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12 Years is not a very long time

An array of beads and stones decorating the old oak table, I busily wrapped bracelets, necklaces, and earrings into gift bags for family members.

I was working late into all hours of the night and Scott was busily woodworking in his shop. You might be thinking that we procrastinated and were in the midst of the bustling holiday season. My checklist seemed insurmountable and I didn’t have a second to waste. Contrary to your thinking, it was August 26th, two days from the birth of my first daughter.
Welcome to Ilerwoods

My “nesting time” was not used to get the nursery decorated, I used that time to create. I made jewelry, I sewed, I designed cards, I used any creative ability I had because I did not know when I would have time to create once our baby was born. Jokingly, I tell Scott that it has taken me 12 years to unleash my creative spirit again.

Our daughter just celebrated her 12th birthday. . . . We have launched Iler Woods, this creative network of artisans that have a spirit for designing. There has been a multitude of emotions that have been circling around our home lately and a buzz of excitement. However, As a time to reflect, I asked myself yesterday, “Why has it taken me 12 years to truly embrace a hobby again?”

As I watched the video montage I created for my daughter, I realized that my time and

Ilerwoods family fun

energy was not wasted in over a decade. I had just transferred it to a different project, which was raising two little human beings. Hundreds of sleepless nights, colicky babies, ear infections, creating school dioramas at 10 pm, counseling children to have “grit” and finding a voice, all of these nuances of parenthood had and still does squeeze my mental energy. My time was focused and extremely productive. It wasn’t that I had given up on my own identity or wasn’t listening to my inner voice, I was following a path that I needed to walk down and focus my energy on.

The truth of the matter is we beat ourselves up about missed opportunities, the trip we should have taken, the relationship we should have pursued, or the job that was right at our fingertips. Possibilities, chances, second chances are all presented to us in due time. . . 12 years ago, I could have started a blog, I could have started a creative business, but I would not have had the compassion, insight, and strength that I have now.

The challenges we are presented with is what shapes you. Walking the corridor of Children’s Hospital with my daughter, losing my father when I was pregnant, struggling through job placements, renting a house for 7 years that was not our “forever home,” these are all badges of honor that has helped shape me and my family. I am proud to say that we are “perfectly imperfect.”

So 4,380 days, 12 years, a decade plus two years, you can look at time in many different ways. For me, it has been a blink of an eye. I needed to go through this phase to develop more deeply as a human. Maybe, your time seems paused right now. But, just take a moment.

“Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now,” My daughter reminds me of this daily from the award winning Musical Hamilton. Give yourself some grace, all good things happen in due time.

Checking the progress of our peach tree
"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln


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