This is the first of many posts as I start a new chapter in my life. I promise they won't all be this long.
I know, I'm not the first person to be laid off from my job of ten plus years. I know, I'm not the first person to have cancer that popped up out of nowhere. I know, I'm not the first person that has went through all the requirements to have bariatric surgery, just to find out that an insurance change means that they won't cover the surgery. I may, however, be the first person to have all three things happen to me in one day within three hours. Its been almost a year now, so I can even laugh about it a little.
Now, the lay-off from my job at the evil video game company was a blessing in disguise. There was no way I could have endured the cancer treatment whilst trying to please those that cannot be pleased. As I was being told that my layoff was probably going to be a big shock, and that it was normal to be upset, I was reminding myself that skipping to my car and trying to do a cartwheel might be frowned on. I miss many of my coworkers (who have since mostly been either "encouraged to retire" or fired), but I don't miss the treatment I received when working there.
And, the cancer and it's treatment, while tiring and a little daunting, has so far been bearable. I had my five pound sarcoma (tumor) removed on April 14, 2016, and didn't get to move home permanently until June 23rd, 2016. This was surgery, three hospital stays, blood clot in my lung, infection, five follow up surgeries, skin graft and a couple of weeks at a rehab center. I stayed upbeat most of the time and I spent more quality time with God than ever before in my life. I had the chance to help someone else that was struggling with medical decisions, and all in all I love everyone that took care of me (Krissy, pass this on).
Since the bariatric surgery is a revision, I will have my lap band refilled and learn to be healthy with what I have. So, enough of my whiny, sad story, on to the next chapter.
Anyone who knows me or has ever spent five minutes with me, knows that I love to create things. And I love to teach people to create things even more, especially kids. About ten years ago I started making buttons. Nothing special, just the simple pin back buttons that you buy from fundraisers or get at a political rally. My birth father had wanted to start a business doing this, traveling to tractor pulls and doing souvenir buttons.
Well, I took my button maker to a local school and with less than $100, I helped Fossil Ridge Regiment raise a little over $2000. I learned many lessons on that deal, get contracts in writing, don't do the work without getting paid immediately, and helping an organization even when they don't hold up their end of the bargain can be rewarding in other ways. It spring-boarded me into other opportunities that paid off.
From the button project, I learned about other ways to make personalized items. I learned about sublimation, heat transfer vinyl, adhesive vinyl, embroidery, foiling and other techniques that are so much fun to learn and then I began trying to grow a business. I have made custom printed bookmarks for birthday gifts, and sparkly bachelorette party shirts. My photography sent me to the internet to learn desktop publishing and I made my kids' graduation announcements, and when my friends and coworkers saw them they asked me to do them for their kids. Eventually I started promoting my services and advertising locally, but I also worked a 40-60 hour a week job, and commuting an hour each way and that stole all my time (and happiness).
SO! Now I am not traditionally employed and I am following my passion. I am a buttonista, a desktop publisher, a designer, a producer, a photographer, a creator, a mom. Most of all I am alive, doing what I want to do, and hopefully someday I will teach others to create again.
I am asking you to share my blog, let me show you what my passion is, ask me to see what you are interested in, help me be successful. Most of all smile.