Personal Struggles, Hope and Gratitude

Mar 6, 2020 | 0 comments

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.” ― Julian Seifter

A Message from Jason

I want to thank everyone who has sent me well wishes throughout my recent health problems. I really appreciate the many messages of good health, kindness, and understanding that I’ve received. Thank you.

This is a difficult message to write and even more difficult to share, but an apology and explanation is in order regarding my absence over the past months. It’s been a challenging and uncertain time for me. Some of you have been waiting to hire me to build a wall easel without any updates. I’m truly and deeply sorry that has been the case. I dislike letting anyone down, ever.

So What Happened?

Well, I’ve been having health problems — physical and emotional. Last year, I had a mesh repair surgery for an umbilical hernia and bilateral inguinal hernias that did not go well. When I resumed work last Summer, the pain was terrible. I managed to fulfill many more orders, but I was miserable. Ten months later, I still experience stabbing, aching pins and needles in my lower abdomen. While I am getting better at working through this chronic pain, it slows me down and makes woodworking much harder. As my ability to work suffered, I became increasingly discouraged and depressed. (Like a lot of creative types, I have bipolar disorder.) I typically manage my dark moods by keeping busy and staying productive. Without that outlet and focus, I struggle emotionally.

When I’ve been in full production, I regularly put in upwards of 70 hours a week. Even then, there are some who may not have an opportunity to purchase an easel. It’s just my brother Larry and myself here. We build the wall-mounted artist easels in small batches, often taking individual requests for custom sizes and features. We’re not some large manufacturing facility. There are no shelves lined with thousands of finished products, ready to be distributed. The easels are hand crafted and I take great care and effort with each one I build.

What’s Next?

The unplanned hiatus required me to reflect on my life and re-think how I want to spend my days. While I remain committed to making more wall easels, I recognize that my health, well-being, and time spent with my wife and seven-year-old son must be my priority. Hopefully, I’ll even find some time to draw and paint here and there. (There’s some irony that when one builds wall easels for other painters, they have no time for making art themselves!)

Each day, I’m doing a little better. I’m finding new ways to get my work done. In fact, I’ve been producing new wall easel inventory for a couple of months now. There won’t be enough for everyone right away, but I will make the easels to the very best of my abilities for as many of you good people as I reasonably can. Additionally, efforts are underway for an improved customer queue and pre-order system.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

Jason Tueller

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