Monday, 22 November 2010

Personal Update

I am finished with the stressful day job. Thank you Grandma! My grandma died at the end of March and even though she was elderly, not well and ready to go, I was not prepared for how much her death would affect me. Luckily I was able to go back to Canada for the Celebration of Life for her and reconnect with family.

What I wasn’t able to do was incorporate back into my life here as it had been before. Somehow I had been affected deeply and was not able to just walk back into a stressful job that I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t understand what I was here in Spain for if I was so unhappy in my job, where I spent most of my time. I couldn’t understand why I came here... it was supposed to be for a better quality of life. But if the majority of my time was spent doing something that I hated, and very negative and stressful, why was I here?

I did go back to the job. I lasted until August until I actually broke down and needed time off. This led to an agreement with my boss in the autumn so that I could leave on good terms.

So now, I find myself spending more time with my daughter and husband than I have in years. I take morning walks along the boardwalk each day. I am here for my daughter when she gets home from school, with lunch ready... I am able to listen to them and be with them, without feeling rushed to get something else done. Our financial situation is SERIOUSLY reduced but it’s okay. I am okay sharing a car with my husband... I can walk and take the bus most places. I am okay dying my hair with the supermarket dye, instead of going to the salon. I am okay walking down to the local market each Friday to get fruits and vegetables instead of rushing to the mass supermarket for something quick.

And... I am going to focus more on doing what I love... what I feel passionate about. And remind myself not to get caught up again in things I don’t love... just for money. I remember vividly the day my now ex-boss promoted me. I said to him “I am not sure I want that job. I did not come to Spain for money. I came to Spain for better Quality of Life.” He said “Won’t earning more money imply a better Quality of Life?” I said “No, I don’t believe it will.” But, I didn’t listen to my own heart and I took the job and spent 4 and ½ years in something so negative for me that I eventually got sick from it. I need to remember to listen to my heart, to my gut feelings.

Within the next couple of months, I will be turning my soap-making hobby officially into a business. I know there won’t be a monthly paycheque. I know it may take some time to build up clients. I know there may not be a lot of income for a while. European/ Spanish standards and regulations are high and I even need a dedicated space (not able to produce out of my own kitchen) so I am going through all of these procedures now in order to open properly.

I don’t usually post personal posts here, but I wanted to let you all know what has been going on. Of course I will let you know when I officially open!

Happy Soaping. Be happy. Do what you love.
PS. As I always prefer visual posts, I attach some of my favourite photos that I took on our trip to Mallorca.


Cocobong Soaps said...

Getting through the hard parts in Life makes us so strong.
All the Best for your business, Jen, and for pursuing your hearts desire. You can only win when you do that :)

AromaBeauty Natural Soaps said...

Hi Jen, that's fantasic news! life is too short to be doing something you hate, it looks and sounds like you are so much happier and I'm sure your hubby and daughter is as well, I'm so happy for you:) all the best for your business and enjoy! you deserve it! and love your photos Jen, they are beautiful, still think you could make money from taking photos as well:)

Chela said...

Hi Jen, I just discovered your blog and I love it. I would like to make a link to yours. I'm Marcela from Barcelona and I also love making soaps. I turn continued to visit, because I'm like your fan. Good luck and see you soon ... bubbling kisses!

The Soap Sister said...

I'm just so glad that another bird has escaped the stressful job cage! Fly Jen, Fly -you can do it! You're soaps are fabulous, you're a sweet, sweet soul -who on earth wouldn't buy your soap?? Best wishes for happiness and success! :D
p.s. I think of you each time I use your Wildflower Soap!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! My husband and I decided when we had first married that when we had children I would stay home with them. If I had a paycheck coming in, sure there would be much more we could do or have. But the "quality of life" you speak of was so much more important for us - even with only one income I am so thankful to be home with my children each day.

Between Friends said...

Oh Jen, I'm so happy and excited for you!! It takes a lot of courage to do what you do, but with your determination and your passion, I know you'll be just fine! Best wishes to you !

Anonymous said...

How awesome is that?! Congratulations and best of luck, Jen.


Celine Blacow said...

Brilliant post Jen! Delighted for you, and I wish you the best of luck with your new venture. I too work in a stressful job (in fact, that's why I started soaping, as a respite from it). Unfortunately, I cannot give it up unless I had a substantial other income coming in as my husband is the stay at home person in our family (thankfully, as my elderly Father lives with us so it's a handful of a job in itself). I love that you have found a way to follow your dream and do what you love to do. Life is too short to do something you hate! Best of luck and I cannot wait to see the business grow. If you need a hand with anything, please do give me a shout xx

Ann Stoermer said...

Although I am sorry to hear about your grandmother, sometimes it takes a loss to figure out what we need in life. What a great change for you. I know you will be successful, and I look forward to seeing your shop! Good for you!!!

Elorajade said...

Wow! What an amazing step! I started this business because of lack of work in my field! I'm only now starting to make a regular income through the year (with proper planning). Good luck!

Soaps and Bubbles said...

Dear Jen, its been so long. I am so happy for you.
Times are hard and sometimes they are harder than others...I am so glad you found your moment of peace. Enjoy it and be happy :D

I wish you lots of success with your future business. You are ready to go woman ;-)

Speak soon hopefully.

Teresa said...


FooFooBerry said...


I'm sorry about your grandmother and am glad you took the steps necessary to change your life.

I also am in a very stressful job and am looking into other possibilities as well as I don't enjoy it. I too soap to get relief from my day job.

I hope you are very successful with your soap business and so enjoying your blog.

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

You go girl! I am sort of in the same place in life. I have been working at a job that I now find to be miserable. I've done it in an effort to try and support our family - I love making soap, it's a passion for me and I am preparing to make a change. Good luck to you! I will be anxiously awaiting your updated on how things are going and send you much good mojo!

Amy W said...

Better days are coming, I just know it! Your passion comes through loud and clear. I am also sorry for your loss. You are making the right choice. Protect your time with your family as the business grows - and it will. :)

Jennifer Young said...

Thank you so much everyone for all the support and encouragement. What an awesome, positive, supportive community!! I was surprised with how many other people seem to be soaping as relief from stressful jobs as well. Not only comments, but I received emails as well from people in similar situations. To those women in stressful jobs, I admire you for the hard work, then coming home and making soap as well, creating, packaging, blogging, looking after families, selling at markets... I have been there. Just look after your health. It's hard to do it all. I have fortunately been able to leave the part I disliked and carry on with what I most enjoy!! To those women who stay home and soap, look after families and do it all in a different way... I admire you too. This is the first time in my life that I can spend this much time with my family and I don't miss the salary at all. I will keep you all posted on how it all goes. Happy soaping! xoxoxoxoxoxox Jen

Michelle said...

Good luck with your business start up, I know you will do great!!

I agree, do what makes you happy, not what makes you wealthy. It is happiness that will keep you healthy as well :) Money only buys things, not substance. The simple life is the way to go. It is nice to see you follow your passion.

Savon Muse said...

Hi Jen! I have finally gotten around to reading through your blog! I started at the beginning and have made it to this post. I know it is well over a year since you wrote this post, however I just had to say that I feel we have a lot in common. At least you got out early - I was in my job for 15 years and in the higher position for 10 of those 15. Like you, I had to make a change to keep my health in check.

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog - I am amazed at how much experimenting you have done! Like you I am wanting to launch my own online business (very soon hopefully!) but I still have so much to learn, consider and do!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to keeping up to date with your triumphs and learning more from such a talented individual! ~ Pauline :)

Jennifer Young said...

Pauline, Such a nice comment. So pleased that you enjoy my blog and that it touched you in some way. I love when people can relate. I wish you all the success in your endeavours. Post photos!!!!!! xoxox Jen

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog and this post is the best, I believe.I see a part of myself ...I often think about the same...having more time for you and your family means a lot more than the financial part of the job.I really appreciate your decision and I read you with a lot of pleasure,as making soap has also become a passion of mine.Thank you for all you write here .
P.S. Why am I not able to post with my wordpress account MIJNZEEP1? Thx

Jennifer Young said...

Hello Anonymous, Thank you for your comment. So glad you can relate. That moment in time was a turning point. When I started decided not to work just for money, but create money from what I love.... and enjoy each day... So glad you are passionate about soaping as well! Addicting, isn't it? I would love if you could solve the Wordpress issue... I would love to follow wordpress blogs as well, but it seems I am only able to follow blogspot? xoxoxo