Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a great week. We are about half way through January now. How are those resolutions going? Are you one of those folks who pick a word for your year? You know, one word that signifies what you want to accomplish or hope to bring more of into your year. Something like, Health or Focus?  I have been thinking about what word I would pick for 2018 and decided on Regeneration. 

So why Regeneration, you ask? Well, last week, right after I posted to this blog, I walked over to my computer and hit SEND on one of the most difficult emails I have ever sent.  It was an email to my clients informing them of my decision to retire from 30+ years in the graphic design/ printing industry. 

The thought behind this decision began about February of last year as I looked at my profit & loss statement while doing my taxes. I realized that my expenses were about to overtake my profits. There were several factors for this including higher costs for software and a great deal more travel time. D. and I discussed what would I do to replace the income if I closed my business but to be honest there were not many feisible options where we live. 

Fast forward about seven months and I find myself a parent again and beginning to fall into a different part time business while still running my main business. It was obviously a little too much on one plate. Without going into all the boring details, once again God was telling me that a change was in order. I’ve been through this enough times now to know not to fight it. If I fight it things will get much worse and I will still find myself exactly where He wants me to be eventually anyway. I learn hard, but I do learn!

Also in all the crazy that was going on, D. and I realized our health was suffering. We both were struggling with insomnia, were mentally and physically worn down, not eating right and not getting proper exercise. Once again we were responsible for someone else’s well being and we did not have the option of a major health crisis. We had hoped to get a lot more taken care of at his sister’s house before it went up for sale, but exhaustion was setting in and things at our home were falling apart. We had given it our best but it was time to stop the insanity. 

When D. retired last March, we had visions of travel and much more time for our many hobbies. Well we all know how those best laid plans go, but at our age we don’t have unlimited time to do the things we have been putting off. Roll all these factors together and you will see that we have to adjust, renew and grow into a new and unknown direction now. 

What we do know is that we have a lovely young girl who needs stability and guidance. We know we have to look after ourselves to give it to her. No more working two and three jobs like both of us did when we and our other kids were younger. But we both deserve and desperately need some time to chase some dreams and enjoy some things that we have put off for a very long time. 

I am probably right now more than a little jealous of some of you and my close friends who are traveling to awesome places that I have always wanted to go. It’s a very real struggle. We had some cool plans in the works. We aren’t writing them off, but they will be delayed and different now.  To deal with the disappointment and to be sane and pleasant people we have to give ourselves the gift of time instead. Time to rest, renew our energy, find our new normal and grow in ways we didn’t know existed. A REGENERATION of our lives. 

I have a new and interesting part time income stream that does not include hours of driving every week or rushing to make sure I’m back in time to pick up Miss L. Those two things alone relieve a huge stress load and I have more time. More time that I can finally give to my artwork that has slowly but steadily been bringing in more income as well. It’s pretty much now or never. I don’t have any guarantee that I have until the age of 80 to start an art career like Grandma Moses and the desire to make stuff has been the one and only constant of my five decades. I think I owe it a higher ranking for its consistency and perseverance if nothing else…like the fact I need it like oxygen. 

So there you have it.  REGENERATION in 2018 in whatever form it takes. I expect an interesting year. 

I don’t hear from many of you, but would love to.  Share your goals, resolutions and/or words.  Have an awesome week!


2014… It’s gonna be a doozy.

Happy New Year!!

As often happens, I may have bitten off more than I can chew this year, but what the heck. It’s better than not having anything to do. To keep me focused I have taken on the Zero to Hero Challenge with the Daily Post here on WordPress. Today’s assignment is to introduce myself and even though I have had this blog going for a while, it’s probably the perfect time for me to update who I am and what I’m doing.

I often start with the title of “Mom”, but this Fall my two baby birds left the nest (more or less) and I have found that my twenty year, primary life focus isn’t as primary anymore. Now what? Well, like many empty nesters, I have gone deep into the archives and dusted off an old dream. To be honest, it’s wasn’t buried very deep, nor is it an old dream. It has lived just barely under the surface of everything else I have done for the past 25 years. What is this dream?

My dream is to finally have the time to focus on my artwork again. Since the time I could hold a crayon I could get lost for hours drawing my world and sometimes other worlds. Back before college I would draw almost daily. I got extra assignments in high school art class because that was “my thing” and I was good at it. I won art contests and doodled constantly in class (my art teacher was the only one who appreciated this). Then college rolled around and I was advised to “do something practical”. I conceded and focused on graphic design thinking this would be close to being an “artist”. Boy was I wrong! Fast forward through twenty-five years of design jobs, kids, marriage, divorce, self-employment, more jobs and only occasionally did I find time to do my creative work. Halloween costumes only partially count!

Now it’s 2014. Do I have less demands on my time? I have less demands by my kids, but I still run a design/printing business, have a home to keep up, a good man in my life, a part-time job with a community theatre, and parents who are starting to need help (though they haven’t admitted it yet). Next week my Mom has shoulder surgery, the following week my boyfriend has shoulder surgery also and I am in the middle of helping my daughter plan her May 2014 wedding. There is no good time. It’s now or never.

Since July I have finished one piece of art per month, which is way more than I have in a long time. Some have been personal projects, some business and some are very delayed pieces for friends. I hope to continue with basically that time frame. As a designer I was trained to work on deadline so that works for me. I have also opened an Etsy shop (search for BloomtownStudio) and hope to get a link on here soon. My business cards are done and I have many, many sketchbooks full of ideas I have been hoarding for a long time now. From here on I plan to start posting my work and whatever crazy stories are swirling around it and in my life.

Please forgive me any ranting and raving I do while my Mom and Boyfriend recover from their surgeries. I do not have a calling for the nursing field. This will test the patience of all involved. The wedding planning may have similar side effects. It’s going to be an interesting year.

Wishing you all a wonderful, wacky, fun and exciting 2014!