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Stepping Outside the Box

Updated: Apr 8, 2020


I’m definitely in the right business! Nothing makes me happier than a good quote! I’m lucky to spend many happy hours pursuing the best of them for our t-shirts. The written word is something that both Emily and I are passionate about. I don’t think we’ll ever run out of options, we’re constantly exclaiming ‘listen to this ‘ or ‘ have you heard this one ‘. We just love so many and are frequently amazed that something written more than 70 years ago is still applicable today.

After many parts of Britain were battered by storm ‘Ciara’ last weekend, and watching large parts of our fence disappear, leaving us far more exposed and vulnerable than we were used to, I had to smile when I came across this by F Scott Fitzgerald:

“You’ll understand why storms are named after people”.

Ah! We can all be capable of kicking up a bit of a storm sometimes!

To be honest I think I’m a pretty regular kind of person! I’ve always just quietly got on with things in my own little way, not causing a fuss, just happy to go along with life. Never really thinking I was the type of person who would ever step outside of the box in any way, in fact, I felt very comfortable and secure inside the box.

Until something most unexpected and definitely unplanned came along and literally threw me outside the box! And that was homeschooling! I had 5 children all happily following the normal educational route that my husband and I had followed and never dreamt that there was another way, a different route for us to follow.

But life had other ideas for me… and due to anxiety and stress in one of my kids, we took the leap and within 6 months we were happily homeschooling four of our five children. The door was opened, another world was out there that I didn’t even know existed. There was another way, we have more choice in life than we realise. And the best 15 years of my life was about to begin.

And then 4 years ago, another ‘walking the path less travelled by’ experience enveloped us once more. As a whole family we almost overnight decided to take the leap and go plant-based! For many many reasons we all came to the conclusion that this was the way we wanted to live, for our health, for the environment, for sustainability and of course for the animals. Going plant-based seemed to tick all the boxes and we couldn’t look back.

Choosing to do these things felt a little daunting. After delivering the letters that officially removed the children from school I remember coming home and crying to my husband “ What have I done ?” and “Will they hate me if this ruins their lives? And of course, the doubts come, and some days are hard and you question why? And in the first few weeks after going plant-based I would wake up in a panic wondering what to feed the family? Was I harming them? Would it all work out? The fear was a real thing!

But one thing I have learnt is not to judge your decisions just because they are hard. It doesn’t mean they’re not right! Good choices can still be challenging. And don’t we all want to see the end from the beginning? Sometimes I guess we just have to take the leap and make changes in the life we’ve created!

Starting a sustainable business has its challenges as my glued-together fingers can attest to from sticking all the scraps of stabiliser together in an attempt not to waste any. And a very frustrating day spent this week trying to get the remains of old wax candles out of jars so I could reuse them! So a new challenge is ahead of us and who knows where this road will take us!

Gracie, my youngest, started college in September after being at home with me for 17 years. This Christmas she made me a beautiful photo book depicting our families journey. In it she included one of my very favourite quotes that really spoke out to me when we were in the thick of things:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less travelled by and that

Has made all the difference”.

Robert Frost

Whatever road we choose may we realise that we are more than enough to conquer them.


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