Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Know No

Do you quilters out there, or any other readers, know the word no? Know it and use it? I sure wish I had a better relationship with the word no.

I'm scared of it. I'm scared of hearing it, and I'm really scared to use it.

Today, I was put on hold while trying to make an appointment for my daughter's annual checkup. I, of course, was put on hold. The recording said I would be on hold for 5-10 minutes. The recording told me 12-15 times that all operators were busy and my call was important to them. After 15 minutes of holding, a real live person came on the line. She asked me if I could hold. My polite little (useless) instincts told me to say "yes". I said yes. Then I was put on hold. A couple minutes later I asked myself "why didn't I just say No." What would they have done to me? Come to my house and shoot me. Blast an air horn into the phone. I doubt it. They probably would have made an appointment for me. I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO.

I did say NO to a friend who wanted me to donate a quilt for an art auction for his organization. I thought about this for a long time. I had lots of reasons to say no. So I said no. Then I felt terrible. SHOULD I HAVE SAID YES?

I have the chance to hang my quilts in a local restaurant. I would probably have to redo the way I hang my quilts, as they use cables from the ceiling and my quilts would bend over from the top using this method. I would also need to attach weights to the bottoms of the quilts. My quilts normally hang from a screw or nail in the wall and hang perfectly flat when attached this way. I fear that my quilts would gather odors from hanging in a restaurant. I also fear stains since many would hang right next to the tables. My every instinct wants me to say no. I don't want to spend the huge amount of time it would take to revamp my artwork when I feel it would not sell (I'm sure that I would get some exposure, though), because people are there to eat not buy art. I want to focus instead on web marketing and other methods of selling. I also want to spend that time creating new works. These works have already been displayed in the area.

I always feel torn between creating and getting exposure. I feel if I'm going to go to all of that work to display my art, then I would prefer to be in a show where the people going to visit the art are at least out to see art. My belief is that people go to art shows to see art (if not buy it) and diners go to restaurants to eat and drink.

Perhaps it is one of those womanly ovarian things. I think many women find it hard to say no. Could this be my problem? Many people think of quilters as those nice little old ladies who sit around in circles quilting, trading recipes and childrens photos and always saying yes.

I want to wear a t-shirt that says NO. I want to get to know the word NO. I want to be able to use it without fear and guilt.


paula said...

i love this post kim. love it love it love it.
it is empowering to say no and not even give a why, that is the true test of strength (in my little book at least).
as far as the restaurant...there are no right answers. you might do it and sell something. or you might do it and all of your concerns would come true. no right no wrong but you definately have a feeling so why not just act on that and have a speck of peace . i give you permission :)

the phone thing cracked me up...

i will send that picture of the back of the quilt i have tomorrow w/ email.i think i'm going to go make a t-shirt that says NO, that is fantastic!

best blog post of the day goes to YOU.

Nellie's Needles said...

I agree with Paula about the restaurant exhibit. You've stated a whole lot of reasons not to do it and not very convincing to do it.

Saying "NO" is a learned skill. It becomes easier the more you say it. Just keep in mind that there's only so much energy to expend. A certain amount has to be spent on those things that are necessary in our daily lives. The rest should be reserved for what we feel passionate about, be it making art or giving joy to those we care about.