Do you ever wonder what you were put on this earth to do? Wonder what your calling is? Lately, I've been doing a lot of soul searching to answer this tough question for myself.
What really matters to me? As long as I can remember, I've always cared about animals. When I was a little girl I brought home every stray or injured critter I came into contact with, even to my parents' aggravation. As I grew older and learned of environmental issues, I constantly felt the need to step in and do my part there as well.
Another passion of mine, one that also dates back to childhood, is crafting. I love the process of working with my hands to create something beautiful. I used to make greeting cards for Christmas when I was a girl using construction paper and whatever little odds and ends I could find around the house. When I was in my twenties I took up cross stitching and in my 40’s I learned how to crochet. It’s no wonder that after I gave birth to my son Christopher in my 30’s that I discovered scrapbooking and never looked back!
About six years ago I started my first two design team positions in the paper crafting industry with Bella Blvd. and Doodlebug Design. I had been scrapbooking and making cards for many years at this time and wanted to submit my work for publishing and pursue a job in the business. I thought it would be a dream come true to get paid for doing something I love. In time paid positions came along and eventually my job with Fun Stampers Journey. It was so exciting to be offered employment with a fast growing company that allowed me to work from home!
Simultaneously, along my journey to find work within the paper crafting community, I grew more concerned about environmental issues. I realized my family and I needed to do more than recycle, switch to energy efficient light bulbs and bring reusable bags to the grocery store to affect real change. So, we simplified our lives; we reduced, reused and recycled. We went from putting our trash can on the curb for weekly pickup to once every other year and we are constantly striving to live more sustainably. Just last October we adopted a vegan lifestyle to help end the suffering of billions of animals and the huge impact that factory farming has on our planet.
More recently, I’ve been experiencing an inner conflict between my love of paper crafting and the environmental impact it has. The bottom line is that my support and participation in this business doesn’t coexist with my belief that I (we) must use fewer resources. Our planet doesn’t contain an endless supply to continuously manufacture new product and supplies at the current rate.
So I’ve had to make a very difficult decision to step back from this part of my life, from this blog, from the paper crafting industry. I will always create, but I can do it with less; less paper, less rubber stamps and fewer dies, etc.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve loved working in this business and how much I will miss it! I’ve met so many wonderful people and have gotten to travel and participate in work and events that I never had before. I’ve gotten to see my work in print and help inspire people to express their creativity.
Starting now I will wake up each morning and ask myself how I can make a bigger difference in the world? I don’t know yet what that will look like, which is scary and exciting all at the same time, but I plan to start a new blog to help bring awareness to these issues.
When my new blog is up and running I will let you know the address. I invite all of you to follow me on this new journey and hope that some of you will feel inspired to make a difference with me.
Note: The above photo was taken on February, 2012. Squirrels bathing on our deck railing.