Do you live your life in the future? Do you say “When XYZ happens, I’ll be happy?” Are you so focused on your goals that you’re not seeing the good things that you have right now?
There’s a delicate balance between pursuing a better future for yourself and your family and driving so hard that you’re not loving your life right now. It’s something every businesswomen I know struggles with – it’s sort of a work/life balance issue but even more so. At what point do you decide to skip your workout and sit and look out at the water instead? At what point do you leave the office to spend an extra hour with your Mom planting your garden that you’ve neglected all year? At what point do you say “Enough is enough! This is my life NOW. Live it.”
I think that point is different for everyone but I do know that everyone has that point; the point that they’ve crossed over from being goal-oriented to driven and just simply bland, worn down and bitter. Maybe you’ve gotten there and come back from the brink, maybe you’re sitting this one out and wishing you were more goal-oriented – no matter where you are in your life, stop, take a deep breath and live your life now. Enjoy it to its fullest. Take where you are and appreciate it with all your heart because this is your life. Now.
This is the best thing I’ve read in months!!!! Thank you so much for sharing, it made me feel truly happy!
Wow, you do have a good memory! That WAS a long time ago. I’m pretty sure I was starting a very difficult divorce process at that time or just ending it (the time really blends together) and fighting to keep Bramble Berry. I have fond fond memories of that convention and all the kind and sweet people I met. If I ever move, Austin is definitely my first choice in the nation!
Taylor sounds like a typical girl – the glitter soap is so stinkin’ popular with every little girl under the age of 16 that I know (and many over the age of 16!).
It is impressive that you have overcome all that you have an continue to look on the bright side. It’s definitely a good example for us all. =)
That sounds like an incredible adjustment period for you. Going from a fun, crazy, unpredictable life (sounds awesome!) to a life you never imagined must have been painful beyond belief.
I am so glad that you’ve found some measure of peace – in your occasionally messy house, flannel pj’s and books – but I’m sure getting to this place has been an exercise in willpower and extreme grace.
I’m glad you’re still making soap (and yes, those fragrance oils do last a long time!) and even more glad that you’ve found reasons to smile again after such a difficult series of setbacks.
Thank you for chiming in. Your heartfelt comment really makes me think and be thankful for this very moment I’m in.
You’re so right; those first two-three years are all consuming. There is no slow ramp-up period and no time to catch your breath. I remember those days. But if you can even get one thing scheduled in per day for yourself (a work out, a lunch with a friend, time to read), I think that’s a definite win win =)
I struggle with it too. I wrote it as a reminder for myself too! =)
Catherine Keller says
Colorqueen – I’m so sorry for your losses… that starting everything over again can be pretty stressful. Your message made me smile. If you’re at all like I am, there are some great days and some days that just sneak up on ya and knock your feet out from under you.
Your message made me smile – I like the thought of reading in flannel jammies!
Catherine Keller says
Absolutely. Ya know, ever since I heard your keynote address at our convention (Tx soapmakers) several years ago, I replay a lot of what you said… it was that memorable, I can remember some of it almost verbatim.
My little Princess, Tayler (my granddaughter) and I cook together…she’s also made soap with me… she prefers glitter soaps and does a great job! Her brother arrived in time to meet his grandpa and to smile at him before his grandpa passed on… I’m so grateful for that. And little Beaux is another wonderful treasure, just like his big sister!
I’m really so blessed…. wonderful children, beautifully fun grandchildren and some awesome friends – both here in Austin and here at Brambleberry. You’ve kept me going and I’m eternally grateful!
Catherine Keller says
Thanks Princess – it was quite a year for sure! It helped to come in here and see Anne-Marie and her videos! That really DID help!! I’m such a hard head, I’m determined that I can conquer pie crust… LOL!! I actually made some rolled cookies the other day… that was one of my challenges, too! We’re edging towards making Christmas breads and cookies… and maybe even pie! (I may have to resort to Pillsbury, but I’m good with that… this year!)
Really good post, Anne-Marie. This is one I struggle with. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for your post! Finding balance is difficult, especially in the first few year of your business. For us, hitting the 2-year mark for our business has made us realize we need to spend more time living and not just soapmaking 🙂
Until the summer of 2005, I thought my fun,crazy and unpredictable life was really a dream come true. Great husband, great house in the country, lots of friends, lots of energy. Used to make a lot of soap back then, too. In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, it was all gone. My husband was killed in an accident, my mother passed away, and everything we had worked for was lost. It was an excruciatingly painful wake up call from many angles. At 51, I was literally starting my life over, in ways I had never imagined.
I no longer fret the small stuff, and live my life the way I want to, not how others “think” I should. It’s okay to play with my grand daughter all day and have a messy house- it doesn’t take long to straighten things up after she has gone home. It’s okay to have a fire in the fireplace just because I like to watch the flames. It’s okay to read a book in the living room wearing flannel jammies. It’s okay to stop, look and relax. It is SO okay to enjoy our days.
I still make soap on a very small scale basis. Your fragrance oils have a very long shelf life! I am finally, after all this time, needing to order more oils.
I use my wedding china almost every day! Yes, it will get ruined more quickly but I love using it. =) I try to balance out the planning and the constant trying with the ability to just sit still, lose focus, and immerse myself in family time or a good book. It’s easy to go too far one way but then, making course corrections isn’t all that hard if you’ve been good about monitoring where you are on your journey. =)
It sounds like you have your priorities perfectly straight – family is what matters the most and your recovery from such a horrible stressful year is paramount. After all, you won’t be able to continue making soap for the long term if you end up damaging your psyche in the process of trying to jump back into things too early.
I am sorry to read about your husband and your home – in the same year. That is a lot of heart ache; yes, a lot of pie crust and grandkid time to help make a balm to soothe your soul sounds like the perfect recipe for you right now.
Ha ha. That’s exactly it – it’s a call for more napping and more downtime. =)
It’s just so easy to get caught in the perpetual striving and striving and forget to stop, look around, breathe and be thankful, you know?
Catherine, my sympathies to you. Sounds like pretty much everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for you in the past year. But it also sounds line you have your priorities straight. Make cookies (and soap) with the grandkids.
But my experience with pie crust is that it’s not worth the frustration – Pillsbury refrigerated crusts are better than any I could make myself. 😉
Great post Anne-Marie. I think everyone needs to stop and take a breather every know and then. Recharge, and live life!
Evermore Organics says
Totally there. Totally needed this wake-up call.. or rather, this ‘go to sleep’ call.
Catherine Keller says
Wow… this is me to a T. Our house burned down last year and my husband was dreadfully ill and in ICU for 5 months in a hospital that was an hour away. He passed on in April; my son, our dogs and I are back in our house and folks are wanting me to make soap in time for the holidays. While I really do want to grow my business, it’s time to recover without any pressures… I’m still getting over the pressures of last year. Time to make cookies with Grandkids and learn to make a really good pie crust. I can always make soap down the road…
Good point. We should use the good dishes during the week, why do we save them for just special occasion. Just like we put off doing things we want to do until we retire. After losing my son, I realized you can’t plan, you dreams don’t always have a future. Live for today, enjoy each day, we can be gone tomorrow. Enjoy the fine china and every other thing we collected because we like it. Thanks.
Thank you for this – your timing is perfect. My job has become very stressful over the past year and a half and I’ve started making soap as my stress reliever. It started as a bit of a joke. When my job got stressful, I’d joke that I was going to quit it, move to the mountains and make soap for a living. After one particularly stressful day, I ordered books on soap making and then bought supplies and started experimenting. I’ve only been making soap for a couple of months, but so far it’s been a very rewarding hobby. I’ve found my joy in making soap….
love it!!! This is soooo true! Thanks for posting this!