The title of this post is Life is Journey and sometimes for some, it can be a tougher ride and nobody knows what struggles someone might have or have had.

It is really good that the stigma attached to mental health has been lifted and although not always easy, people are encouraged to talk more and know that help and support is there.

The way we grow up, I believe, shapes us.  I don't remember my childhood being a particularly happy one, and I think this has stayed with me unfortunately.  

I think for many years, I thought if things were a certain way then that's it, not thinking it could change or be changed, but of course, things change, whether intentionally or just because nothing stays the same anyway.

This has be relevant in my working life also.  I have had some really good jobs, but I have also had jobs where you have that sinking feeling when you wake up in the morning, or worse still, when you can't sleep properly because you dread the morning coming when you have to get up and do something that you don't like.

Of course, finances are the thing that keeps us doing what we are sometimes not enjoying.  When I was in the position of not enjoying a job, I would always look at people who were happy in their careers and think how lucky they were.  The saying 'do what you love for a living and you will never work a day in your life again' springs to mind.  It is so true, and we spend such a lot of time working, to be unhappy is such a waste and to be avoided.

I settled and plodded along for a long time, and I think my mindset was still to go along with it and that I could not change things. Then came the pandemic, a big change!

First of all, I worked from home, then I was furloughed, then I had the phone call to say that my contract was not going to be renewed.  I just held it together long enough to finish the conversation before bursting into tears, wondering what on earth was I going to do?  After my job history of being made redundant twice in a row, and being on my third temporary contract, I decided I had had enough and I wanted to be in control of my life, and not be at the mercy of others.

That was when I decided I needed to do something that I loved doing and I would never have to go through that again, so Live & Love by Maxine as born.  I could use my creative side and love of jewellery to at last, be doing something I wanted to do, rather than needed to do.

Starting a business is not easy, whatever the size, and you face a lot of hurdles, like competition, start up costs and getting yourself out there and known.  But, I love this and I love to hear my customers or just comments in general saying they love my jewellery, it brings such a great sense of achievement.

So, my advice would be, not to settle for something and make a life that you want.  Sometimes not easy, but with hard work and determination, you are half way there.

Have fun and take care

Maxine x


Handmade Sterling Silver Jewellery from Live & Love by Maxine featured in Muddy Stilettos Little Black Book