nine to five

It’s been nearly a year since I left my job at our local museum to be home with my girls and stitch together writing and sewing to create income. I was nervous for the change, totally unsure. Also, really excited and pretty damn sure.

Sometimes I feel like my generation is plagued with too many good choices. I don’t mean to sound spoiled. It’s just that all these choices and ways to experience success makes many of my friends feel claustrophobic. I have a friend who rents a small house that she shares with a roommate, works very little and travels a lot. She wonders if she should ‘settle down.’ I have friends who are rooted deep with kids in school, home and work who wonder if they should sell everything, pack up the family and save sea turtles in Costa Rica.


Married or not, kids or not, lifetime career or waitress/ski bum, homebody or world traveler…there are a lot of great, meaningful options for women and WOW am I grateful to the first and second generation feminists for that. One life contains many chapters. For a good bit I was burdened by I wonder if I would better serve the world if I ________. Now I am driven by a different spin on those thoughts: How can I best serve the world from where I stand right this minute? knowing I am always moving.

I just had this wildly creative, productive weekend in my studio. I know everyone can understand this other-wordly, whole-body possession. I had ideas and I had problems with simultaneous solutions. Thankfully, I am married to an artist and he totally gets it. Saturday morning I was hovering over our pancakes, my eyes sparkling with the need to make stuff and Andy said, babe, go. I’ve got the girls.

Last weekend, I wrote three essays, sewed on Margot’s quilt that was intended for her second birthday but will now be a third birthday gift, ironed out the kinks in some new clothing designs, worked on a few concepts for my upcoming exhibit and cooked great meals. It was pieced together in and around cutting snowflakes with Margot, errands, replanting the garlic my chickens dug up and flung all over the garden, reading books, installing a new handrail and other chilly weekend activity.

What I am saying is that it wasn’t consecutive hours of me and my laptop, sewing machine and sketch book. It was, however, even better. It was an entire weekend of being home with my family while the snow blew in. It was me slipping into the studio when I could, sometimes for 10 minutes and sometimes for two hours.

SO. Have you done all your holiday shopping? Perhaps some dig attire would suit the loved ones in your life? I have lots of new stuff and love to do custom orders. Click here to buy my stuff. All purchases from now through December will receive a complimentary set of my edible postcards.

For the state and country silhouette shirts, I have recently done all kinds of far-away places
like Zimbabwe, Pakistan, England,  Africa, United Arab Emirates. Also, I think I’ve done nearly
every state.  Michigan and California have the most fans, so far.

Since I left the museum I get asked a lot if I am happy with my choice. I talk about that choice and answer that question in this weeks mama digs, nine to five.

Daughters napping, black beans simmering, ginger tea in my favorite mug. It’s a gray day. The rain just turned to snow.

24 Responses to nine to five

  1. oh my, I love Clyde.

  2. I was introduced to your blog by my good friend Katie and, especially for posts like today, I’m so grateful. I can relate SO much to having the “problem” of too many choices, passions, etc. and the omnipresent feeling of “what more could I be doing?”
    Your choice to focus on how to best serve the world from WHERE YOU ARE now vs. where you THINK YOU SHOULD BE/WANT TO BE is brilliant. The idealist in me just calmed down a little bit. Thank you.

  3. Jen says:

    I sooo look forward to your posts and this one is a perfect example of why. You write the truth from where you are…you appreciate the now. Your words remind me to stop wondering the “what ifs” of my own choices and to give thanks for being right where I am at this moment…at home with two little people. Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Becky says:

    I too shared so many of your emotions when I decided to leave my cush 9 to 5 with a regular paycheck (which some days I miss) job in watershed science. But I tell you I wouldn’t have it any other way now. And I know what you’re talking about when you speak of people being excited for and the ones not so excited for your new job in life.

  5. Gramomster says:

    i so one of those people contemplating packing it all in and living on the road, but wanting to settle in a beautiful progressive city so that Connor can have school and friends and stability and outdoors.

    But I want to make art. I don’t want another job. I’m not going to have a ‘career’. And I have finally come to peace with that. I tried really really hard, as did hubby. It ain’t happenin’ yo.

    This week, I think I’m sort of melding both ideas. Live on the road, art fair to music festival in the summer months, have a yurt on a lovely acre or two with a workshop in which to create the stuff to take to art fairs and music festivals during the school year.

    Soooo many choices. The Paradox of Choice… the idea that the more choices we have, the harder it is to choose. But at some point, we have to make a choice, and make it the best we can, fingers crossed, and take a leap of faith to somewhere.

    Your life is beautiful. Cluttered, and often crazy-making I have no doubt. But beautiful. And you know it, and that makes it even more beautiful. And then you share it, and you work through it, and that makes it more beautiful yet, and we are all so fortunate and grateful that you’re doing so.

  6. Kelle says:

    Oh, Nici I really love this piece. So true. xo

  7. “How can I best serve the world from where I stand right this minute? knowing I am always moving.”

    Aaah. Love this post. *Needed* this post. I’m just now on the brink of a “big” decision–which, now that I think about it, seems kind of small. I feel like I’m trying to plan the next 5 -50 years, and your post reminds me that I’m “always moving” and should focus on “right this minute,” not the next 5-50 years. Thank you.

  8. Sarah says:

    I read your mamalode piece on Monday and looked forward to this post so I could comment!! And in this post, I love to read that you are trying to serve the world. I admire that you have the talent and and confidence and heart to juggle it all while creating such a home with and for your family. As my daughter says, ‘I’m impressive with you”

  9. FinnyKnits says:

    Yes! So many great options out there for women of every make. And also the ability to make new choices if the ones you first choose don’t totally equal fulfillment.

    The best part is that every woman gets to decide on her own and no one has to fit a mold.

    Excellent post, doll. You always fill me up with happy.

  10. AussieMum says:

    Love your blog and I *totally* need two shirts with Australia on them for my kids…payday is Friday!

  11. So, what are the odds that we will one day sip ginger tea together?

  12. Tina says:

    I totally dig the “where troubles melts like lemondrops” rainbow shirt! My daughter would just die and beg me to let her wear it every day!

  13. Anonymous says:

    ,,,LOVE this nugget,,,

  14. Yes, so many choices. But I thank god for those because I can’t imagine not being able to choose.
    Loved what you said about chosing to do something right now. So true. xo

  15. Ann says:

    I love, love, love Edie’s turkey and snowman tops. The snowman’s scarf and the fabric in his top hat are adorable. thanks so much!

  16. Tonya says:

    I have always been a SAHM, I was married at 19 and had my first child at 21. 8 children later, I am still at home. My Mom stayed home, so it is always what I figured I would do. I am a homebody, so it was always easy for me. I also home school 4 of my children. I really love it, and wouldn’t want it any other way even though it can be hard, especially on those snot slinging kind of days. LOL I have my sewing and knitting and even though it is only a hobby right now, it definitely keeps me sane.

    Your former job at the museum sounds fascinating, I can see how you struggled with the decision. It is awesome that you still get to be involved, and yet fulfill your dream as a working stay at home mama : D

    It really is a blessing to be a woman now! We can make our own rules.

  17. TRB Holt says:

    Being your mother I know I am a BIT prejudice of your writing BUT also being somewhat worldly–wise in the “job” world”, (just did a quick tally and have worked in 19 different fields…from selling Hondas to mid-range computers!) It is so refreshing to see you write….. “Sometimes I feel like my generation is plagued with too many good choices.” I work with many young people now, from your generation, and the majority of them have the half empty attitude……too bad I couldn’t take a half full chip from your brain and implant in theirs…Love you Burb! xoxo

    ps…Clyde’s namesake is delightful!

  18. KWQR says:

    Love it! Beautiful writing as always. I have always been simultaneously grateful for & overwhelmed by all of the choices available for our generation. But grateful far outweighs indeed. Being a work-at-home-mom is such a gift and definitely a challenge. Just yesterday I was juggling one boy on the potty, on the phone trying to close a big sale & being hit in the head with a tinker toy by my other boy. Never had to work under those conditions in any of my previous jobs, but it does keep me on my toes. After motherhood all of my future jobs will seem easy.
    p.s. Can’t wait to meet Clyde in person. :-)

  19. Kathleen says:

    Got my little turkey a turkey tee. We LOVE it! Thanks for being so crafty.

  20. Charity says:

    I think all of these choices, do make life harder in some ways. It’s not alway easy to just trust in yourself.
    This is the first time that I have commented. But I have been reading since Kelly came to visit. Funny I talk about it, like I know the two of you.
    Anyway as I get off topic. Snow allready. I’m here in Pa, and hoping the snow will hold out for a while.

  21. Anyone know of or have links to Australian copyright infringement cases involving photos or articles? Thanks.? if youre using these types of bags