Me, the Bee


Hi, my name is Nancy Barnes. I’m the B of YBWorks.

Yes, YBWorks stands for “why B works” because I needed something to do that felt like work, to restore a chunk of my “me” that was lost when my life spun on a dime. It’s like one day, I was a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker with an AS techie degree in EERT (had skills, could travel, one employable bee) and then bam…  welcome to disability, with perks like limited mobility and chronic pain… (no pity please, it’s not so bad)… hell, pain is relative… as long as I’m not screaming involuntarily, I can deal.

The thing is, disability stole a chunk of my identity. How can I be who I am, defined by what I do, when I cannot do the work anymore? What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? Sit around, wait to die? I never was one to zombie out in front of a TV set.

Art pretty much saved me… I took up colored pencils because it was a dry medium that required minimal arm movement to draw small pictures. I quickly learned that zoning into drawing was a mind over matter… zone deep enough dulls some pain. Suppose that also explains some of my drawings, as everything does come out in the art.

Still, my life was missing a sense of work… then I got this brainiac idea that I could somehow “re-able” myself with a couple button machines. I also fantasized that YBWorks could grow into a button factory with a storefront, hire employees, and offer every size and shape available; then YBWorks could be short for Youngstown Button Works.

Yes, I dream out loud… reality is always such a cold blow.

I’ve been testing the waters, so to speak, to discover what I can and cannot do… time to align and decide where to go from here. You’re welcome to follow along.

Thanks for reading!