Small Shop Spotlight: Saltwater Kittens

It’s a beautiful day here, and for today’s Small Shop Spotlight I’m excited to have you all meet the incredibly creative and talented owner of Saltwater Kittens, Jeska!

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Weekly Image of Life: Create

About 3 weeks ago, we came across a garage sale while out on an evening stroll.  We picked up a number of books for Alexandra (including the “Dear God” series by Annie Fitzgerald-LOVE!), and a puzzle for ourselves. 

My husband thought this would be a fun activity to do together, so he counted the pieces and spread them out on our kitchen table.

We were supposed to work on it whenever we had the opportunity, but as of yesterday afternoon there was little difference from the first day.  I decided to come up with a brilliant idea.  We’d finish the whole thing tonight!!!  Psshhhh, don’t ask me what I was thinking, but once Alexandra went to sleep we went to work.  We were a focused team, and for a while we were on a roll!  2.5 hours later my darling hubby began to fade, and at 11:00pm it was well past his usual bedtime.  I appreciated his effort to stay awake on the eve of my birthday, 🙂 but as I kissed him goodnight I just knew I’d catch my second wind and complete the task at hand!  Hahahaha.  Well, let’s just say that while progress was made, the next 2 hours were a blur, and I stopped myself at 1:00am.

My eyelids were heavy, and I still wanted to post a coherent blog before I laid down for the night. 😉  As I stared at the empty spaces I didn’t feel like I did much of anything.  I thought I’d have a completed puzzle to show as my masterful creation, but that was not the case.  Instead, a huge smile came across my face for a completely different reason. I thought about the special quality time that had been created.  No T.V., no phones, no baby in the mix.  Just me and my love, enjoying each other’s company, and creating many special memories.  On any given day, that’s more than enough for me!!

What will you create today?

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

Dare to Dream

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I thought about my writing today, and how this time last year my passion for the written word was ignited after an excruciatingly long period of dormancy.  I was eager to get re-acquainted with my creative side and share my musings with anyone who would listen.  After posting some sample pieces for my friends on Facebook, my new-found groove was cut short as I experienced extreme illness with my pregnancy.  Just like that writing was kicked to the curb, and my focus made a major shift.  I decided to start again as soon as I felt better, but with every attempt I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper in quicksand.  Writer’s block?  Fear?  Insecurity?  Lack of focus?  Lack of time? Whatever it was I was in my own downward spiral headed to my dream deferred.  I wanted so badly to express myself, but I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to gain my footing again.  I allowed the busyness of life to keep me sidetracked, and it took me 9 months and an emotional breakdown to finally take that first step in the right direction.  I sat at the computer and let my fingers do the talking, and The Stranger in the Mirror was born. In that moment I vowed never to let this desire dwindle, and I enlisted my family and friends to keep me accountable.  I didn’t want to have any regrets as a result of not pursuing my own potential.  I wanted to do something that simply gave me joy.

I get so caught up in wanting to achieve some intangible level of output that I often forget to connect with myself.  I forget to check in with Me, and neglect those ideas and visions that were once burning a hole in my head.  I shrug off the passions that once ignited fresh excitement and the reveries take a back seat to my tasks and to-do lists.  It’s easy to let this happen, and before you know it weeks, months and maybe years pass before you stop and say “whatever happened to that plan I had?  I remember how much I used to love to do this…how did I ever let this slip away…”

Does any of this sounds familiar? If so, I don’t blame you.  We live in a society of movers and shakers, and it’s easy succumb to the pressure that dictates our success by how many goals we have and how quickly we accomplish them.  We lock into a routine and before we know it our Mondays blur to Wednesdays, Wednesdays blur to Sundays, and just like that we start the cycle all over again.  “Rush, rush, rush; hurry, hurry, hurry; go, go, go” is the new norm, but happiness is far too easily replaced by productivity.  Looking at the big picture, what have we really acheived if we can’t relax and let our imagination run free?  What discoveries would you make if you allowed yourself to dream

What can you do now to turn that dream into reality?

Need some ideas?  How about creating a Bucket List?  This one certainly inspired me:

Bucket List Publications