2017 Lookback

I wouldn't want to live it again, but I'm thankful for it.

When 2017 started, I had a 40-hour-a-week corporate job and I had never been hospitalized for anything (except when I was a baby and got a hernia). Well, like my blog name references, life happens while making other plans . . ..

In June of 2017, I lost my job and didn’t know what was in store for me next. Within a week or two I had started my own business – Albright Creative, LLC. While starting a business is a challenge, I have loved every minute of it and I’ve learned so much!

In addition to my own research on running a business, I was able to take a class through the Kauffman Center called “Fast Trac.” The course was 5 weeks and detailed everything from creating a financial plan for your business, resources available to entrepreneurs, and the pitfalls of running a business. (Are you in the Kansas City area and would like more info. on the Fast Trac course through the Kauffman Foundation? Click here for more info.) I also took some online courses to learn more about web development.

Before I knew it, my business was legit and a “thing.” Instead of having to pound the pavement looking for a job, I was making my own way. It was terrifying and SO rewarding! A large part of the credit goes to the support that I received from family, friends, former co-workers, and last but not least me. I worked my butt off to make something out of nothing and I am SO proud!

Two months after starting my company, I was hospitalized for multiple pulmonary embolisms. While walking my dogs, I started having trouble breathing. After lots of scans at the hospital, the verdict was in, and for the first time in my life I was stuck in a hospital.

Pulmonary embolisms are blood clots that are in the lungs. Basically, what the doctors think happened is that I had a blood clot in my leg that broke apart and traveled to my lungs. This could have been because I was on birth control pills, combined with the fact that I had just gotten back from a long car ride. I also wonder if it was partly because of how I sit while working on my computer (since I work at home now). I sometimes would sit for hours in a really weirdly sprawled out position on the couch with one leg over the other. Picture Cleopatra sprawled out on a chaise lounge eating grapes that are fed to her by servants. This is me except no grapes or servants, and instead I have a computer balanced on the arm of the couch and a dog curled up in the crook of my leg. Can’t picture it? Here you go. You’re welcome.

pic of Erin on computer
An example of how I would sit while working on my computer. (Definitely not ergonomically correct.)

(Needless to say, just in case, I now try not to work while sitting in that position as much.

In regards to the blood clot, I never felt anything until the morning it happened. And even then it just felt like I had a strained muscle in my right calf. It felt like when you work out and have a little bit of muscle pain in your calf the next day. It didn’t feel serious at all, but, in fact, that was the blood clot. So when I went walking my dogs that morning, I must have dislodged it and traveled through my heart and into my lungs. At some point it broke apart, creating multiple clots in my lungs. I was in the hospital for three days.

Needless to say, it’s been a year of the unexpected. But, for me, the unexpected can be inspiring. It’s all about what you make of it. “What did I make of it?” you might ask. The pictures below represent¬† the best parts of my 2017. These include my two dogs (Jack and Murphy), my boyfriend John, my family and friends, and all of the things I got to do professionally this year. Plus, a few fun classes that I took. You can read about the soapmaking and watercolor classes in other blog posts.

I look forward to 2018 and all that is to come!

“Needless to say, it’s been a year of the unexpected. But, for me the unexpected can be inspiring. It’s all about what you make of it.”

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