Home » failures and successes

Tag: failures and successes

The feet of someone walking away

Hey. It’s been awhile.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed. I wouldn’t blame you- consistency isn’t one of my strengths, let’s just be honest here. But I’ve missed you. Missed this– this whole blogging bit. The planning, writing, photographing and editing, wishing I knew what I was doing… It was beginning to feel like Lost Upon A Time was gaining traction. My workflow was becoming more efficient, and I was learning SO much. One of my scrap wood designs is even going to be featured in a legitimate magazine! That’s huge to me!

But we had a change of plans.

Read more…

My Three Words for 2017

My Three Words

One trend I’ve heard quite a bit this new year is in choosing a word as your year’s theme. It’s an interesting sentiment; and certainly better than making resolutions (in my mind at least). But how do you sum up your hopes for the next twelve months into one word? I can’t do it. Can you?

While working away in my basement workshop, radio blaring, I listened to a deejay share his three words. Three. That’s a little more my style. When I stand back and look at who Mickelle is at this point, there are many areas that need growth. And if I’m paying attention, I see overarching themes. I took a cue from my little dance with introspection and chose three words.

Fearless. Wise. Generous.

I’d love for each of these to describe who I am one year from now. Realistically, I think we’ll be camping here for much longer than that.

Do you choose words? Do you set goals at the dawn of a new year? Or do you make resolutions?

I’m goal driven, so the whole goal-setting gig is my bag. I’ve gotta be heading somewhere, aiming at something. January rolls around and I set my sights on targets in several chunks of my life. Spiritual. Health. Creativity. Home. Business.

And while choosing words is not at all the same as setting goals, I think they’re very much related.

Fearless

Setting goals- that’s easy. Seeing them to completion… not so much. When I analyze my failures, noticeable trends pop up. It’s sickening just how often I sabotage my own efforts- both knowingly, and not. And fear is usually the culprit. Fear and I have spent a lot of time together. Most of my years, in fact. Fear has guided my decisions, my relationships, my dreams, and played a huge role in my health.

“Fear’s been your companion.” My dearest friend saw it and called out the truth. It’s been a constant in my life. Strangely comfortable. Reliable. Imprisoning; but with boundaries I knew and could understand.

So now, I’ve broken up with fear. We’re no longer, you know, together. And can I tell you something? The thought of living fearlessly- without those towering walls, the whispers in my mind, the premature defeats, the safety of it all- well…

It’s terrifying.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Old habits die hard, I know. It’s going to take focus and energy to really rid myself of fear. But I’m excited when I think about the woman on the outside of that cocoon. Bright wings, and flying.

Wise

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God...” Well, I’m asking.

Fear and wisdom have competed for an audience with me, and for the most part, you already know who’s won out. As I ramp things up here at Lost Upon A Time, I’m confronted with the gazillions of decisions there are to running a business. And most of them sit squarely out of my realm of competence. Look, I just want to make stuff.

Having listened to Fear for so long, I’m not very familiar with the sound of Wisdom’s voice. The book of Proverbs says she (yes, she) calls out in the streets. I must’ve walked right past her a thousand times. Now, I’m hoping we can sit down for tea and talk things over. I want to hear everything she has to say.

 

Generous

This one’s a stretch. My Prince Charming could tell you about how I do generous. Rather, how I don’t.

I’ve never really had to share much. And Fear has always told me to hold onto as much as I could -whether it’s time and energy or food and money. Hey- I’ll need it later, right? Not to mention that I so often haven’t had much to share anyway- because I was making stupid decisions in the first place.

See how this is all connected?

Generous to me is giving freely of myself. Not thinking I’m more important, or more in need. It’s listening when wisdom tells me there’s an opportunity to give. And muting Fear when it says I’ll regret it. Generosity is at the core of my faith. I read of a God who provides abundantly. Who lavishes forgiveness, unyielding. A God who gives good gifts, created beauty and life, and sustains us all. Generosity, by God’s design, is tangible and intangible. But it flows from the heart.

To live otherwise makes me a hypocrite in the worst way.

Come to think of it, to live bound by Fear makes me a hypocrite. I read over and over in scripture, “Do not be afraid“. I’m told I’ve “not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.” So, where’d I pick this thing up, then? It wasn’t given to me. I don’t need it.

Ignoring wisdom is to ignore the Source of wisdom. That’s not such a smart move, in my book. (Haha! See what I did there?)

Below is my new favorite anthem. Well, one of my favorites. (I can be heard belting this one out loudly while vacuuming or painting boards.)

So, friends. Here’s to a year of fearlessness! Of wise moves. And generous living.

 I’m curious, though. If you could choose three words, or even one, for this new year, what would you choose? Why?

~m

My DIY Book Nook

or

Sawing Off More Than I Can Chew

or

All-You-Can-DIY Syndrome

As a kid, I did it all the time. Maybe you did too. I’d pick my way through the maze of people, carefully balancing my haul. No sooner would I have set my loaded tray on the table when Mom would say “Oh, Mickelle,” slowly closing her eyes. “You’re going to have to eat all of that before you go to the dessert table. Do you hear me?”

Those All-You-Can-Eat buffet restaurants seemed to be the place to go after a church service. In those days, anyway. And Mom brought me to a lot of church. So, I had plenty of opportunities to learn my limits; or develop childhood obesity. Yet amazingly, neither caught on.

Now many years later, I find that same “eyes bigger than my stomach” tendency shows up in other areas of my life. Like DIY. As a creative soul, I’m always generating ideas. There’s a constant stream of possibilities and inspiration pouring through my mind at any given time. (Especially if that given time is after I’ve had some coffee.) What I don’t naturally have too much of, however, is reason and realism.

Can you relate?

The Idea

I thought a book nook would be the perfect solution to our aggravating home office. The room is crammed with bulky furniture, yet we never seem to have enough storage. I needed more storage, yet also more space. And I wanted an environment that was beautiful. I reaaaaalllllyyyy dislike doing anything paperwork related, so an inviting space is in order.

While scrolling through Pinterest one day, this pin popped up.

nook
(photo source here.)

And in that moment, friends, I knew. The closet in our home office room (really, just a bedroom) needed to become a book nook. Half the furniture in there was bookshelves anyway. By building a book nook into the closet space, we could eliminate most of the shelving units, and GAIN space! Using drawers underneath the bench for storing files would mean we could nix our large filing cabinet, too!

I love reading, and the thought of having a little space like that was wonderful. What reader doesn’t want an in-home library? Complete with a built-in nook???

Our home is an early 1960’s ranch, with basic closets. Our space’s dimensions where nowhere near those in the photo, but that didn’t matter. I had a vision.

Of course, a project like this wasn’t in our budget, but I was pretty sure I had most of what I’d need to pull it off. Err, build it in. Mind you, I’ve never done anything like this before. A built-in unit is an entirely different beast than say, a Christmas Tree silhouette. But as per usual,

my ambitions are bigger than my skill set.

Great Expectations

I started prepping the walls in March. They were a miserable flat color that may have been somewhere near white at one time. I knew in my mind what I was going for, so I dove right in, fully expecting to have the (entire) job completed by the end of April.

My wise and talented (and SO inspiring) sister-in-law, frequently reminds me,

“These projects always take longer than you think they will.”

Wise words, friends. Get them tattooed on the inside of your eyelids if you’re like me and frequently tend to find yourself drowning in good intentions. It’s December. Mid-December. Christmas is two weeks away and I am just now patching holes and caulking gaps, before priming this beast.

My hope now is to have it done and usable by Christmas. Okay, maybe the New Year. At least by my birthday in February… Next April???

I’ve made so many mistakes, friends. Some of them I didn’t even realize until I was far beyond the point  of no return. Several of them are embarrassing, really. But a friend of mine asked if I felt like I could do a better job if I started it again. In other words, if I’ve learned much. HECK. YES.

The book nook project, about halfway through

The truth is, these projects DO take longer. Our office looks like an episode of Hoarders, with everything shoved and piled out of the way. And it’s been that way for 9 months now! I seriously underestimated this thing – but I’m going to finish. And I’ll keep you updated.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen some of the progress already. And to those who have encouraged me along the way, Thank You. (I am so cyber-hugging you right now.)

Stick it out, friends. Stay with your overwhelming whatever-it-is. You’ll get there. And remember, caulk and trim hide a lot of bad decisions.

~m

old Chrysler wheel with flat tire caked in mud

In the Eye of the Beholder

“Did you make that?”

If you're a maker, you know there are two ways to take this question: compliment or condescending.

We have a burning need to create written into our DNA. We can’t NOT be creating. Creatives yearn to make beauty, to make a point, express what we struggle to articulate, or, just fill a need. We toil away to bring our ideas into reality. And oftentimes, we collide with the reality that our skills aren’t up to par. But we carry on. Because making is what we do.

Can you relate?

Read More

You're a big deal lostuponatime.com

You’re Kind of a Big Deal

Hey.

How’s your week been? Good? Bad? Meh?

Over in our little corner of the world, we’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster. Highs, lows, and definitely some unexpected twists. Thankfully though, no one’s puked so far.

Well, wherever you are, whatever part of the track you’re on in your ride, it matters. You matter. That’s easy to forget, so here’s a little PSA for ya, friend.

You were created with intention. For a purpose. Your life, your experiences- they have meaning. The good and the bad. The meh. Think back to what’s made you who you are. What have you over come? What battles are you still fighting?

There’s only one of you. You have a story.

Take a listen here. I promise you’ll love the music, you’ll love Morgan’s voice, you’ll love her hat. But it’s the words that’ll fill your soul.

Be reminded that your story matters, because you’re part of the bigger story. Your life is a thread in the fabric the Master Weaver has designed. Without you, without your story, that cloth falls apart.

Own it. Shine. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just real.

~m

Our (teeny) Budget Bathroom Makeover, Part 3

With any project, especially of the DIY kind, come great opportunities for learning. Learning through failure, that is. (You like where this is going already, don’t you?) DIY-ing on a budget, for instance an extremely tight budget -like ours, presents it’s own set of difficulties. You’ve heard the expression, “you get what you pay for”, right? Well, what if you can’t pay for hardly anything?  What happens when you can’t afford to be very choosy?

budget bathroom makeover- part 3 Read more…

the laundry room, still. lostuponatime.com

Conquering The Laundry Room

Ugh. Why is it so hard to finish just one room? I know, I know… money & time. I don’t know about you, but currently we have neither.

(sigh……)

It’s tempting to throw in the towel and pout. Some days, that’s all the maturity I can muster. Maybe you’re on the same road we are- where your home, your sanctuary, is anything but a place of peace. Sure, most places you look around here are ugly or unfinished. But then there are those major repairs that are super urgent and extreeeemely expensive. We feel like we’re trying to extinguish blazing infernos with squirt guns. Read more…