2018 a year of…

It has been one whole year since we launched this website.  I had a lot of high hopes for 2018 but a soul crushing experience happened in February- my mother at age 58 passed away unexpectedly from a massive heart attack.  

Whew.  Heavy words. 

I have since then completely neglected the online persona of our business – which for anyone starting out a new business, you KNOW is a bad choice

Depression after loss is a real thing. My depression manifested itself in avoidance of tasks that I used to find pleasure doing.  I used to do photography daily- but then I completely put down my camera and didn’t pick it up for 3 months after my moms passing.  I obviously have not been representing our business online. Depression may be easy to recognize in others, and looking at someone else and telling them that they need help is easy. Being the person that needs help acknowledging their depression and moving away from it (it will never go away completely but at least I can hope to distance it) is very HARD.  I have spent this year being sad, dealing with funerals, wills (or in our case lack of an updated one), selling estate property, dealing with beneficiaries, an uncooperative spouse, and cleaning and selling my mothers home that had turned into a hoarders nightmare.  I have spent time weekly for the past year with the estate lawyer- and it looks like weekly contact will have to continue for perhaps another 6 months. 

Death is hard to deal with, let alone ‘manage’ financially in this big bad world of you owe me economics.  We found out my mother had taken out 2 mortgages and had over 13 credit cards each with various levels of debt.  We found out that even though a person dies those debts don’t just disappear like a lot of people assume – or that her spouse at the time of her death (her 3rd) is responsible for covering any debt that was shared debt that they had together.  Instead we found out that all of her debt is now her estates debt – and we have had to sell her valuables, sell her home and what little money that remains after the sale of her home will be used to pay off her debts. 

I have definitely learned from the experience.  Things I have learned:

  1. Don’t accumulate debt.  This is something I had already learned – I don’t have any credit cards.  We have paid off our student loans (finally!) and cars.  We still have a mortgage, but beyond that we have very little negative debt.
  2. Have a care when considering executor-ship. If you are listed as an executor in a will YOU CAN DECLINE.  There is a whole lot of whole lot that I had no idea I would have to deal with, and grieving and dealing with lawyers may not mix for everyone.  I don’t think I will ever do this again for anyone- I will let someone else deal with the mess.
  3. Make sure your personal will and finances such as retirement funds etc are up to date, legal per your states requirements (such as notarized) and that all your beneficiary info is up to date.
  4. Material possessions are ephemeral.  They really don’t matter.  Live life and don’t rely on physical objects to fill your home for happiness. There is a big push for minimalism happening right now which I love.  I have embraced this type of living for over 20 years.  I have a small home, and carefully curate my possessions so that I don’t have too much and that all our families basic needs are met. 

So…  here’s to getting back on to posting on the reg.  Here’s to starting over.  Oh and just so you know!  We didn’t completely abandon our business over this time – in fact we developed some new products and attended our first Renaissance fairs as vendors.  We loved it, and will keep pushing for more this year.  If you are in Iowa over the summer you may just see our tent at a fair!