This day-before-Thanksgiving, besides ushering in some possible snow flurries, brings the second in my holiday guest series on gratitude. Yesterday Kelly shared the story of a donated living saving the life of her six-week-old daughter Matilda, an ultimate sacrifice and gift. Today, Kriste, a friend I met soon after moving to DC, shares her thoughts on the gift of self employment at the ripe old age of 25. Yeah, you’re not the only one thinking back to 25 and trying to imagine yourself doing this… Without further ado, I give you Kriste of Rosemary & Thyme.
Rosemary & Thyme Takes Root . The Gift of Self Employment
Most 25 year olds are likely doing their best to climb whatever ladder their college degree thrust upon them. After all, we all paid a lot of money for those ladders, and who knows what kind of ground we might hit upon landing? As my first quarter century passed me, I began to feel the itch to leap — to just close my eyes and see what happened. And with the support of my loving husband, that’s exactly what I did. I shut my lashes tight; took a deep breath; and let go; and the free fall has been anything but boring!
Flash forward nine months and you have today. While I still toss and turn at night, tumbling the idea of failure in my brain over and over again, I must admit, I have been extraordinarily blessed through the process of becoming self-employed! When it comes to naming what I am most grateful for this holiday season, I find myself overwhelmed to pinpoint the most important to share with you. After giving it a good deal of thought, I have narrowed down my list to five daily blessings.
This is probably the most exciting piece of this puzzle I now call my life! I grew up a very wild, free-spirited child who often went on errands in dress up clothes and couldn’t be told I wasn’t a fairy princess. The desire to create stemmed deep, and I would routinely exit my room with some new work of art ready to be gifted. I loved the concept of giving away what I created. It felt so wonderful to express how much I cared about people in a tangible way. Somehow through the years, I lost that. I forgot how a drawing can make someone smile, how a handmade card can bring relief to stressful days. I had forgotten, and it broke my heart! With full control over my schedule, that passion has rekindled in my heart. As I begin to create and give away, I feel this overwhelming surge in my soul. Once something has passed from my hands to another’s, I’m immediately struck with new ideas, and the cycle begins all over again!
Alright, as unrelated as this may seem, it is actually pretty big for me. Food is not only one of my favorite things but also an area that lacked control. I simply ate foods that made me feel good in the moment and gave little thought to how it would affect my body. Since making the switch to self employment, I have been able to gain control over the food I bring in my house and cook. My husband and I made the shift to a Paleo diet this summer and with it, we have found a renewal of health that has shocked us both! While it was a struggle to get through 40 hours a week, I now have the energy to work from the time I get up to when I lay down to sleep. That is a major blessing while juggling my workload, transitioning to housewife status, and keeping up with family and friends!
Discovering New and Old Passions
Working in a creative environment has opened the door to endless possibilities. Just take a cruise on Pinterest or read through your blogroll for the day and I’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling. I try new avenues daily, and while I sometimes choose a different path for the next day, I do find roads that I never knew I would love to travel! I have developed passions for graphic design, painting, and even cooking — all of which I would never have explored before the shift. Along with the new, I have rejuvenated my old passion for reading books and listening to music. Stuck at a desk, I was limited in what I could fill my thoughts with all day. But now, I use 10-15 stolen minutes while lunch is warming to squeeze in an extra chapter or two, and my days are full of songs. Good songs — the kind that stick to your soul and stay with you all night after you’ve closed your eyes for sleep.
My job has allowed me the luxury of setting my own work times and places, and I’ll be honest, most days find me at my dining room table. Growing up homeschooled, I learned at an early age the importance of a home. That it’s not just a box to house our stuff and provide shelter for sleep. No! It’s a place that’s meant to be loved and cherished. A place for us to laugh with family, a space for us to learn and grow! It provides a safe haven for conversation and dreaming. If the walls could talk, they would have tales upon tales to tell, but they will always remain your silent sounding boards, ready for whatever you heart is dreaming up that day. Being home with my candles lit, cats in tow, dinner simmering, and cozy slippers on my feet nestle me to safety. It challenges me with comfort to ask the tough questions and to dream the impossible.
Building Marriage Bonds
This transition has brought my husband and I closer together than I thought possible. We are partners in all things, and we feel that bond as pressures over finances, time and life shifts increase. Rather than worrying about the moment, we choose to dream about the future — and do we have some wild ones! When it comes down to it, we are both free spirits. We will never be tied to a desk, we will never fit the mold, and we are ok with that. We are ok with how strange our life looks to some, and we absolutely can not wait to see where it takes us! We have some schemes beginning to take shape, and the very thought of them soon becoming reality could bring me to tears.
At the end of the day, as I lay my head to the pillow, I find I am grateful for the challenges. I am thankful that my life has shifted radically. With this season of thanks upon us, I feel truly blessed by the truth that has been brought to relationships and the depth that has released in my soul.
Kriste Janczyk, Rosemary & Thyme
Kriste is a freelance blogger, creative assistant, event stylist and writer. She chronicles her journey at Rosemary & Thyme and is a contributor for Deeply Rooted Magazine and Trouvé Magazine. With the love and constant encouragement from her husband, Kriste is on a journey to make her daily dreams a constant reality.