I guess it’s been enough time that I can share with you a little phone call that I got last spring. It was from the go-to gal, Heather, at Luckett’s and she was offering me a room in the shop. For those of you that don’t know what Luckett’s is, it is an old house turned into one of the coolest, vintage-hip shops around. My dad used to take me there when I was little to search throughout the rooms for treasure. Everything is vintage and/or antique.
It’s also the location of the Luckett’s Spring Market that I’ve participated in for a few years now.
Well, for vendors there is also a 10 year waiting list to get a room IN the house. I have NOT been on the list for 10 years, maybe 2 or 3, but Heather thought I would be a great fit. I was super flattered, nervous and excited all at the same time. I told her I needed a few days to think about it. She said she was offering it to me before opening it up to any others. WOW!
Rewind 4 years when I was salivating to get into a shop like this. I would have said yes as soon as the words came from her mouth. But, I’ve been learning through therapy to Stop. Take a pause. Take a breath. And that’s what I did. For 3 days. On the third day I called Heather and turned down the room.
It was hard to break my own heart. I cried and moped around and doubted myself for the full 3 days. Then after the call, where Heather said something like, “I like you even more now because you are putting your family first.” I realized I wasn’t disappointing her. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I had made a big-girl decision on my own that factored in ME and MY FAMILY. After the call I honestly have thought little about it. I think that’s what happens when you stay true to yourself.
(Let your true inner flower-child shine, girl.)
Yes, the decision was for my 3 little kids and my husband that I didn’t want roped into my craze of hunting and gathering and setting up every week. But, more than that, I really didn’t want to put it on my own back to carry. I’ve always had this idea that if I worked every second of the day every day doing WHATEVER then I would feel worthy and be worthy. Sitting in a spot and feeling safe is not do-able for me. I’m working on it, but really not easy. As Dear Therapist says, “If it were easy, I’d be doing it.” Even in all the pain I’m in these days, I still do not feel okay staying put.
Last month I met two gals at my Zumba class. They had started their own business and had grown so large that they were selling their product in Whole Foods up and down the East Coast. I was amazed and told them so, and what they said back to me shocked me. They were tired and burnt out and could not sell the company fast enough. They could not be the moms they wanted for sure and more than that they were unhappy with how they were spending their time working like dogs. Huh.
It made me feel pretty proud of the decision I had made. Staying small is actually good. You may not get into Whole Foods or Luckett’s staying small, but instead you could maintain some sense of peace and control in your life & business. I think that’s worth the trade.
After all, how was I going to teach my little chickens how to paint if I wasn’t around?
I love this post. I really believe in living simply. Owning my choices. You did just that! And I love the picture of your daughter with flowers in her hair. Good for you for staying true to your own heart. It took courage.
Thank you for this post. As someone that’s just starting out this is great to hear. Stay small. Live simply. Save time to stop to smell the roses. Love it!
What a wise decision for yourself and your family.
Right on Christen – you speak right to my heart! Work/home/kid balance is tough to do successfully, especially when you work from home, like us. And though turning down work often feels counterintuitive, I couldn’t it any other way. Love my work, but love A & the kids more!
That had to be tuff! Some of my best times have been having a booth and doing shows. I love it!! I never want to stop. The biggest difference is my kids are adults and I didn’t get to have all this freedom till I was 40!! I also became a reg. Auctioneer at 40+ and still am at 61. There’s a lot of time other offers will come. hikchik
You will never, ever regret the time you are spending on your own family and yourself. There will be plenty of time to have your booth, room, and grow your business! It will happen! But you can’t give the kids another childhood, and it is soooo worth enjoying it with them right now:)
christina larsen says
As a mom of 3 and having tried to balance a career for the past 7 years, I agree with wanting to keep things simple. I thought that after staying home with my kiddos for 9 years that it was time for me to do something else, then I did the something else and found out that I liked staying at home better. I know there will come a time to do something different, but I’m enjoying the NOW. Hope you enjoy yours, too.
This post is one big truth that reaches my core. I understand exactly the roller coaster of feelings through first, turning down a dream opportunity, to later feeling so validated by the adult size decision made. I’ve got three minis 4yrs and under home with me, (an ironic twist by God’s design for this girl, who never even liked babysitting when she was young), and run my own furniture refinishing business right from our home garage. I have watched opportunities that I turned down flourish and bloom for others who accepted them after me. And I’m okay with that, even happy to see success happen for these other folks. The difficulty I have now and then is feeling like each opportunity is a one-time thing; that there will never be one like it again. The truth is, I have fit as much as I am willing to fit on my plate, with plenty of space for breathing room with my beloveds, and that is and should be the bottom line. I know the plate will look different in 10 years, in 15 years, and beyond, and that at some point in my lifetime I may have the room to say yes to something big and exciting…or not; it’ll depend on how I’m feeling then. But for now, there’s this awesome, irreplaceable feeling of contentment. Glad you are as well.:) And thank you, as always, for sharing your heart!
Marian@ Gathering Branches says
There is such crazy pressure from the Universe to expand. When I started doing barn sales I was shocked by it. I have resisted, mainly because one big show and one small show a year was all my husband could take. And I am grateful for that. This year, I am taking even more time out, to work on my art. That is what I want and I have realized that I can’t do everything everyone wants, so I might as well do what I want most. Which is to learn about the Masters and get to know who my children are today and to have a few minutes between things to think about what’s happening. I am proud of you for taking the time to figure out what you want most and to make the hard decisions necessary sometimes to preserve it. Well done.
I few years ago I started my own business as an artist. After a few years I realized that I was loosing the joy of painting for all of the running of the business. I decided to only paint what I like and if someone else likes it that is great. I now paint what gives me joy and if it sells then so be it. You made the right decision. Once I made the decision I felt like a great weight had been lifted off my back.
I have just accepted my first client. I had you in the back of my mind, normally I jump through hoops to do something for others. I have decided if I am worthy they will take what I have to offer and if not it just wasn’t meant to be. I enjoy your wisdom!
Claudia Muñoz says
Just went to their sale today ( Luckettes) and bought a very lovely glass tray! Love that store:)
Betty Slanta (fellow Arlingtonian) says
You are on our prayer list every night. You are wise beyond your years. A priest said to me in confession “…do what you’re doing while you’re doing it” and “…do what you like to do and the money will come from that”! I’ve always remembered that and have lived a simple life since marrying my DH almost 18 years ago. Thank you for your lovely work and wise posts.
diane westbrook says
Dear Christen, You listened to your heart! That is the best way to make decisions and you have lots of time ….you will turn around and your little ones will have all grown up…then will be the time to decide if you want to put your lovely things into a store.
I have a question for you. I want to paint my bedroom set and will make blue/white toile comforter cover, etc. I keep looking at all the beautiful furniture you have done and I just like it all! I would appreciate your suggestions. I think of you a lot and pray that you are healing and healing well. Diane
Amen. Dismiss church.
A few years ago, when my children were early elementary age, I was offered the job of my dreams. It was perfect in every way, except the hours. Turning down that job broke my heart, and I cried for days, felt wounded for months. Looking back now, with a college-bound senior and a junior in college, I made the right decision. There is only one time to spend with one’s children. Many blessings on you, your heart & your family. Thank you for sharing your story, and reminding me of mine <3
My husband and I just recently pulled out of both of our booths. The booths were too much to maintain while working full time jobs. Painting was like therapy for me. It allowed me to focus and even pray. I loved and enjoyed every moment of it. However, painting pieces for our booths quickly became a chore. I was painting pieces just so we could have inventory. I was miserable. We decided to pull out at the beginning of this year and I felt like I could breathe again. There is so much that I need to learn about business such as marketing, networking, photography and growing our blog. I never had the time to focus on these things before. My time was devoted to hunting down furniture and painting it. However, now that we are out of the booths, I can focus on these things more as well as painting pieces and actually enjoying it. You made the right decision.
So awesome! Great post. As a mom who’s baby is about to leave the nest, I would say, you’ll never ever regret one minute with your family. You are a wise lady:)
Love your way of seeing things….I think you’ve handled a few major events in a “big-girl” way this last month. Nicely done. You’ll never regret being home enjoying these life moments. Now give yourself a permission slip to take the time you need to heal. And remember staying small is so Big. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Christen, I’m brand new to your blog. I felt compelled to comment (although I typically don’t). I loved the transparency in your post. I could totally relate to your desicion to keep the first things first in your life. I once was a full time interior designer with plans to move up in the career field. But upon arrival of my first daughter I just could not leave her with anyone. She was too precious too me, and I wanted to pour everything I had into her. My husband and I made great sacrifices so that I could (now) stay home with our now 3 daughters and homeschool them. I figured that I would never look back and regret spending more time and nurturing my family, but I PROBABLY WOULD regret spending too little time with them. At the end the day, the Lord knows all of our sacrifices that we make on His behalf, and I believe He will honor them and use them for good! God bless you and your family. Remember every “no” to your work is a “yes” to your family! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Oh how I needed to hear this…..I am a designer, artist and vintage furniture vendor….with 5 children. I have recently gone into semi-retirement from the furniture portion and art to focus on being the best mom I can and there is a daily conflict in my heart. The love of the work, the guilt, the immeasurable-ness of motherhood. I sometimes feel like I am not living up to my potential but I know for certain that my time with my kids is something I can never get back.
Good for you for delaying one dream in favor of your kids. You made the right choice.