Friday, April 29, 2011

Doing what I love...makes all the difference

I've spent the last couple weeks up at my shop, Burlap & Roses...trying to restyle every last inch of it and freshen it up a bit.  It's a daunting task...ask my mom.  She came and got the kitchen area all spruced up.  It's ready to go!  Thanks, Mom!

In between rain drops, I moved everything out of the garden shed, power washed what I could, spritzing and spraying everything else.  It's a garden'll have to forgive me if it's not completely pristine.  I've neglected this area for the last couple of years.  It'll be so much more put together this season.  I can't wait for my "guests" to visit.

Prior to this year, 2011, I had another full-time career in real estate.  It was fun and fulfilling for me until about the last 4 years.  I've been in real estate for 15 years.  I decided to get out of the business right around December 1, 2010 and have not looked back.  The difficulty is always in making the final decision.  For 4 years, it weighed on me.  Once that was done, I was free to move on with my life and get down to the business of living my bliss.  

When I had responsibilities to the buyers and sellers, I had the pleasure to work with, it seemed like I was always running from here to there, always watching the clock, the cell phone, email and such; stressed to the gills and worrying that someone wouldn't think I was paying enough attention to them and their needs.  I "knew" I was, but it was always a concern that I had.  

As I work at the shop or at home on various projects for Burlap & Roses, I still find myself "heading to check on" one thing or another.  Then, as if a continual weight is lifted from my shoulders, I remember that I don't have to do that anymore.  I relax and remember that I'm doing all that I have to do now.  Following my BLISS, I continue on!  

I get inspired by many, many things.  People, places and things.  Mostly, I get inspired by the beautiful pictures of compelling vignettes, artistry and creativity of others in home decor magazines and now through the many "friends" I have made on Facebook.  Inspiration is found in some of the most amazing places, and sometimes, in just the simplest thing~

Doing what I love has made all the difference in my life.  I invite you to share with me in my journey.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Revisiting a "vintage" thing...the Library

My latest read!
I just closed the book I've been reading...the last page~goodbye.  It was good... suspenseful, dangerous, but a love story...I'd say not my typical read.  

I checked the book out of the New Virginia Library.  We've been frequenting it here lately; tiring of the expense of buying books...of which I will still do for my own library.  I've often thought, through the years that I should go to the library for books, but just didn't do it.  I shall do it more often now.  

As a young girl, my mom would take us to the library all of the time.  I can still picture it in my mind.  I think it's still should be!  If I remember correctly, it was rather new at that time.  It'd be considered "vintage" now.  But, "vintage" makes it even better in my mind.  There is just something about a library that makes it special to me.  Volumes and volumes of history, story telling, fact and fiction.  Rows and rows of shelving, standing end to end like soldiers.  

On my shelves
Many a class history paper was written after spending hours at the library looking at an encyclopedia...what an old fashion thing...even for me.  I love Google and use it often.  But, whenever I run across an old encyclopedia, atlas book or history in pictures book...I have to take a minute to touch it, feel it, even smell it.  I've purchased many.  

Just one of my bookshelves
I LOVE books~the reading of them, the look, the feel of them in my hand...even their scent.  Some are more comfortable than others.  Their size can be cumbersome or comfortable.  You can tell the age of a book just by it's scent.  The yellowing of the pages adds to the charm.  I've even started designing with them, the ones that have been forgotten, mistreated, damaged.  

I am a book and magazine junkie. I've tried to get my fix on the internet...but, it's just not the same.  I truly am sickened by the thought of a bookstore closing and how horrifying if a library would close.  This alone is reason enough for me to support my local library...both in reading and donating.  

I sat in the library at our high school a couple of months ago for a meeting and it felt so good to be there.  A place of peace and plenty for me as a young girl...I was taken back to my school days and the memories made there.  I don't know where my earliest love of books came from.  Maybe from being read a Little Golden Book as a wee one.  My youngest daughter found some of them at a resale shop a while ago...ones she remembers from her childhood and she bought them; for her niece and new little ones to come... maybe her own children some day.  

I find it so lovely that now, for baby showers, so much of the time, books are given in lieu of a card.  The giver writes a little note on the inside and signs it. What a terrific way to start a library for ones own.  The tradition and timeworn sensibility is continued for generations to come.  I can picture my grandchildren's chubby little hands holding them, bringing them to their mommy, daddy, grandpa or me for a little cuddle and reading time. I want them to love books...the reading of them, the look, the feel of them in their hand...even their scent. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lessons learned and new understandings...and I have FAITH

My cousin made a comment the other day on Facebook regarding her happiness and contentment in her life.  She finished the statement off with "Thank you, Lord!"  Yes, thank you Lord!

I responded with this, "The hard part is having Faith in Him when things aren't so rosy...but, Faith I do have and that gets me through the rough spots."  And, it does!  

At the end of last year, December 31, 2010, exactly; I took a leap of faith and put my real estate license into referral.  I've never looked back.  I applied for several jobs~now I have an understanding and empathy for the unemployed looking. See, a lesson learned and a new understanding.  I gave it a few weeks, then I had to make a decision.  I also believe that a job never came about because my heart and soul is with my shop and the expansion of it, developing the B&B and making better use of our farm in "today's" market.  

I've never been one to put my goals in writing and map out a plan to achieve them.  This has been no different!  I'm haphazard that way...but, I know my heart and I know where it leads me.  It's not on paper, but it's in my head.  I decided it was time to "follow my own advise" to so many others, "if you do what you love, what makes you tick, success will come!"  AND, I turn 50 this year, and I can't think of a better time or age to make a change!

My hubs and children have not been so "excited" about what I've done, wondering "what is she thinking," I'm sure.  It's not been the wisest thing financially, either.  However, let me stress here, I was in real independent contractor, and with that, no sales~no moola; so, having a steady and normal income is not something our household was used to.  And, real estate has been ODD at best the past few years.  I enjoyed much success in real just didn't hold my interest anymore.  As I said, I've not looked back.  

Now, what my hubs has witnessed is how things just come together and weave themselves in and out of our life.  One thing leads to another and things just take shape.  He said to me one day, "it is funny how things just seem to come together for you".  Oh, ye of little faith.  I live with gratitude in my heart, mind talks with God all the time...and Faith.

I'm reminded of this constantly.  As I said, leaving a career in real estate may not have been the best decision~OR, maybe it has been!  When the other stresses and demands on me are gone, I can get to the business of my LIFE.  The life I'm supposed to live...the life I have imagined.  

We also had an investment property that was draining us financially... Something had to go...and it did~we sold it!!!  I hope we never get to where we were again.  I like living a more "authentic" life, where less is more!  Lessons learned and new understandings.

We're strapped like we've never been before.  It's been fun, actually!  I shop wiser, we eat at home more, and my meals are planned with longevity and frugality in mind. We started getting books at the library, instead of purchasing them.  I put things back on the shelf that I otherwise would have purchased without a thought.  We got rid of the frivolity in our home phone, we didn't use it anyway!  The Directv is out of our budget, too.  It's all been well and good.  I actually think I could live without t.v. completely.  I find I'm more active and look forward to creating, rather than watching a program.  It's really, really been good.  And, regular t.v. offers more than just a few channels now...who knew?  If anything, I have gotten "wiser" as to what I spend, where and when.  It's certainly been a time of adjustment...but like I said, it's been really, really good!

I'll sell something from the shop when I'm there working, a forgotten refund check will come; I say "NO" more, rather than "Yes" to everything.  And, I've put it out there.  I'm not ashamed or embarrassed.  I'm willing to sacrifice for the things I really want.  My life is more in balance and I'm happy and content!  

And, I have FAITH.  I always have had.  I've always felt that I had guidance and safety from the Man upstairs.  He's led me thus far and he'll lead me further.  With that said, if I fail, my Faith in Him will always has.  He's never forsaken me.  I.Have.Been.Tested.  There's always a lesson learned, a new understanding that one would never have had, if they had not walked down a certain path, taken a different turn or kept the monkeys on their back.  

Here's a funny thing...I'm finding dropped coins all the time.  Not just pennies, but nickels and dimes.  Each time I see one, I'm reminded that God does provide.  Sometimes I pick them up and sometimes I leave them, hoping someone who really needs them will find them.  It's just a gentle reminder to inspires me!

"The hard part is having Faith in Him when things aren't so rosy...but, Faith I do have and that gets me through the rough spots."  Lessons learned and new understandings...and, I have FAITH!