Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009: Lesson, Gift, Aha!, and Social Web Moment

Best Learning Experience

A combination of things taught me this lesson: do what makes you happy, even if it means taking some risks (actual or perceived risks).

I've always been a people pleaser. I like harmony in my relationships and have always tried to make everyone around me happy. This is exhausting and sometimes (often) meant forgetting about my own needs or wants to make sure everyone else was taken care of. When it's little things that can make someone else's day, then it's just a good feeling. But when it meant forgetting my own goals, I realized it wasn't a good feeling.

Wedding planning really helped me figure out the difference between the important things and the things that could just make others happy too. My mom (love you Mom) was absolutely convinced that I NEEDED an aisle runner for the church. I didn't care or want one because they usually just get caught underneath the dress and pulled along down the aisle. But when the limo company offered to roll one out, we opted to do it and make my mom happy. A little thing that made someone's day.

But, the big discussion that we really struggled with was whether or not to get married in a church, and if we did, what denomination. Without going into details, we ended up in a church, in a denomination that Dane and I identify with, but not necessarily my family. This was important to us and we found what felt like our niche. Countless times I heard (especially from older more traditional relatives) why we shouldn't get married there. My first reaction was to make different plans and go to the church that they wanted. With Dane's help on this one, I held my ground and we ended up with exactly what we wanted. No compromise on that one and it made us happy. Everyone else had to keep their opinions to themselves. And the best part was that it worked out beautifully.

This summer (and I know I've only mentioned this a million times), when Sam and I opened our Etsy shop was another learning experience for me. When I found Etsy I was in awe of all the gorgeous creations that others were selling. I didn't think I could ever find my place among them. What if it wasn't good enough? What if we never got a sale? But we took a chance, and we're loving every second of it. Who would have thought I could sew for the first time in April and have a shop by July?

The point is, risks can be personal relationships, finances, self confidence, or beliefs. But that doesn't mean you should let them keep you from doing something that will make you happy.

Best Gift

Easy one. My sewing machine was a gift to myself and it's become something that I can no longer be without. I don't know how I went so long without it! I love being able to look through fabrics and find ones that suit different people perfectly, then be able to take them home and create beautiful items. Sewing has also given me a different perspectives on buying things, which has been good and bad. When I see a bag I like, instead of looking at the price tag, I now look at how it was constructed to try and figure out how I can do it myself. It's a good feeling to know what you can be capable of if you just try.

Aha! Moment

Though I'm not sure when this actually happened, it may have been one moment in time or a culmination of different things, my aha! moment came when I realized I have options in my career. And that just maybe, I would want to make some changes.

I guess between the wedding and working with the SnowBall, my interest in event planning really blossomed. At my current job I've planned all kinds of events and it's always the most rewarding feeling to see everything come together. These two big events this year let me focus just on the event planning process and made me think about making some changes.

Right now, I'm happy with what I'm doing, but I've realized there are options. And I can always make some changes.

Social Web Moment

This year I discovered Twitter. I never understood what the big deal was. I couldn't figure out what the draw was in following people's thoughts in 140 characters or less.

Now? Can't live without checking it at least a few times a day. I get my news and updates from Twitter, find out what friends are up to, get notified of new blog posts, and can waste hours of time. Twitter is what informed me of the death of Michael Jackson, the passing of Thornton's, and allowed me to be in contact with my KS when she moved. Thanks Twitter.


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