How Crafting Helps Me With Life Balance

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yamstamps crane balance

If you’re in Ontario – Happy Family Day! If you’re not – Happy Monday! On this Family Day, I find myself reflecting on family….and trying to keep a work – life balance (if there is such a thing!).

That’s me and my son in 2002 – when we were living in British Columbia. This is about the time when I started with Stampin’ Up! Canada as a demonstrator. The company was expanding into Canada from the US and I jumped on board. Crafting gave me a creative outlet and helped me carve out some me timeĀ  to get some life balance. At the time, I lived in an area where I had to take a ferry to get to Vancouver (and area), and we had no craft store locally. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend a day to travel into the city, drive to a stamp store or craft store (plus hit the big box stores and maybe a mall LOL), then turn around and head home again (usually with toddler in tow, so it wasn’t always the most efficient trip either haha). This would happen maybe once a month at the most? (My memory grows foggy). Anyway. I realized that signing up to be a demonstrator would be the easy way to get my own paper crafting supplies delivered right to my door! The other bonus was that it gave me an opportunity to socialize with other adults. While I did enjoy being the parent of a young child, there’s only so much conversation you can have with a toddler…so this definitely came at the right point in my life! I often do card classes with moms who are enjoying a chance to get together with their friends and have some “me” time, so I know I was not an anomaly!

Fast forward a few years….LOL. I continued with my Stampin’ Up! business, which survived a cross country move (back to Ontario to be closer to my extended family), and managed to grow my business while keeping a “regular day job” in health care as well. Around 2014 I was getting burned out with my day job, though. My job was flexible, but I was finding that the flexible component often had to be me! Demands were growing higher, as was my caseload, despite my efforts to set limits. This, on top of parenting was a lot to manage, and life balance was definitely out of whack! So I made the decision to reduce my day job hours – officially becoming a part time employee. This allowed me to continue with client care, but gave me the opportunity to enforce some boundaries so that I would not get so burned out again. My Stampin’ Up! business was able to fill some of the income gap, while continuing to give me a much needed creative outlet and socialization (at this time, I was the parent of a young teenager, and once again, conversation with a teen boy can be limited…)!

These days, I enjoy that I can change my schedule to choose to spend time with my teen, as I am realizing that he’s not going to be in the family home for much longer! (selfie photo is from a family trip to England a few years ago). My Stampin’ Up! job is flexible, but I’m the boss, so I’m in control of the schedule and workload!

I am going to spend this Family Day enjoying a little down time and hanging out with my teen (well, as much as he’ll let me haha!). Maybe I’ll also get a little crafting in there as well….we’ll see what the boss says….!