Happy Talk with Jan McCallum - how digital scrapbooking works in my life at pixels2Pages.net

There have been very few times in my life where I have sat in front of a blank screen or paper and I have not had the words to fill it, but today I’m having a hard time coming up with the right words.  This is my last ‘official’ Behind the Globe blog post, and my emotions are all over the map.  Before I get going and forget this part, I want to introduce you to Roxanne Buchholz, who is the Director of Digital Content at Forever.  I will be handing over the p2P reins to Roxanne and she will be working with the rest of the pixels2Pages team to continue to provide you with top-quality training on Artisan and Historian as well as nurturing our fantastic community of digital scrapbookers.  You’ve probably already seen many of Roxanne’s posts (Deal of the Day, kit suggestions, and design and print suggestions) on our various Facebook pages and groups.  Soon she will be like a new old friend!

Now, back to the hard part….saying goodbye – or really, not saying goodbye, but ‘see ya later’!  I said my emotions were all over the place, but mostly, I’m happy (surprise!).  I have always listened to and followed my heart, and my heart has been whispering to me for months now that it is time for a change.  When the whispering started becoming a shout, I knew it was time to act.  Sometimes it’s easy to stay the course and enjoy the status quo, but I’ve learned that stepping out in faith is the best way for me to go.  It may not come as a surprise that one of my very favorite quotes is this one from Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

It was that very quote, along with this one, also by Mark Twain, that led me down this path eight or nine years ago, so it seems fitting that they are meaningful to me today as well.

             All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

Many people have asked me what I will do if I don’t do pixels2Pages, and the truthful answer is that I’m not completely sure!  I just know what I won’t be doing, and I’m confident that I’ll find plenty to keep me busy, energized, connected, and fulfilled.  I’m fairly certain that I’ll still be lurking around certain Facebook pages and groups, and probably won’t be able to stop myself from posting a link or answering a question now and then.  And I’d better be getting some of my own pages done and posted!!  I’ll be doing several p2P LIVE events this year and next, and I’m up for the Forever Retreat in Louisville next month, so I won’t be a total stranger.  Glen has made me promise I will attend all future Forever LIVE events (lots of arm-twisting there – NOT!) and that makes me very happy!  I will miss my trips to Pittsburgh and hanging out with my co-workers.  It’s been a real pleasure to have had the experience of being the oldest one in the office while being made to feel welcome by the twenty- and thirty-somethings!  I expect to keep up with y’all, both those in Pittsburgh and those who work remotely, and I want to watch Forever go viral!

I’m known as ‘Happy’ to my two adorable grandchildren back in North Carolina, and my daughter will be adding another baby for me to love on this fall.  I am so excited to have the chance to spend more time with all of them! Rex will be delighted to see me disconnected from my laptop, and he and I have plenty of places we want to visit.  Crockett is already looking forward to more walks, naps, and games of fetch.  And the extra poundage I seem to have found these past few years had better watch out!  And then there are the books, the crossword puzzles, the WWF games, and the travel!

The day after my last day (this coming Thursday), I’ll be heading off on an extended adventure with my sister, starting with viewing the total eclipse of the sun in our home town followed by a lengthy road trip to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and places in between, both coming and going (different routes, of course!).  If you’d like to follow us on Facebook, please join Go Sassy Sisters.  I’m working on a new blog – the link for it will be posted in the Facebook group.  You would think that after almost eight years I might have learned more than I have about setting up a new blog, but I found myself thinking “Shelley!!!  Help!!!” at 3 AM….  So it may be a process!  And keep hounding me for those scrapbook pages!

I’ve been humbled by the well-wishes and acknowledgements I have received from so many p2P members, friends, and co-workers, and while I haven’t responded to all of them, I am taking them to heart.  There aren’t many online jobs where you get to meet as many of your customers as I’ve gotten to meet in person, and my life has been so enriched by you.  Even those I’ve only met in cyberspace have become friends, because you’ve shared your hearts on your scrapbook pages.  I’ve been so blessed on this journey, and I have received far more than I have given!  I can say with all honesty that if anyone had told me when I was young that I would start a business at age 55, with total strangers that I had met ‘on the internet’ – on Facebook, no less – showing people how to do ‘digital scrapbooking’, I would have thought I was in a Twilight Zone episode!  I was a pharmacist, for heaven’s sake, and Al Gore hadn’t invented the worldwide web yet!  So one of the many lessons I’ve learned is to stay open to the possibilities.  Look for opportunities and capitalize on them.  Don’t let anyone put you in a box, and for goodness sakes, don’t put yourself in one!

There are other lessons I’ve learned and practiced these past few years – and I’m sure I’ll forget to mention some important ones – so here is my parting gift to you.  Some of these are things I get to learn over and over, some I get to practice every day, and some are hard to remember in a pinch.  I’m grateful for every one of them and for the people and situations that made them land!

Words of Wisdom from the Mothership (in totally random order, as befits my personality!)

  • Meet people where they are and accept them for who they are.  We all have gifts, we all have stories, we all have talents, and we all have weaknesses.  We’re human – embrace that!
  • Tell the truth as kindly as possible.  I’m not a fan of buzzwords like ‘transparency’, but I value it when people tell me what they can, when they can, as gently and directly as they can.
  • Be responsible.  Choose wisely.  Accept the consequences of your choices.  Learn from your mistakes and admit them.  I have a magnet on my oven that says “Always make new mistakes.”  You know you’re going to mess up – just try not to keep making the same mess over and over!
  • Look for the best in people and look for the best in any situation.  If you can get really good at this, you’ll always find something to smile about.  Choose happy! Laughing is way better than crying.
  • Don’t burn bridges.  Relationships can be so fragile, and they are so important!  We are all connected – we need love and connection – we all want to be valued.  Think long and hard before you turn your back on a friend.  Always be willing to forgive.  Be the first one to reach out, even if you’re wounded.
  • Ask!  You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask for it.  Stand up for yourself – it’s no one’s job but yours.  Take risks and step out in faith.  Know what you want – and if you don’t, follow your gut.  Women know, but we don’t always listen…
  • Listen.  Listen for what’s not said.  Listen without filters.  For someone like me who talks a lot, listening is a challenge.  Really try to hear the message.  And when a quiet person is talking, really pay attention.  For them to speak up, it’s important!  And if you hear crickets, ask a different question.  Or question yourself!
  • Give people the chance to do the right thing.  You won’t be disappointed often.  And if you are, karma is just around the corner.
  • Be a friend.  Remember the Golden Rule.  Play team.  Watch each other’s backs.  Protect the castle. Be the person who reminds someone of her song when she forgets the words.
  • Have fun!  When you can make work fun, you win.  Even if it’s not fun, put a smile on your face and pretend it is.  It’s easier that way!  Keep your Mary Sunshine hat close at hand, and when your friend’s hat slips, help her adjust it.
  • When a good idea hits you, or you have a really outlandish dream, share it.  The p2P team will tell you that when I start a sentence with “I was taking a shower…” or “I was on a walk…” or “I had this dream…” they knew something (usually crazy) was coming.  Sometimes crazy is good.  Trust your instincts and your friends – we all need a sounding board.  Just be sure to give a warning (LEFT TURN!!!) when you are about to do something really wild.
  • Change is inevitable.  Learn to love it and go with the flow, or even better, be the change or lead the charge.  At least be early adapters!
  • You can do more than you think you can.  Why are we our own worst critics?  Just try!  And practice until you are happy with your results.  Think positive thoughts!
  • You don’t know what you don’t know.  If p2P has a motto, that might be it.  Remember that and it will be a lot easier to be gracious when someone asks you something that you do know…and you’ll be reminded that we never know what’s going on in anyone else’s life on any given day.  Be kind to each other!
  • Be generous.  Tip well.  Round up when you’re paying and round down when someone is paying you.  Forgive your debtors.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.  Look for ways to lift people up.  Banish negative thoughts from your mind – expect the best!  Take the (good) weather with you.
  • Always remember that you are but a speck in the universe, and that you are not in charge.  Marvel in the miracle of life and thank your Creator for it daily.  Know your purpose and make sure your life has meaning. Be grateful!

Now that I’ve gotten started, I feel like I could write a book, but I’ll save that for another day (ever the procrastinator!).

One other thing I want to share – many people have asked about the history of pixels2Pages, and so I spent the afternoon looking up old blog posts that pretty much spell it out, and then I remembered that I had already written up a ‘short’ history of pixels2Pages a couple of years ago!  You’ll find that on page 10 of this Pages magazine!  But, since I’ve done all the work, if you’re really interested and have time to kill, click HERE to learn way more than you ever wanted to know about how we got here (scroll all the way to the end and read them in reverse order), and click HERE to see all of the (in)famous FENCE cover pages!    Thank you for the support you’ve shown pixels2Pages and those of us ‘behind the globe’ all these years.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

Finally, to my fellow Pixies, especially those who will be carrying the torch, I really don’t have the words I need to tell you how very much I love you and how much I have loved working with you.  I have been blessed beyond measure by your friendship, your trust, your talents, and your willingness to step out in faith.  All of us – Anne, Shelley, Tameka, Alison, Mary, Kim, Kerrianne, Justine, Janice, Penny, Jeannine, Carolyn, Jenny, and Marilyn – invested a lot in a dream and were able to watch it grow and flourish.  It altered our lives, and we worked through many obstacles, laughing and crying.  It wasn’t always easy, we did get deactivated, and we didn’t become millionaires, but I hope that your lives have been and will continue to be enriched by the experience.  I am forever grateful to you for saying yes!  LYMI!

Next to Mark Twain, Winnie the Pooh is my second favorite quote source:

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”


Jan, Pixie emeritus

Once a Pixie, always a Pixie!

Blog header credits: Orange Cream & Cabanas Bundle by JumpStart Designs; Naturals 4-pak AlphaSets by Cottage Arts


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41 Responses to Blog: So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Adieu….

  1. Kathleen Eichler says:

    Jan, Peace & joy. This was an amazing post to read, and heartbreaking too at the time… I’m so delighted to see you posting more pages and having all that time with Rex to explore the world together. Transitions are difficult, but transitioning from ‘top dog’ to part of the pack has been a beautiful thing to witness… you will always be the Mothership, and top Pixie… Thank you for todays walk down memory lane… *U* Kathleen

    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Kathleen – so glad you enjoyed the stroll. It’s been a much easier transition than I might have expected! I love working ‘very part time’ and it’s cool to see Meka handling the team like a pro. Anne and Kim do great work as always! We sure miss the rest of the gang, but of course we stay in touch.

  2. Regina Olari says:

    Dear Jan,
    Wishing you the very best for the future! Your presence at the workshops was always an incentive to be there, to try harder, to try something new , and to have you there cheering us on! Travel well!
    Thanks for all!

  3. Laura Johnson says:

    Oh for goodness sake. I wish I’d seen this last week. 😉 Until we meet again and I suspect we will! Love you my new old friend!

  4. Jenny says:

    You were always the wise one. Love your Words of Wisdom. I do and will try hard to remember them. One thing I’ve learnt since p2P, if I have a good idea, I’ll share it, but also claim it as my idea now. p2P has taught me many things that I’ve taken with me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become a pioneer pixie.

  5. Susan Lukachie says:

    Ok Jan;
    Now it is time to start that album “All about Me”! I’m going to hold you accountable . . .

  6. toni mcdonnell says:

    Oh my gosh… I was so sad to hear of your retirement while in Phoenix. Yet, I so understand, as that where I was just a short time ago with my career. We all need to listen to our heart, especially when family is calling. I will miss you, as your uplifting spirit in at all the Forever events I’ve attended were so enjoyable. Do take care. Know you will be missed. I can only imagine what a loss you will be to the Pixie team and others at Forever. Best wishes for a happy retirement with friends & family. I hope I will see you again at another event…. maybe in TX where I live, or in NC where I will always travel due to dear friends who live there.

  7. Kathy Lanham says:

    What an incredible posting. I feel as if we’ve been family for a long time. You were so welcoming when I had first moved to TX and was at my first leader meeting feeling like a fish out of water and wanting to head back to TN. Thank you for everything, for your encouragement that “us old consultants could learn this new digital stuff” back in the day, your endless answering of mindless questions, changing passwords, inspiration, and friendship. If I got started on everything you’ve done, I’d get busted because I am at work. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Louisville-and if I had the opportunity to spend more time with my grandkids, it wouldn’t be a blink! Love you and blessings on your new adventures. Prayers of many are lining your way! Kathy

  8. Donna says:

    I love the Pixies and I feel privileged to have met several of you in person. Jan, I remember when I was in Texas getting ready for my son’s wedding and my camera “jumped” onto the floor! And you graciously let me yours! What a pleasure to meet you in your home and to feel a real connection to the “Pixie Queen”! And since you said if you don’t ask you won’t get, can I be a Pixie now? Please!!! Have a blast on your new adventure!!

    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Donna – it was fun having you come to Tiki. Good for you for asking about being a Pixie, but that’s not my call any more!! (not that it has been in a while…)

  9. Sandy says:

    It has been a wonderful ride with you. I know it didn’t start out well because I was that “SBC Studio” Mac person who always wanted to be able to do the same thing the Storybook people could do. When I first heard about p2P I would watch all the tutorials, read all the newsletters and ask tons of questions so I could do the same things in my program that could be done on the PC program. After much complaining (to CM and my husband) I finally partitioned my computer and started playing with the “REAL” program. I have never regretted that choice, especially since shortly after that CM discontinued the Studio program.

    What you have done for all of us is amazing. You and the rest of the Pixies took a program and unlocked all the magic hidden inside it, as well as the talents inside of us. You broke down the steps to making beautiful pages and projects into the easy pieces we needed to follow. You offered encouragement whenever it was needed. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my p2P membership and will be forever grateful for taking the leap to play.

    As you move on with your adventures I hope you will remember that it is okay to take and make time for yourself and your family. I hope that your days are filled with love and laughter. I hope that you will look back at your days with p2P with pride and remember that the little steps you took so many years ago have impacted the lives of more people than you could have ever imagined. I hope that you will stay in contact, and play with us as a member of p2P. (It’s okay to put that other hat on every now and then if needed). But most of all, I hope that you will look back on these days and say to yourself “I helped a lot of memory keepers in an awesome way.”

    Much love and laughter coming your way.

  10. Karen says:

    Jan you leave behind some very big shoes to fill and its nice to know that you will be checking up on us. When I look back through my first books and then my recent books I can only say “Thank-you for all you have taught me”. Makes to so happy that I started to follow an unknown group called p2P on Face Book page so many years ago, that was Beta testing a program I was trying to learn called Story Book. You made it look so easy. Thank you.

  11. Sharon H says:

    I have always appreciated your helpful comments, lessons, etc! Your calm voice and clear instructions have made it so easy to learn new ways of completing pages. I also loved your ‘see you later’ blog post and realize you are not only wise in the ways of Artisan and Historian…but very wise in the ways of life. You are such a blessing! I, too, am planning my retirement (end of 2017) and hope I can enter it with the grace and courage exemplified by you! Hopefully, when I am retired, I will have more time to complete pages and actively post my efforts! Cheers to you!!!!

  12. Terry Vachowski says:

    I can’t help feeling teary, Jan. You’ve taught us so much, not all of it about scrapbooking either. This very special place you created has helped us all be able to express ourselves in a creative and honest way. Thanks so much for everything. Enjoy your retirement!

  13. Janice says:

    What a ride, journey, adventure and story p2P is and will continue to be. Sometimes it’s hard to believe what we actually achieved, that the vision ended up a real life www.!!! I know this “next stage” for you will be wonderful, full of fabulous rides, journeys, adventures and love. Enjoy every moment (like I even need to say that out loud to you). Have fun with everything! xxx

  14. junegauntley says:

    What wonderful “Words of Wisdom” from our “Mother Ship”, “Pixie Emeritus”, and Friend!!! It is clear to me that those words flowed from your pen so easily once you got started, because they are part of you, Jan! I will be sure to hound you for “those scrapbook pages”, and will be sure to follow the “Sassy Sisters”!! And I have that Pixie globe to always remember… All best wishes, Jan, for a wonderful retirement and new adventures and road trips!!

    • Jan says:

      Thank you so much, June! On my list is to meet you (and several others!) in person, so look out!! I’ll head your way someday. Keep after me for the pages, and keep scrapping! xx

  15. Suzy Dust says:

    You will be missed Jan! I love these words of wisdom – and yes a book should be next, I’ll be the first to buy it! Many of these I will keep close as I continue my fight for inclusion for Nicholas – they certainly pertain to everything in life. If it weren’t for you and p2P I would have never found my passion for digital scrapbooking. I was so reluctant to jump in until I found the infamous globe and the Pixies. Thank you for getting me started and always for your encouraging comments on my pages. If you find yourself in Southern California, there is always a room available for you – or a visit to Disneyland! Or even both. Enjoy the next chapter!

    • Jan says:

      Thank you so much, Suzy! I was always going to make a photo book of my “In case I didn’t remember to teach you or you didn’t think it was important at the time” mom-isms for my kids – I guess it’s not too late! You keep advocating for Nicholas – he is so lucky to have you for a mom!! I’m glad you found p2P, too – we have loved seeing your lovely pages and Nicholas’s fabulous smile through the years. Now about that Disneyland trip….I am sure I will collect someday!! Thanks!!

  16. Cheryl Millar says:

    Such wonderful encouraging words. I will bookmark this and refer to it again when I need a Jan fix. You will be missed! Have fun, retirement is great.

  17. L. Cheryl Brandt says:

    Beautiful words of wisdom! It has been so obvious in my brief (1 year) time as a p2P member that you truly do live by them. Wishing you all the best in your new adventures. You will love retirement, and if you’re like me, will wonder how you ever had time to work! Blessings to you and your family.

  18. Linda DeLaughter says:

    To our beloved “Mother Ship”, and now “Pixie Emeritus”! I will miss your blogs and your Pixie-isms, and your never-ending source of answers to our never-ending questions! You have been an inspiration to me, and I have cherished the time spent getting to know you! Keep the wind in your sails, dear friend, and enjoy your permanent vacation time! Love you!

  19. laurie7piper says:

    Every time I look at the bookshelves filled with storybooks that I have made, I will think of you with gratitude in my heart. Many, many thanks for all of your help and encouragement! Hope that your well-deserved retirement is full of love and laughter.

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