Hey Folks, NDS Jewellery's online shop section is taking a break! If you still want to place an order, please get in touch via email, for the time being. Thanks a mil, Nicole x

Seasonal Story Time.

Posted by Nicole Duranton Sigl on

Hello my dear Readers,

Every time I start writing my online journal, I wonder who you are and how my words will find you. Are you well, do my words hit a nerve, or simply fall into the empty void of the uncaring internet, forever disinterested in whatever I have to say or try to do? I can only hope my posts not only reach you but resonate as well and, without ever knowing for certain, I keep writing as if it didn’t matter whether anyone is reading - or not. But of course, it really does matter to me. Why, because I have come to consider this space my journal of sorts, a public yet intimate place to share what I can about my life, thoughts, and things that I care about. I won’t lie, I found this month difficult to get through, so far. Not from a business point of view per se but rather as regards the interpersonal side of things. I am struggling to compartmentalise certain interactions that I have had to be part of, not of my own choice (which in itself is indicative of the kind of interaction I refer to) but merely as a side effect of what I do. A ‘side effect’, by definition, is typically undesired and I am sure we can all come up with interactions or conversations we would consider unwanted, unpleasant and unwelcome. Clearly, this is highly personal, what people put up with varies greatly from one person to the next. I guess that is part of the problem, too. For some, it’s ok, for others, it’s not. Some people care a lot about what is being said, others very little. Words have power though. Does it bother me that an increasing number of people seem to lack even the most basic sense of consideration, respect, civility, and general decency? Yes. Yes, it does. I guess I fall into the category of people who care a lot. Too much even for my own good, I acknowledge that freely. There are many examples I could give here but that’s not what I want this post to be about. In all likelihood, you who read this are actually nice, good people who understand what I mean. You know what’s what and I don’t need to push at an open door, do I? Hence the bottom line of what I am trying to say is simply this: I am feeling a bit sad and lost in the woods these days. 

This has led to a lot of not so festive anxiety of late and I am finding it difficult to resort to my usual happy-go-lucky ways at present. While I rather hope that this too shall pass, it feels important to me to put some of my concern into words. I need that for my own sanity but also, possibly, to help others feel seen who face similar challenges in their lives. There seems to be a palpable seismic shift in what previously might have been considered seasonal hustle and bustle. This year, to me at least, it does not “merely" feel like that at all. There is an insufferable sense of entitlement as well as disrespect and thoughtlessness around the place that I find almost unbearable. The careless attitude I have witnessed is intolerable to me and I have been pushed to my own limits a good few times of late. I am proud to say that I have managed to remain composed, even in the face of adversity. While, considering my temperament, this is a small personal victory, it does not leave a good feeling behind. Instead, resentment is building up. My hibernation break couldn’t come at a better time, to be honest. I am exhausted from having to witness/discuss whatever you would like to call the very opposite of common sense and considerateness. By taking a break, I hope to rediscover the joy in my work and I will show myself the kindness and respect I have sadly not always been granted in these weird times.

After all, I am this business but also a real person, with real feelings and real thoughts, not all related to what I do for a living. I get to tell my story, my narrative is my own. You can literally take my word for it. People can think what they want [about me and generally speaking] but I will stand up for myself, speak up, and have my story heard. Whether anyone is willing to listen is another matter altogether but it does not change who I am or what I stand for.  All this as a lengthy and not entirely festive intro to “unpack” what I have actually sat down to put into words for the month of December: the recognition and appreciation of everyone, literally every genuine and kind soul, who has crossed my (market) path this year, be they customers, new acquaintances, or fellow traders here in West Cork. Many I now consider friends, while all of them I see as part of one big, loud, slightly dysfunctional, but nevertheless lovable market family. We are a motley crew, that much you can be sure of. Despite the sometimes rowdy tone, the unruly tempers, and different temperaments altogether, there is an emotional connection with past and possibly future generations of traders, a common ground that we tread and trade on, an innate sense of fair trade boiled down to its very essence, if you will. I genuinely believe that by supporting your local markets, makers, artists, crafters, growers, and producers you too can make a difference for the better, while simultaneously helping us to keep our respective dreams alive.

And since it’s Christmas soon, let me restore at least some festive spirit and tell you a very short little story now: 

Once upon a time there was a young girl who lived in and roamed the woods she was born into. A free child of the free forest, one could say. In all her journeys across her own woods as well as further afield, she longed to find a reassuring, snug, and congenial place where she could be at ease. For that girl, the journey was the destination. That little girl is big now and mostly happy, or so it seems. She has come a long way, both literally and figuratively speaking. Her journey has brought her here today, exactly where we are. Her lessons so far were many, and many more are yet to be learned. This much she knows: she has to trust the timing of her own life. She is thankful for everyone she met along the way. From the people living down the street where she grew up, who indulged her early entrepreneurial endeavours as a feisty child, right up to everyone who supports her efforts at present, when she is standing outdoors in all kinds of weather, with a runny nose and cold, clumsy fingers, nervously trying to gift wrap her creations (and feelings). The little girl may be big now but she still wears her heart on her sleeve. She keeps her head in the clouds and feet firmly on the ground. Despite her struggles, she thinks that she should keep going, just to see what happens. How the story goes on remains to be seen.

(Not) the end.

To end at least this post, let me also share a relevant update for the weeks/months ahead. As of now, my market season has come to a close. I will go on an extended break over Christmas and the New Year, starting immediately. My online shop will remain open throughout but delivery times are entirely out of my control. In January and February (possibly March, too) I will work behind closed doors, no appointments are being made, no new commissions taken, no markets attended as a trader. I strongly recommend you join my clan via email, like that you will be the first to know when or how I’ll re-emerge from my hibernation, I promise. Otherwise, please stay in the loop with occasional peeks from NDS Jewellery headquarters on my social media… you never know what else I might feel compelled to share…teehee. And of course I will keep writing my monthly journal entries here! So if you like what you’re reading, well… keep reading!

Thank you again for everything, all of you, truly. I know you are the good ones.
My gratitude is heartfelt.
Here’s to hope that we can all find some magic and get rest during the holidays ahead!
With lots of love as always, stay safe,
Nicole x