Many years ago, one of my best friends gave me a ceramic plaquette that hangs beside my bathroom mirror. I often read its scripted letters: ‘Life is not about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself’. This sentiment was at the forefront of my mind when I decided not to return to my downtown advertising job after my first maternity leave. I took a chance and started a small business creating wedding invitations – a venture which has grown and flourished until the present day. But as time went on, the life that I had created became increasingly off-balance, with my work overwhelming everything else.
More recently, a friend recommended the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ by Stephen R. Covey. In it, the author asks the reader to take responsibility for his choices and the consequences that result. It finally dawned on me that I was the one that had created this crazy lifestyle and that only I had the power to change it. Once again it was time for a change – time to turn over a new leaf. I decided to take a break from weddings and enter into the magical world of Etsy. It is my hope that with the lessons I have learned in business thus far, I will be better equipped to achieve the elusive work/life balance. I relish the idea of a new creative direction with the opportunity to get back into more artistic expressions like watercolour painting. The new Sweet Peony Press will focus on old-world inspired letterpress prints, cards and ephemera. The new Shelley will focus on enjoying her work and family in equal measure while leaving space for health and relaxation.
Only time will tell if I can be successful in creating this new life, but regardless, I welcome you along on what promises to be an exciting journey!