Where is all this going?


Yesterday we went to the Cornwall Home and Lifestyle Show. The stands were quite diverse - from wooden eco hot tubs, artisan bakers, reclaimed furniture restorers, natural textile cushions and throws to self-build house companies, kitchen and bathroom suppliers and heating solutions, and much more.

As I wandered round, gaining ideas and inspiration for my blog, I thought about my work - this blog, the photography and illustration - and wondered what my long term goals were. Where did I think it was all going?

The range of amazing, original businesses that originate from Cornwall never ceases to amaze me and all the stands looked professional and organised. They all looked like they knew where they were going.

Even though I was enjoying the show, I've always loved anything to do with homes and lifestyle, the niggling feelings about my own professional goals wouldn't go away.

Is it enough that I work really hard trying to publish the best illustrations, photographs and blog content that I possibly can? Is it enough that I exhaust myself trying to get all this done while taking care of a toddler and a home full-time? Am I actually wasting all the effort and energy I put in because I don't have any clear goals?

Thankfully I didn't have to torture myself for too long. My friend Gen was working on one of the stands with her friend Gemma. We stood chatting for a while and when Gemma noticed my camera hanging round my neck I told her I was a lifestyle blogger. She was interested so I explained, as best I could, what it was I did.

In light of how inadequate I'd been making myself feel while walking around the show, I told Gemma that I really enjoyed having something of my own to work on, but that I had no idea how I was going to make any money from it in the long run. I just hoped that people would like what I did enough to follow me and that, eventually, I'd find a way to make it pay.

As a mother of two, Gemma understood completely just how difficult it is to fit work and time for yourself around the needs of a family. Between them, Gen and Gemma made me feel supported, understood and, most of all, encouraged.

What I took with me from our conversation was - even if I don't have a long term plan (yet), I'm doing something I enjoy and that gives me an time out from being mother, partner, homemaker. This is something for me and that's important. How can I give to others if I don't give to myself too? Besides, I would do art and photography anyway, as I love it so much, so why not share it with others along the way?

Finally, it's important at this stage that I continue to love it because, if I gave my work an agenda or a financial target, it would no doubt remove the joy. The danger is that under more difficult circumstances I might not find the energy or motivation to continue.

Once again I find I am having to remind myself that life is about the journey - not the destination.

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