A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak at a Business Women’s get together, an event I have been attending for the last year and getting inspired by some fabulous women in our Wheatbelt.
What in the world would I have to say that would inspire others??????????????
After a good long think, this is what I came up with and with a glass of “dutch courage” or 2, I delivered it so much better than I thought I would…….another step out of my confidence zone!!!!
I think I may have even inspired a few ladies, maybe it will inspire you too, so grab a cuppa and have a read……
“Everything happens for a reason”…..”Don’t sweat the small stuff”…..”Choose your battles”
All cheesy sayings, but this is how I choose to live my life.
This is not a story of how I balance life as I know we are all doing our best, especially as women, to do that our own way, I am going to let you in on some of our darker journeys in order to show you how I got to where I am today
I grew up here, in sunny Merredin, surrounded by my whole family, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents, what an amazing childhood we had, and the only stress I had was that one day, my grandparents wouldn’t be here any more, (that eventually happened, and I got through it)….but, that is the ONLY worry I had.
I thought everyone lived like this and I didn’t realise that other children were doing it tough, my husband included. While I was having the time of my life, picnicking and partying with my family, he was being pushed from one guardian to another wondering why he wasn’t loved.
Bring in the saying “everything happens for a reason”….I found him for a reason, he needed to feel loved and adored, like every person on earth deserves and I had a lot of lessons to learn in the fact that it isn’t always a rosy world out there. I am still learning details of his life even now as he never wants to worry me, but something he has taught me and I really needed to learn was how to deal with life when it is not quite perfect.
We met at my salon and pretty much that is where it started, I had found the thing missing in my life. We moved in together quite quickly got married and had our first child, life was great.
When hubby decided to start a new life in Perth with his own truck, I was in shock, I didn’t want to leave my home town, it was scary and not really in my plan of how life would be, but after a lot of tears, we packed up our belongings and headed off, it was exciting after the initial shock of it.
We had a few months of excitement, living in the Swan Valley, a business venture and meeting new people. Then I got a call from hubby one day, he had had an accident in his truck, he was ok but the truck was in bad shape – we weren’t quite right with him being ok, it took a few weeks to discover that his back was not good after being thrown upside down in the cab, he had broken several vertebrae and this was the beginning of constant pain for him, no income and a roller coaster of pain medication and mind altering anti depressants.
He chose not to let on how bad things were for a long time, it wasn’t until we had moved a few times, bought a house, had another baby, started up several more businesses as well as making the truck company work and had family issues on his side, that he started to show that he wasn’t coping and started to confide in me, needless to say, I didn’t cope with all of this information dumped on me all at once and while he was trying to keep our head above water and cope with his pain and fogginess from the medication, I was trying to find myself and unhealthily threw myself into exercise.
So, there we were, drifting in different directions with 2 small children and hubby in a zombie state most of the time, running 3 businesses with staff, having a series of unfortunate events happen around us that also caused friction with some of my own family and pretty much living separate lives.
A good enough reason to cut our losses and part from each other, well not us, this was one battle worthy of fighting, so knowing that family was so much more important than money and business, we literally left everything, house…… businesses…… everything and headed down south to catch our breath and start again. Needless to say, our troubles followed us, but we were in a clearer state of mind away from it all to sort it out one thing at a time.
After a lot of knocks on the door from debt collectors, hubby weaning himself off of the pain meds that had him constantly numb, mind and all, and me raising the kids on my own while he did that, and then him getting back to work slowly, having a 3rd child and finally moving back home, I have to say, I have learnt a heck of a lot and I am grateful for every little hardship we have had as right now, I know myself better than I have ever known myself before, I will not let anyone intimidate me anymore, I will never again make any excuses for who I am or what I have done, I know I am worthy – that was one that took a long time to believe, we think differently to the norm and that is perfectly ok and I have even figured out why I am here.
So, we came home and BAM!! My eyes had been turned on, I kid you not, the colours I saw in everyday life was so much brighter. I started this crazy little venture with obsessive creative design to feed my creative side and yes, it is very OCD, hence the name. I LOVE to create things from unconventional things and recycled clothing, fabric and I am quite vintage inspired too. My collection is something new to me, I got carried away as usual and ended up with a vast collection, but that too, will be made by me, each order though will have a different spin on it as some are based around upcycling.
It is a hobby and I am quite happy to ride it and see where it takes me in fact, as soon as I try to push it, it implodes on me and I definitely don’t want to go down the path of letting business take over family again, but with the help of my social media consultant Katrina Bennetts from Silver Sparrow– yes there is such a thing – I have a blog – I never knew I needed a blog, but it is a great way to communicate with your customers, I also have a twitter, instagram, pinterest and google plus accounts which she works her magic on, and I have people following my every move online from all over the world including the States, Japan, France and more. It has really taken off online and I have had quite a few orders come through for my collection and many local people trusting me to cut up sentimental pieces of their clothing and create something else with it. The hard work is being done now with all the social media platforms, so that soon, down the track, when my littlest is at school, I can really enjoy things and hopefully be so busy that I won’t notice my “empty nest”.
Katrina has always said that you need to form the relationships in social media, that is what it is, to be social, and you will earn customers for life. Well that is easy for me as I am a social being and I just write how I speak and it seems to be paying off, because over FROCKTOBER , when I was writing a blog post every day, I had on average 100 people visiting my blog every single day! And on my craziest days, there were 300 + people tuned in, apparently for a new blog, that is pretty good
My plan for it, I guess, is to keep plodding along, turn my wreck of a caravan into a retro beauty and go mobile, as well as keep up with online and eventually recruit some local talented seamstresses – like my Mum – to help me get my ideas and designs to more and more people. I would like to keep it local, I left the wheatbelt once already and I am in no hurry to do it again, I am home and I can achieve all I want to achieve without leaving my backyard.
So, I am a brand new person. Hubby was diagnosed with MS recently and had more family issues, but that is a long story and one that we are working on together. So, even though we have been through a lot, things still come up but it is how you deal with these situations which shows just how much you have learnt and grown.
The things I have learnt
Things are never as bad as they seem and you WILL get through it
To love is the greatest thing in life, see the good in every person you come across,
but you HAVE to learn to love yourself first
Everybody you come across in life is for a reason, either you have something to teach them or they have something to teach you, always look for learning opportunities.
In the scheme of things, nothing really matters anyway, we all come into the world the same way and we all exit the world, it doesn’t matter how many things you accumulate in your life, it is about how happy your life is
Feeling hate towards someone does not affect them, it only hurts you, the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is forgive and move on….
Most of the things we worry about are totally unneccesary, if it is out of your control, then what good is it to worry about….
LIVE SIMPLY – it takes a bit of time to let go of the baggage we carry around, but seriously, do we really need all of the “things” we think we need to live a happy and fulfilling life?? I challenge you to have a purge and see just how many things we can easily let go of, I guarantee you will be very surprised at how simply and comfortably you can live. We had so much when we had the businesses in Perth, but they were all material things, we have less of everything now and are so much more happy for it…
GIVE MORE – This may be hard for some people too, especially if they haven’t grasped the concept of living simply, but you can just start out very small and then it gets addictive seeing how happy you make people…
EXPECT LESS – I am still working on this one myself, I expect too much from myself and probably sometimes of my kids, but I am working on it with the help of my husband and Mum (they are my well being angels) everything doesn’t have to be perfect all of the time .
I have learnt all of these things through all of the tough times my little family has been through (especially with my husbands health) so, I am grateful for the bad things and welcome them because it means more opportunity for learning and another step towards living a content life. I am teaching my kids these things so I can build a great next generation and as much as I have learnt from my husband, there is plenty I am teaching him.
So, I came along to the very first one of these get togethers, not knowing why I was here, I wasn’t a business woman, I don’t have any business advice, but something was telling me I needed to go, Maybe I had life advice, maybe I will influence someone by going? Since the first one, I am being recognised all over for my creative abilities, I have stepped way out of my comfort zone with Frocktober for ovarian cancer which had me parading down the main street in crazy dresses – you can ask me about that later if you want to know more and it is all documented on my blog if you are up for a read, I have started a warm fuzzies group on facebook to hopefully build a better world and and I take great pleasure in random acts of kindness. I am loving life and loving learning more about myself each day, I am stronger than I have ever been and no situation can bring me down for long, I wish to pass this on to anyone who needs it, we all need to learn to love ourselves because we are the person we spend the most time with.
So I say BRING IT ON!! Life is there to be embraced, take a ‘present’ moment, get out of the past and there is no use living too much in the future, get in there and live, you never know who you may influence on the way!!
Love Kirsty xx