Tuesday, April 28, 2009

first day


first day
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Over the past several weeks I've been mulling over life, work, my priorities, and how best to achieve what I want, long term, what my family needs, and how these goals work together. In the end, everything boiled down to the fact that I tend to have too much on my plate. Too many responsibilities (self-imposed, I'm just that way) pulling me in too many directions. I realized that in five years I'd like a happy family, a happy home, and a happy career as a potter.

After much reflection and a hard look at our finances, I decided to focus my attention on pottery and my family. Yesterday I resigned from the best job I've ever had- with a clear conscience and a light heart. I loved teaching at the museum. Love working with kids, especially fourth graders. My salary was more than adequate, the hours were good- when little boy was in school- but when I was working teaching I could only take care of my family. The job was seasonal, but I didn't have time to work on pottery like I felt I needed to. When I go weeks without having my hands in clay, I feel like a part of my life is missing.

So this means that pottery is a business- I've had a business license for almost a year, paid sales tax for almost 8 years, paid self-employment taxes for 8 years. Last year was an excellent year- my pottery income matched my teaching income. I was so so fortunate to have wonderful customers and friends supporting me.

This also means that my family will have to make a few small sacrifices. Gary and I both drive cars that are over 10 years old. Happily, but it will remain that way for longer than it would if I were bringing in a regular paycheck. I've had fun with etsy- buying from other sellers. I'll have to be a little more careful on that front. But little boy will be starting our public neighborhood kindergarten in the fall- it is in walking distance from our house. And I'll have much less driving to do, which will help reduce expenses somewhat.

This is a big step for me, but I'm excited about the potential- both in terms of growing my business and making a less-harried life for my family.

So today, on my first day of full-time self-employment, I made some ladybug pottery (haven't applied the bugs yet), trimmed some pottery from last week, and have a few pieces to pack and ship out. It is time to develop a new routine!

Thanks for helping me make this decision- your enthusiasm for my pottery and kind comments over the past year has really helped push me in a good direction. I'm excited to see what the future holds!

16 comments:

chermonblie said...

Best of luck to you! I so hope one day that I can make the same leap into total self employment knowing I'm doing what I love and still contributing financially. Can't wait to see the ladybug stuff!!

L~ said...

best of luck! It's almost NEVER wrong to follow you heart.

Jennie said...

Congrats on the big decision! The financial stuff can be a drag (I'm on year 3 of living off of our business), but all of the benefits totally outweigh that. Plus it's actually been refreshing learning to live and living without. I hope I can support your business in some way in the next year.

bridgmanpottery said...

thank you, ladies!

Wylie said...

So great, Melissa! I'm really excited for you! I'll do my best to support your business! :)

Sarah Jackson said...

I'm so glad to see that you're doing this. You're an inspiration in following your dreams.

Mama Urchin said...

I am so excited for you

erica said...

This is wonderful! Congratulations to following your heart and knowing what you want.

knitch said...

Melissa,
I can't express enough how happy I am for you. I hope throwing remains fresh and fun for you and that you continue to enjoy it. I wish I could do what you're doing!

Richard Fudge said...

Congrats. Now you'll have more time to come up with great hits like those egg bud vases.

VeeGee's Mommy said...

So wonderful! Congratulations, Melissa.

Bee said...

Congrats! That's pretty dang exciting! I applaud you for making a decision and following what you love.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Sounds like the right choice for the time. My car turned 10 last year. Honda's rock. Did you ever figure out who left the mugs on the porch? I'm defining life goals for before next Olympics. Talk about it more later!

farmerjulie said...

oh melissa!! I am so happy for you! You are so talented and gifted! Much love to you!! You will do great!!
Julie

Courtney said...

Congratulations again Melissa. I'm so happy for you!

Leila said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you! I know it'll go well -- your pottery is too wonderful not to make a good go of it.