So, after a few months away from the studio, I'm back in business! I'm happy to say I'm open for all print and calligraphy inquiries!
After a couple months away from Four Hats, I had a bit of time to reflect on some things—both life and business-related. Since I began in 2009, I hadn't really taken an extended break, so it ended up being a bit of a sabbatical, lending some perspective on the word I'd been doing and what I hope to do in the future. The following are just a few of the insights I gleaned.
1. Less is okay.
There is really nothing like getting through two items on a long to-do list to put a usually highly productive person in her place. There have been recent days during which I have accomplished little more than feeding my daughter, taking a shower, and putting on clothes. If I get around to unload the dishwasher, I feel like a superhero. For someone who used to run a million miles an hour and tends to finds my worth in how much I can get done, this has been a big shift. I can't do it all, but what I do take on, I can do more slowly, and hopefully... well.
As it relates to business, I hope that the select jobs that I take on will get my more slow and careful attention as well. I won't be able to do as much, but I intend to devote myself intentionally and thoughtfully towards the work I do.
2. It's okay to spend selectively.
Entering into parenthood has thrust me into a new and overwhelming realm of materialism. Clicking through blogs and scrolling Instagram for five minutes can leave a new mother feeling like she has to HAVE IT ALL. The most expertly designed Montessori toys, the expensive play mat, the books for stimulating eye development, la la la.
After a few weeks of being a mom, it was like every cool clothing company and wooden toy maker knew just where to find me with their targeted ads. And, let me tell you, I'm such a sucker! When I see a little girl in a gingham dress and hairbow playing on a leather mat with her set of handmade blocks, I want those things. And, I simultaneously recognize that I don't need those things, nor do I want to constantly want things.
This to say, I have really had to reign in desires for THINGS in this season. We don't need everything, we just need a few quality things. This has been a good reminder to me be wise in how I evaluate what is worth it and what will last. This is something I encourage clients to consider when making decisions about celebratory paper pieces, so it's been good for me to adopt as well.
3. People over paper.
As I mentioned, time is at a premium these days, and I'm learning how to be more and more efficient with disposable minutes and hours I have. That said, as a task-oriented do-er, it's sort of in my nature to prioritize getting things done over and above investing in flesh-and-blood relationships.
I recognize this about myself, and pray that in this season, I will learn to put aside my computer and phone, to be in the moment with the people in my life. Sometimes, this will mean I'll be a bit slower at accomplishing the items on my list. This will take some getting used to, but I know it'll be more than worth it.
4. Creative work matters.
In the first few weeks of my daughter's life, we had two separate photographers out to our home to record some of the precious moments in the life of our family. Christina Hope captured some timeless stills in some of the earliest days of some of our baby girl's life. Jennifer then came to record some of the more real, everyday life and times of our new routines.
The images that they each captured are precious to us, and we will treasure them forever, share them with our families, pass them onto our daughter, and remember how we feel right now.
In getting these photos done, I was reminded anew just how important it is to support creative work like this because it has the ability to preserve some of the most important moments in people's lives. And these are what will endure when many other things pass away.