DEAR DIARY: MUST WE WALK THROUGH EVERY OPEN DOOR?
If I used the blog as a sort of diary, the last month would have read like fiction. Besides being busy with several projects (which I'm very excited to eventually share with you!) some events caused me to look inward and reflect on what it is I'm doing, why I'm doing it, where it will lead me and ask my self if I want to go where it's leading. Here goes:
DEAR DIARY: haha
A TV producer contacted my husband and me about possibly doing a show for HGTV about what we do up here in the U.P..
You don't believe me. I don't blame you. Haha!
We thought this must be a scam of some sort and so we investigated the production company and the guy inquiring and it turned out...this was legit. He had found my website and liked my work. He read about us and liked that we are both involved in the building industry and that I incorporate my art into designs. He also liked that I'm a licensed contractor, which would apparently be another facet to tap into for a show (I'm not a builder, but I am licensed for business purposes and I do have an understanding of building practices).
For those of you who know us personally, you know that we are actually very private people. We lived for many years in my husband's family's old farmhouse way out in the woods. We didn't have internet or even cell phone service. We grew our own garden and froze, canned and stored the harvest (well, he grew the garden, I canned and stored: I do not have that green thumb, but he sure does). We had a few chickens. He hunted, trapped and fished. We didn't live a completely subsistence lifestyle, but we enjoyed what we did and loved that our kids were growing up in a peaceful, country way.
I share this with you to give you an idea of where we come from. We are down-to-earth people. Literally, in the dirt types. lol Just having an Instagram page is a huge amount of sharing for me. Then I started this blog, and, again, felt like a fish out of water a little, but felt it would be a necessary part of my business. Then, being asked to share our lives on a national stage, essentially; well, you can imagine these dirt dwellers had reservations!
We were surprised by his inquiry, and flattered! Imagine the possibilities! From a business standpoint, it was a no-brainer: DO IT! We knew if we did it right, we could maximize this opportunity in many ways. We could give a lot of the small businesses that we use in the area exposure. If it was successful it could even boost the tourism economy in the area: people would likely want to come and see the properties we worked on. We could open shops with the help of local business friends to create destinations for said tourists. The long term possibilities were exciting and enormous!
It would be easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and go for it without really considering the reality of such a life change. However, we have four children and such an endeavor would have to be considered carefully.
Looking into it, I found out filming a pilot for a TV show is a lot of work. Basically a full time job. A TV show, if it got to that point, is even more work. We would have to get comfortable with a camera crew following us around during those months of filming. I know that household maintenance, laundry, home-cooked meals, etc. would fall to the wayside for the time being. I would need outside help to meet deadlines, help from local builders. Help from family with our children. Still, I knew we could do it. But did we want to do it?
I found myself asking myself: why did I start this venture? Is it for pride? Money? What is the real reason? While considering the opportunity it occurred to me that I don't really care about money, except that I like to feel like I contribute to our family's well-being. Yes, pride is part of the reason the offer was appealing. I could share with the world what I love to do! I could basically show off. You could argue this to be a good or bad thing, from a moral point of view.
Ultimately, I learned something about myself. I design and create art because it's the grease in my gears. I simply am not fulfilled without a creative outlet. I have an intense curiosity for knowledge about what makes good design and art and dissect the details in designs that I love. Does art and design matter? It seems so superfluous and unnecessary. I know, for me, it's completely necessary. And for whatever reason, I'm compelled to create. The proof that design is important is in the designs that improve the lives of my clients. I don't fully understand the effect art has on people, but I think the fact that it has an effect on us at all is what makes us human.
So we asked ourselves, what will our lives look like if we did do this and it was a success? On the positive side of things, we could be 1. Rich, 2. Famous and 3. Busy with our work. We may be in the minority on this, but we are not interested in 1 or 2. Especially while we have young children at home. As I get our little ones to bed each night, I think, how lucky am I? We don't know what tomorrow holds but today we are healthy and taking care of each other. And I don't want to miss any of it! And #3: Busy with work? The fact is, there are more ways of attaining business success than with a TV show. So the only undeniable positive would be that I would get a chance to share what I love to do with a very large audience. A show could catapult our careers, but do we need to get that big?
In the end, we decided that, no, we don't. It's just not our jam! lol We each are the craftsman of our own lives: what do we want to build? At this time in our lives, we want to craft a life of love and creativity for ourselves and our children and we want to create a safe haven for our kids to craft their lives in their way. I'm sure there's a way to do it and have a TV show for some people, but realistically, not for us. We don't know what the future holds. Maybe some day the pieces will fall into place and such an endeavor will make sense for us. For now, we love what we do and will continue to create...without a camera crew.