The internet is for sharing, so here's my share of personal/professional stuff that may or may not hold any relevance for you. If I had to bet, I'd guess that most of you have similar stuff happening in your daily lives, and it's a balancing act to make it all work, get through the rough patches and learn to enjoy yourself in the process.
For me, the past months have been extra stressful on a lot of levels...For starters, I ended a long and tumultuous relationship a year ago, but like one of those trick birthday candles, the fire just pretended to extinguish, and it kept coming back for months until I was finally strong enough to stand my ground and walk away from what I knew would always be a toxic, dysfunctional relationship. It was very difficult to finally let go, but I knew I would come out of it stronger and wiser. While searching to find peace and balance - and redefine myself as a single person, I ended up throwing myself deeper into work so that I didn't drown in the pain and loss of the break up. The stress of this emotional roller coaster definitely took it's toll on my health. I had been suffering for months with what I thought was just stress and exhaustion from working too much and not exercising enough. I also kinda figured I was just getting old and lazy and was pretty convinced that it's just what happens at 40 if you aren't taking care of yourself. Turns out, I was right in a way. I was actually suffering from a long and slowly debilitating bout with severe acute anemia, that ultimately landed me in the hospital half-dead, and ended in a 10-hour blood transfusion. They never figured out what caused my iron levels to drop down to almost nothing, but I was lucky to get to the hospital when I did. Believe me folks, it wasn't any fun at all, and I am just grateful to be alive. This close brush with death really caused me to re-evaluate my priorities. I truly feel that the emotional stress I was under had a lot to do with it, and I vowed to learn how to manage my stress and avoid negative/toxic people and situations as much as possible. In the end - my takeaway was that life is short, and my bucket list is long, so I'd better get cracking. Well, that turned into the following series of decisions/activities/events/ mountains of stuff:
#1. Did something really crazy. I bought a 13' Red 1968 Scotty Camper. Totally restored and absolutely the coolest purchase I've ever made. The idea is to use it for festivals and pop-up boutiques. We call it The Tomato. It's certainly been a learning experience, and I am convinced that someday, I'll be able to back it up into a parking space without breaking a sweat. I'll keep you posted.
#2 . Planned a series of trips that will put me all over the map this summer. Vending the Firefly Festival in Delaware, then cruising down the East Coast to meet with potential stockists - all in a 27' RV (not the tomato) with my dear friend and daughter - pray for us! Next, I'm hopping the pond for some exploration and R&R in Greece (seriously excited about every aspect of this trip - except wearing a bathing suit 😱), then back to the states and over to New York and/or Vegas for trade shows to promote ReStrung. Whew, I'm exhausted already, and I've still gotta pack!
#3. Next, I decided to give up my studio space that we weren't using much anymore, since we've all gravitated to doing production from our homes. So, I had to reconfigure my entire house to accommodate putting the studio in the third bedroom/office. How I managed to accumulate so much stuff in a 200 square-foot studio space over 12 months is beyond me. How my wonderful friends Collin, Eban and Bradley managed to pack it all and re-organize it to fit perfectly in my home studio is a matter of genius.
#4. Oh what the heck? I might as well go ahead and design and produce an entirely new collection of pieces, like, pronto. Why? Because, I went and scheduled a photo shoot with my favorite photographer and models. Why? Because I need some cool ass images to wow customers at all those upcoming events. So my inner voice says: "I don't care what else you have going on, Naomi - you just sit your butt down and whip up a bunch of unforgettable pieces - and just forget about sleeping for right now, okay?" Me: "Sure, no prob...I got this...Breathe"
#5. On top of all that there's the juggling of daily operations for ReStrung. Yep, I can juggle, but I still drop balls. Thankfully, we have a great team that somehow makes it all happen. Learning how to manage it all while continuing to grow is tricky, and it simply wouldn't happen without our wonderful gang. But will I ever really get the hang of this? Who knows, maybe I just need more coffee.
And oh yeah, saved the best for last. #6. The highlight of the month: Watched my daughter graduate from high school - and then sent her off to Mexico for a week of sun and sand (please let her remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours...). This is the thing that's been causing ME to break out like a teenager. It's the letting go and watching my baby leave the nest....sigh.
So, you know, this past month had all the usual stuff of life (and then some) that makes your heart race, your head hurt, and makes you wish for a tropical vacation. Oh wait, I'm about to get that wish. Score!
Thankfully, in the midst of all this CHANGE - I've had a few, quiet moments to sit alone or with friends and family and reflect on how much my life had changed this past year - and so much for the better. Making a conscious choice to shed negative energy that was holding me back has been the most liberating experience. It's amazing what things look and feel like when you disentangle from drama and negativity and come out on the other side. That perspective changes everything. I certainly don't think all the wonderful things that have recently transpired would've been possible had I still been stuck in that toxic muck.
What I've learned this year is that there is one constant in life : Everything Changes. Possessing clarity, focus and a true sense of self is priceless in helping you navigate through the constant ebb and flow of life. Possessing true friends and family - and nurturing those relationships will help make life's ups more enjoyable and the downs more meaningful and thought-provoking.
I know I've said this before, but there is just no way I'd be where I am today without all the positive energy and wonderful people that now surround me. I truly feel like I've been showered with abundance and I'm blessed beyond measure. So, I guess my lesson in all this rambling is to keep an Attitude of Gratitude. No matter how crazy and hectic your life becomes, being grateful for the all the good things and people that you do have in life will keep you rich in spirit - and happier than you've ever thought possible. Happy June everyone! Sending love and light - and safe travels. PS - Wear your sunscreen! 😊😊😊