How Looking Back Impacts Moving Forward

We recently crossed the six month mark of this little blog-venture. I've been having so much fun sharing projects, DIYs, and decorating inspiration with you! You are all so encouraging and friendly and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with you. Some of my favorite posts were also your favorites (this Nursery was a huge crowd pleaser, and the Striped Entryway seemed to be a big hit as well) and it is fun to see you share them on Facebook and Pinterest--thanks!

Perhaps it is the New Year, or maybe reading the book, For The Love, where author Jen Hatmaker gently reminds that "we need to quit trying to be awesome, and instead be wise". Perhaps it is simply where my mind wandered in a quiet moment... anyway, It happened rather unintentionally. I found myself painstakingly analyzing the last six months--the successes, where I could do better, what brought the most joy, what caused stress--and honestly, I was surprised at some of the answers. 

Black and White Beach

I love people. I crave deep friendships, authentic relationships, and to make a difference in people's lives. I also love design--the pretty, the functional, the innovative, and the creative--it lights me up and gives me energy. One of the dreams behind 5 O'Clock Design Co. was to marry these two passions and help people design spaces that inspire, nurture, and celebrate their own unique style and lifestyle. 

The plan has always been to use this blog as a launch pad for the custom design services I would offer with the goal being to begin that next phase in January 2016. While writing and tackling projects for the blog, I've also been learning everything I can about being a solopreneur. Business plan, target audience, social media, licensing, privacy policy disclosures, SEO... whew! I didn't know how much I didn't know! In this time I also took on a few "trial run" projects for family and friends. Attempting to write weekly blog posts that provide meaningful content, getting the business part up and running, and taking on client work, I quickly realized I was going to need to dedicate MOUNTAINS more time to this endeavor! (yes, I just made up that metric) So the hubby and I began strategizing where this time would come from. I typically work during the baby's nap times, but since he's not such a baby anymore those are getting fewer and shorter. When I am with him I want to be truly present, but I often found myself trying to check my email, craft a few sentences, etc. while he was distracted. Either that, or I was frequently checking  the clock to see if it was nap time yet and crossing my fingers that it would be a good/long one. This is not how I want my time with this precious babe to be spent! I also know that keeping most evenings open for family and husband-wife time is important for my soul health. 

So we explored the possibility of sending the wee one to daycare a few days a week. I thought separating out "work time" and "mom time" could be a good solution, and truthfully, he would probably love it. But my heart just cannot be talked into giving up this time with him. So... what's a sappy momma/business gal to do? That, my friends, has been the million dollar question bouncing around my head the last few weeks.

You see, there's a not-so-little part of me that is strong and independent and fiercely feminist. I want to wear heels and lipstick to design meetings (translated: wearing put together clothes = feeling strong and important), earn a real income, give back to my community, and grow this little business with the hard work and long hours I know it demands. I love the sense of self and confidence this part of me brings. I want my little guy to grow up seeing that: watching me pursue my dreams and passions. I want my husband to see the all-business-lady side of me that comes out when I'm in full on project mode. It makes me feel competent and valuable when he thinks I'm a rockstar. BUT, more than anything, I want what is best for my sweet little family. I've spent countless hours trying to decide where the things listed above fall on the good to great spectrum. Because in and of themselves they are pretty awesome and potentially great, not only for me, but for our family. The only thing is, there are other things that are really good for us too: home cooked dinners, trips to the playground, playdates with friends, morning snuggles, a clean house, just-for-fun projects, going to bed at the same time, a non-weary momma/wife... and sometimes the things from the first list are in direct competition with the things on the second list. 

Because I've tried to give up black and white thinking, I'm embracing that what is best for us probably lies somewhere in the middle. I'm going to hold off on launching the next phase of the business plan and instead focus on the parts that bring me the most joy. I'm not going to worry quite so much about posting new content every week with a Thursday morning deadline, but rather take my time with projects and ideas that I think will be the most helpful and exciting to you. I'm going to try some new recipes (as soon as this kitchen renovation is done anyway!) and I'm going to let most evenings be filled with tickles and stories, conversations and early bedtimes so that there is energy for the mornings. The business will grow if it's meant to, my wee one will grow whether I want him to or not, and I will grow in the process of both. 

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Here's to many more six month milestones!

Note: Let me just throw out there how incredibly grateful I am to my husband. Without his gracious support I wouldn't have the luxury of this dilemma. Also, this is merely an honest glimpse into my heart and home--it is not meant to be a lecture on what is the "right" thing to do. There are so many factors that make that answer different for each of us and I think it's super-important to celebrate and encourage each other's choices in this area. xoxo