Sakura, springtime and reflection

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I appear to have got distracted from my planned next post!  I fully intended to write to you a little bit about my trip to Orlando…and then I kept seeing photos popping up on my social media of all the sakura (cherry blossom) in Japan right now and I felt I wanted to write on that instead.  Pinky promise that some posts on my vacation will be coming up real soon though.

I love all the seasons for different reasons.  They are part of the cycle of life for me, they remind me how things start and end, how the world keeps turning and that life goes on regardless.  Winter is a time of snuggling, crisp days and woolly hats.  Autumn is full of glorious colours and piles of leaves made for kicking.  Even hot uncomfortable summer (assuming we get one in the UK that is!) when I can’t sleep or go outside because it is too sunny has bluer than blue skies and house martins sweeping overhead  Spring though holds an extra special spot for me and every single year I am reminded how much I love it.

 

Yellow daffodils in spring

Photo by ColobusYeti

This time of year is when that part of nature that has been having a jolly nice winter snooze wakes itself up and everything springs back into life (pun intended!).  Seeing all the crocuses, tulips and daffodils makes me smile and feel all sorts of happiness inside.  There is such joy in them.  Buds appearing on the trees and bushes delight me more than the leaves that will take their place.  There is an energy that I feel at this time of year that lifts me up and makes me happy to be alive in a way that no other season really does.

Cherry blossom sparks off all these happy feels big time and I love seeing the trees erupting in that all too brief moment of fragile beauty.  It is a stunning sight wherever it happens in the world yet nowhere seems to take it quite to heart in the way the Japanese do.  Sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) seems to be something all Japanese love and I have been lucky to experience cherry blossom season there several times giving me a huge appreciation of how important it is to them.  People stop to admire the blooms wherever they appear.  Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties spring up in parks, by canals and in graveyards.  Social media is full of snaps of cherry blossoms and shops or restaurants awash with sakura themed items.  It seems to take over daily life from the eagerly awaited first sightings of blossom until the final bloom has died.

The Japanese love for cherry blossom runs much deeper though than it simply being something pretty to look at and it is something that really rings true for me.  They value cherry blossom not simply for its simple beauty or for the festivities that accompany it, they also find a message in its short yet brilliant existence.  It is a reminder that life is brief and fleeting.  Life slips by so very quickly without people really noticing or accepting that one day death will come for them and cherry blossom reminds us that life is short, amazing, precious and something that we need to enjoy, take note of and be thankful for.  Life is for living and for me, spring serves as the perfect reminder for this.  So next time you see some blossom, take a moment to consider our fragile yet awesome existence.

macro shot of cherry blossom or sakura

Photo by ColobusYeti

 

What next for Mr B’s Button Jamboree?

Buttons on wooden table

Initially I started this blog because I was starting my own little business up (see my very 1st post ‘And so it begins….’!).  At the time I had big dreams of creative enjoyment and success, expanding from my simple button earrings into more elaborate pieces as my business took off and I became more confident.  The blog was to follow this journey and yet instead it became a reflection of how things stalled and stopped.

My plan was to start small and as sales grew, so would my range and my ability. However a year after opening my Etsy store Mr B’s Button Jamboree, I realised that I had stopped developing and growing.  Yes I had added a few new things like my hemp bracelets, felt brooches and fabric buttons, when I looked at my range though I could see that I had not reached the potential I had hoped to.

So what was behind this stagnation and lack of progress in my plans?  One reason is that very word – ‘plans’.  I spent so much time reading and planning, drawing up new plans all the time, constantly changing things. Too much time.  Hours were invested working out social media, SEO keywords, listings, business plans….and not making or experimenting with new products.  I sabotaged myself.  I feared failing and people thinking my button jewellery was rubbish.  So I over-planned, trying to be the most prepared I could be and drew back from pushing myself to try making new products because I was afraid of not being good enough.

Things then became more complicated as I took on work preparing photos for our microstock portfolio..  This is incredibly time consuming yet something so important if we are to achieve our plans of mobile working. I have since also started writing freelance for blogs.  This does not leave much time for my button business and the combination of it all leaves my brain somewhat frazzled and exhausted.

Setting up my little business has not been without its positives though and when I remember to stop and take stock of these, I am grateful for what it has bought me. Without it I am not sure I would be here now talking to you. Not only did it introduce me to the world of blogging, it has given me a community of friends and support on Instagram (why not pop over and say hello!) that has made so much difference to little old introverted, solitary me. My confidence is still shaky and yet it has also grown. I have learnt the joy and comfort of sharing my thoughts and feelings with others…and that there are some truly awesome cats out there!

@buttonjamboree Mr B's Button Jamboree Instagram

My favourite Instagram photos from 2016

So where does this leave me and Mr B’s Button Jamboree? To be truthful, I am not quite sure. I am not quite ready to say goodbye to it and still want to get more creative with what I make.  Whether it fits in to how my life is going is a different matter.  Whatever happens though I am glad that I tried it…it has given me confidence, bought me friends and taught me valuable lessons.  Watch this space for what happens next I suppose!