Trying doesn’t always mean success

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I’m of the type A, list making, perfection seeking variety.  I like order, tidiness, routine and continuity.  Doing something half way is never an option, I live by the “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all” mantra, which is why my front garden bed has yet to be weeded…

This isn’t new, as a teen my need for perfection drove me to spend hour upon endless hour studying, striving for better.   It was the reason I hardly slept my Grade 12 year & had a course load of 8 classes & 1 extra (done outside regular school hours) class.  I’m not afraid of hard work & most times it paid off.  There were a few times where it didn’t and I had to concede defeat.  Physics 12 for example kicked me in the head & half way through the year I put in my request to simply audit the class.

It was a prideful pill to swallow  but it was worth doing for the sake of my sanity.  Ultimately my intense need to get it right, paired with my complete confusion was sapping all my energy.  It was also detracting from courses I needed to focus on Biology, Chemistry, Calculus.

Since that day there have been very few things I’ve ever admitted defeat at, I push until I get it right.  I won’t say I always achieve perfection per say, but I do complete whatever I start to a place where I am happy with it.

When I decided to start Baking Life Healthy just about a year ago, I thought it would be the same thing.  I’d work hard, doing something I love, it would fit into our schedule and I’d be able to go to bed feeling happy with the effort & outcome of my business.  Maybe eventually it would even replace a few of my days in my business office and I could be home more.

Initially it started out that way, I was baking most days of the week, something I love to do.  The orders were coming at a rapid pace and it all looked fantastic.  They loved it, they really, really loved it!

Soon I was spending 14 hours in my kitchen, and while I was home with our girls I hardly had the time to make eye contact between the batches of bread and piles of dishes.  It felt like a bit of a struggle but I was still optimistic that I’d be able to “work out the kinks”.

Then school started, Audrey wound up in hospital again and it felt like everything was spinning out of control.  My days were a blur of trips to school, cookies, bread, time in my (out of home) business office, laundry, dishes, and doctors.

The orders were still coming in but by this point I’d realized something else upsetting – I wasn’t making anything doing what I was doing.   All the time and love I was putting into each muffin, loaf & cookie was only paying me around $.75 an hour.

I’d spent hours planning but I’d forgotten one important feature – I needed to actually earn something on all that effort.  At the rate I was going  I’d not ever be able to cut back my out of house hours.

By the time Christmas hit I was running on steam.  My patience was sapped, physically I was suffering and emotionally I was falling to pieces.

Corey and I spent hours talking it over and ultimately decided I needed a break.  I’d take from Christmas to the end of January off to see if we could find a solution.  I didn’t have quit my business just yet but we’d see what a break would do for all the aspects of life that were suffering.

The day my last order went out the door I felt a little weight begin to lift off my shoulders.  As the days wore on, I felt myself being renewed.  I was able to spent more quality time with our girls, I could read stories and do crafts.  The tension started to life and all of a sudden I wasn’t feeling so growly.

By the time mid-January hit I knew I’d made the right choice.  I needed to stop Baking Life Healthy, at least for now.

Bethany & Audrey are growing at lightening speeds.  They are changing and maturing and developing and the most important thing I can do to help that process along is to invest in them.  To be present.  Be the Mom.

I don’t always get it right.  In fact there are days ( and a post yet to come) where I pretty much get it all wrong, but I’m here and I’m doing it.

30 years from now, as I look at my adult children and reflect back on life I’m sure I’ll be able to pick out a million mistakes.  I’m sure in the eyes of my children there will be faults to be found in the way I raised them.  But I hope and pray they will see more. That we will see God’s grace, some successes and they will know, without a shadow of a doubt that I did my best, with each and every breath I took.

Who knows what the future holds for us, there are other aspirations, potentials, plans that we are praying about but for today I’m happy with where we are.

I’m choosing not to see Baking Life Healthy as something I failed but rather as something I wasn’t afraid to try and I’m ok with that.

3 thoughts on “Trying doesn’t always mean success

  1. That's an awesome way to look at it, Ashley! I think you've made a great choice for now, and if/when you do go back to baking, you'll know you can charge a heck of a lot more for all the hard work that goes into your tasty concoctions. 🙂
    Amanda recently posted..All Dressed Up

  2. Great perspective! Not a failure, by any means. Look at those “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” ladies … they found their accidental career doing something they love, long after the nest was empty. What you’ve learned by this attempt wil carry you through as you continue to make good choices for your family and career.

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