Today has been one of those days that feels like a real milestone and It was made even better by the fact I was able to share the major part of it with a good friend who was possibly even more excited then I was! So what made it so special? I vsited the William Morris Gallery with one of my closest friends, Fehmida, and saw my jewellery on sale. I've never understood people describing something as "surreal" until today but now I understand what they mean. It really was quite a surreal moment to see my jewellery on sale alongside so many beautiful things in the Museum gift shop .
I think the volunteers must have wondered whothe strange women were taking photos of the display while one of them posed, holding up a pair of earrings. It was also really appropriate to be there with Fehmida as she is one of those people who has really encouraged me throughout this process from when I first started experimenting with origami. She, together with my daughter Alice really encouraged me to start selling what I was making and see it as more than just a hobby. Fehmida even insisted on buying me a pair of "Gilli's" earrings!
When I got home I checked my emails and find one from arthritis care asking if I was happy for them to pass my details onto a researcher who was wanted tointerview people living with chronic disease for a television programme! I said yes of course with the proviso that I get my haircut beforehand that it seems very appropriate to get that email today of all days, as the irony is that although arthritis and the "friends" that have come along with it have stopped me from doing so many things that I love if it wasn't for arthritis I wouldn't be writing this blog in the first place as I would never have started Gillis flowers.
I have always accepted opportunities offered to me, to see where they might lead me and that's just what I've done with Gilli's flowers. This year because of that philosophy not only have I got my jewellery on sale in the William Morris Gallery, I've also won a Theo Paphitis #SBS award which gave me the confidence to go on and I succesfully applied for some free one-to-one business mentoring.
It's not always been easy and I know it's not going to be easy going on into the future as not only do I have to deal with what goes with being a small (micro!) business owner. I'm also dealing on a daily basis with chronic illness and its effects, which can and does place limitations on what I do and how much I do. There are times I still wish I was teaching, still singing, still gardening and still doing all the other things I once did. But even as so many doors have been closed to me so new ones have opened. Today has been very good day, and a very special day and one that I know will help me through bad days and testing times ahead.