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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