It has been said that at the end of life, what one will miss the most are their opportunities that they didn’t take. There are plenty of times in my life when I have felt that I have missed opportunities, let opportunities fall through my fingers, or worse yet, ignored opportunities because I didn’t make time for them. This past summer was wonderfully reflective for me. I learned a lot about who I am, about life, and my future. While my store, Kater’s Acres, went through the long and arduous process of restructuring and rebranding…I realized that was what I wanted for myself too.
I was blessed this summer to take classes in small business marketing and social media (no word as of yet whether I passed or not). But my eyes were opened to a whole lot of things that I already knew, but wasn’t yet ready to face. By the time classes had started I had already rebranded and relaunched Kater’s Acres. But down the road of classes, homework, mapping out “plans” for my little hobby turned business was something I didn’t expect. I was discovering something about myself.
This summer was my chance to find out who I was and what I meant to myself, both as an polymer clay artist and as an Etsy store owner. I know that sounds silly, but somewhere I was beginning to develop a “gray area.” You know, that part of life when you know more about who you want to be than who you are. Yep, that was me. I am so blessed; blessed beyond measure…but why did I feel “out of sorts?” I could tell that there was something missing…something that was different, but it was so small that I couldn’t even identify it myself. And that’s when with my hubby’s help I figured it out.
WHO I AM
The answer cam in wave upon wave. I was losing my identity and what I wanted as a polymer clay artist and character sculptor. I was slowing morphing into what people wanted me to be instead of who I am. This is a dangerous line to walk. My faith was intact and I knew who I was, yet the me that I am as being stiffled. Through a lot of prayer and talks with my husband, I figured out what the next steps were for me and my little store / hobby / business. I had begun to wade down the road of compromise, doing a little of everything and not enough focus on what I really loved: Parker.
THE WORST PART
And here’s the worst part: I was becoming addicted to being online to “supervise” my store and everything in it. WOW! Totally not cool. When I spent 8 hours on the computer and do laundry at 11pm at night, something is terribly wrong! In other words, I had allowed myself to say “it’s okay” when it wasn’t. I had allowed myself to say “I’ll get to it tomorrow” when I don’t have any guarantee in any tomorrows. So what did I do to solve this problem? Boundaries!
Yep…boundaries. That word that most people hate. As of Sept. 1st I have placed “boundaries” on myself with my husband’s support. With these stricter boundaries in place I am truly excited with each and every day. I am once again passionate about what I am doing, but most of all I feel whole again. But the best part: I no longer find myself compromising what I want, expect, or believe to be right. I don’t have to say “It’s okay” when it’s not. I can say, “that’s not acceptable” and not beat myself up over it. Funny that all that came from taking summer classes.
So what does all of this mean? I have missed out on some awesome opportunities because of one thing: me! I told myself I couldn’t or that I wouldn’t be able to … but as a grown woman it’s time for me to take that stand once again. I love renewal that comes through prayer, thought, and long talks with someone you love (my darling hubby). But, without the true opportunity for class work this summer I would have missed God’s calling and affirmation to renew myself along with my store and hobby! Opportunities are often like apples: if you don’t pick them when they are ripe, they will rot. But most often, a missed opportunity is only something you will see when it passes you by. Today, I am thankful for my welcomed opportunity and look forward to the future…though tough decisions may lie ahead, having a renewed energy, focus, and direction is a wonderful feeling.