this won't be the mood or content of future posts. But I felt I owed it to myself to just this post explore my soul as well as my art and try to figure out just where I'm going in all of this.

Comments are gratefully accepted.


  1. Dear, sweet Lori.
    You don't have to feel that you are alone. That statement made me feel very sad. If you blog at all you understand the value of community. We are each here to help each other, to lift each other up, to spur each other on. I would have to say that you are an incredibly talented and giving soul. That much is evident. And you knew that you would hit the rough spots. It is how you respond to this that determines your character.
    I started reading the 12 Habits of Highly Effective Women (never finished, but should I find that book again, I will). One of the chapters was all about a fallow season. When you plant a farm you leave some fields to fallow, to rest, to rejuvenate so that when you are ready to plant the seeds the ground will be ready to accept it. Perhaps you are just in a fallow season. Don't let it throw you. We all have these times. I feel like I go through them every 6 weeks or so. There are only so many hours in the day and just when I feel that I have momentum going the pendulum swings the opposite way and I have to abandon my projects for so long that when I return the momentum is lost.

    Please know that I am thinking of you. And if you want to 'talk' you know my email. Anytime.

    Enjoy the day!

  2. I read your whole post, even clicked on it on purpose when I saw the title. I know there are others out there because I am 1 of them. I too am in a funk. I started this year off excited to get back into beading after a year off having my daughter. I buy beads, I buy wire, I buy clay I even buy tutorials but in the end a new idea hasn't come in a while. My back hurts all the time and my daughter doesn't sleep the night so I am tired all the time. I am still nursing and anemic so I am sure that is part of it, I am back to my "real" job 30 hrs a week so I am sure that's part of it. I am frustrated like I will never have an original idea again. I have not sold anything in weeks and I am getting discouraged. I was um, happy, I guess, or not happy but comforted that I am not alone. I am hoping that the start of spring/summer and more time outside will help us "snap" out of it. I will be thinking of you. Shannon

  3. Oh Lori! While I can't know exactly how you feel, I can definitely relate. I seem to go thru periods of intense creativity, where work just pours out of me like water, and then....nothing. For a long time. I don't even light the torch.

    I think it's valid, artistically, to have these period of 'nothing', in order to balance out the other times of copious work. It's frustrating, because you fell like you aren't doing enough or doing the right things, or feeling like you are growing in any way. Remember that when it seems like nothing is going on on the face of things, like seeds underground, plenty is happening beneath the surface, preparing for the next period of growth.

    That's the way I see it. And now, if I can just remember my own words next time I feel discouraged and artistically spent...

    Thinking of you,

  4. Lori, I often wonder how you are able to accomplish so much and such beautiful work when I know you live with chronic pain. I'm glad you're slowing yourself down a little with this year off, and I think it would be a great time to also explore more pain management types of things, if you're up for it. As far as feeling like you're being left behind, or that you'll lose ground if you slow down, I can relate. I wrote a magazine article that got featured in a major market publication and was advised to keep the momentum up, to ride the wave of that success, keep the ball rolling, etc. But unfortunately I didn't have the time/energy/enthusiasm to do so and I have always felt it was a mistake not to force myself to do it. But after a couple of years I realize that I'm just fine. It wasn't a career-threatening mistake, it was a learning experience. You will still be Lori, still have the same combination of talent, skill, and personality that makes you a success at the end of you break that you did at the beginning.

  5. i'm sorry you are experiencing a blue time.We all have felt creativity having it's high and low points,
    but it does not really disappear..even if you may feel that way.. it may change directions unexpectedly...
    as far as loosing customers..not to can find new ones if that happens..taking time off is sometimes the only way to recharge and heal..

  6. Lori...been there:) Yes, it is frustrating to be in that spot, and can imagine that having the obstacle of dealing with chronic pain as well must be overwhelming. The muse/energy will return...just give it time and try not to worry about sales and customers...they will be there when you are ready :)

  7. Lori-
    I echo the sentiments of the other folks who've commented...I've been there, too. I like how Erin termed it, "the fallow season." Sometimes all the energy doesn't seem to go in the right direction.
    I'm sending cyber hugs your way and can't wait until I'm back in VA...we can get together for some creative time or beach time or something fun. We'll pour those beads out in front of us and then see what happens. If nothing, no problem! But, I bet with a little laughter you'll find your groove again.



  8. Give yourself credit for all that you DO do, as a wife, a mom, a creator and a seller - how many people can do all of that even without chronic pain? You're an amazing woman, and I know that "this too shall pass", and that you will find your muse again. She may need this stillness to have the courage to speak!

    Keep learning, keep experimenting, and while you do, listen with your heart for what chimes in your tune.

    And we out here in the blogosphere aren't going away any time soon. I don't think your customers will, either.

  9. Hey Lori - everyone gets in a funk. If you wake up to a good day, then create. If you wake up to a bad day - maybe you need to journal or drawer, or just SOAK (of such).
    I know you are doing what I should do (trying to get healthier with what you are eating), and I have heard a lot of people say that the dyes and addatives to our foods (frozen in particular) can contribute a lot to how we feel - headaches in particular. It sucks to not eat the stuff we love, but I have to admit I feel better overall. Then there is posture. I have a back support (puts weight around middle so it pulls my shoulders back) and I can tell a big diff on my shoulders then.
    What else? Hmmm - enough suggestions already!!!! lol
    Hang in there. Sending you a note for the last suggestion!!!!

  10. Hugs sweetie! I am sooo sorry you are in so much pain. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost.

  11. PLease don't let it all get to you. Take care of yourself. Everything else will fall into place. It may not be exactly what you thought you would do, but it will be exactly what you needed to do.


  12. So, all the important pieces of your life are together. Your amazing son and husband. Sit with your thoughts, your pain, and please don't be so hard on yourself.

    The things we force are the things that are least likely to happen. and when you are ready, you will come back.

    If you don't heal, you can't bloom.


  13. As the others have said, we all get in a funk. The fact that you are able to accomplish as much as you do while living with constant pain just amazes me. Even on the days when you think that you don't have it in you, you still have an incredible talent that always blows my mind.

    Hang in there.

  14. Lori,

    I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I know you have shared about your headaches before, but I had not realized the pain is as chronic as you have written here. Do you have some days that are better than others? I sense (based on the huge things you have accomplished in the last five years) that you are a person with strong drive, who likes to produce and to accomplish (I recognize those traits b/c they are VERY familiar!). I know for me, the hardest thing is to slow down, to trust, to be open to what comes rather than pushing to make things happen. Maybe that is the challenge of your "year off." Maybe instead of "trying" so hard to learn, you can give yourself permission to receive. For me, that's almost impossible, a task I think I will be working on my whole life. I remember once I "took a year off." I had quit a stressful job, I had two small children, and I wanted to see if I could make money through writing. My husband and I agreed that we would not depend on any income from me for one year. We cut me out of the budget, but do you think I did not earn money? You better believe I did - and by writing. But did I get my "year off" - not so much, because I feel better, more validated when I have some kind of successful work. But still, I think if I (and maybe you)could really practice just being instead of doing. I hope these comments are useful. I think you have my email from the bead soup party. Feel free to drop me a line if ever you want. Take good care, lisa

  15. I am sorry you are in pain and having a bad spell. For all that you do, thank you. I'll be thinking of you.

  16. Hey Lori
    I feel for you with all of the physical pain that you are going through..and maybe the pressure too since you have dedicated this year to explore, but at the same time feel limited due to physical reasons. As you can see by the comments here, while we may not know what you're going through physically, we have all been there time to time when that creative voice just isn't speaking. Maybe you could benefit from a little break from it all... you will not be left behind, we'll all be here! Sending you a big hug! :-)

  17. Aaahh funk, schmunk! Don't worry about it! Inspiration will come back when you least expect it :-) The trick is, I think, not to go looking for it.

    I'm really sorry about your pain. What about that de-pressure thing you did when they emptied out some spinal fluid? Can they repeat it? Is there anything you do that makes it better? I have problems with headaches whenever I don't excercise regularly but that's stress-related pain and nothing like what you have.

    I hope you get feeling lots better soon!!

  18. Lori,
    I appreciate you share your feelings with us. Please know that we are here to listen when you need us to and we will try to make you a bit happier when you feel blue. You might not be selling anything at the moment. But you are such a great inspiration to me (and certainly to other blog friends). I hope you will recover soon and find your sunshine again. And by the way - no way that you will lose your customers, because your jewelry is just too beautiful.

  19. {{{Lori}}}

    I'm sorry about your chronic pain. I can't imagine what that is like.

    Take all the time you need. The funk will pass, I promise.

  20. I understand completly what being in a funk can feel like to your creative side,i have been in one now for a few months, everytime I think I'm rising, something else knock the wind out of me and back at the bottom of the barrel.

    But I think you are still stronger as yours is so connected to your chronic pain and that I would not know how to deal with and have no remedies/ advice to give.

    I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts.

  21. hey, thanks for your comment the other day. fun blog!

  22. To add to all of the other thoughts/comments...I know where you're coming from...Not with the headaches, per se, but with other issues that have kept me from feeling productive. I have a lot of beads and clay and other goodies, but, a lot of days, I can sit and stare at them and come up with absolutely nothing.

    I love playing with my beads and making pretty things with them, but, when your body hurts, you feel drained, and, when you feel drained, it's SO much harder to get anything done.

    So, as someone who is there right now, I truly understand your frustration...My advice is to find something creative that you can still do, even when you're not at the top of your game, and let that take you where it will. I just learned bead crochet, and it has turned out well for me - it's something I can do on those days when I hurt too much to get out of bed...

    It's all about learning to live with it and deal with it and finding a way to not let it get you down!

    Sending you happy thoughts and vibes,

  23. Lori -

    I totally sympathize with you. I suffer the same malady. It is really debilitating, isn't it? You are so fortunate to have a husband that understands and supports you through this. Some of us aren't quite so lucky and have husbands that complain about the grilled cheese and soup for dinner which you made because your brain feels like it has claws piercing it and you don't think your stomach could accept anything else.
    I totally understand the depression with the lack of being able to work. Me, being the stubborn kraut that I am, still attempt to work anyway - which usually ends in disaster because I continually screw up the design, have to rip it out and start all over again...especially with seed beads.
    I was recommended to have surgery to straighten my septum (it is bent so bad that it is closing my left nostril almost all the way) and to have the bone spurs removed (which is blocking the rest of the airway flow). I am terrified to have the surgery as I don't do well with anesthesia. The last time I had surgery, I suddenly plunged into hypothermia in the recovery room as well as needed 2 Reglan shots, anti-emetic in the anesthesia and an anti-emetic patch behind my ear and I was still so sick. Yuck. I will only ever have surgery again to save my life.
    My current plan is to rinse with a neti pot daily and take Allegra 180mg daily...along with hand fulls of Excedrin. I admire your courage to go through with the surgery. I will always be forever terrified. Please keep us posted on how it worked for you. Inquiring minds want to know :)

    PS...sorry for dumping so much personal information, but I have never met anyone before with the same problem as me! It is so good to know that there is someone out there that understands the horrible pain of severe chronic sinusitis and how it triggers migraines.

  24. Just so you know....I face this "FUNK" thing on a regular you are not alone girlfriend! I think it may be part of the job...LOL! I find even after discovering glass that I get in glass funks now too! So hang in there and just let the funk run its course! You will get back into your Jewelry groove (and glass groove)...and creating new beautiful pieces! You could always plan a trip to the beach to see me...for a bead/glass retreat! Now that is one way to get out of a funk....VACATION!


Thanks so much for commenting!