I’ve sat down to write this post at least half a dozen times, and then walked away from it each time. I think the reason is because it has “Me” in the title. I’m not very good about talking about me. So in order for me to actually get this post started, I’m going to start with “My Style” first.
So, what is my style when it comes to creating? The first thing I’d say about my style is that it is definitely not traditional. If you’ve seen any of my creations, like my shabby chic furniture makeover, my faux silver leaf doors, or most recently my high heel planters, then you understand.
I suppose if I have to describe my style, I’d call it eclectic, fun, and colorful. And I definitely like to experiment with new techniques. I don’t think I’m everybody’s cup of tea. Actually, I’m quickly finding out that I’m not. A few of my projects were posted on Hometalk’s Facebook page and boy oh boy did I take a lickin’. Well, that’s not completely true. There were a lot of wonderful people who really liked my work. But there were a lot of people who were down right awful with their comments. Some of the high heel planter comments includes: “Yuck!”, “Fugly”, “Sick.” But at least those comments were balanced with: “Great idea!”, “So cute”, and “How fun!”
For the faux silver leaf post on Hometalk’s Facebook page, some of the negatives include: “Oh no…..that looks awful!” and “If you were my daughter and you did that to my house, I’d kick your butt! That looks terrible!” But at least it was balanced with: “LOVE it !! You are an artist” and “I think it looks very chic with the furniture. Very different, a little bit like European flair.”
So I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s just fine. I don’t worry about the negative. I am who I am and I like who that is. Our individual styles help define us and make each and every one of us unique. I would hate to be just like everybody else.
Now, onto the “me” part of this… Since I started blogging almost three months ago, I’ve made a few updates to my “About” page. My first “About” page was pretty general. I started this blog because my friends kept telling me I should start a blog about the work I’m doing in my parents’ home. So, I started a blog. But there was that little part of me in the back of my brain telling me, “oh, nobody’s interested in what you have to say or what you’re doing.” So I started featuring the work of other bloggers instead of my own work. I mean, those are the bloggers people are really interested in, right?
I did that for almost 2 1/2 months and the blog was doing pretty well. I gained over 12,000 Facebook fans in that time. But still, I wasn’t quite satisfied. It wasn’t fulfilling in any way. Only when I wrote about my own projects did I get that sense of fulfillment. So I decided to stop with the features (well, unless I come across something that totally blows my mind) and focus on my own work because, well, maybe someone would actually want to read about my stuff. And as it turns out, my page visits and views have gotten a really nice boost since I started writing about my own projects because now other bloggers are actually featuring me. Yes, me. It’s amazing and an honor to have my projects featured on other people’s blogs, especially when there are so many wonderful projects and crafts out there that could be chosen over mine. It’s quite humbling.
Now that you know the story about my blog, I’ll share a little about the lady behind it, i.e., me. This is the really hard part for me. But, here goes… I grew up in New York City and as an adult I’ve lived in a number of different places including Salt Lake City, Utah, South Bend, Indiana, Chicago, IL, and most recently I’m in the Tampa Bay area. After completing my M.B.A from the University of Notre Dame, I worked in brand management for Johnson & Johnson and then for Kraft Foods. A few years ago I took a sabbatical from the corporate world to write a novel. For a year I attended my writing workshop and completed the novel (several times over — although I’m still not satisfied with it. The perfectionist in me says it still needs more work). At that point, I was still living in Chicago and was preparing to re-enter corporate America when I got a phone call at 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday night. It was my brother. His first words were, “Don’t freak out,” at which point I knew I was going to be hit hard. My mom had been hit by a car while crossing the street. Twelve hours later I was in Florida. My mom was in the I.C.U. She had a broken tibia, fibula, radius, ulna, vertebrate, scapula, clavicle and worst of all a traumatic head injury. The doctors didn’t know if she’d make it. She remained in a coma for over three weeks before opening her eyes.
Since the accident, I only returned to Chicago to rent out my condo. It’s two years later and my mom has had many ups and downs. She’s been in and out of the hospital multiple times for systemic MRSA, two boughts of pneumonia, and a bunch of other things. Most recently, while she was learning to walk again she fell trying to get from her wheelchair into her bed and broke her femur. She still lives in a nursing and rehabilitation facility for now because she has too many medical issues to be cared for at home, but I visit her almost every day. I have become the primary caregiver for my Dad who is 92. (My mom is 20 years younger than him and she had been taking care of him prior to the accident.) I do have a wonderful person, and now very close friend, who helps with my Dad during the day, which allows me time to do other things including the work I’ve been doing on my parents’ home.
Since coming to Florida, I have continued to so some freelance work for a small Chicago consulting firm and have also taken on some contract marketing work, but have not returned to a full time career. Several people have asked me how I feel about how this time off will effect my career. The best way I can explain how I feel is to say that when I’m 90, I will be very unhappy with my life if I look back and say that I made VP at xxxx firm, but was never there for my family. What will make me proud of my life will be being able to look back and say that I did the right thing for my family. The true joys in my life come from the people I love. Money and status only go so far without them. There’s nothing more important to me than my family and that will never change. So I wouldn’t choose to do anything different that what I’m doing now.
Oh, and check out my hot babe mom (1966)…
People always said she looks like Elizabeth Taylor. I think she’s wayyy hotter!
Here’s my vibrant, can’t sit for more than two minutes Mom before the accident…
She’s not like this anymore, but I try to do my best with the situation. I hope no body feels sorry for me after reading. I would hate that. The intention of this post is to simply open up about who I am and my experiences make me who I am. Plus, my mom taught me to make lemonade with my lemons. So that’s what I try to do.
I suppose that sums it up. If you’ve gotten to the end of this page, well, I’m flattered that anybody would want to read this far. I hope I didn’t bore you too much. :-)
This post linked to some of these wonderful blogs and here.
I’m so sorry you have to go through all that, but what a wonderful daughter you are!
As I was sitting here reading about the negative comments posted I was horrified! I have left negative ( I suppose) but only, “not my cup of tea:, but great job….
As I read on I though of a comment my Grandma said: “You have to take the bitter with the better”. Guess that’s the case in both your situations.
Welcome to Florida! You are a “neighbor!” You are also somewhere between my daughters age and my son’s Keep up the good work and have you chosen a wall color yet????lol!
Kathie, Thank you. I hope I wasn’t coming across as complaining. I worry about coming across that way, but it’s more just matter of fact stuff.
I picked up a paint sample yesterday and tried it. It was way too bright. Going to try another one today though. :-)
Jenise, Thank you for sharing your story. I think there are bits of it that each of us can relate to. Isn’t it interesting how vulnerable putting stuff like that out there is? You are brave for sharing and it didn’t sound like complaining. Thank you!
Thank you Elizabeth. I appreciate you saying so.
Thanks for sharing your story. Some people are just so miserable that they want to make other people miserable, and all you have to do is hit the delete key :) Your such a good daughter.
Thanks for sharing @ my T.G.I.F. party. Have a great Memorial weekend!! :)
Make the most of every minute you have with your parents! I couldn’t take off much time to travel to see my Mom when she was ill. I did find out about FMLA and used my gazillion vacations to go stay with my Dad when he was ill. What a difference it made to both of us! It was so nice to have that time. I like your projects!
Thank you Grey. Going through this with my parents has definitely given me a whole new perspective of life and has helped me define for myself what is most important to me. Thank thanks, I’m glad you like my projects. :-)
I’m sorry that your Mom has had such troubles. Please tell her I said, “Hi, and get better soon!”. I graduated from high school in 1965 and yes, those were the hair styles and clothes. Such pretty clothes we had back then!! Best wishes to you and your Mom. I love your style so I know her style must be great also!!! Be sure to tell her that I said hello and that my Mom and I will be praying for her. Linda at Crafts a la Mode.
Thank you so much Linda for your kind words and for your prayers. I will be sure to tell my mom.
You are doing a fantastic job with the blog and your ideas a quirky and original. Your blog title says it all really! You also seem to be doing an amazing job at life, I am in awe!
Nicki, That is one of the nicest things anyone’s said to me in a long time! I have to admit it kind of made me a little teary both for the blog comment & the life comment just because I’ve been working so hard on the blog and because of the challenges I continue to come across with my parents (i.e., my mom recently fell out of bed and broke her wrist…another one step forward and three steps back). So thank you so much for your very kind thoughts.
It sounds like you have the makings of a great novel!!! We love your your blog post and I just want to thank you for sharing a little of your story!! I hope you are still writing. Just like your DIY one page a time. Thank you for all you do!!! We look forward to your post.
Hi Jane, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. You are so kind and it almost brought tears to my eyes. It’s still hard to believe that people read my blog, let alone look forward to it! And I definitely do need to get back to finishing editing my novel and I will. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. It’s things like this that give me the motivation to write one page or one post at a time!
I love your story, and I hope you have a lovely man in your life who appreciates you. You are a gem of a woman for helping your mum and dad, and you deserve the very best in life.You are a one in a million woman with a positive attitude to life, and an inspiration to others. Fred.
Thank you Fred for your very kind and thoughtful words. :-)