Thursday, October 8, 2009

ME time!

I'll admit it, I don't take much time for myself. Well, I do exercise, so I guess that is "me" time, but really, let's be honest, it's a job. I exercise so I can hopefully control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol (God's special gifts to me) so my heart doesn't explode someday. I enjoy exercise more than I don't, but it really most often doesn't feel like a "treat".

ME time for people, women in particular, is hard to come by. Really, as the relational, caretaking people we are, we often don't have time for an activity that feels like it is just focused on us!

Enter my love for scrapbooking. 4 years ago, I became an independent consultant for a company called Close To My Heart (CTMH). I joined on a whim. I had a friend (cousin) who was a consultant, and I was interested in scrapbooking and stamping, because I really wanted to know the trade secrets of how stampers color in their images so well. I am an artist myself. I love to draw. I draw cute customized cartoon characters. I could draw them cute, but I wasn't so talented at coloring them. I had never scrapbooked or stamped. So, I signed up, got my consultant kit, and guess what, I'm not even sad to say that I haven't drawn a thing in 4 years!!

I am now in the fortunate position of having many ME time opportunities that also are relational in focus, so they are a perfect fit. What do I mean by that? I have NEVER, ever, ever, felt gulity or torn about money or time spent scrapbooking, cardmaking (or drawing) for that matter. Everything I make is either preserving a memory or celebrating a relationship! Plus, the process of creating feeds my artistic side, and gives me the relaxing zen experience I find when I'm creating. You've read my blog, so you know it's also fed by journalistic side. My writing has increased since starting my blog (which I did first for my CTMH business). And, since I've started writing more, my public speaking (which I've done for my job) has also stepped to the next level, and I'm doing some public speaking on larger Statewide and Nationwide venues!! Wow!! Look at what the creative ME time I've invested into CTMH and ME has resulted in!

One other unanticipated blessing of CTMH has been the relationships I have built with women everywhere. I've made friends with fellow consultants who share the same passion I do! I love hanging out with fellow consultants because we are all on a mission- we are so focused on creating that sometimes we don't even spend the sufficient amount of time chatting and connecting personally. That might sound sad, but it's a perfect fit for me- I've always been "mostly business" and the balance I have with the CMTH sista's is 90% CTMH business (which is a wide category) and 10% other stuff. Because scrapbooking is such a personal pass time (we are preseving memories!) your strickly business time together still fosters a personal connection.

Last weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a CTMH regional celebration in downtown Minneapolis. I spent two ME days being inspired, educated, entertained, pampered, developed, loved and nourished. My creative soul was bubbling over when I left Saturday night. I loved every minute of the two day experience (Friday 8a-5 and then open crop 7p-12a! and Saturday 8:30-6) and it FLEW by. Amazing.

At the Regional Celebration there were contests that could be entered. I love contests. I like to challenge myself to achieve and I'll be honest, I shoot to win. I gave my best, but I didn't win. And that is because all of the other entries were better than mine! The amount of talent was AMAZING. I'm still proud of my entry, and thought I'd share it for you. It is a scrapbook page dedicated to the birth of my new niece, Nora Kaye. Check it out:

Not a first place winner, but I think it might be the best page I've ever made. I think that's called a Personal Best (can you sense my competitiveness?). I wanted to be sure to dedicate today's blog entry to what CTMH has meant to me- precious, wonderful, inspiring, valuable ME time. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Wow. Thank you CTMH, thank you CTMH sista's , thank you to my family, and thank you God for helping us find each other.

I think YOU should join my CTMH family. It can mean for you what it means to me. If you know me, you know I'm a straight shooter and what I say isn't a sales pitch. Send me an email, and I'll share it all with you. And then you, can come with me (and Kelly!) to the next Regional Celebration (or convention in Washington DC in July) and be inspired too.

Bloggin a Bright Idea,