A Beginning and End

There are 3 things that have changed me this year, and led me to finally start writing on the blog again. This has been a long time coming. Let me back up, I have always been a writer. It started in elementary school when I became the self-appointed editor of an underground “newspaper” I wrote. I’m pretty sure only myself and a few friends read it, but nevertheless, it took my thoughts out of my head and onto the page. I was hooked.

My 3 beauties at the baby’s wedding

 

Fast forward to later, with many years behind me of various published writings, I attended a seminar about blogging. This was probably 7 plus years ago and after a little thought, I set out to write something meaningful. Needless to say, I got distracted (as I sometimes do) and other life just began to happen. Then everyone and their dog started a blog and it seemed too trendy to lure me in. I did have tasks to do; there were children to confidently push from the nest, eventually get married off, gorgeous weddings to plan, a business to start (since I am too ADD to sit still and enjoy myself) and life gets crazy.

Christmas morning – getting ready for our stocking gifts guessing game

 

Somehow I remember hearing someone say that once you hit your 50’s, you can relax and take life easy. I would clearly rather have a root canal, because that thought never occurred to me and I have been running full steam for awhile now. But at the end of last year, after spending a wonderful Christmas with our three children, their perfect spouses, and our four adorable grandchildren, I realized I needed a change.

Here’s what happened:

Pajama-gate – Let me warn you that this started out purely vain. I was wanting to (no, needing to) lose some pounds. We spent Christmas with the kids at my sons house where I encountered a few hours of playing with the (almost) three year old grand daughters while we were all wearing our matching Christmas jammies with custom baseball tee sporting our official reindeer name and number order that we joined the family.

Christmas 2015
Our traditional staircase shot before heading downstairs

 

The oldest grandchild was trying to get me to come inside the Little Tikes playhouse. Here’s how the conversation went, (her) “Mimi, come into the playhouse” (me) “no honey, Mimi won’t fit” (she’s NOT having any of it) “MIMI, COME INTO THE PLAYHOUSE NOW!” Let me just point out she’s a bit bossy, and I love it. I encourage it. I raised my daughters to be fabulous and bossy, and they are.

My sweet little granddaughters
Mimi’s sweet little girls

 

The grandkids need no help, they come by it rightly. So I drag myself uncomfortably into the house of tiny size. I’m right, Mimi doesn’t really fit. Later, we all line up to take pictures of us in our jammies (plaid flannel bottoms) from behind as to properly see the reindeer name that fits each of us to a tee. Everyone looks darling, it’s Christmas, it’s joyous, and WHAT THE HECK? Is that me? The pajamas make me look twice the size of everyone (or is that just my narcissism?). I decide then and there, post playhouse humiliation and pajama-gate, that I need to stop ignoring myself, get healthier and  I need to start NOW!

Christmas 2015
Dasher and Dancer

 

A wake Up Call – It’s mid February 2016 in Michigan and the hubby and I have just escaped our biggest snowfall of the year (15-18 inches in 2 days!) and are headed to Florida for a fun little trip to Disney World. We’re two days in, I’m doing surprisingly well on my diet within the park, and visiting Hollywood Studios. I get a call from our middle child who tells me that the BFF of my sweet son-in-law (married to our baby) a groomsmen at their wedding and their housemate in a duplex they rent, at 24 years old has dropped dead. He called out his wife’s name and collapsed and died right there in the kitchen. Our baby had to tell his family and could not even utter the words again, so she enlisted her sister to break the news. I can’t even, there are no words, and so I cry. I cry for Mitchell (the deceased), for his sweet wife of one year, for our baby girl and her precious husband who have just lost their dear friend, and for his family and loved ones that are stunned and overcome with sadness. I cry for the life he will not have on this earth, for the unjustness of only 24 years, and the unanswered “why” that will not bring him back. I think of my grandbabies wanting Mimi to fold in half and play with them, think of their future, and I vow that I will make better choices for my health because I need a fighting chance to be here longer and fold myself into tiny playhouses, if that is what is demanded of me. When I get frustrated with life’s daily challenges, I think of Mitchell and other loved ones we have lost, and I gladly keep on going.

My handsone son-in-law (left) and his dear friend Mitchell
My handsome son-in-law (left) and his dear friend Mitchell

 

A changing of the guards – I am co-owner in a lovely business. I have a talented and hard-working business partner who has worked tirelessly with me for the last 5 years building our brand. We have sacrificed, worked 24/7 for a very long time and finally are comfortable enough to breathe and commit to reasonable hours, 5 days a week. Our distribution business has grown, and taken a turn where we need to focus and expand and in choosing to do so, have decided to close the retail side of our business. This was a tough decision but one made with no looking back, until I realize there was much enjoyment that I will desperately miss in that side of the business. My business partner’s family, full of talented woodworkers who make custom furniture, will be opening a shop in our old location and still offering the community a place to find fabulous home furnishings. We will happily lead our customers in their direction, as I’m sure there will be many wonderful offerings, and then I realize I have no legitimate excuse to continue shopping estate sales. Oops. Hubby and I have recently downsized our home and I simply cannot buy another thing for it, and a large part of my creativity went into that retail store, so after much thought I decide to give myself a creative outlet (in my free weekend time) and write a blog about ramblings in my head (see menu tabs). I don’t bother lamenting about if anyone will read it, I once again think of Mitchell, and am happy in the bliss of doing what pleases me.

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Bungalow 47 founded in 2011

 

Bungalow 47, at some point, over the years
Bungalow 47, at some point, over the years

 

So there you have it. If you choose to follow me on this journey, I welcome you. I only hope that something I do here may inspire you to follow your own bliss, grab the bull by the horns and do what you love, or offer you an escape for a few minutes and enjoy the euphoria found in a life well lived.

Live well, Jill

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