The Year of Personal Development

Belated Happy New Year!

Fresh starts, new beginnings, hopeful resolutions – I love the potential a New Year has to offer. So much less stressful than Christmas and all the weight of expectation that brings. New Year, conversely, makes me feel positive, eager and enthusiastic about the year ahead. The feeling that anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it. I’ve always been very goal-orientated, a true representation of a Capricorn, always looking for the next mountain to climb! Metaphorically speaking of course, climbing a real one would require far too much physical effort for this old goat. But non-physical challenges that require focus and determination, they’re my forte.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill

Of course, raising two small boys into amazing, wonderful, caring young men is a current [very] long-term goal of mine, and despite a major wobble (otherwise known as PND) and several minor wobbles that followed and still follow now and again, we are chugging along the track towards that one. But I think, and other mums out there may or may not agree, there comes a time when you need to do something for yourself as well, to renew your own sense of self and remind yourself that you have an identity that is distinct from being a mother, a wife, or a home-maker. I have reached that point now, where I am comfortable in the fact that after devoting myself entirely to the needs of my children for close to five years, I can retreat a bit more, now they don’t physically need me like they used to.

I only speak for myself of course; there are women I’m sure, who happily devote their entire lives to the needs of their family, whilst sacrificing their own needs completely. But as my psychotherapist repeatedly told me, helping me negotiate my way through the guilt and conflict of selfishness versus sacrifices –

a child’s needs are 100% important and parent’s needs are 100% important

Apologies if you have read that statement previously on my blog but it’s a theme I need to revise with myself now and again. The trick is in meeting all those needs and finding a balance everyone can be happy with. Obviously if my children and husband weren’t happy, it wouldn’t be possible for me to be happy. But I think we are content as a family so there is scope for a little maneuvering without upsetting the apple-cart, so to speak. I also consider personal development an integral and essential part of maintaining and improving my mental health.

So my goal of this year is to start my craft business – Card Therapy. I have got a lot of enjoyment from the work gone into it so far – the online course: How to sell your handmade products was really informative and useful. Making decisions about my logo with the graphic designer (another mum-friend from nursery!) was really exciting and she has come up with some fantastic variations for different uses – what do you think of the web header? I think she has done a wonderful job – very creative! This is the version for the back of my cards:

Stamped logo

I am working hard on coming up with designs and creating stock and am aiming for the end of January for the ‘shop’ page of the website to be live. Feeling so enthused by the process, at the moment it will simply be a bonus if I actually manage to make a sale! I am resisting sharing my current Card Therapy creations until they are in my shop, however I will just show you this one:

Thinking of you card

A bereavement card made using some pearlised silver card and stamped with Indigo Blu’s Floral Swirl stamp with some extra additions from a Kanban stamp set. Simple with a soothing image. I have made another couple similar that will be for sale but played about with alternative colour combinations.

This month on Twitter @Purpledognet is hosting a personal development challenge to encourage networking by finding ten new accounts to follow each day. It’s not about numbers for me but about meeting lots of other interesting crafters and other associated contacts. In view of that I thought I would share three of the people I have started following, whose websites are well worth a look:

@KnittedHugs website: http://www.knittedhugs.co.uk/index.html – check out the gorgeous monkeys and ‘Rehomed’!

@redspottydog website: https://www.facebook.com/redspottydog – fabulous children’s cushions amongst other things

@cuteasabuttonlt website: http://www.cuteasabuttonkeepsakes.co.uk/ – make lovely keepsakes from special clothing

Lastly I will add one more personal development quote that I love:

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

Here’s to a healthy 2014, and hoping everyone has the chance to do what makes them happy this year.

Emma x

2 thoughts on “The Year of Personal Development

  1. That sounds like a good and positive outlook to me Emma, I wish you loads of luck with your online store and wish you all the best for a Happy New Year.
    hugs Teresa x

  2. Emma, I wish you the very best with your online shop. The website header and your brand stamp are beautiful….
    I could read your posts all day long, I love the way you write and put your thoughts into words… I can’t do that… I keep it mostly all inside, although, I have a rant every now and then! for a positive, healthy and full of exciting things 2014 and beyond!!!!!!
    Hugs
    Mirella XX

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