Back to square one ... and happy about it!

For those who don't remember last year was one of our worst.  We've had some real stinkers but last year's bar was world record limbo low.  It sucked!

Robert, after being coaxed away to work for what turned out to be a Mickey Mouse company run by a scummy dying liar, found himself out of work for most of last year.  I could be civil and bite my tongue about it at the time, I'd bigger things to worry about after all, but now!  Well let's just say heaven help the man if I ever pass him in the street, but anyway ...

It was a horrible year, we had little help with anything and quickly found ourselves sinking further and further into debt, we had no money, not a little money, none!  The mortgage wasn't paid nor were any utilities, luxuries like insurance went out the window, the car was taken off the road and rotted in the drive.  At our lowest we owed £500 in gas, £1200 in electric, who knows how much to my parents who helped with Chloe, had a car that would cost £1000 to make road worthy and ... the big one ... a repossession order had been issued for our home. 

Now if you remember all this, you'll probably also remember that I went on holiday last year, I didn't pay anything for it my mum did and it was only because they wanted to take Chloe  with them and knew it would be easier for me to tag along.  Imagine scrimping just to get by, not putting the heating on in winter because you're still trying to pay for last, consoling your husband that none of this is his fault, getting a repossession order in the post on Thursday and the last thing you do is make sure your husband has a solicitor to talk to before taking his daughter and getting on a plane.  Not my finest hour!

At the end of last week I got a statement to say that we now owe our electric company £22!  The last debt to be paid and I could have cried.  We're now back precisely where we were 2 years ago and even though I wish none of it had ever happened I still couldn't be happier for so many reasons.

My husband's a happier man, whether he realises it or not there has been a heaviness about him the last 18 months even since returning to work and I can finally see the happy in him again.

Chloe's picked up on it as well. We tried not to let her see the stress but she's not stupid and when an ice cream van goes down the street and your six year old just doesn't even bother asking any more it cuts you to the quick.

I can even start to try and scrape my business back together again.  While Robert was out of work I couldn't do anything  The fact is every spare penny had to count so even when I did sell something I couldn't replace it, I couldn't reinvest any money back into my business because we just couldn't afford it  I'd spent so long, so many hours, days and nights building myself a little business and could do nothing but slowly watch it die with each sale.  It was a horrible feeling and one I felt guilty about.  With everything else going on I had got so low I'd actually bought into the crap attitude about craft and home based business ... how dare I worry about my silly little online 'thing' when my husband had lost a "real" job ... and I was angry for feeling guilty.  It was mine, I'd worked hard for it, why shouldn't I be devastated at nearly losing it. 

This is what I do, it's how I earn my living, it's how I keep my sanity, it isn't just a hobby, me fannying about with fabric when the wee one is in bed for the night.  It's a job and a hard one at that, I work from 5am, usually I don't go to bed until well past midnight ... sometimes not at all, I work all day and all night and many full time crafters are exactly the same and the really twisted thing is, do you know why we work nights as well as days and bank holidays and public holidays and every spare second in between?  Because somewhere in every one of us a little speck of the crap attitude has crept in and set up camp so if we don't push to the point of exhaustion, we feel guilty about it!  "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - someone said that, clearly someone with lackies for all the stuff they didn't enjoy because every great love comes with a downside, one you have to work hard at.  In any given day I put on the shoes of every employee in every big company I've ever worked for.  I'm everything from the boss to the marketing director, the secretary to the post girl, the cleaner to the tea lady and everything, and I mean everything in between.  And do you know what, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love what I do, even when I'm keeping one eye on Chloe in the shower while unblocking the loo with one hand and marking orders as shipped with the other (tmi?) I still love it, it challenges me, I've learnt so much in the past few years that I surprise myself with random little golden nuggets of information that a legal secretary who got her job by pure luck would never have had a reason to know. 

This is not my hobby, it is not for a bit of pin money and its not a passing Christmas fancy.  I don't have a back up, a full time job to fall back on if it all goes wrong.  With every single sale I put my reputation on the line which is why I either get it right and by right I mean perfect or I don't do it all.  Negative feedback could ruin me, well that might be a bit dramatic but it wouldn't do me any favours, its why I'm just a teeny wee bit anal about what is and isn't better than good enough not just because I have to be but because I want to be.  I've known every penny to be precious, how a customer chooses to spend their money is entirely up to them, but I'm privileged when it's with me and never do I want to think that a customer has been in any way disappointed or felt let down by a purchase.

I keep calling it a job, but its grown to be much more than that, its a life - my life and I'm finally ready to take it back:)  Today really is a new day and I feel good about it.


  1. My God darling!!! I'm so sorry, I've been so out of the loop with my own troubles that I had no idea what was going on with you and your family. So glad things are getting better for you all, what I know of you is you have spirit and you're a fighter and you'll keep going and that's what you have done. Be proud of that.

    Love to you all and take care

    Sarah xxxx

    1. Thanks Sarah. I think we all get a bit like that at times. I know I've been completely out of the loop for ages now. I sort of buried my head in the sand to the point where I wasn't really talking much to anyone ... just going through the motions every day but I'm trying to catch up now:) I really hope you're keeping well and I'll pop over for a catch up.

      Leanne xx

  2. So glad you made it through what must have been incredibly stressful and worrying.

    Wishing you well for your busines (NOT hobby!)

  3. I'm sorry to hear you had to go through all of that, but so glad that you had what it takes to recover. Best of luck to you in rebuilding your business!

  4. Wahoo! You are back. :o)
    I am so pleased for you. All of you.
    :o) xxx


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