Whimsy in Work November Feature Dreams Achieved, Now What?

Finding Whimsy in Work November Feature
Dream Achieved Now What

 

We all have dreams and hopes for our lives.  Many people are still planning and trying to pursue their dreams.  My October  Whimsy in Work featured a woman who was actively chasing her childhood dream.  Then there are people who are able to say they achieved their dreams. The November person I am featuring, Jenny Sparmo of CookiesCoffeeandCrafts.com, achieved her childhood dreams, so now what?

 

I first “met” Jenny on Instagram. As a card maker myself, I really enjoyed her fun designs; they look as if they could start to move. I really appreciated the time and love Jenny clearly put into her cards. You can take a look at more of Jenny’s cards at her shop website, follow her on Instagram or Facebook or check out her blog.

November Whimsy in Work
Jenny Sparmo of Cookies, Coffee and Crafts

Childhood Dream Achieved

Jenny is one of those lucky people who achieved her childhood dreams of becoming a teacher and then a mother. “When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a mom and a teacher…” Jenny was a Kindergarten teacher before she decided to stay home with her children. But after a while, Jenny felt what many stay-at-home parents feel, a blurring of self.  She felt like something was missing. “I had my dream job of teaching Kindergarten before I had my two children and now, I have the joy of being a mom to two adorable munchkins, but I felt like I was becoming lost in being a mom”.

Many stay-at-home parents who left a job or career they enjoyed feel this blurring of the person they used to be. Career used to take priority and it was one of the ways we described ourselves. But as stay-at-home parents, priorities become the daily needs of your children and household. It is hard especially when children are very small and can’t do much for themselves. It is so easy to focus on the day-to-day care of small children that everything else is secondary if it is even lucky to make the list.

There would not be so many articles on self-care for parents if we were good at making time for ourselves. But Jenny learned like all of us eventually do, we need to make time for ourselves and give some time to the people we were before we became parents. I needed to do something for myself. I have been a fan of scrapbooking, and a huge of fan of Pinterest for a long time.” Jenny realized she needed a creative outlet.

The Push to New Dreams: Blog and Business

Like my other Whimsy in Work features, the Push factors into Jenny’s story as well. For some people, the push comes from a person who doesn’t know you, but in Jenny’s case, the push came from someone who loves her very much. My husband motivated me to start my blog and share with the world all the projects I create.” He was so inspired by the things she creates that, “One day he created my blog for me and I started blogging.”   With her husband’s love and support, Jenny was able to find a new dream, her blog and then her online shop. “He is my biggest supporter and my tech support (this is his career field). He helps, encourages, and supports me every day and keeps me motivated to keep learning and creating to help my blog grow. Without him, I would have never started. My husband is the best thing that ever happened to me because of his love and support I will move outside of my comfort zone.”

This little turkey is so cute!!! Jenny has 4 other crafts that would be adorable for next Thanksgiving.

Jenny’s blog features craft projects and tutorials. My favorite post so far was the tutorial on how to make this adorable wooden turkey and several other Thanksgiving crafts. I can’t wait to see what she will create for the Christmas season. She also opened an online store to sell her lovely and whimsical items, you can check them out here.

Jenny’s Take-Aways Finding a New Dream

  1. You need to invest in yourself: Whether it is tools or time, you are always worth it. “For Christmas a couple years ago my husband bought me a Cricut Explore and it changed my crafting game forever.
  2. Find an outlet that makes you happy: “ My favorite thing to create with is paper and I love creating anything with paper…  I started making handmade cards and the cards made everyone so happy that received them that I decided to create and sell my cards, gift tags and banners… The joy my cards bring is priceless and I love the smiles when someone opens one of my cards.”
  3. There is never enough time: creating blog posts, creating and promoting items for my shop, and being a mother to two small kids and a wife.
  4. Think about what is important to you and what is your big picture: “Time is my biggest challenge to make all of the above happen because my children come first.” But you find a way to find a few moments here and some moment there to keep working on your own dreams.
  5. Find a community: “The most rewarding part of blogging is meeting other bloggers and the positive feedback on my crafting projects. The blogging community is amazing with everyone helping and encouraging each other. Plus I love knowing my crafts and tutorials help other people create and make beautiful crafting projects.”
LoveBugCrafts
Beautiful cards and other gifts made by Jenny Sparmo.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about Jenny, how she had to find some time for herself and when you achieve one dream set your sights on another.  To see more of her lovely work, make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook and check out her website and shop.

Cheers, Amy

Finding Whimsy in Work

Finding Whimsy in Work
My First Whimsy in Work feature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love reflecting on crafts, traditions, and recipes that bring me joy. It has been really easy to find joy and whimsy in everyday life when I am focused on my boys. Children are natural whimsy seekers, I think it is much harder as adults to find whimsy and joy every day, especially when day to day life, being an adult and work takes center stage. Because work plays such a major role in adult life, and I believe we could all use more joy and whimsy in all areas of life. Each month, I will feature a person who is pursuing their dream or passion. I hope this feature will be inspiring and encouraging and give people ideas of ways to find whimsy in the working world.

Being an adult is a constant juggling act, I wrote a whole post about the parental juggling act, but as adults we are all juggling roles and obligations to our partners, families, friends, and employers, our homes, the list can go on and on. Many of us are seeking balance or trying to find joy in our work.

Whimsy in Work
My first Whimsy in Work Featuring Kristin of New Life Carving.

My First Whimsy in Work Feature

I am so excited that my first feature is my lovely sister, Kristin. Two years ago she and her husband quit their day-to-day grind jobs, sold their house and moved to Montana in favor of more time to do the things they love. They started a business New Life Carving and have made time to camp, fish, hunt and enjoy the wilds of Montana. Her dream is to find balance in work and life. Kristin wanted to enjoy more of life and not to live only for work.

            “I moved to Montana two years ago for many reasons. The main reason for me was that the career I had carefully chosen and at one time loved, became something that drained me instead of creating happiness and satisfaction. Once my husband and I took the plunge to quit our jobs, get our house ready to list, and sold our home in three days; we found ourselves with more open doors than we knew what to do with…My husband really wanted to start our own business…I realized how little I knew about running a business, but we dove in and went for it, creating a custom wood art and sign business called New Life Carving.”

You can check out Kristin and her husband, Mike’s amazing work at the New Life Carving website and on their Facebook page and their Etsy Shop. You can get to know them better by following Kristin on Instagram.

New Life Carving Products
Some of Kristin and Mike’s wonderful work from newlifecarving.com

Their decision to change their environment and occupations came after attending a consulting firm’s seminar on the idea of retiring as you go. This seminar pushed to the forefront a feeling Kristin had been battling with for a while. “It became clear that I needed to leave the career that I thought I would have for the rest of my life.” The seminar gave Kristin the push she needed to pursue her dream. Her dream has not come without challenges or doubts.

Doubt creeps in…

Sometimes when we make a big decision and take a risk, people will doubt you.” When I gave my notice, my boss asked me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to start by being a full time dog mom and go on all the hunting trips my husband and I wanted to go on. He laughed and said I could have my job back anytime I wanted.” Doubt will come from others, but Kristin found it also came from herself. “A challenging aspect of creating balance in my life would have to be the doubt that sometimes creeps up. Doubt always wants to remind me of how little I know, how I have failed to create that million dollar product that makes and sells itself, how silly I was for thinking I could do anything else…That is when I have to remind myself of how uncomfortable my old comfort zone was…. I was living only for the weekend and vacations.”

To help overcome the doubt that can creep in, Kristin found that taking time to reflect on her experiences and reminding herself that she is giving it her best effort to live her dream. She has control over her time and day-to-day activities. She has discovered many rewards in her experience. “Most rewarding of all, I have found my identity in hobbies and work instead of just the paycheck… I laugh more at myself than I ever have before. This is a big deal for me as I have a tendency to be a very serious person.”

There have been ups and downs and her journey has not been perfect. But if you can learn something, even from what is deemed a mistake or failure, then there is value in the experience.

Kristin and Mike of New Life Carving
Making more time to enjoy the things they love to do.

Here are Kristin’s 6 take-aways from her experience to live a more balanced and more joyful life.

  1. Whatever you say yes to means you are automatically saying no to something or someone else.
  2. You can take as long as you want to get somewhere or to create something.
  3. Write down your goals along with a timeline and then imagine how you will make that happen.
  4. Get used to saying you failed and made mistakes.
  5. Don’t let those mistakes and missteps stop your dreams, let them guide you back to the drawing board and reevaluate.
  6. Realize that you don’t have to achieve all your dreams. I know this sounds weird but life is in progress and as a result, your ambitions and goals will continue to change. That is what makes the process so exciting. 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my sister finding balance in her life in attempt to bring whimsy to her world of work. I am looking forward to bringing you a whimsy in work feature each month.

If you have a story about finding whimsy in work you would like to share with me and my readers, feel free to send me an e-mail at discoveringwhimsy@gmail.com with the subject line Whimsy in Work.


Cheers,

Amy