a little blog about crafting, owning a small business, friendships and life in general.
author - emily graham
I knew opening a store would be tough. I knew it would take countless hours of work. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would take the emotional toll that it has. I never imagined I would have to fight for my family’s reputation, choose friends over money or defend my actions to complete strangers. And I certainly never imagined I would learn the true meaning of integrity, or the lack thereof.
I would have never thought I would become the person I am today – someone I’m not very proud of.
I worry way too much about things that I can’t control and what others think of me. I stress daily over marketing, inventory, display and local politics. I’ve become that person that forgets birthdays and anniversaries because I’m too caught up with my own life. That’s not at all who I am. I’m better than that. My personal standards are much higher than what I’ve been practicing.
It’s time for me to re-center myself and move forward.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in this journey - I’ve taken bad advice; thrown money at ideas without planning; trusted the wrong people; practiced poor time management; and most importantly – I didn’t stick to my original plan. My original plan was to enjoy owning a store and not get caught up on what others wanted from me. The plan was to be true to myself. I’ve been lost and misdirected for a while now, but I’m finding my way back.
So why didn’t I do it sooner?
Because I got sucked into the thought that “If I quit....I’m a failure”. I didn’t want people to think I was a failure. Here’s the irony.....I WILL FAIL if I don’t QUIT.
In my case, quitting means moving forward. Closing the store will allow me the time, energy and motivation to chase future endeavors. There’s so many things still on my bucket list and hanging on to the store leaves me feeling trapped. Quitting will free me. Just writing these words has shifted my attitude, even on this gloomy cold day.
ve lived my dream of owning a store, so I don’t see myself as a failure. This experience has been a stepping stone to prepare me for the next step on my path and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.
So where from here? I will continue blogging about things that make me tick and definitely about things that tick me off. I will also be working on my book and hope to have it completed by next summer.
If you’re local, stop by before December 21st and snag a great deal on the remaining inventory.
Store hours are posted on our website and Facebook page.
I'm terrified to fly.
Cry baby terrified.
It's ridiculous I know.
The first time I traveled in a plane was in high school to attend the Key Club convention in D.C. I wasn't scared then - in fact, I was amazed at the fact that within just a few hours you can be thousands of miles away, seeking new places, meeting new people and having adventures you can't find in your hometown.
I know the moment my fear of flying developed. It was on a very turbulent flight back from Jamaica when I was around 21 years old. The poor woman next to me held my hand and prayed for my peace and comfort. I think she was really praying to God that I would shut up whining. Either way - she was an angel to me that day.
After that turbulent flight, I avoided flying at all costs. But I love to travel and in order to see something other than my backyard, sometimes there's no choice but to get on a plane. I've flown several times since this ridiculous fear took over, and each time I cry like a little baby and need an alcoholic beverage (or three) to settle my nerves. Also, my family is scattered from Texas to Michigan and making a 23 hour one-way drive to Texas just doesn't make sense.
Fears consumes us in so many ways and can prevent us from doing what we love. Many times, fears prevent us from moving on with our dreams, seeing loved ones and exploring new places. Fear causes doubt, it kills our spirit and holds us back. My monster fear of flying holds me back from seeing my family on a regular basis. It keeps me from eating deep dish pizza in Chicago on a whim. It prevents me from traveling to trade shows and conferences to grow my business.
We flew to Michigan this past weekend to celebrate my in-law's 50th Anniversary. I managed to make the inbound flight with zero.....yes zero..... alcoholic beverages. On the return flight home I couldn't resist a Bloody Mary, but overall did better than ever. I didn't cry and only grabbed Troy and Katy's hand once. O.k, maybe twice. It's not much to brag about, but it's progress.
I will beat my fear of flying.
This Saturday, I will be traveling solo to Texas for a family member's postnatal surgery. I hope to be courageous alone. I hope I don't need alcohol to calm my nerves. I want to beat this fear so I can enjoy my family.
Fear tells us we can't do things.
Fear lets us believe we're not good enough, smart enough or strong enough.
Fear is a liar.
A little over three years ago we purchased a historic home in Taneytown, Maryland. She was built in 1895 by the Reindollar family and we are honored to call this beauty home. However, with over 120 years of wear and tear, along with poor decorating decisions by previous owners this runway model of a home needs a makeover!
In those three years since purchasing our home, the majority of my time has been spent rehabbing and maintaining the carriage house, operating a business, fighting city hall, and oh yeah - trying to maintain a normal family life including my eldest daughter's wedding, my youngest daughter's senior year, aging parents out of state and a healthy marriage!
Needless to say, some projects around the house have been put to the wayside.
Let me rephrase that - A LOT of projects have been put to the wayside!!
This past Friday, I woke up with the intention of deep cleaning the kitchen. By 7:30am, I had decided to forgo that crazy thought and decided to make something pretty. I decided to finally complete a space, albeit small, that was truly my style. For three years I've been scared to tamper too much with the previous owner's style and thinking I needed to stay with a "historic" feel to the house. But thanks to Mel Robbins' 5 Second Rule - I made a decision. In five seconds I let go of what anyone else would think, went to the basement and found the paint I had the most of (which was gray, fortunately) and started painting the brick fireplace in the kitchen. It was a scary but exhilarating moment for me.
All of this may seem silly to you, but what has happened in the past was I let doubt and anxiety take over a decision as small as painting a fireplace. Thoughts of "what will Troy think?" and "what will I do in the other rooms to make this flow?" go through my head. In the past, these thoughts would cause me to stop a project in progress and nothing would get done. Then anxiety takes over and I feel overwhelmed by having so many unfinished projects.
And I can't breathe.
Over a stupid paint color.
But not today friends!
I told doubt and anxiety to hit the road!
Look at the difference a day and 5 seconds can make:
Pictures of Progress:
Hope you enjoyed my little transformation! Only 8000 square feet to go!
Subscribe to my blog for more decorating and remodeling adventures!
(from an old blog site July 8, 2018)
It’s been almost a year since I’ve published a blog post. My last post was about happiness. The post before that was about perspective. In each of these posts, I promised that I would change my habits and my feelings towards life. I promised to see things differently. I promised to treat people better – remembering they have a path too. But I find myself back in the same position and overall, my life has not changed. In fact, over the last year several people who I thought were my friends, showed their true colors. Maybe I showed them mine as well. However, over the same year, I have made a few new friends that seem to be the real deal.
Many times over the past year I have sat down with a full post in mind, but once I started typing, the words didn’t flow. The topic was too dark or my mindset was somewhere else and the topic fell flat. Or maybe the thoughts through my head were too scattered and I couldn’t figure out a way to express what I really wanted to say.
But I really do love to write. I have three journals I keep close by (one in the store, one at my nightstand and one in my home office). They stay close to me for those times that I have a good thought, reflection or epiphany. Or maybe I come across a quote I don’t want to forget. These journals are getting full with random things from my mostly boring life, but one day I know they will become the timeline of my life on earth. They define my daily habits and ultimately define who I really am. These journals know me better than any friend, husband or relative in my life. These journals get the raw thoughts from my mind that are unedited, uncensored and unfiltered. I can assure you they are nothing newsworthy or what the locals would like to think. They are pieces of me. Pieces of my heartbreaks. My failures. My losses. My loves. Pieces of what makes me tick. Pieces of what makes me whole.
Writing makes me whole. It drives a creative passion in my soul that some days I can’t walk away from. It makes me feel real. It makes me happy and see things in a perspective not seen in the real world.
I hope you will walk with me on my new path now that I have cleared my mind. My new path that may not always be pretty but one that will be honest, transparent and whole.
Now let’s get real.
Why do we save ticket stubs, cocktail napkins, receipts and our children's schoolwork? Why do we take so many damn pictures of everyday events? Because we want to treasure those precious moments for a lifetime. Those moments remind us of good times. And as time passes on, it remind us of those we've lost. Those small pieces of time tell the story of our lives. They provide a timeline for future generations.
Since I was little, I have collected memorabilia. When I was in high school, (before texting was invented), we would write notes to our friends in class. I would keep every single note received from friends. I saved gum wrappers that meant something; a flower from a corsage; brochures and maps from traveling adventures; cards my grandparents send me and just about everything else.
I saved it all.
Then I became a mom and things escalated. I saved pacifiers, bottles, clothes, bibs and books. Then schoolwork for my children came along. Oh my! That becomes an emotional struggle on what to keep.......
so I saved it all!
I haven't even addressed the amount of pictures I take! Literally thousands that sit quietly in a discombobulated mess on my two computers, iPad and cell phone. Facebook will pop up with a memory that reminds me of how far behind I am on being a good record keeper of my life. Then shame and guilt sets in. How have I let it go this long? How have I let this mountain of digital pictures grow so big? We're talking years of memories. Memories that get shoveled over to a new phone, computer or hard drive. Memories that will be lost forever if I happen to loose my phone or drop it in the toilet.
Years of memories would be gone.
I have told myself for too long that I will not only get my projects organized, but I will get them completed.
Well folks, today is that day.
I have created a 10 month challenge for myself to get my scrapbooking projects completed and wanted to invite you along on my journey. You may follow along on this blog, or join my Facebook group for those of you that want to join the challenge. I hope to create a group that wants to preserve memories for future generations to enjoy.
So what's the overall challenge?
This challenge is NOT about organizing -
I have organized my craft room countless times only to find I don't get projects completed, just an organized space. (However, I will give tips on ways I have found best to organize pictures, memorabilia and supplies) This challenge is about getting projects completed and training myself to maintain a comfortable level of memorabilia chaos. I know I will always have projects to complete, that's just who I am. But I want to be comfortable with where I am in that progress.
This challenge is NOT a competition -
I am comfortable in the way I execute a scrapbook layout or shadow box. I look at other blogs, books, and of course Pinterest. But I only use those things for inspiration. I am not in competition with anyone but myself on this challenge. Some of my projects will be very elaborate, some very simple.
If you join in the challenge, please understand you are not in a competition! The challenge is for you and you only. You will know the mark you want to hit. You will know your level of design.
The point - get it done!
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