Metalsmithing is my absolute passion. I don't work 40 hours per week. I wish I could travel to seminars and workshops but I can't. I wouldn't be able to pay all of our bills with my business alone. I wish I could apprentice with a master goldsmith or have a booth at arts festivals, and right now it's not feasible. I work from my home studio on a schedule that my body mostly dictates, learning new skills in fits and starts over the years, sometimes closing my shop for a few weeks when I need to.
But this oasis of productivity, of striving for something, accomplishing something, having a goal and a purpose and a payoff, even in small increments, makes the difference between feeling completely imprisoned by circumstances, and feeling like I hold some control over my own fate and future and joy. Every minute I spend with metal yielding under my hands is a minute of satisfaction, the ripples of which spread out across the rest of my existence.
I say this: find your metalsmithing. Even if it's writing a sentence per week of a novel or children's book, or, if you're trapped at home, challenging yourself to take photos of your usual surroundings in a way that captures them unusually. String beads; teach yourself a programming language in as much time as you need to take; start a blog and write movie reviews. I don't care. Whatever you dream of. Whatever winding road you need to take. However slowly.
We won't all "triumph." It's just not a promise the world makes to us. But most of us can at least build, find, steal, pockets of accomplishment, satisfaction and control, and I fervently hope that for most us they will also be enough to make pushing on worthwhile.