Balance (& being a Master Designer)

     Don't we all strive for more balance in our lives?  If we tilt too far in one direction, the ripples can be felt in all areas of our life.  There are 2 things I have struggled with since starting this business - the balance of family life & work, and the balance of greedy consumerism vs appreciation.

     First, the balance of family & work.  For the six months after I had my girl, when I went to work, I didn't always want to be there, but while I was there, I focused on the task in front of me.  And when I was home, I focused on my family.  I was mostly balanced.  Then I was blessed to be able to stay at home for the next 18 months.  And my family was my work, so I was mostly balanced again.  But there was a small part of me that felt like, even though staying at home had always been my desire, I needed something just for me. I began to feel off-kilter.  Working & being a mom is HARD, no matter if you work outside of the home, from home, or in the home.  I have done all 3, & I am here to tell you they all have their pros & cons. So let's stop beating other women (& ourselves) up for their (our) choices, okay?  Sorry, tangent.

     Anyway, I figured that starting my own business & working from home would give me the flexibility I needed, the ability to be home with my girl, & the creative outlet that I craved.  BUT...it has been so much harder than I thought.  I'm not saying that working from home is harder than working outside or inside the home.  I'm just saying it has been much harder for me personally to find the balance.  Because my days still primarily revolve around my child.  But, my phone dings constantly with emails, phone calls, & texts from clients.  I zealously read books, magazines, & blogs for education and inspiration, and Pinterest has become an obsession.  My phone is both a curse & a blessing.  Because I can be reached 24/7 in all manner of ways, & inspiration is all around me, I feel like I'm never truly not working.  I knew I wasn't doing a good job of balancing it all when CC asked me to put my phone down & play.  Guilt overload.  I'm working on doing a better job.  Because she is what truly matters to me.  And if she ever thought that my work was more important than her, it would do me in.  So I've learned to let things go.  My house is a mess.  Our meals aren't very detailed or creative anymore.  All of my DIY projects have been pushed to the side.  And I often go to bed around midnight or later because I work after she goes to bed.  Right now, it's worth it.  And when that doesn't work anymore, I'll figure out a new balance.  But man, achieving that balance is hard & constantly evolving.  She's so worth it though.  How could I not give my all for this sweet face?

     The other big thing I have struggled with is maintaining my inner compass while working in a field that is, on the surface, about external beauty.  I'll admit, more than once, I've gotten a case of the gimme gimmes.  I would stare at the walls of our military housing & dream of the days when I could have my own house with everything just the way I wanted.  But you know what?  This turned into constant planning for our "someday" house.  Dreaming & planning is great, but when you can't also enjoy the present because all you can think about is how if you could just change X, Y, or Z, then you'd be happy, that's not so great.  The struggle of enjoying beautiful things while not becoming consumed by them can be difficult.   
     Luckily, I found the Master Designer Manifesto.  Darlene Weir, of Fieldstone Hill (the same designer/blog I focused on during my Design 101 posts), has it figured out.  And she kindly added me to her Master Designer blogroll, & asked me to share about it here.  

     Here's the thing.  True happiness doesn't come from material goods.  But you can still appreciate them, as long as you remember what really matters in life.  I struggled to find this balance, because I sometimes felt like I was being materialistic by enjoying design & dreaming about it.  

     I think my favorite part of her design manifesto is "I appreciate fine and lovely things, but they are not my treasures.  I know what is truly important, and I do not aim to 'store up my treasures here on earth' {Matthew 6:19}". I have worked as a pediatric nurse for very sick kids.  My husband is a war veteran.  We have endured miscarriages, infertility, & the much too early passings of my mom & Army friends.  I share all this only because it is these experiences that have taught me what life is truly about, & it's not the beautiful things that I work with everyday. 

     Thank you, Darlene for once again inspiring me.  I am proud to be a Master Designer.



  1. Oh my goodness. How PRECIOUS is that face??
    Thank you so much for sharing about the Master Designer Blogroll, but even more, thank you for sharing YOUR heart about what it all means to you. Beautiful!!