In November of last year, I started watching two kids (siblings) several days a week before school and occasionally after school. The family had recently moved to the neighbourhood and both parents were working as occasional teachers, which meant that they often didn’t know until the night before whether they needed someone to watch their kids the next day before school, after school, both, or not at all. With their inconsistent schedules, they were looking for someone who was more flexible than the standard options. And, since our kids got along well (our youngest are in the same grade and quickly became friends at the beginning of the year), I figured that it was an easy (and guilt-free!) way to earn a little extra cash for beads without impacting my schedule too much. After all, I figured that my mornings were mostly spent getting the kids ready for school and the after school time was spent getting their snack together and doing their home reading. But, what started as a way to support my bead purchases had an unexpected result.
I never really thought about when I put together bracelets. Turns out, it’s in the mornings. Before school. That little stretch of time after the lunches are made and before we head out the door is exactly when I put together most of my combinations. And also exactly when the kids showed up most mornings.
Although I didn’t watch the kids every morning, I did watch them most mornings, so you can probably guess what happened to my bracelet-building time. Pretty much gone. Which is when I learned that the old adage is indeed true – if you don’t use it, you lose it. I lost my desire for beads. Not entirely, of course, but I started to notice it dwindle more and more as the new year unfolded. I slowly fell back on wearing the same combos again and again, with no desire to switch them out. I assumed that it was my usual winter lull but, as the snow decreased, my desire to make new combinations didn’t increase.
With no new combinations in mind, I also lost my desire to buy new beads. I assumed that with this extra little source of income I’d be knocking beads off of my wish lists at a faster pace. But, I’ve only knocked three items off of my wish lists in the last six months. Two were retired beads that came up and I wasn’t sure if I’d get another opportunity. The third was only because I ended up with a credit at my local Pandora store.
On top of that, I also realized that I used that time in the morning to keep up with other people’s Instagram posts, so I feel like I lost touch with so many of the great people on there over the last six months.
I don’t want to sound completely negative. The family – children and parents – are so very lovely and my kids really enjoyed having the others over. But, I am looking forward to more relaxed mornings for the next two months. And hopefully getting back to enjoying my beads! Maybe I’ll even make it to a bead store in the next few months. I do have a small stash of cash to fund a few bead purchases …