You can choose your friends but not your family. It's an age old saying that rings true more often than not.
When I was a young innocent pre-teen I wished and wished and wished for a "normal family". Of course I know now that there is no such thing.
At the time I wished this (somewhere in the late 1980's I guess), my ideal "normal family" was one that sat at the table every night for dinner and discussed important things (I am sure we sat at the table - but sometimes it was under duress with mum at her wits end trying to get us to eat a new meal she had made that we were uncertain of - and other times, it was just dinner on our laps in front of the TV). Brothers didn't fart in your face then walk away and laugh leaving you with a stench so bad a jumper over your face didn't even mask it. And sisters that didn't steal clothes and insist they were cooler than you. I guess I wanted a family modelled from some TV show which shoved a certain ideal down our faces.
My little mantra to self (and sometimes out loud) is - if it is not written down, then it won't happen. My office and my kitchen bench is a mass of brightly coloured notes at any given time with lists, meal plans and to do's. Seriously, some of my friends pick on me about it. But I know I am not the worst list maker, more serial to do listers than myself. I know there is.
I'll remember that I always think. I never remember that! Hence the lists and notes. Not sure if I am getting old, or technology has made me lose my memory faster than my youngest can lose a shoe. (no joke the record is approximately two minutes. She took them off, and then had to put them back on and BAM, lost shoe instigates a whole family "every body search the house for Little Miss Ten's shoe" type of mission, only to find the shoe in the bathroom - don't ask)
And I'll say it again.
Eat your veggies.
Hang your towel.
Put the toilet seat down.
Clean your room.
Not tonight dear.
I'm not exactly sure at which exact point the "stayers" at a party went from the ones who could drink the most alcohol and stay up all night, to four or five women sipping on tea at 11pm, sitting at my kitchen table gorging on whatever was left over on the dessert platter, discussing which backpack to get from the booklist for our future high schoolers.
The word 'BEST' is a little over used in our house sometimes. Oh mum... the BEST thing happened at school today. It was the BEST. Oh she's my BFF (BEST friend forever) now. We are going on an excursion to (insert awesome excursion here) and it's going to be the BEST. Oh it's chicken kiev for dinner? Mum you are the BEST.
"Oh Emma, you are the BEST". This is seems like the ultimate compliment (not knocking it back, don't worry, I'll take any compliment with grace and poise, or a little-bit-unco sort of happy dance that no one can see). I doubt I am the BEST. Surely they have a family/partner/pet that is better than me. However, I love that at that moment in someones life, where for one fleeting second, I was the BEST. The little old stationery package I posted to them a day or two before has made their day and put a smile on their face.
It's a massive call to state something is the BEST. It's objective. It means there certainly is no better at that time. It's the pinnacle of compliments.
Let's bring this back to stationery. Sort of.
Yesterday I posted about the absolute worst bit of my job.
Today, I thought I'd write about the best bit. It's a tough choice and there's more than a few candidates for the position of BEST.
But, the ultimate BEST part of my job is.....Drumroll....when a previous client asks for the next lot of invitations.
The wedding is long gone. And possibly even the first anniversary, and then an email comes through saying they need invitations for a baby shower, or a christening, or a first birthday. Or a second, or a third.
Knowing they loved the product and service so much, that their first thought is to email and ask again for my help to design stationery for their next stage of life.
Now that's the ultimate compliment.
There's a range of ready made invitations for the next stage in you life in the store. Click on the images for more information.
Little Miss Ten needed some stuff "from the olden days mum" for school. I struggled to think for a while, then light bulb moment.
I went to the attic storage, rummaged around, and found the box of my pre marriage life. I blew off the dust and preceded to pull out a few odd things that she could possibly use....Dad's old slide viewer (slides were used to take pictures for a projector so you could display them on a large screen to share your holiday snaps. Now there's powerpoint, or Facebook or facetime/skype - no need for the post holiday slide night), a set of nana's old encyclopaedias, an old bone china plate also from nana's place, you get the idea.
I had sort of stacked the things into "she could use this" pile, and "the these won't work" pile. I took out my wedding video (VHS - it's in the box because we can't watch it anymore. Who has a video player anymore?), my baby hairbrush, my name badge from my first job, a lot of other random bits and pieces and that signature bear from my 21st birthday. (BTW, I can hardly read some of those messages. There should possibly be a rule that the signing of those things needs to happen before alcohol consumption), my "Kix On 88" tape and a few other classics (cassingles etc, you know from the 80's, before downloading, before CD's, after records) - ready to place in the "that won't work pile".
Then I hear it - "What are these mum?"
Something has made me angry this morning. Not sure if angry is the right word, but annoyed? Maybe disappointed? Anyway....
I put what I THOUGHT was a compliment on a competitors social media image, only to have them delete it. So, am I angry at the competitor...no, I don't think so. I think I am angry at either technology, and the ability for words on a small screen to be interpreted incorrectly, or maybe I am angry at perception. Which is totally impossible because I can't guess what someone's perception is going to be or not be. Not sure, Can't say, so I am staying angry at technology.
After all, I could have picked up the phone and told her how gorgeous her design was in person. But who does that these days? Did anyone do that ever?
Social media is a place that let's us put ourselves out there. For all to see. Almost like being naked in public.
For those of you who don't know, I love the beach. It's where my soul goes to relax. There isn't a worry in the world that half hour on the beach won't fix. Even with all the sand getting in the kids everythings, the salt water stinging skin or me yelling at the kids to "put the jelly fish down - how would you like it if a jelly fish picked you up and collected you in a bucket?".
My favourite type of beach though is a hot, blissfully blue, crystal clear, calm, sandy, white beach. Enough adjectives for now.
As the first of September hits today, I am asking myself over and over... How is it that we are this far along in the year already??? Yes three question marks. I'd like to even add more, because I am absolutely baffled. Weren't we just walking along the beach on summer nights just the other day? Wasn't it Christmas just last week? Wasn't it yesterday when I was holding my new born babies in my arms? "Time flies"... "Life is short"... We hear it all the time. But it is so gosh. Darn. True.