I’ve come to appreciate that each year is unique in its own way. Though many things remain the same year over year, different themes and challenges emerge each lap the earth takes around the sun.
As such, I thought it fitting to document an overview of 2019. It did not disappoint in terms of uniqueness among the years. I recognize that this type of post is most relevant to a small group of readers: those who care about the minutiae of my activities. This is written for them, and for me. Lord willing, if I am still around in 15 or 20 years, this post will serve as a memorial to the year and all its happenings. So without further delay, I’ll jump in.
On a personal note, 2019 started out in dramatic fashion with the stuff my dreams are made of, with a trip to the magnificently beautiful south island of New Zealand. You can see pics and stories at this post. It was difficult to put into words the beauty we beheld there, but that post is my attempt to capture it.
Upon our return, we welcomed into our home two adorable sister-kittens (from the same litter) which were up for adoption from a family in our church. Marge and Velma added double trouble fuzzy delightfulness and filled the hole in our hearts left by Toonces, our 16-year-old cat who we’d put down last fall.
On the business front, a significant happening in 2019 was the realization of my long-held dream of starting my own business. For a bit of background info, check here. SummerTime Communications is my freelance writing/social media management/marketing consultant company. It has been a wild adventure forming and learning how to run, a solopreneur enterprise. I’ve tackled many challenges and will continue to do so as I move forward in my business endeavors.
I’m grateful to my friend and boss Larry White, who has provided me a flexible part-time job these last two years as I work towards my business providing a full-time income for me.
Just as I wrote about in my 2018 year-end summary, 2019 was full of foreign-to-me freedom; the freedom of time. I love it every bit as much as I thought I would.
The reality of entrepreneurship
Though my time was not under the control of a 40+ hour office job, as in my entire previous career, I found that owning my own business meant a new kind of freedom — the freedom to work seven days per week, with unlimited hours. Tee hee hee. Other business owners will know what I am talking about.
Replacing the stress of working 9-6 and occasional evenings and weekends was the responsibility of completing client projects, figuring out price structures and contract details, overcoming technical difficulties, and delivering work on time and in a manner about which I can be proud. Regardless of how long it takes.
I spent the majority of my weekends either doing client work or necessary administrative tasks for my company. I’ve always tried not to work on Sundays, but I found that work crept its way even to the Lord’s day during deadline-intensive periods.
No more hiding behind a company, delegating to other employees, or blaming a boss for anything. As a one-woman shop, it is all on me to get it done and do it right. Every new project meant building a template (both in the document and in the process) from the ground up. This is where, in retrospect, I’m glad I spent so many years working for small bootstrapping companies. My years of experience inventing processes and creating corresponding documents have come in quite handy.
My husband Mike has long held a side business as a watercolor painter in addition to full-time work, so he was understanding about his workaholic wife.
Different, but not worse
As I opined in my summer 2019 summary post, our normal recreation-packed third quarter saw less outdoor adventure and more, you guessed it — working. Yet, we still had plenty of fun. We also recognize that this is the stage of life we are in now. We’re both hustling to build our small businesses, to make them more profitable for the future.
Somehow it feels a lot less like work when we’re doing it for ourselves instead of a corporation, and endeavoring to make our passions pay more of the bills.
So in a crude summary, 2019 can be largely boiled down to New Zealand, kittens, and working.
When I put it that way, it sounds pretty good actually. I have no complaints about the year. I am extremely grateful that we have had the opportunity to travel, pursue our business dreams, and have a couple cute cats at home to boot. God has truly been kind and merciful to us, and we give Him the praise and glory for His generous provisions.
What word or sentence would you use to describe YOUR 2019?