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