~ Mom by Day ~
I see my world through rose colored glasses. I like being an optimist for many reasons including the fact I believe it helped Kristal Clear Graphics, my graphic design company, succeed as it encouraged me to pursue my business goals. Where others might find obstacles and doubt when following their ideas, I tend to react with an attitude of, “Hey it could work? Let’s try it, and see what happens.”
Actually, looking back, my very first client was a cold call to a photographer asking if they had any need for a graphic designer to create these new photobook albums for their couples. Caroline, one of my best friends from college, had just gotten married and received this beautiful wedding album from her photographer with the photos printed directly onto the pages. (Yes, now that is no big thing but in 2004 it was brand new).
I thought, “I could design that and create a niche for photographers to use my services.” I hadn’t yet discovered how I could sell my services to the general public and this idea would overcome that obstacle. Well, the first photographer I contacted told me I had perfect timing. I created an ad for him, a sample wedding album to show his prospective couples and ultimately the wedding albums he sold to brides and grooms.
Without my optimistic personality, I could have easily squashed this opportunity with doubt of it working. I will admit, I continued to contact other photographers, but I only had really one other that was interested. I focused on the two that loved me and forgot about the others. (Even in writing this I almost didn’t include this last sentence out of my rose colored habbit LOL.)
My first album I designed that really gave me the right to say I was officially a freelance graphic designer.
I suppose the downside to being optimistic, though, is I unintentionally come across to others as having it all together all the time because that’s what they see me focused on – my successes, not my failures. I share the good over the bad, not for show, but because that’s what I naturally look to on my own. This recently occurred to me when a long standing client contacted me with some website trouble shooting issues, and we had this conversation about patience.
Lol. Increasing my capacity to be patient is a life long journey for me.my client
You and me both friend!! I have come so far from when my oldest was 3 years old in my patience capacity, but yet when my youngest child who is now 5 has literally whined and complained about something for at least 50% of the time I spent with her,(can you tell that was my yesterday 🙂 ) I am reminded how much more patience I need to pray for! 🙂 Yip! Constantly failing in the patience department so I’m grateful for God’s mercy and forgiveness there LOL 🙂me
Lol. You made me laugh so hard. Thank you for showing me the imperfect side of you!my client
Well, her response made me laugh too. I still consider it a good thing to be optimistic, but I realize I might give someone a misleading impression about myself. I certainly don’t have it all figured out and I don’t wish to come across that way.
This month I turn the BIG 40, and I am being a bit reflective. The older I get, the more I realize how much I have to learn starting with this realization. I find it exciting every time I uncover a new tidbit of knowledge whether it’s about spiritual matters or hobbies, history or science. This time I learned more deeply the importance of being authentic and not always needing to keep a professional hat on. I suppose this was a big motivation behind my blog.
For so long I wanted my clients to only see me as a professional that they could trust with their business. I didn’t know what they’d think if they discovered I worked from home while raising my children in between their project revisions. I’d always mute the phone while listening to my client so they couldn’t hear my kids in the background. It took over a decade for me to embrace it was ok to share I was a mom working from home, but it certainly helped when I could hear clients smile through the phone as they’d comment, “Is that a baby in the background that I hear?” Wow! What I thought might come off as unprofessional to someone was actually endearing. So as I celebrate my birthday this year with all the blessings God has given me the last 40 years, I will look to the future and continue to keep being more real and ultimately try to be more humble.
~ Graphic Designer By Night ~
Deborah Lukovich has given me the privilege of being her on-call graphic designer for years. Whether updating her current website or past sites, helping with Friends of Bradford Beach or alinea, it’s always been a thrill being a part of her growing businesses.
Deborah’s ideas are continually emerging, and has always been a great teammate for a client. And I say teammate, not just a client, because the best projects come from open and collaborative communication. A big part of Deborah’s career has been coaching, public speaking and writing so she is definitely no stranger to the value of effective communication. I know she appreciates how I am budget conscious for her, but just as much, I appreciate her passion and drive for her ideas. When she gets inspired, she runs with it hard, and I love being on the receiving end to listen in a quick responsive way to make it become a reality. Thank you Deb for making me a part of your team!
~ Reading Nook ~
I have a new found love of reading thanks to my kids that I shared in an earlier post. What I’ve discovered is I get a thrill from learning something new and how it fosters creative thinking. No matter what your status or season in life, creative thinking skills keep our brains healthy. Here is this issue’s book recommendation to surprise you and help you grow. If you’ve already read it, please post me a message and tell me what you thought of it! Good or Bad 🙂
How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare
A new area of interest I have recently become reacquainted with is William Shakespeare. I was never a huge fan, myself, but at the same time, I knew it had to be important. I came across this book listening to a podcast that was hosting the author, award-winning playwright, Ken Ludwig, and introduction from John Lithgow. I purchased the ebook special at just $3, and my family has been slowly reading it together and learning Shakespeare in very fun ways. My kids might deny they are having fun, but I have the videos of them to prove otherwise.
The author said he could have easily called it, How to Teach Yourself Shakespeare, and I would agree that’s why I like it, but his agent said this title would sell better. I think there is something about teaching your kids new things that make it more allowable for grownups to learn too. No matter our age, I guess everyone would prefer to learn in fun ways, and that is just what this book does.
My kids and I have memorized four famous passages from Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a more enjoyable play to begin learning about Shakespeare than Julius Caesar or MacBeth that many are introduced to first in high school. (myself included). Ken explains the best way to understand the passages is by memorizing them plus he explains lots of the confusing language so we can appreciate the beauty and talent of Shakespeare’s works. I will say I used to find Midsummer Night’s Dream quite dumb before learning it, but now that I understand it I can see it’s quite clever! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
We’re currently working on passage five (out of 25- we’ll see how far we get 🙂 ) from Twelfth Night, another beginner comedy. My biggest takeaway so far is gaining an appreciation that truly allows me to see its beauty and why his works are so outstanding. I think my kids’ biggest surprise is learning how much Shakespeare has really influenced our culture. We keep finding references everywhere, now that we know how to look. For instance, there was an article from The Times in the book about quoting Shakespeare illustrating how we use his sayings every day. Well, this Memorial Day weekend as some dear family friends treated The Babes and I to a girls’ weekend for an early 40th birthday celebration guess what we found? In our Swedish Stuga (cottage) this was hanging in our bathroom! I thoroughly enjoyed showing that to The Babe’s – she was not as thrilled 🙂
The second book I have found to be a sweet and helpful companion to learning this genre is Tales from Shakespeare! Written in comic book style, Marcia Williams blends the original words from his play with a paraphrase of storyline and some comical comments from the spectators. I would highly recommend both of these books for anyone wanting to discover the hidden masterpieces of William Shakespeare.