As of Sunday October 11 2009, Urban Scrapyard, will close its doors permanently.
For those of you who don’t know, it is a scrapbooking store that I had helped to create, build, manage for the better part of three and a half years. A little over a year ago, I stepped back significantly in order to focus on my growing family. I had found that this had been a necessary action because my mind space was too occupied with things outside of my home life. The effects of my preoccupation began to manifest through illness, changes in the kids’ behaviour for the worse, and a detrimental shift in our family dynamics. I was torn. I loved the creative outlet, the interactions with phenomenal women, and sharing my passion.
On the other hand, I missed my family. Working most Saturdays became a drain on our family life. The kids were being shipped off to a grandparent’s house every Friday night. (Ever-Patient had to work Saturdays in order for us to afford child care. He worked so I could work.) I was starting to feel a real disconnection with my children and my husband.
#4 traveled to the store with me as soon as she was a couple months old. She was a fixture (or more like a decorative item) at my workshops. She would sit in her bumbo and smile for the women or I would have her in the carrier and dance around, putting her to sleep, as I taught a stamping technique. I would warn that I was about to openly breastfeed and everyone was always supportive and understanding.
I write all this as a last explanation to all the women who I have met through the store and who continue to keep in touch. I write also to say a final goodbye as I prepare to close this recent chapter in my life.
To all my scrapbooking friends who I now consider simply as my “friends”: I cannot truly tell you the extent of which you have enriched my life. Through our collective passion for scrapbooking, we have shared our own difficult stories, challenging events, and personal moments. You have been there to celebrate with me the birth of my child and other important milestones and have also given me comfort and words of solace when I have experienced challenges including the death of my grandmother. You have all been a welcome familiar face especially on days when you unknowingly have salvaged a terrible day. I can’t count the number of times a smile or a conversation had completely changed the mood or tone of the day.
I will miss running in to you all at the store. I will miss sitting at the tables, with all intentions to crop, and end up chatting the night away. I will miss the giddy excitement of sharing the latest and greatest product with you. I will miss getting inspired from all of your creative brilliance. I will miss the wonderful staff, who have also become my friends, who have always managed to include me still on the events at the store even though I haven’t been physically there this year.
A big thank you to my loving and uber-supportive husband and my children who have been constant cheerleaders every step of the way even if it meant I had less time with them at home. From the very beginning, Ever-Patient has been understanding of my decision to return to work and has always encouraged me to continue doing what I love. He never showed any objections to my business trips to Vegas, Anaheim or Utah as he undertook the daunting task of caring for 3 kids (#4 was in utero in my last trip) for up to 5 days. During times when I worked long shifts or during the holidays, he would help sweep the floor, flirt with the ladies 🙂 or bring by coffee and the kids to give me a little bit of a much-needed break. He understood the importance of my commitment to design teams and would stay up late helping cut out letters and other unmanly crafty things. As I mentioned before, in order to pay for child care for #2 and #3, he sacrificed and worked Saturdays. All of this, because my happiness and passion was just as important to him as it was to me.
I am grateful for the entire experience. It has taught me a lot about my own capabilities and the person I choose to be. It has given me invaluable opportunities and has allowed me to create lasting friendships. I do not regret re-prioritizing my life as I have had the most wonderful year at home with the kids who have managed to teach me more about myself than any other experience could have. Although I am filled with sadness as I say goodbye, I have long ago realized that there is a reason and purpose for all that happens in life and knowing I have done my best and offered all that I could in this recent endeavour, I know that this is not a failure but a necessary step to something else that awaits me.
Thank you for all your support and kindness.