A funny thing happened on my way to the bead store

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 …


  1. I think you’re so sensible, and sitting pretty at the same time. Reading with your children and spending time in the company of adorable young people is a real and wonderful world to be in; IG is not a real world and might also be a waste of precious time,(gasp!), trust me, I am an expert at it. I often think about you, and I wonder if you’ve created another gem of a bead. Your name came up in conversation when we went to Novi bead shopping yesterday. Today, when I went to St.Jacobs with my daughter, I was telling her about you and your amazing creations. Enjoy this beautiful time of year and the magical summer days ahead.

    1. You are always too sweet Sarah! True, I do not regret the time spent with the littler people (mine and our regular visitors). But I do feel like I lost a little spark that I had in me. And partly it is the creating. Quite often my bead creations come from me wanting something for a theme and not being able to find it – so I make it! But, without wanting to create new themes, I haven’t wanted to create new beads. I just need to find the right balance between all of the things that I love :)

  2. I am going through a very similar phase but without the kids.

    Life has got really busy so playtime has dwindled along with following and buying new things.

    I’m hoping to have a general sort out later in the Summer!

    Mars xx

      1. Sadly, Sarah’s comment was caught up in my spam filter, so it wasn’t visible when you posted, but I can see what you mean! :D

        Life gets busy. People get a lurgy ;) It does always feel like there is something that comes out of the woodwork to keep me away from things. And I didn’t even mention Facebook or Twitter! I can’t decide if I want to thin out my social media so that I can actually keep up with it, or just ride it out and see where things take me. It almost feels like it would take more energy to sort through it all than to just keep ignoring it until I catch up with everything.

        Although, I feel that I might have embraced the relaxing mornings a bit too much – I still haven’t really gotten back into groove of creating new combos. But at least I have started thinking of new ideas, which is an improvement over the last few months.

        Hopefully you will see a break in your busy times so that you can get back to playing! I look forward to seeing more of the results of your recent glassy adventures :)

  3. Oh Tracy, I agree with what Sarah said. Your kids are only young once and now is the time to enjoy them! Instagram and Facebook take up SO much time. I hope you are having a nice summer and will be getting in some camping!

    1. We just got back on Monday from a few days of camping, actually :)

      I do love spending time with my kids. That’s one of the reasons that I quit my job a few years ago! And I’m lucky enough to be able to freelance work now so that I’m able to be home with my kids in the mornings and afternoons and take time off to go on their field trips and help out in their school. I know that there will come a time (probably sooner than I would like!) when they don’t want to spend as much time with me.

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