Several years ago at convention we heard a new song from Stampin' Up!, Be The Difference. The theme for our learning that year was the opportunity to Be The Difference in the world around us, and I couldn't let it go. In psychology Maslow had a hierarchy of needs which he outlined in his paper, "A Theory of Motivation". When I combined these into finding a purpose for my life after retirement, I wanted an outlet for my innate gift of encouragement. I have found that through making and sending cards of love and recognition, packaging up Ghirardelli chocolates and gift cards, and creating pretty packaging and elaborate tags for gifts..
This year, 2016, has been a year of healing both emotionally and physically. I can't help but remember where I was at this time last year, or even two years ago, and not see the hand of God working things for good. As my health improved and I started getting together to stamp with friends, I made downsizing history when I pared my stamp collection down to my favorite 17 stamp sets … and it felt FABULOUSLY freeing. Instead of focusing on being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, I started focusing on the people in my stamping events and what their needs were.
What did they need to learn?
What did they want to do with what you already owned?
What were they creating more of?
What was getting in their way?
And the real eye opener … WHY are they making what they are making with their materials and tools?
I've gone from being an event planner with stamp camps and themed events, to being a teacher advancing skills as well as showing how to use what they already own. I learned that each of them were making cards and covered chocolates and party favors and pretty packaging because they were Being a Difference in someone else's life.
I've always known that people who made cards were special, kind, gentle people. We don't make cards to keep in a box, although sometimes they are just so pretty we want to keep them, right? I make lots of one design so I can keep one, but I mail all the rest. Making lots of a beautiful design has become my trademark with the 4 Cards in 30 Minutes: Card Corsage classes, and I will continue to teach that class every other month. It's a three-class series and at the end of the class you will have completed 12 cards.
Then I discovered that people wanted to be able to continue making cards at home, but didn't know how I was able to prep the materials so quickly. I created Getting Started With Card Making and will be teaching that class every month on the first Thursday of each month. You can come every month if you want to! In that class I will walk you through the steps of making four cards and envelopes ready for mailing, and there's a different card every month.
As we end the year and may be creating a few New Year's Resolutions, you may be wondering what you'd like to do in 2017 to Be The Difference. If sending cards, going back to happy mail in the snail mail, appeals to you I would love you join me! Several of us have joined this service-related club and send cards we've made at the kitchen table. I have a special address book of all the members in the club, and I send one of my special cards to them every month to be the difference to them, too!