For the past 9 years I have either worked full time for someone else while pursuing screen printing part time or I have been full time working our store, screen printing and building our brand. In these 9 years, I've never really taken time off during the summer to be with the kids more when they are out of school, but I hit a major breaking point at the beginning of this year. I felt drained. An engine can only go so hard for so long so this summer needed to be different.
My word for this year was FOCUS. It's funny that my purpose for choosing that word keeps changing. At first, it was all about business. Focus on our services. Focus on scaling. Focus on our brand. Focus on the store. Focus on our customers. I feel like we have made huge leaps from where we were in January. Ryan and I have accomplished SO much recently. For starters, we rebranded and we introduced wholesale into our business in June and now here we are in August 2018 and are in over 70 stores across the US and growing daily. We stuck to the word and the goals it produced, and thankfully, we are achieving what we set out to do.
But like I mentioned, the meaning for that word has changed throughout the year and so I decided to FOCUS on my family. Deep down, I knew I needed to not stress over child care for the summer but be wholly present for my family when I could. This time has meant me working more at nights and early mornings while the house was asleep, but it has brought me so much joy. For the first time in years I have felt at home. I have enjoyed waking up, making coffee and drinking it out of an actual mug - not a travel mug. For so long our house was just a place we slept and tried to keep clean to the best of our ability... which has led me to discover that I'm kind of a clean freak or maybe its just that I like a tidy house. I have enjoyed picking up, cleaning the floors and other small tasks that we severely neglected in the past, putting oils in my diffuser and breathing a little slower.
This summer has meant listening and being more patient with the girls. They've slept in, and for a number of days we've been complete bums. Annie, my oldest, usually acknowledges when I need to put pants on, and to her wishes, I do. I have had no shame. Mama has to rest and now, after a full summer of a slower pace with my girls, I'm ready for this Fall and Winter Season with an excited and anxious heart, not a tired worn out one.
While summer has been slow and focusing on family time has been so rewarding, the reality is, I can't stop working. I still had child care 1 day a week throughout the summer that allowed me to travel, work solo and get work done with no distractions. We brought the kids to work when we had to and I've had spontaneous days where the kids were at a friends or cousins house which allowed me to work. I have had to be scrappy on my time and prioritize working on projects that were most important which had led to working more nights after they are in bed and during naps.
It's worked and it's been so good for the girls and I. But, yes. I've been stressed and there are certain days where I get worked up at the balance of it all, but I always try to stop and decide to choose joy and be thankful that we have this opportunity to be together as a family.
Summer is coming to an end and it leaves me feeling both sad and excited. Fall is upon us and we have an absolute WILD ride ahead. I CANNOT wait to share some fun news with you guys. I am not quite allowed to share anything yet but soon, very soon.