These two words I seldom relate to myself. I have a hard time seeing value in the skills, time and resources God has given me. I compare myself to too many others and as a result, devalue what I have to offer the world. Even saying “what I have to offer the world” makes me cringe a little to think it’s worth something.
I’m also really hard and judgy on myself because of some rigorous standards. You can ask my sister, I’m hard on others too. The concept of grace doesn’t come easy to me. What’s this have to do with Paper Belles and the rest of Val Marie Paper?
At the beginning of this year, I worked on my goals for this year. Being a new mom, my time is a lot more limited than it used to be. So while it’s been easy to do a lot more, now I had to get serious about prioritizing. I wrote down all the things I was doing to see what needed to be cut.
When I wrote down the things I loved doing and the things that stressed me out, some of the things were on both lists. The factor that seemed to determine what side of the list it made it on was whether I was stressed about said item. Also, if it felt like an obligation rather than for pleasure. A few examples:
Paper Belles: I will no longer have monthly printables sent to your email for those who buy VMP products. Honestly, I did not anticipate selling so many journals and the time it takes to add these emails to the list each month is insane. Instead I will share more free printables on the blog for everyone to enjoy.
Custom: I am not offering full custom designs to individual clients. I am focusing on the collection designs and modifying them to fit clients needs. This has been such a fun part of the collection, having input from brides to shape our collection pieces to fit their needs. I will also focus on creating a 2015 collection (to debut in September!). I’d love your feedback on any styles or themes you’d like to see as well.
Baby, Holiday and Grad Collections: Starting in September, I won’t be offering these collections. It’s the old 80/20 rule. 80% of my business comes from wedding invitations and the prayer journals. I want to focus all my efforts on excelling in these areas instead of spreading myself too thin! Plus, I know some fantastic designers who offer these products that I’d love to point you to.
Monthly Calendar Download: Simply put, I stopped being passionate about it. I only want to put out things I’m truly excited about. Catherine Guidry is now designing some each month so check her blog out! I will blog some every now and then when an idea hits, it just won’t be specifically every month. And again, feel free to share if there are any ideas you’d like to see for this too!
This stuff is hard to talk about because we’d all rather be a person who can do it all, but I love not doing it all. I love my life. It’s a pretty simple one. And I think a big part of making sure it stays simple is reevaluating things and deciding what I need to say no to.
This past fall I was reading a book that everyone had raved about. I just couldn’t get into. I read almost the entire book pretty begrudgingly and then with about 20 pages left, I just put it down and got rid of it. It was so freeing! It’s a small example but it’s amazing what a weight off our shoulders we feel when we free ourselves from things that we stubbornly commit that really don’t matter. Obviously, I’m not advocating to flippantly quit your job or get rid of your kids. ; ) But you get the idea!
So back to value and grace. I think we keep on trucking along with too many commitments because we don’t value our time. If we did, we would see that maybe God had something bigger planned for that time. And grace. We don’t want to be looked at as having failed at something. Guess what? We will fail. And I will come up with an idea (probably today) that might not work or that I’ll have to quit in six months. Through time, the cream will rise to the top and what’s important will always remain.
In my post on Creating a Home Binder, I shared one of my favorite printables of things I’m saying no to. I think it’s important to write these things down so I don’t forget. Y’all, this is the fun part. It’s where you will hopefully find yourself lightening up more and more.
Cheers to quitting the wrong things and making more time for what matters most!