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Balance

I’ve been so busy lately. My best friend got married last month, and in the weeks before her wedding I don’t think there was a spare moment to be had. I even put my shop on hold and halted all production for a full two weeks just so that I could focus on completing the projects I had on my plate at the moment and still have time to focus on the wedding.

 How beautiful are they, by the way?

As it turned out, the wedding was perfect and in my post wedding slump I turned my shop back on and got back to work.

It didn’t take long for the frenzy to return. 

For those of you who don’t know, I have a full time job in addition to my labor of love. It’s difficult, especially in the summer, to put in 8 hours at the day job only to come home, curl up with my laptop, and most nights not have a free moment to go outside, watch television, do the dishes, or even have a simple conversation with my husband.

Over time, this wears on a person.

How does one balance all of this frenzy and still maintain a clean house, a happy marriage, a balanced temperament?

  • First and foremost, I have an obsessive kind of love for stationery that is essential to making this work. If I didn’t love what I do, I would be crazy for submerging myself into it completely. What kind of person sacrifices their free time, their relationships, and their sanity to do something they don’t enjoy?
  • I have an absurdly understanding husband who knows when to leave me alone so I can work. Even when I’m barking at him. And in the meantime, does the dishes, mows the lawn, cleans the house… he is the best. And I don’t tell him that enough.
  • I am a perfectionist when it comes to tying bows, I have adhesive application down to a science. I have a great material supplier that provides a top quality product that I would not be able to survive without. All of these things come together to streamline assembly – I’ve figured out the quickest ways to do the most complicated and time consuming tasks. 
  • I’m not afraid to ask for help. Just last night, I was faced with “do I go hang out with my girlfriend who is visiting from out of town, or do I stay home and assemble pocket invitations?” Answer? Bring your pocket invitations with you, and have your friends help you assemble them. Genius. Everyone does 20 and they’re done in 30 minutes, instead of me staying home and doing 100 by myself all night long.
  • My clients are awesome. Every person I work with is different in many ways, but they all have this trait in common: they are all absolutely awesome. Many of them have had some wild ideas that I never would have come up with on my own (see my tuxedo invitations here), which helps to expand my repertoire while making their event unique. And I love that.
  • I learned to build my free time into my production time. Sure, if I sat down and did nothing but invitations for 24 hours straight I’d be able to get everything done in a day, but I would go insane in the process. I need to reserve some time every day for sleeping, eating, designing, blogging, maybe a shower? So I bumped up my production time accordingly. This way if I have a bad day, or if there’s a problem with the printers, or I have a little fender bender, or if I just feel like curling up with a book, I can do that and not feel guilty about it. I have already set the expectation to the client of when they will receive their order, and as long as I stick to that, everyone’s happy.

I guess the moral of the story is, do what you love, and it will love you back.

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