Being independent is hard. I mean, really, really hard. If it weren't for the daily support of my husband there is no way I would do this, not in a million years. I wouldn't wish this kind of insecurity on anyone. The most difficult part of making a business from scratch is not taxes, legalese, revenue (difficult but God provides what I need), or even marketing. The most difficult part of growing a start up from home is making real connections with people. An artist who sells has a workday full of rejection, even more rejection than a hopeful writer. An artist has to believe in unseen successes and not despair during the long stretches where nothing seems to be happening.
During the doldrums, many times I have taken for granted the truly valuable exchanges that make life working from home more pleasurable. Fellow blogger and artist Michelle Ballard has continually supported me with comments that are not just kind, but helpful and full of wisdom. I have truly enjoyed the last few weeks of our exchanges. In response to my last post about Bright Spot thinking, she wrote a post that had the effect of growing my heart bigger in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas kind of way. For her heartfelt kindness, I am lifted up and restored. Michelle is not aware that I had been struggling with family conflict that sent me spiraling downward during the holidays. Therefore she is probably has no idea of the value I place on the gift she gave.
Michelle has a gorgeous shop on Artfire where she showcases her wonderful sea glass creations and beautiful display cases. I love her style of combining just the right amount of color and textures to show the simplicity and brilliance of nature's treasures from the ocean. I am also excited about her new display cases because I NEED one (hint, hint, Richard... please put it on my birthday list!).
Michelle lives on Camano Island, Washington. When she writes about life and observations from that location I can almost feel the cool rushing air, prompted by the expansive views of sky and sea. Especially magical was a virtual trip I took reading her post about a drive to Mt. Baker after a snow storm. She has a great eye for capturing stunning views in the natural world. I can see potential for a travel blog about her location, but I know she has an incredible work load with five teens, a lovely home, her business and many other interests.