Thursday, December 8, 2011

Do You Ever Encounter People Who Are At A Loss As To What You Do?



Do you ever encounter people that are simply at a loss as to what you do, if you write a blog or have work that is associated with an online presence? If a person's work and livelihood aren't a part of this online world, what we do (or what they think we are doing), can appear strange...and even rather pointless.

I certainly have had my fair share of these experiences. My solution? I stopped talking about my work with people in my "real life." If they want to know, they can ask. Otherwise, it makes more sense to focus on what is right in front of us, in this "real world." Believe me, it works and has taken a lot of pressure off of my daily life!

However, the next time someone asks me what I'm doing and more to the point, why I do it, (ie: what is the point), I'd love to hand them a copy of this message!

Dear Janell

I absolutely love Isabella & Max Rooms and have followed you as you created House of Fifty. What an inspiration you have been! I'm about to turn 49 and was really in the same place you were...wanting to use my creativity to do something more, yet finding a lot of closed doors based on my age. Just like you, I was inspired to make my own way. I launched my business and website just a few months ago and have never looked back! I am excited and empowered to do the things I wasn't sure I could!

Best Regards,

I think this this message would sum it up. Mindy, congratulations for making it happen for yourself! 
And for writing, thank you...it makes my day!


And I'm curious, if this happens to you, what do you say?!

30 comments :

  1. Love your attitude when it comes to this. My day job is leadership training and sometimes people look at me with a blank stare. The email you rec'd is wonderful - you've set a great example.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the note you received. People really don't get what I do. Especially after being a successful attorney for years, nobody can possibly understand how any of this matters to me. I've stopped talking unless someone is actually interested.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've experienced the same situations! I think people just don't understand. I've come to learn that following your own passion and being true to yourself is so much more important than what others may or may not think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. People don't get what I do either, even though you'd *think* making jewelry is a pretty straightforward thing. I get a lot of skepticism because I'm young, and I feel like I constantly have to explain that what I'm doing isn't a hobby. And if I happen to mention my blog... Lord. That's another can of worms. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think many people who don't have blogs or don't read blogs (not from the blogging community) doesn't get what we do. Like everything in life, if you are not familiar with something, you just don't see the point. I don't blame them.

    For instance, I am technologically challenged so I don't see why people have to get the latest gadgets every two months.

    Have a great day, Janell.

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jessie, good point...I don't get football! (and probably never will)

    It's hard to get what we don't have experience with and for many, it probably seems indulgent. With the need to make a buck, to follow one's passion can be pure luxury. I'm very fortunate to be able to do the work I do.

    Janell

    ReplyDelete
  8. From one 40something blogger to another :) Amen!
    Just experienced this exact scenario last weekend. Especially difficult as a new blogger just figuring it out myself...how do I possibly explain it to others?!

    Once again, thanks for the inspiring words. Still working hard to make this "luxury" a reality.
    Now, if you will excuse me...I need to go take some pictures of my dining room table to share with the world!

    Laura
    www.elegantnest.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't commented before, but felt I must this time. I turn 50 this weekend, and in addition to blogging, I freelance for a company that provides web content for hospitality industry clients all over the world. My "real world" friends are puzzled by what I do, and my new work colleagues are so young and hip that they can't imagine a life without html and cms and all the rest. I'm grateful for your example, and I love House of Fifty! Love it! Thanks for all your inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh how timely Janell...and can I get an AMEN! I was just corresponding via e-mail with a blog friend and we were talking about how some people in our real lives kind of look at us like we have 5 heads when we talk about blogging. But I'm with you, I don't bring it up unless I'm asked about it. Isn't it so funny though how there's just that certain "something" about blogging that you can't pinpoint unless you're a part of it? I started taking a few interior design classes because I figured why the hell not? Life is too short, gotta play hard. Love this post Janell!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Janell I completely understand. I do have a full time position, however regarding my site, I usually tell people that it is how I pay it forward, support the arts, entrepreneurs etc.

    Please Come and enter the 12 Days of Holiday giveaways! The current one is from The French Basketeer! It is stunning!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've started taking your approach, because some of my friends didn't get how much I love blogging and working on projects around my house and how much WORK and thought goes into each post and every idea. Now I don't mention my blog or projects I'm working on unless they ask - much easier that way...and when I receive kind sweet emails from readers like you have that 'GET IT' it makes me smile and my heart jump and know I'm doing the RIGHT thing for me, and bottom line that's what's important! :) wow, I wrote you a book, lol Keep up your good work!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Janelle, Danni and I feel the same way. You are such an inspiration to women, but especially women who are over 45. We thank you for stepping out in faith and having fun while you do it. Thanks again, Julie

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Janell,

    I love the quote you chose. I'm a fan of Mary Oliver and that line has reverberated in my mind for years.

    Where did you find the print?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Christopher,
    Thank you for the reminder, I just added the link below the print in the post, but here it is as well:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/63239745/mary-oliver-inspirational-quote-print

    ReplyDelete
  16. My blog life has been fun lately - it's going to be mentioned on tv in a couple weeks! But I've found that since the announcement my "real life" friends feel that they can safely tell me how they thought I was crazy wasting my time blogging until now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. For a while I never told anyone I blogged but now I share - even though most people in my "real life" don't get it. Fortunately I have met many local bloggers, like the lovely Rosa above, that have become part of my "real life" and they so get it!

    I love what opportunities have come my way, how blogging has empowered me, it is all my work and creativity, no on else! I even helped create a network for western Canadian bloggers and we put on our first blogger meet-up in the fall and I managed to get Ikea Canada to sponsor the whole thing! And the editor in chief of Canadian House and Home along with Kelly Deck came as guests! Doors have opened :)

    You are in inspiration Janell, you don't let your age define you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love this post as I've experienced this for many years. Working as a food magazine art director, people would ask me what exactly I do. "do you take the pictures? no... do you write the recipes? no... do you make the food? no... do you arrange it on the plate? um, no...

    And now with my blog, people have no clue as to why I would "waste" my time blogging, but also don't bother to take the time to visit it either. I've given up mentioning it and just enjoy the friends I've made through this online world and the inspiration they provide. xo

    ReplyDelete
  19. So much wonderful discussion on this topic. Thanks for raising the subject Janell and for being a wonderful example to all of us, especially those like me with a few more "years of experience." I am in the 50+ age group and blogging has opened up a whole new world of creativity for me, filled with inspiring people and ideas. Like all of you, unless asked I don't say much about this aspect of what I do. To each his own, it's all about making choices that we each find personally fulfilling and appropriate.
    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  20. You definitely are an inspiration to those of us in our 40's Janell. I have a design business so I tend to focus on that as "what I do" but for those who read blogs I"ll share. Thank goodness for this wonderful thing called blogging because it continually inspires me to do what I love (and you're so right that those of us who are lucky enough to be able to ride that path can sometimes look like we're living a life of luxury).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Maybe i should not say this but i honestly think it is a generation thing - i am in the technology industry so i don't really get what you get but totally understand your point and when i do have to explain to folks the details it is usually a generation thing. . .

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ewa (Delishhh), that makes a lot of sense and probably holds true for a lot of situations. Interestingly, while I'm 50, because I have young children I find most of my friends (due simply to us being at the same point in our lives chronologically) are 10-20 years younger than me...and these are the people that don't get what I'm doing. So...yes, sometimes it is a generational thing and sometimes it is simply not having technology be a part of the way one conducts business and earns their livelihood. Interesting discussion, love these types of discussions!

    Janell

    ReplyDelete
  23. One more thing! While yes, an aspect of this is about technology, even more I think it is about the "luxury" of being able to do work that one loves and gets a sense of purpose from. Unfortunately, many don't have this option. I try to remember to be thankful each day for getting to this point in my life where I can focus on work that I feel passionate about.

    Janell

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know what you mean.... I think it seems that there are so many blogs out there that it's worthless to be "just one more"- but that's not true. I try to remember why I love it and what I really want to share. It makes it better.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love this post! Thank you for bringing this up. I don't talk about what I do unless I am asked.
    When I first told people about the blog they asked questions like what do you expect from it, why do you do it...etc...then I had a group of friends that 100% supported me and are my biggest fans.
    I'm with you, don't talk about it unless someone else brings it up. There is nothing worse then someone who goes on and on and on about how wonderful they are :) Keep up the fabulous work!
    XO
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  26. well said - like you I have no need to defend my online self - this is as real a world as any - best le xox

    ReplyDelete
  27. Boy...a comment/email like that just makes your day doesn't it? How sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my gosh.. that's so true. If your friends don't blog or work in an online sense no one understands how fabulous the community is and that it is real work..Janell you are doing something amazing, start telling those people you'll send them the link. You'll knock their socks off :) x Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sweetie, You never need to justify what you DO, I think it would be better stated, by saying What doesn't or can't Janell DO!!! You are an amazing woman with more talent in your little pinky than most people will ever acquire in a lifetime. You are a gift to blogland, which by the way is vast and you touch so many lives through this wonderful medium. I for one and thankful for, "ALL" that you do!
    xo Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a great e-mail to receive! It makes it all so rewarding. I never tell people about my blog. I'm still very new at this blogging thing. It is such a blessing to be able to do what I love and have the time to really be here for my kids. I think that people outside of the "creative world" sometimes have different goals in life. Blogging/designing/creating isn't a get rich or get famous quick kind of thing. It really is about following your passion and I think that is often times why many people just don't understand.

    ReplyDelete

Now I Would Love To Hear What You Think!