Sunday 9/27/20

Sunday 9/27/20

September 27, 2020

On Sundays I reflect.

I didn’t drink alcohol this week. It didn’t even cross my mind.

I’m a creature of habit. I wear the same clothes every day. I eat the same foods every week. This year more than ever before, I have been working on creating healthier habits in many areas of my life. This has been rather uncomfortable to say the least.

2020 has been relentless. 

The other day I created a personal Instagram account in order to differentiate my life from my business, though there is plenty of overlap. The other night I made the choice to stop looking at my business account around 10 pm. I saw a notification on the screen even though I wasn’t logged into DV with a person inquiring about the price of a piece (which happens to be listed on the website). I ignored the message and created some personal space for my self outside of business hours. I woke up and responded to the inquiry in the morning. 

This was a small step towards liberating myself from the clutches of social media, an entity I have been a slave to for years now if not decades. Next, I will finally delete the Facebook app off my phone. I will maintain a Facebook page but I do not need to have access to it 24/7 with nonstop notifications. I feel so stupid talking about my personal social media habits, because that is an incredibly stupid thing to talk about. Unfortunately, these companies have been using algorithms against us to manipulate our behavior which directly forms addictive behaviors like a drug.

Notice if you haven’t that both drugs and social media have “users” that eventually neglect their own wellness for consumption and a dopamine high. I have experienced this addiction in many ways in my life, and I have been aware of it dating back to a fairly young age. While being aware is an important step, I have still allowed these things to permeate my life and affect my well being. 

My business and my social media use are directly correlated, which has forced me to a point of setting boundaries. Historically I have responded to all inbound messages within a few minutes if not faster. I will no longer allow myself to be tethered to my phone and devices in the way I have. This will certainly be an evolving process for me. I would not be able to do this without a team of people to help me with the brand.

Yesterday morning I woke up and habitually checked my phone, though I did delay that for some time longer than on a normal morning. I saw some nonsense from my cousin who loves to post other people’s content, memes, and link bait articles about how terrible Biden and the Democrats are all while affirming that Blue Lives Matter and Trump is a hero because of how bad the opposition is. Sometimes I allow myself to engage on his page, and almost immediately regret it as it goes nowhere and leads to nothing besides his echo chamber chiming in about how wrong I am to be liberal. Anyways, I kept scrolling to discover the news that my friend and client’s dog had died. 

Tarzan was a Australian Shepard service dog to my client who has epilepsy. He saved my client’s life on many occasions. When his owner would ski, I would be given the responsibility of watching Tarzan. I am not sure if there was anyone else outside the family trusted to be with Tarzan who was never left alone. I have never met a dog like Tarzan. His obedience was unparalleled. I lost my dog Carly a few years ago, and have not been able to establish a stable enough environment nor the financial resources to get another dog yet. Tarzan became my surrogate dog over the last few years. Sometimes he would see me walking through the village before his owner and he almost toppled him over pulling at his leash to come say hi to me. My friends and anyone who came through my studio in the winter knew Tarzan and treated him as if he were my dog. They recognized that his needs took priority over everything else going on if he was in my care, because he was so important to my client’s condition. 

I am deeply saddened by the passing of this incredible creature. He was young, and has been fighting cancer most of this year. His owner survived Covid after two weeks in a hospital on a ventilator earlier this year. Tarzan was there through his rehabilitation. I haven’t seen Tarzan since at least February. I’m going to miss that dude.

I have another friend who’s life has been turned upside down this year. He has been my workout accountabillabuddy. He checks in to make sure I am staying on top of my regiment, and tells me about whatever goal he’s achieved or distance he has run that day. We both motivate each other from hundreds or thousands of miles apart to do better, both from an exercise perspective and as humans. He told me this week how much he’s been struggling. I call or text him every day. Sometimes I jokingly threaten that “Body Builder Ben” is going to beat him up if he doesn’t keep working out on the days he says he might not have the motivation. It’s funny because he is much bigger and stronger than me.

I have another friend who’s father took his own life recently. He was an artist. I met him a few times. He was the kind of guy you never wanted to stop talking with because his knowledge seemed endless. He kept up with me on Facebook here and there. I saw him at my friend’s studio and shows over the years. This friend of mine has just had one thing after another pile up and this has been the hardest thing he has ever dealt with. I call or text him every day. I joke with him about how annoying I have been to him since we met. He has personally housed me during my homelessness when I was first building this business. 

We hit 20K followers on Instagram this week. I am not sure why this number is significant, but I do know that I no longer care about the stats. As they keep tweaking the algorithm in order to try to get me to pay them to be seen, my brand is growing organically without doing so. I am finally ready to relinquish the need to be constantly monitoring my account. I will be setting specific times to schedule our content in advance with my team, and I will have specific times that I log into my business account and handle “work”. 

The colors are amazing up here right now. My house is frequented by deer daily. I have been stopping just to watch them more lately. I have been enjoying every drive, mindful to note the natural beauty around me. I turn my phone on silent when I am driving, using it only to play my music. 

And I am getting ready for ski season. I have said before that snowboarding is the only time I am actually free. I love blowing glass as much as I love snowboarding, but my passion for that art has been consumed by my business for the time being. Rather than having glass blowing as an expressive outlet, it has been a means to make money for me. Snowboarding is in no way correlated with work. I turn my phone on airplane mode when I am out there and can’t be bothered. For a guy who works 14-20 hour days 7 days a week it is essential that I make that time and space for myself. 

So now for the CUPDATE you have all been waiting for!

Stephan Peirce Stemware is coming and going quickly! I got four sets of stemware and two pairs presold. He also sent a pint glass called “The 9th Cup” that also got claimed by my dude Vinscent Van Grow. The other two sets of stemware have been added to the site and after a few weeks of orders he will be back to producing drinkware again. I am told he will make a few more pints but not many. He definitely wants to make more bottle sets so shoot me a message if you wanted a specific color set.

Jason Gordon has shipped the next batch of fumed cups, all of which have presold as well. He is working on some wood and resin table projects in between blowing glass but has more cups coming soon! Hopefully I can get caught up and list them on the website soon!

N8 has been working on some cups for me up at Everdream which should be ready soon. I anticipate going back there this week to pick up some cups and continue discussing future projects with the guys. I have a long list compiled for N8 cups, so those should be heading off to their new homes soon!

Skinny has been helping with photos and social media for the last few months. Next month his seasonal job picks up so he and I have been training our friend Taylor to help out with the social media half of Skinny’s job. She has also been learning to blow glass, polishing puntys this week and hopefully welding them together next week. I am optimistic as our team grows that we can continue to build upon this brand and improve the content we share with you.

As always thanks for tuning in,

BB



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