A new chapter is beginning in the story of Eleanor Rose Home. A chapter I’ve been nervous about sharing. This new chapter consists of big life changes for me and my family, which is exciting and scary rolled all into one big ball of mixed emotions. I’ve known about this new chapter in this story for a while now, several months to be exact, but I’ve kept these upcoming changes close to my heart and have only told a few friends and family closest to me. I’ve eluded to these “changes” recently on social media, and have had quite a while to think about and decide how I wanted to make this announcement to the world. I thought I would share the next chapter on social media but after contemplating and mulling things over, I decided the blog was the right place to share my story. For me, writing something down is easier than trying to talk about it. This blog has become a sort of journal to not only share our home but also a place to share my thoughts and feelings. It’s my creative outlet and a lifeline when things get tough, especially over this past year. So, it only made sense to tell you what I have to tell you here, in my journal, my creative outlet, and my safe space . Now, in order for me to tell you about the next chapter of my life and Eleanor Rose Home, I have to start with the current chapter and the moments over the last couple of years that I have come to realize as pivotal to this next chapter and the changes ahead.
As many of you know I work for a landscape company that I have been with for almost seven years. I was hired as the office assistant in the fall of 2015, with no office or administrative experience. At the time, I just needed a job to get me out of the house while the kids were in school. I am the type of person who has to stay busy…all of the time. If I am not busy, I am not happy. Without kids to take care of during the day, I found myself bored and shopping (I did a little too much shopping)! So I found this part time job. And, I feel in love. I loved being outside of the house with people similar in age to interact with, I loved having control over the work I was given, I loved the responsibilities and I loved the work load. I loved my job so much that over the years I went from working 20 hours a week to 40 hours and more as the kids got older. I received multiple promotions through the years; from office assistant, to administrative assistant, to project manager, and finally operations coordinator. In a mostly male dominated industry, I was proud of the progress I made and the path I had forged as a woman in a managerial role. In my position, I helped create and roll out company policies, became involved in almost every department and aspect of the company, and I worked directly with the owners. The years went by and I was happy. I thought I had found my calling.
Then, in the winter of 2020, COVID. Looking back at the past couple of years, COVID is pivotal to this story and the trajectory of my life going forward. Once lockdowns started happening, it was decided that most of us in the office would start working from home. I packed up my desk and brought everything home. It was a scary time. Everything was uncertain; there was no school, Dave and I were worried about our jobs, and life was at a stand still. I was only supposed to be working from home a couple of weeks, but as with so many of us, I worked from home much longer. Working from home, and with the kids home too, my love of home and family was reignited. I truly fell in love with our home again and spending time with my little family. After running around for so many years, it was nice being home with no place to go. I had the time to play around with the décor in our home, think about and complete projects that we had been putting off, and I was able to cook meals for our family (and eat together as a family) again because I finally had the time. The longer I worked from home, the more I began to realize that I had been putting work first over everything else in my life the past couple of years. I was starting to see things in a very small, new light.
In the summer of 2020, there is another pivotal turn. I returned to the office. After working from home for a few months, it was a hard transition being out of the house again. Once I began to get used to being away from home, it did feel good to get out of the house and to be with my co-workers, but deep down I missed being home. That summer I received an email at work from one of our landscape customers stating her home was going to be featured on a local television show. She wanted to make sure her home was manicured before the shoot. In typical Heidi fashion, I emailed her right back, letting her know that was not a problem and to let me know if there was anything I could do to help her get ready for the television shoot. She responded with an invite for my boss and I to be a part of the show, which caused my stomach to almost fall out of my body (an extreme panic attack ensued). I didn’t want to be on the show, I wanted to help her get ready for the show (you know like fold the laundry, organize a closet, style a coffee table, add some items to shelf)! I told my boss that he and I had been invited to be a guest at this filming, and of course he said we have to do this! In a meeting with my boss shortly there after, I was explaining to him how I didn’t want to be on the television show (we did end up going, see photo below!) but wanted to help style her home since I love home décor and had always wished I could do something more with that. He said, “Heidi, why don’t you start a blog?” At that moment, a light bulb went off in my head. It was something I had never thought of that before. Why don’t I do that?! A few weeks later, on September 24, 2020, I wrote my first blog post (read that here)!
I wrote one more blog post that fall and then stopped. I was back to working from home, William was in school remotely, and life became busy. I wanted to write more blog posts but I kept procrastinating, coming up with excuses, and frankly I just became lazy & unmotivated. After a winter of no blog posts, it was now the spring of 2021. We had a very small work party to celebrate a few employee milestones. At that party, a couple of people were talking about blogging. Starting a blog or writing a blog post, I am not exactly sure what the conversations were. However, hearing those conversations made me think. If they can write blog posts, why can’t I? Why do I keep procrastinating? Why am I not blogging more regularly? And so, the wheels in my head started turning again and I knew I wanted to start posting blogs on a regular basis.
During COVID, I started visiting Instagram. I had never really been interested in Instagram before. But being home with a little more time on my hands, I started going on the app daily. I found some accounts I really loved, and looked forward to seeing their stories or their squares on a regular basis. Most of the accounts I followed had blogs too. I started to put the pieces together. Maybe that was the missing link for me? Maybe if I started sharing our home on Instagram, maybe I would blog more and stay consistent with it? I started thinking about how I could share our home. Some of the pictures I saw were similar to the way I decorated or styled things in our home. If they can do this, why can’t I??!! Then on May 13, 2021, I took the plunge and shared my very first photo on Instagram as a business account. It was scary and exhilarating! I had opened a door that I knew nothing about. I had no idea how to take a picture, what to say, or what to do, what hashtags to use, or if anyone would see my photos. However, after that first post on Instagram, something came alive in me. It was a feeling of happiness and contentment that I had never felt before. It was as if I had found my calling, I had found what God had intended me to be all along.
While I felt happiness with this new found passion of blogging and posting on social media, work was another story. Work became extremely busy in the spring of 2021 and I found myself short staffed, running trying to do the work of five people, with everything falling apart around me. I became unhappy and resentful. It was a feeling I had never felt in my position before. I continued to struggle through work from spring into the summer. It did not get better, I was still understaffed and overwhelmed. There were days I wanted to just leave and never look back. If felt easier to just give up. There were days I sat at my desk and silently cried but still I continued to push through. During this time, I noticed I was having panic attacks on a daily basis and I didn’t feel good or like myself. One would think I would have realized my not feeling good and panic attacks was related to my stress at work, but I did not put two and two together. I am not a quitter and thought I could push through and somehow get to the light at the end of the tunnel (where the light was, I have no idea!). I was finally able to hire an assistant sometime during the summer, which started to relieve some of my stress and anxiety. Then, a short couple of weeks later, she gave her notice. I had reached my breaking point. I called my boss and told him that I needed to resign, I could not do it any longer. We talked through it and I decided I would stay on in my position, and hopefully things would improve. But, still I struggled through work the last few weeks of summer.
Even though work was heavy, crazy, and exhausting I had something else that was keeping me sane and afloat. My blog and the community I had found on Instagram. Through the summer of 2021 my account on Instagram continued to grow and I began to meet some amazing friends. I started posting blog posts on a weekly basis, my website was getting more traffic, and my blogs were getting more views. I started receiving offers from businesses to collaborate, and so I started to view the blog and Instagram as a business and a way to earn an income on my terms and my schedule. Dave and I began discussing me stepping down from my position at work and devoting more time to Eleanor Rose Home. It was not an easy decision, we talked about this for weeks. We had come to rely upon the steady income my job brought to our family, but I kept coming back to the same question, at what cost? Was a weekly paycheck worth my unhappiness?
Sometime during the month of September 2021 during a one on one meeting with my boss, I told him I wanted to step down from my position. I had not planned to say that to him during that meeting, but something inside of me knew it was the time and the place and I was ready to move on. I felt an enormous relief finally sharing what I had been feeling for quite some time, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I gave the company six months to find my replacement, and told them I would be willing to step down into a part time role in a more flexible position if they wanted me to stay on. They agreed.
And so as with any story, when one chapter ends, another one begins. Starting next week, there will be a new chapter in the story of Eleanor Rose Home. I will start my new part time position at work, with the rest of my time devoted to Eleanor Rose Home. I would be lying if I didn’t say this new adventure is meet with mixed emotions. I feel sadness leaving my position behind along with everything I have achieved over the years and I will miss my coworkers that I won’t be working closely with anymore. I also feel a scared at the unknown. I’m entering unchartered territory, and there is no guarantee what I am embarking on will be successful. But the emotion that is most prevalent is happiness and excitement. I have never been so excited for something before. I cannot wait to see where Eleanor Rose Home goes now that I have the time to devote to developing, networking, learning, and all the things that go into creating a thriving business. I have big plans, and it feels like the world is my oyster!
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Going through these last couple of years was difficult, but looking back, without all of that, I would not be where I am today. If I was not the operations coordinator for a business, I would not have the business knowledge that I have today. If COVID never happened I would still be plugging away at my 9-5 job. Without the push from my boss to start a blog, I would not have started Eleanor Rose Home. I am truly grateful for all that I have been through and the lessons that I have learned. It has molded me into the woman I am today, and it has only made me stronger.
I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey. It is your support that has given me the courage to write this next chapter and I look forward to sharing the chapters ahead with you that for now, remain unwritten.
Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you! Link to the family sign from Heritage Sign Co featured in this blog post can be found here!