Several weeks ago, I entered some cards into a contest sponsored by Paper Crafts magazine. To be eligible, the cards had to be stamped, and had to be in one of five categories. I actually felt pretty good about my cards. I tried to challenge myself to do something different, I really dug into my supplies, I paid extra attention to detail and construction. And I lost anyway. I checked out some of the people who won, and found out that at least a couple of them have been previously published by Paper Crafts and/or are regular contributors to other magazines/craft websites as instructors. I was angry about that because I feel like the competition should have been open only to amateurs, and these others were professionals. I know that’s silly, but it really bugged me. It’s disappointing enough to have lost, but to have lost to someone who already has some card making street cred makes the whole thing seem pointless. I mean, what is the point of trying if I’ll never win?
But then, I thought, what sort of example am I setting for the boys? Don’t I encourage them to keep trying and to never give up? Don’t I tell them that they can’t get discouraged just because someone might be better than them at something? (Don’t they want to roll their eyes and wish I would shut up already?) I kinda wanted to roll my eyes at myself, actually. But it did help me put everything into perspective, at least a little, and I decided that I would keep stamping and making cards. I just don’t think I’ll be entering any contests. After all, those were one-of-a-kind originals, and I’ll never see them again! (On a side note, all of the cards were donated to an organization that provides them to servicemen and women who are serving deployments or unaccompanied tours, so at least they will be put to good use!)