In One Email, My Life Became a Hallmark Movie
I abandoned the idea of blogging in 2019 because my life became something of a Hallmark movie - only it was real and wonderful and sometimes frightening. This message is to catch up from where I left off so I will keep it to a minimum, but if you would like to know more about any part of it then I'm happy to share.
May 2019: I met my paternal family for the first time at age 45. They are wonderful people! Ancestry .com revealed all and I welcomed it. Years of wondering why I was the way I was and one email answered it all. What a great life I live.
July 2019: My son and I went on a relaxing vacation to Colorado. Note the creepy guy by the car. We had no idea until he came out saying 'I won't hurt you, really!' I pulled my phone out and he ducked back into the brush. We got out of there fast!
Aug. 2019: I started teaching graphic design at MidDel Technology Center in the OKC area. I made some wonderful connections with my students. They were all Seniors in High School when their instructor retired. I was hired to do a 'teach out' for them and then prepare for my own new students the next year.
Mar. 2020: Covid hit, school shut down, and I was teaching online from home. Since I was back in Weatherford, I thought I might see what kind of opportunities lie a bit closer to home. I found them.
Apr. 2020: I had never worked in radio so I thought I'd give it a try. I took a job at the local radio station as their graphic design/marketing/sales person. Little did I know that working in radio would pique my interest in podcasting. In creating radio spots and voicing commercials, I found a real interest in the sounds that set moods and illicit emotion. I was hooked! I do not have my own podcast YET. I have created some that are good but not great, I've played with ideas and directions, but I've really only started in this new medium. I haven't found my niche yet but when I do, you'll be the first to be invited.
Oct. 2020: My radio job was going fine but the challenge of building and growing something just wasn't there. I started looking for more of a challenge. Commuting wasn't something I wanted to do again, so I made the decision to put my roots down, stay close to Keith and my family and exhaust all my options for employment close to home. That decision also opened the door to buying a 2-lot property in my hometown. My plan was to build a good-sized shop in the back, tear down the old house in the front and build a new home in its place. I called Randy Kimble and he immediately started to build the shop behind the old house.
Nov. 2020: Biden wins election.
Dec. 2020: Building materials are increasing in cost. I called Randy and made a hard shift in order to stay within my budget. The good-sized shop would now become a 700 sq. foot house and the old house in the front would become a makeshift shop, for now. A few things I kept in mind were: 1. prices will come down and I can build in a couple of years. 2. A tiny house makes for a great AirBnB so keep it cute. Thank goodness I kept it cute because it's now been 3 years and prices are never coming down. But I digress.
Jan. 2021: Materials are increasing in cost again, custom windows and doors are on back order, wood and finishing materials are holding steady. I opted for standard windows and doors, a wood frame inside the steel frame, and 2 types of insulation. Prices and materials were getting out of control so I didn't get picky. I needed to stop paying rent ASAP.
That same month, I found my challenge to build and grow. I took a new job as Marketing Director at the Stafford Museum. For the next 2 years I used all my professional skills to recreate their website https://www.staffordmuseum.org, redesign the old and create their new marketing materials. If you want see these items, you can click here. I was learning all about Oklahoma Tourism, getting involved in local events, and practicing my tour guide skills with groups of kids and adults. My house was almost done, I was about to start saving some money, and I had this great new job. Things were looking really good!
Feb. - May 2021: My builder's part of the 'barndominium' was finished. Now the real work began. I started staining the concrete floors, Keith and I install the ceiling (old tin from a barn my Dad tore down 30 years ago), then we hung sheetrock, Keith textured, I painted. Trim & window details would just have to wait. The kids helped us move all the furniture out of the apartment and into the new home. For a couple of weeks it looked like a storage unit had exploded, but the goal was met. I was no longer paying rent!
June 2021: The price of wood had increased by 125%, but no matter to me now, I was moved into my little home. The house work continued for another 6 months. Well, maybe it was another year and a half but who's counting when you're rent free right? Me. I wanted everything done now, but I learned real quick that when you have time, you have no money, and when you have money, you have no time. Someone, in this world of economics, has played a cruel joke on impatient people such as myself. So our work continued on for, well, a little more than FOREVER.
Jan. 2022: Happy New Year! Apparently, I just hadn't had enough excitement the last few years and was ready for another major life change. Keith and I got engaged, and by February we were married!
Feb. 12, 2022: Keith and I got married and now there's 2 of us living in this cute little barndominium! Good thing we like each other. haha
Apr. 2022: Honeymooned through Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and back to Oklahoma.
Nov. 2022: I completed the biggest project thus far at work. It was a complete design, redesign, and oversight of artwork installation at the front entrance of the General Stafford Elementary school in Weatherford. It was months in the works and it turned out beautiful! Here is a peek into it if you'd like to see it. Then suddenly, things became very tense at work.
Mar. 2023: I was fired from the museum, though I'm still not sure why, I do know that it was one of the greatest "forced" blessings of my life. I finally let go of that 9-5 security and went all in on Designed by Shauna.
Mar. - Sept. 2023: I hit the ground running and haven't stopped for the last 6 months. Projects, new clients, and great relationships were just a few of the things in store for me and my growing little LLC. Here are a few accomplishments that I'd like to share.
May 2023: I joined my friend, Candace, in a new side gig painting houses. If you are an artist who works with your hands, then you'll understand why I welcomed this opportunity. We both have full-time jobs but it is nice to break from the computer to bring something tangible and beautiful to life. Together we call ourselves "Small Town Painting" and we serve about a 30 mile radius. I had no idea how much I would enjoy this work! My first love will always be Designed by Shauna but Small Town Painting is a great compliment and we have some great clients.
Now here it is October 1, 2023.
I turned 51 in September. How many women start a business after 50? Plenty. How many women take on manual labor in the dead of summer after age 50? Me. lol But it's really not about comparing myself to others or finding which statistics I'm falling within. It's about doing what I want to do and working hard to make it a success.
If I have learned anything in these last 6 months it is that change is the only constant in life and it's the only thing that makes life so incredibly exciting. We change homes, we merge lives, we change professions and in the changing, we are allowed to grow. I say 'allowed' because it's our choice to grow or resist and get angry. Being able to appreciate what I have and know that, when it's time to shift, I'll take all the richest lessons with me into the next phase of life, well, this is what keeps my life one big treasure hunt.
Change is coming. I hope you, too, will find the treasures within the changes of your own life. It makes the unsettling parts much more adventurous and oh so wonderful.
Have a great day and stay hopeful.