While I think it is human nature to underestimate one’s contributions during the day I also believe that by discounting these accomplishments we undervalue our own work. I had a colleague talk to me about how it wasn’t anyone’s business how many hours she put in since she was under a salary and put in however many hours it took to accomplish the work to her professional satisfaction. What she didn’t see, or refused to see, is that by putting in extra hours but not letting anyone know that you needed that time to get your work done, you are actually undervaluing your time and contributions. Yes you have to get your work done to your satisfaction, but if no one knows that it takes you 60 hours to do your current workload then they don’t value your work.
I have found myself doing the same thing. Yes, creating a breed journal is fun, but I wouldn’t be sticking with it if it were not for my students. I hope to provide them with an idea of the rabbit hole they are jumping down, as well as getting them on the path of tracking their spinning early. The problem with this is that I spend at least 2-3 hours per night working on spinning, documenting, learning to quilt (something else my students requested), and reading a bit. This is 10-15 hours per week that I am working on crafts that I intend to use to teach. Yes, I would be doing some spinning anyway. Yes, I am embarking on something that I lot of spinners dream of doing. I also did get into this craft for sheer love of spinning and fiber. What I didn’t realize is that my supervisor didn’t know that it took me that long to work on spinning, learning techniques (buying classes and videos) or the hours it takes me to plan the classes and write up lectures for those that go beyond the basics.
The purpose of this is to remind you, if you are doing your crafting to teach then value your time and what it costs you to learn. In any profession take the time to realize how much of yourself you put into your job that you are not getting paid for, or credit for. Find ways to put these accomplishments into conversation. If someone praises you on something then let them know, “Thank you, I spent time learning how to do … in the evenings/on the bus/during the weekends but it was well worth it in the end.” Or, “Thank you, I took a class on that a couple of months ago in the evenings/etc.”
Okay, done with the service announcement.