I am currently on a writing holiday but I had to post this. It’s Jewel Divas Style’s 7th birthday this month and one of its last.
I have had to make some decisions over the last year about what I really want out of my business. With my time and energy being sucked out of me caring for my mother and monstrous issues I’ve had to deal with in that region, my own battle with health issues, my lack of ability to throw any energy I have left into any semblance of business that I have, is almost impossible.
There have been many factors against me and my little business from the get go.
No markets to sell at, no stores to sell wholesale through, a mother who was crippled, a car that conked out when you drove around corners, plus many other things.
The mentor I saw back in 2013 never understood these things. He called them all excuses. Clearly he had never known the emotional and mental weight of caring for a sick parent.
While I did get my designs into bead magazines, getting them into normal magazines was another thing. Being a designer with one off pieces was never going to get into a magazine unless I sent them pieces to keep, and even then that didn’t guarantee getting into magazines. I’ve looked at sending to tv show hosts, and other places, all to no avail. Clearly it was all against me and so I gave up trying.
I’m sure the universe had other plans for me, not helping me make my business a success was the start. But then we never know unless we try. It’s statistically proven that many first businesses don’t work. Basically we don’t know what we’re doing so it all goes to pot.
I’ve struggled. More so with the weight of my mother and her care, which is why I’m surprised I even found the time to make jewellery or write books. What I do know, is that I do not have the energy even for my blogs and websites much longer. And it’s been this way for a few years now.
Social media became a bore for me about four years into it. I started with my author blog on Jan 1st 2009, after I had legally set up my jewellery business and made my first collection. Later that year I set up this blog on Blogspot as Jewel Divas Jewellery because the name Jewel Divas was already taken. My jewellery website debuted in September 2009 and I struggled to update the blog with new jewellery and accessories, so I decided to make it more about the jewellery I made for myself, plus talking about other things instead of just trying to flog jewels. In 2011 I changed the name to Jewel Divas Style and made that change across all of the social media I had set up. Jewel Divas got an official Facebook page, followed by Pinterest and Instagram, but I haven’t used it. So really, what’s the point?
In May 2013 I migrated from Blogspot to WordPress.org and basically had to start again. In Jan 2016 it got a template makeover and while I love the layout I struggle with the upkeep. The first few months of this year I had plenty to talk about, as plenty had happened over the summer holidays. But now, as we’re in July, and I’ve taken the school holidays and long weekends off, I’m finding social media more of a burden than fun. As I have done so for the last few years.
Trying to keep a posting schedule for the blog, and then having to keep up across SM sites, with “professional bloggers” telling us we need to post five times a day on all of our channels is time consuming for those of us who actually have to make products.
I don’t worry about SM when I’m writing or making, it doesn’t even come into my head. It was definitely the furthest thing from my mind when my mother was sick over summer. I did post kaftan pics every day but then I had shot some of them ahead of time, so I only needed to jump on for half an hour a day to catch up on emails and sales and post the pic.
I’m tired. Emotionally, mentally, physically, even as I write this, and it’s only Feb so I’m months ahead and yes, I’m still tired now. I’m tired of my life not being mine. I’m tired of doing all of this shit on my own.
I was describing all of the washing, scrubbing, cleaning I’d done to my sister when mum was in hospital in December and she said, “welcome to my world”.
Except, and I thought about it later, I’m not in her world. I don’t have a husband buying me homes or a gold iPhone or paying my bills. And that’s when I realised she doesn’t, neither do my other siblings, come close to living in my world.
We all have households to run. Admittedly mine is not run well.
The vacuuming rarely gets done because my back can’t tolerate it (we’ve had a monthly cleaner since April to do this), the beds get changed less, and generally, I don’t have the energy to give a fuck about the house. She has a couple of part time jobs, but I have a business to run which involves more than making product, which I didn’t even get a chance to do over summer, and I need to make sure it’s running well over all of its platforms and pages, plus I have a sick and crippled mother to care for.
I have become physically crippled myself doing this job. The years of bending, lifting, turning has taken its toll on my body and I am constantly crippled by stuffed discs and sciatic issues. I am physically tired all of the time due to not sleeping well because my ears are on the constant look out for my mother getting up in the middle of the night. There were nights I got maybe four hours sleep. There were nights I barely got two, and that came in intervals across the night.
They were not the ones scrubbing up diarrhea, rinsing vomit from buckets in the backyard, wiping up urine and shit from carpets. There is a big difference between doing this for the children you give birth to and the parent you end up caring for, hence why I wrote the book a few years back.
All of this has been a factor in slowing down. I’ve been thinking that the universe is testing me and how much I can take. But it has made me tired and on the verge of a breakdown. Nobody cares about my mental health in all of this, least of all my physical health. Nobody wants to help, family or health care professionals.
I knew in Feb, as I wrote this, that this was going to be the year for biting people’s heads off. If the times over Dec/Jan taught me anything, it was that nobody gives a shit about sick people or their carers. My family didn’t and don’t, the hospital didn’t, doctors don’t.
In 2015 I had so many health care professionals tell me they couldn’t help me get mum off or on beds for testing because they didn’t want to hurt their back that I started saying back to them, “we all have back problems”, or, “we all have stuffed backs”. Meanwhile, I was trying to turn my mother over on the bed and suffering for it and they just stared at me.
That’s the problem. As a carer I have no help. When I ask for help they say they can’t help because they don’t want to stuff up their back, so I get no help and my back stuffs up more. That’s why I’m a cripple myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time I’m 50 I’ll be on a walker or stick because of my back issues.
My chiro has done a great job of fixing a lot of those issues, but sadly, humans are all susceptible to the same lower back issues when lifting weight and bending and turning. We get stuffed up.
Just one more reason I cannot continue much longer.
So, this is the blog’s 7th birthday. It may only last three more years. Making that ten years in total.
Why ten years?
It all has to do with the 10,000 hours to success. Or in some people’s cases, it works out to about 10 years. If I don’t have success by the ten year limit, that’s it, I’m done. I’ll have given it all I had but by then I doubt I’ll have any more.
In July 2006 I wrote my first novel. It’s now July 2016, ten years since I started writing books. Time’s up.
In February 2008 I wrote my second book and in Aug I started the legal side of my jewellery business and made my first collection in Oct. In 2018 it will be ten years. There’s two years left.
On Jan 1st 2009 I started my author blog then this blog on July 22, and then went live with the first Jewel Divas store in Sep. In 2019 it will be ten years. There’s three years left.
Hence why December 31st 2019 maybe the last time I blog or even post on social media. Unless of course, I continue using every year I wrote a book, such as my fourth novel 2013/2023, my non-fictions 2014/2024, when I started writing children’s books 2015/2025, my novellas 2016/2026. Not sure I can keep blogging until 2026!!!!!
So I’ll either give it three and a half more years till 2019 when I’ll be 45 and a half and it will be ten years for this blog. If I don’t have success by then, then I’ll give up. Or maybe wait until 2024 when I’m 50 and keep it at a nice round figure. I’ll definitely be done by 50. But that’s 8 more years.
I have exerted more energy in the last ten years writing, making and trying to run a business than I probably exerted in all my previous years. Except maybe for when I was line dancing because that was a lot of energy. But then I didn’t have the health issues, the business, the blogs, or a crippled mother to look after way back then.
I’m posting twice a week now and will probably keep that schedule for the next three years. It allows me time to write or make jewellery as well as keep across my other sites for maintenance and upkeep. What I’ll do at the end of my ten years is not known yet. I’ll decide then if I’m alive. In the meantime, I’ll stay on and try and make it more fun.
Yes, fun is what I need back in my life.
Happy freakin’ birthday to me!