Chicago Pen Show Lesson #3

Lesson #3: When you find a moment of joy, step into it without hesitation and live it completely.

I’m a recovering over-thinker. I used to consider that a sign of my value as a human being. I went so far as to tell people that I was exactly the kind of person you would want with you in an emergency because I had thought through every possible thing that could go wrong. And, I had made a Plan A through Z on how to handle it.

Turns out that approach burns through a ton of mental energy and eventually depletes you of joy. This recent realization required a good deal of reprogramming of the way I think through situations. And it made me reconsider my approach to experiencing events like pen shows.

So, if you are doing any overthinking about how you could have, should have, or would have handled any parts of your pen show experience (or if you are beating yourself up for not attending), please join me in a moment of zen.

  • Time is finite. Rather than rushing through a pen show, I take my time and accept that I will not see everything. I prioritize what I most want to see or purchase and then let the rest unfold. Meandering oftentimes results in happening across some new finds that are worth the time spent exploring.
  • People are the best resource. Whether you are chatting with someone from Atlas or another attendee, you will learn something. It was on a completely unrelated topic that I found out about music nibs and that I adore them. Had I not allowed a conversation to take a leisurely turn, I would never have known.
  • When your heart speaks, listen. After missing out on a few purchases, I have made peace with my process. If there is a one-of-a-kind item sitting in front of me that makes my heartstrings vibrate, I buy it (bank account willing). If it does not completely delight me, I am comfortable waiting or passing. This requires that I pay attention to my own heart and know what joy feels like to me.

We’re not always able to be at a show or pick up a pen before it sells out, but that does not mean we’ve done anything wrong. Timing matters for pen purchases as much as it matters in relationships. I encourage you to find the space that fills you with joy (my space, as you know, is Atlas) and recharge yourself accordingly. 

What joys did you experience at the Chicago Pen Show? If you missed it, will we see you at the Sidewalk Sale in August? See ya then!

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