New Years Day always brings that sense of having to make resolutions. I don’t do them as a rule. I’m much happier appreciating what I have and being thankful for all that is good in my life. This New Year was slightly different in that my resolution was to get my new “wee shop” up and running for the New Year. I stood yesterday when the floor was finally mopped and reflected on the years past recounting my blessings. At the end of January five years ago, I was sitting in the Foyle Hospice. It was the early hours of the morning. It had been snowing all night and there was a frosty fog in the air. The sun was trying to peer through the fog and it was a beautiful but cold morning. My view out the picture windows was snow covered fields, horses happed up in blankets and the expanse of the River Foyle and Foyle Bridge. The City and the view was very picturesque.
Behind me was the quiet hum of the machine that was keeping my Mammy alive. She was nearing the end of her days. She had breast cancer and had just turned 60 years old. Me? I had just turned 43 a couple of weeks before. The Hospice is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places that I have ever been in; and in that stillness my mind wandered. The thought at the forefront of my mind was, what if someone in the ‘powers that be’ had told Mammy when she was 43 that by the time she was 60 years old she would be breathing her last breath. Would she have changed her life? Would she have done things differently?
That moment in the Hospice was my turning point. I was very happy in my life. I was a self employed complementary therapist with my own business. It one of the best jobs in the world, plus I got to be surrounded by gorgeous aromatherapy oils everyday! But I had a dream…and that dream was to open a shop. At that time, the only description I had for the shop was “to indulge my hobbies”. I’ve been painting furniture of all descriptions for all my married life (26 years); I’m very talented with paintbrush and a sewing machine. At that point in my life I could safely say that the fabric I had in bags and boxes would’ve covered the square footage of a very small country.
That very morning I set about making mental notes and plans for “my wee shop”. It may have been too late for my Mammy to grasp opportunities and seize the day; but for me it was my beginning. I worked hard for the last 5 years saving and researching. Finally a year ago I set about drafting a “serious” business plan; not just notes in a sketch pad.
Today standing in my “wee shop” in the Craft Village, I felt an enormous sense of gratitude. I feel very lucky to be a stockist of Chalk Paint™ a decorative paint by Annie Sloan™. Jill from Dandelion Interiors took a chance on me when my shop was still words on a business plan and an empty shell on Pump Street; and for that I will always be grateful. The rest as they say is history!
The motto of my story? If you have a dream then go for it. Seize opportunities and don’t question. Go with your gut feeling and the rest will look after itself. I never look at what the competition are doing, I’m not interested in them. If you do that then you are always looking behind; and if you’re looking behind you, you will never see where you are going. As long as you’re looking forward you will always be innovative and it will always be truly your dream…not someone else’s. Life is just too short to not pursue your dream, it’s never too late,