Well, now we are into November. I know I am always saying this, but where the heck does the time go? The days are so full and yet they pass so quickly.
Seeing October pass always makes me kind of sad. If I had to pick a favorite month of the year, that would probably be it. Not only because the beauty of the changing colors, but the relief from summer’s heat and the memories I have from Octobers past. It always makes me feel cozy and think of when the kids were young and when I was young and all that goes with that. Even the smells are pleasant.
We went for a night walk last evening. For the first time this year I had to wear my long winter coat and ear wraps. It was one of those nights that were pitch dark but the moon was out and the sky was filled with stars. The temperature was hovering just around zero and there was no wind, so the air was crisp but not biting. Just perfect.
As we walked past the various houses, we could smell the scent of the wood stoves. I don’t know why, but it smelled so good. We could see that several of the houses had autumn decorations of some kind and it added to the cozy atmosphere. It reminded me of the beautiful calendar pictures you see of a country house at night with the lights glowing inside in contrast to the overall darkness. But I am lucky enough to live here in it.
I hope we get back in the habit of night walking again. It is funny how we tend to slip in and out of routines such as that. You would think that in the summer we would be more likely to take these evening strolls, but somehow they got lost in the lists of things to do and it has been quite a while since we regularly have done this. Perhaps this will be the start of the new cycle.
The day was busy updating the website and doing more computer adjustments. I needed to write my newsletter and got that mailed out by the afternoon. Although I am getting better at dealing with the formatting of it, I still have some issues and struggle with getting it to look how I want. I am not sure if it is my own problem or that of the software, but I suspect it is a little of both. I am learning, step by step. But sometimes it takes me just a bit longer before I am comfortable. It doesn’t help that they keep tweaking the programs and making small changes to them. While I understand that these are upgrades and necessary to refine the software and make it ultimately better, it is still frustrating sometimes to see things change so often. It makes it difficult to remember how to do things sometimes.
But if I want to look at it from an optimistic point of view, I will say that it will keep my mind sharp.
I am so very pleased to say that the month of October was our best month ever on the site. By far. Honestly, we are both quite shocked at the responses we have been receiving from our customers and also from all the new people that have joined our mailing list and become regular customers.
Could it be that all this patience and hard work we have been doing is really paying off? Wouldn’t that be awesome?
As many of you know, my work has become the main focus of my life. While I do deviate a bit here and there from it, most of the days are spent working on the business in some form or another. So many times Keith and I are asked to approximate how many hours are spent on our business per given day/week and when we try to respond, we really can’t give an accurate number. It seems we are always doing something that is somehow related to the business.
Sure, there are times when we make meals and tidy up the house and shop and now go to the gym, but for the most part, we are focused on our work.
Is that a bad thing?
Absolutely not as far as I am concerned. You all have probably heard the phrase “if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life.” and I truly understand and believe in that. Sure, I have had some frustrating days at times. You all have read about that here. But for the most part, my days are filled with people and creativity and doing what I absolutely love to do. I could almost feel guilty about it. In fact, sometimes I think I do. When I hear of others complaining about their bosses and their jobs and dreading Mondays, I almost feel guilty that I have it so good here.
It has been a lot of work to get to this point, but now that it is kind of clicking in, I just want to embrace and enjoy the success that we have achieved so far, and work harder to make it even better. It is true that positive reinforcement is truly a wonderful motivator. I have used the analogy before that turning a malfunctioning business into a successful one is much like stopping a moving train and putting it in reverse. It is a long and difficult process. I feel like we have not only stopped the train, but are beginning to gain momentum on the opposite direction. That is a very happy place to be and only makes me want to work harder and do better.
In the past several days, I have received more than the usual correspondences from customers and friends (it is many times difficult to distinguish between the two) and it has been a mix of suggestions, questions and also commendations for work well done. I truly enjoy those interactions – even when they are suggestions on doing something better or observations of that nature. I think they are important to make things appealing on all levels and as long as they are given in an honest and genuine manner, I take them very much to heart. I believe that this all helps me to be better and I appreciate that others take the time to let me know what they are thinking.
So the moral or lesson of today’s blog is that if you really love doing something and work hard and stick with it through the tough times, there is a good chance that you will find a way to make it work for you. The rewards cannot be measured only by financial means, as there is so much more to it than that. There is a sense of doing something that you love to do and actually surviving on it that makes all that hard work pay off.
I feel as if today is a new starting point. It’s a new month. The computers are all clean and organized. The site is updated. All the external deadlines are met. it is one of those rare times when I get to be the one to decide which direction to head. I have many choices and sometimes it is difficult to choose a path. The good part is that no matter which path I take at this point, I don’t think I can choose a bad one. What a great place to be.
I want to thank you again all for your continued support and friendship that you have offered me throughout my journey here. Your feedback, comments and messages have meant so much to me. Whether it be in the scroll sawing aspect of the business or the painting aspect, or just as a friend, I am finding myself feeling very grateful that I have all of you and hope that you share in my small successes. I am sometimes overwhelmed.
I don’t know what else to say.
I wish you all a wonderful and creative day. Enjoy the season and each day that is brought to you.
If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"