A Guest Post From My Mom

Sackheim Family Photo, 1979

Since my mom has always been passionate about her jobs and her hobbies, it’s fitting that she agreed to write a post for my blog’s hobbies and habits series.

When I think of my parents, I see the theater, the symphony, and their love of art from modern to tribal. (There’s a six foot-tall giraffe in my parents’ entryway and scary masks in the family room). I see their many excursions, trips you’d never find me on like observing the polar bear migration in Manitoba. I also think of the many greyhounds they’ve saved. And then there’s the activities they each pursue alone, too many to list here.

Instead of having my mom discuss her many hobbies, however, I asked her to address the issue of knowing what you want to “be when you grow up.” I know parents who want something in addition to raising their kids, or people who want a career change, but won’t make a move unless the PERFECT thing comes along. My mom is an excellent example of not waiting for the exact right moment or the ideal opportunity. Her story is about creating opportunity and making the best of the skills you already have as you feel your way to the next venture. If you’re feeling the need for a change, I hope she’ll inspire you.

What do I Want to be When I Grow up?

by Kathy Sackheim

I used to say I’d be a spy when I grew up. I even majored in Spanish and minored in Russian at Northwestern with that idea in mind. Getting married at twenty, however, and having my first child at twenty-three put a damper on the spy plan. It was clear by then I was not going to have an all-encompassing career, but because my parents had hobbies they were passionate about (my mother was an artist, and my father played the classical clarinet), I knew I had to have something in my life that did not include my husband and children.

I didn’t have a master plan. Opportunities presented themselves, and I pursued them. Having a husband, Ron, who encouraged me or at least didn’t get in the way was helpful. I grew and developed as I stumbled on each new avocation.

As a lark I took classes in handwriting analysis, which I loved. It was visual, and I gained insight into people. After successfully analyzing the script of salespeople in Ron’s company, I decided to market my handwriting analysis service as an additional pre-employment test. I didn’t know what I was doing when I started my business, but I learned on the job, a recurring theme in my life.

I gave speeches to promote my new company, did my own PR (appeared on TV and radio), made cold calls and experienced plenty of rejection. Nevertheless, I kept moving forward. At one point I got a call from a management professor inviting me to address an industrial psychologist’s conference on employment testing. I didn’t think it went well.

Apparently my perceptions were off because the same professor asked if I would co-write an article about handwriting analysis for a professional personnel journal. Shortly after it was published, we got a letter from an academic publishing house asking us to expand the article into a book. The professor didn’t have time and told me to go for it. The book was published in 1990 and even has an Amazon page.

Nina, my youngest, entered high school soon after the book came out, and by then I needed something less solitary and

In front of Winnetka Stitchery

more creative. I approached the owner of my favorite needlepoint shop and started chatting with her about retirement plans. She was tired and ready to sell, and so I bought the store.

Although I loved working with the colors and textures of the threads, I didn’t know about managing employees, working with suppliers or dealing with an occasional disgruntled customer. Once again I learned on the job. I enjoyed the friendship of my staff and many customers, but by 2005 it didn’t make sense to work six days a week. After thirteen years, I closed the store and yet still needed something else in my life.

It turned out that a close friend was also looking for another activity as well. We decided on a “little” art-to-wear business, which turned into an exciting wearable art show twice a year where we  represent about forty clothing, accessory and jewelry artists from across the U.S.  This little thing has evolved into a twelve-month project.

I am not tied to any one pursuit. Circumstances change and I have changed. Now that I am a grown-up I give myself permission to try a new venture if an activity has run its course. There is one rule, however. The hobby/business has to be stimulating and challenging enough so that I can immerse myself in an alternate universe-and completely escape from the stress of my daily life. If I don’t feel passionate about it-why bother. That is the valuable lesson I learned from my parents.

_______________________________________________________________

Aren’t you inspired? I love my mom’s attitude of just jumping into something, or at least allowing yourself to explore new paths at any point.

Is there a new hobby, job, or activity you’ve been wanting to try? A path you’ve been ignoring because it’s so different from what you’ve done in the past? Let’s discuss!

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Nina is a contributing writer at Brain, Child Magazine's website and at Kveller.com. She's also a freelance writer with articles in several anthologies as well as in The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward, and elsewhere. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines. She was thrilled to participate in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother, and she enjoys co-leading the book review site GreatNewBooks.org. Nina lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.
150 Responses to A Guest Post From My Mom
  1. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    February 29, 2012 | 8:11 am

    I love your mother’s writing voice. And her ethos. I love how she has followed her heart and turned her passions into opportunities.

    As far as things I want to do… Let’s just say I want to finish this novel and I don’t want to plan another bar mitzvah ever again. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what you DO want to do.

    Nice to meet you Mrs. Sackheim. Your daughter is the bombiest! And apples don’t fall from pear trees. Usually.

    • Kathy SAckheim
      February 29, 2012 | 8:24 am

      Thanks Renee. I hope you finish yoiur novel. Even if you don’t want to plan another Bar Mitzvah-you probably acquired skills that will help you in some other area. I agree about Nina. She is terrific!
      Kathy

  2. Anne Greenwood Brown
    February 29, 2012 | 8:14 am

    Your mom sure explored some off-the-beaten-path interests! I love the idea of not settling into one thing. I spoke at a high school career day a couple weeks ago, and that was generally my message to them: don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up because you can always change your mind.

    By the way, my aunt is a pretty well known needle point canvas artist. Maybe there’s some sort of 6 degrees of separation thing going on between your mom and me!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 9:14 am

      Anne-I still have the wholesale part of my needlepoint business, Winnetka Stitchery, and I exhibit at trade shows a couple times a year. Maybe your aunt and I have actually met.

      Kathy

    • Nina Badzin
      February 29, 2012 | 12:30 pm

      What’s her name? My mom might represent her stuff!

  3. Anne Greenwood Brown
    February 29, 2012 | 8:17 am

    Oh, and my gosh you look just like your mom! (But I bet you get that a lot)

  4. Sarah Baughman
    February 29, 2012 | 8:20 am

    What a pleasure it was to hear from your mom. Her message about only pursuing your passions is a great one. A lot of unhappy muddling around has happened for me when I do only what I think practicality dictates I “should be” doing. Your mom is a great example of how unwavering dedication can help hobbies become careers. Kudos to her for proving that what you DO doesn’t have to differ from what you LIKE to do.

  5. Tammy Mendelson
    February 29, 2012 | 8:44 am

    You said it all so well Cathy, You have always put alot into LIVING LIFE ,so of course you reap the rewards and so have your girls ! I am proud to call you a friend ! You are an inspiration and Nina proves it in her work !

  6. Shary Hover
    February 29, 2012 | 8:45 am

    I love rule that you have to throw yourself into your passion 100%. I do a lot of things a little bit, so maybe that’s what I’m missing. I’ll have to try diving in. Great advice!

  7. Carrie@ Tempo Life coaching
    February 29, 2012 | 9:16 am

    First off, you look just like your mom. I love the whole genetics thing. Loved your mom’s article! Love her philosophy of being 100% passionate about what you’re doing and exploring new ventures/options if one has run its course. Many people see this as quitting and never sticking to one thing, and it’s often hard to get them to realize that the time has just come to move onward. Your mom seems to have done that gracefully!

  8. Toni Fenchel
    February 29, 2012 | 9:39 am

    Kathy, you have been an inspiration to all of your friends. Toni

  9. Jenni Lewis Benerofe
    February 29, 2012 | 9:40 am

    Man, your mom was fearless! What a great example of seizing opportunties as they arise and being able to do anything you put your mind to.
    Go Kathy!!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 8:09 pm

      Nina told me you were Jenni, our neighbor. It’s so nice to hear from you, and I appreciate your comments. Hope all is well with you are your kids.

      Kathy

  10. Julia Munroe Martin
    February 29, 2012 | 9:43 am

    This is such a lovely and inspiring post! I love your mom’s attitude and zest for life to start and try new things. She’s passionate, curious, and courageous — traits that I respect so much in people! It’s no surprise that you, Nina, seeing what your mom is like and the role model you had — it’s no surprise you have such a passion for writing, Nina. And I love that she guest-posted for you –you two are so lucky!

  11. Melissa Crytzer Fry
    February 29, 2012 | 10:03 am

    Nina – love the family photo (and picked you out immediately; confirmed when I read that you were the youngest). Kathy – I love your take-charge attitude and find your handwriting analysis so, so interesting! You’re so right that having a supportive husband – or one who doesn’t “get in the way” of pursuits – is so critical. The wearable art show sounds FABULOUS. I can’t wait to hear what your NEXT big thing is! It sounds as if you do not like to have idle hands — my kind of mom!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Melissa-I am so glad you picked up on the idea of the importance of having a supportive husband. I know of two women who had very successful careers whose husbands made them give up their businesses. Ron, on the other hand, was my go to person for advice about how to handle business issues. The one time I absolutely paid no attention is when he walked into my needlepoint shop for the first time looked at the walls of gorgeous threads and declared ” I don’t understand why you need so many colors” Clearly he didn’t get that was the point of the needlework business. Other than that-I probably couldn’t have “done my thing” if he had imposed roadblocks.

  12. ramblingsfromtheleft
    February 29, 2012 | 10:11 am

    Nina, thank you so much for introducing your mom, and her passion for life and wherever it took her. While the laundry list of “jobs ,” two careers, two kids and now grandchildren were often a bit peculiar … from being a street vendor in Washington Heights in Manhattan for three seasons, the director of a children’s cultural program, a real estate agent and so many temp jobs, I can remember them all … the true passion of my life, writing fiction, began after retirement. The best part is that all those crazy and peculiar “jobs,” along with a loud Italian brood, became the basis for so many of my characters, the settings, and the inspiration for what has become the best, last career. Your mother knew early in life, that the secret is to let the road take you where it may, but never forget to stop along the way … it’s those pit stops that become the most memorable times of our journey :) Thanks to you Kathy. I can see where Nina gets her joy for life.

  13. Jenni Karol
    February 29, 2012 | 11:19 am

    Kathy is an inspiration to us all! I have been asking her to analyze my handwriting for the last 15 years to no avail. This woman is amazing, an created a fearless daughter!’

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 6:56 pm

      Jenni-I make it my policy never to analyze the writing of friends or relatives. In the olden days-when Karen, Lisa and Nina were in high school- I used to edit their papers-and they would get furious if they detected a certain glint in my eyes and tell me stop looking at their handwriting. So I try to limit the analysis to clients. On another subjtect, when I visit Nina, I love hearing her end of your conversations. You really make her laugh!

      Kathy

  14. annerallen
    February 29, 2012 | 11:29 am

    I’m a long-time fan of this blog, so it’s fun to meet you, Kathy, since you and I are of the same generation. We were on the cusp of the women’s revolution, so early on we were sometimes told we’d have to choose between having a family and fulfilling our career dreams. It’s wonderful that you were able to do both. (Even though you didn’t get to be a spy. :-( I wanted to be a cat burglar when I was 10. It seemed as reasonable as wanting to be a lawyer or a doctor–mostly fantasies for women when we were children.) Lovely post.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 1:47 pm

      Anne-you must be a great athlete to have wanted to be a cat burglar. Falling out of a window sounds a lot more scary than being a spy. You are right about the woman’s mpvement We struggled in our generation to find something worthwhile to do, and yet we had more choices than our mothers who pretty much had to stay home. I think it is even harder for our daughters who have so many more choices than we had.

      Kathy

  15. julie gardner
    February 29, 2012 | 12:28 pm

    Kathy,

    I loved reading this and was reminded of my own mother – not because your experiences are identical, but because of the underlying spirit.

    She was a stay-at-home mom when we were younger, and wife to a high school Spanish teacher. When my father’s income needed supplementing, however, she stepped up and took a job she did not love to help support the family.

    During those years, my parents were careful with their money, prioritizing what mattered and making sacrifices so that at 54 and 55 years old, they were able to retire. People warned them, “You’ll drive each other crazy” or “you’ll get bored” etc.

    Not true. In fact, my mom and dad have spent the past decade embracing separate activities they love (ladies putters, a men’s bowling league) and hobbies they can enjoy together (wine tasters association, Baby Boomers club).

    Although they are still young (in their mid-sixties) they have modeled to my sister and me the importance of staying mentally and physically sharp; of deciding what you can and can’t live without; of loving your family and your own life enough to make them exactly what you want them to be.

    Cheers to you and to you amazing daughter, Nina.
    She obviously loves and respects you so very much.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 1:52 pm

      Julie it sounds like your parents really have it together. I think it is so important for children not to have to take care of their parents i.e. emotionally. Obiviously catastrophic health issues. are a whole other subject. You will most likely follow in their footsteps and be an example to your children.

      Kathy

  16. Jackie Cangro
    February 29, 2012 | 2:04 pm

    Your mom is very inspiring, NIna. It seems she’s been able to find pursuits that interest her and follow that path rather than looking for way to “get rich quick” or some other scheme. As a result she’s been able to grow to keep her creative spark alive and well. What a great post!

  17. Cym
    February 29, 2012 | 2:18 pm

    I loved reading this post, thanks for sharing! I’ve know Nina for years and met you Kathy, but never knew all of this. Kathy, your dedication and conviction are undoubtedly an inspiration to Nina. As you know, Nina is certainly following in your footsteps as an independent woman and one that sees the imporatance of having her own passions and a husband that embraces them too. Love the picture too- amazing how the mohter/daughter resemblance is there too :)

  18. Michelle O'Neil
    February 29, 2012 | 2:28 pm

    Your mom is a lovely role model. I love the permission she has given herself to jump into things that are of interest to her. I love the images that come to your mind when you think of your parents. And that family photo? Just precious!

    • Nina Badzin
      March 1, 2012 | 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I’m finally making use of the scanner I INSISTED we buy a year ago after starting the blog. I think I’ll do more with it!

      Stop by my blog: http://ninabadzin.com Follow me on Twitter: @NinaBadzin

  19. sksaxgirl
    February 29, 2012 | 3:20 pm

    Inspirational.

  20. Vinny Grette
    February 29, 2012 | 3:22 pm

    Family is at the heart of all things good. I’ve turned to my mantra, “Meal times are family times,” to launch a new path for myself. Loving it!

  21. Kathryn McCullough
    February 29, 2012 | 3:28 pm

    I’m totally inspired. How great to be able to reinvent yourself! Your mom is amazing, Nina.
    Kathy

  22. Annie Neugebauer
    February 29, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    This is so cool! There are so many things to like about this post. 1) The fact that you even asked your mother to guest blog. 2) The fact that she accepted. 3) Your obvious admiration for your mom’s choices and outlook. 4) Your mom’s cool stories — and yes, they’re very inspiring. Thanks for sharing, both of you! =) My hands are full right now pursuing my first crazy career choice, but it does make me smile to think of all the other ideas floating in the back of my mind, maybe for the future.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 6:58 pm

      Annie don’t discount any of your ideas. One thing invariably leads to another. A skill learned in one area can be applied to something else down the line. Good luck!

      Kathy

  23. emmahevezi
    February 29, 2012 | 3:56 pm

    my mum says always make the most of happy accidents. if something good comes your way, take it! i think that people don’t make the most of their dreams and what they are interested in. take time out to realise what it is that you want and follow that dream :)
    lovely insights though
    x

  24. Yuthink
    February 29, 2012 | 3:58 pm

    I wanted to be an air-force pilot… at age 14 I needed glasses, so I gave it up. Reading this – maybe I should at least learn to fly… I like her rule, going to adopted it for myself.

  25. Ryan Sprout
    February 29, 2012 | 4:06 pm

    Very inspiring! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 6:38 pm

      Ryan-I called Nina in a panic. I didn’t understand what “freshly pressed” meant. She had to explain the whole blog thing to me. I am sure learning a lot today….

      Kathy

  26. Cynthia Robertson
    February 29, 2012 | 4:09 pm

    Love the family photo. Your mom is a doll! And you look so much like her. I had a feeling you were the one with the round cheeks. :)
    Excellent and inspiring essay on following one’s passion. It’s great to hear from an older gal who has been there and done that successfully. Your mom shows it’s possible to have jobs doing what we love, not just grinding away.
    Thank you Mrs. Sackheim.

  27. Barbara King
    February 29, 2012 | 5:04 pm

    Kathy, you have always been one of my heroes! What I admire most about you is that you march to the beat of your own drummer and find opportunities to let your passions shine! Nina, you have one uber-cool mom!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 8:20 pm

      Barbara you are my hero too. You are the marketing genius of the family! And I respect you for your intuitive ability in that area. I am sorry you don’t live closer so we could commiserate more about our businesses.

      Kathy

  28. Amy
    February 29, 2012 | 5:48 pm

    Love this post! I discovered this blog because it was on WP homepage as a “freshly pressed” blog! So glad I saw this. I returned to college last year at age 35. It was a bit of an impulsive decision, but one of the best decisions I’ve made! I can’t wait to read more.

  29. Linda Brodson
    February 29, 2012 | 5:50 pm

    As the other half of Kathy’s art to wear business, I am in awe of her ability to make every customer feel special. She remembers names and faces, what they have purchased and the kind of dogs they own. If there is a problem, her mantra (in life as well as in business) is “the customer is always right.” It has been a learning experience and a privilege to be Kathy’s business partner and friend. Nina, thanks for sharing your mom with me.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 7:19 pm

      Linda it takes two to make a partnership, and we have been able to tap into our individual talents. Luckily for our business you tend to a lot of the details that are beyond me. You are a great merchandiser and design the actual show. The best part has been traveling throughout the country together these past years looking for fresh talent. This business has taken us to lots of interesting places, wonderful craft shows; we have met some fabulous artists. Who knew we could have so much fun at this point in our lives.

      Kathy

  30. noTORIous
    February 29, 2012 | 5:56 pm

    Your mom is so wise; perhaps she can add “blogger” to her list of accomplishments !

    • Nina Badzin
      March 1, 2012 | 5:01 pm

      Yes, well in the year+ i’ve had the blog I’ve never been “freshly pressed.” She blogs for one day and is a sensation!

      Stop by my blog: http://ninabadzin.com Follow me on Twitter: @NinaBadzin

  31. jakesprinter
    February 29, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    Beautiful post you have here ,Great work my friend :)

  32. I'm Not Famous and Neither Are You
    February 29, 2012 | 6:27 pm

    This is very inspiring! As someone who enjoys writing and has always enjoyed delving into various creative projects, I have felt very stifled lately. I took a job with a law firm, as a legal assistant because I graduated this past May and my family was getting a little tired of having to explain my lack of a career path to others. I can’t tell you how often I have thought about kicking in the wall of my cubicle to pursue my true interests. When trying to explain this feeling to my parents, they tend to respond with, “Everyone hates their job. Get used to it.” It’s good to know that not everyone hates what they do and that there is nothing wrong with seeking out things that interest you.

  33. russelllindsey
    February 29, 2012 | 6:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde and commented:
    I know there is a post of my own in here somewhere. In the meantime, enjoy. Very inspiring and exactly what I needed to hear right now.

  34. russelllindsey
    February 29, 2012 | 6:33 pm

    I love this post! Re-blogged. I’m going to have to put together a few thoughts of my own. This is precisely what I needed to hear right now.

    Lindsey

    • Nina Badzin
      March 1, 2012 | 4:53 pm

      That’s so great to hear! I will now try to explain to my mom what “reblogging” is . . . we’ll accomplish that after I try explaining wordpress and freshly pressed. oy vey!

      Stop by my blog: http://ninabadzin.com Follow me on Twitter: @NinaBadzin

  35. Rivki
    February 29, 2012 | 6:38 pm

    I am so inspired! Your ability to see opportunities and go for them, without the benefit (or perhaps hindrance) of a master plan is extremely encouraging. I’ve definitely learned in the past four years of marriage and motherhood that I need outlets, and that I need to be flexible and selective with which outlets I actively pursue. Your policy of “If I don’t feel passionate about it-why bother” is excellent. I think I should post it on my fridge!

    Thanks, Nina, for sharing your mom with us, and thank you, Kathy, for sharing your wisdom. Yay!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 7:32 pm

      Rivki-when my kids were small I had smaller outlets-but I always had hobbies. I think it is good for children to see their parents as separate people. Then as your children grow-your interests can too.

      Kathy

  36. twotoned
    February 29, 2012 | 6:41 pm

    I’m still 21 and your blog post is really inspiring. Your mom is the perfect example of… moving forward, wherever the wind takes her. She’s very inspiring. I hope that I, too, can challenge myself and grow like her.

  37. Impower You
    February 29, 2012 | 6:49 pm

    I went to college so I could be a fashion designer, but got sidetracked into other jobs. Now I am a writer and artist. I really like it. When I was a kid I wanted to write and be an artist, so I feel like I have come full circle. Now I am thinking of going back to school for education. I have no idea what I will be when I am 60, but whatever it is I want to enjoy my work.

  38. Dev
    February 29, 2012 | 7:00 pm

    You are an adventurer. …:)

  39. dara poznar
    February 29, 2012 | 7:00 pm

    Very inspiring! Thanks.

  40. Libby
    February 29, 2012 | 7:04 pm

    Thanks so much for your post! I can only hope that one day I inspire my kids as you do yours.

  41. pnwauthor
    February 29, 2012 | 7:38 pm

    I am for lifelong learning and following inspiration. Great post.

  42. Sarah Harris
    February 29, 2012 | 8:19 pm

    I can’t even tell you how inspirational it is to see someone else who hops around and learns as she goes. These days people weren’t into my background in both and didn’t believe me when I would say “I will learn it!” despite havin previous examples of jumping into roles and doing a bang up job! I started to feel like it was a chink in my armor but am so grateful to read someone putting a positive spin on it! Thank you and your mom!!

  43. wildstar84
    February 29, 2012 | 8:36 pm

    I’m fifty & I still haven’t decided, haha

  44. Fictive Fingers
    February 29, 2012 | 9:33 pm

    Finally, I found a post that truly inspired me! I just graduated with a diploma and while all my friends and chasing to apply for a uni, I’m all relaxed at home, designing and constantly looking out for ideas. My sister and I have always dreamt of setting up a creative business together in the future and I told myself, why not now? It’s not easy for her since she still has a full time job and it isn’t easy for me either ‘cos I know very well that some of the people I know who have a separate view on this are just waiting for me to fail. Everything’s going rather slowly but I’m hopeful that Fictive Fingers will work, sooner or later. I just don’t wish to take on a convenient job and see myself, a few years down the road, asking why I didn’t pursue what I’ve always wanted to. And that’s why my favourite line has to be “If I don’t feel passionate about it – why bother.”

    Thank you so much for such an inspiring post!

    Warm regards,
    Aisah
    Fictive Fingers

  45. Jen Erickson
    February 29, 2012 | 9:38 pm

    Like mother, like daughter. Authentic awesome.

  46. handsomeloverofwords
    February 29, 2012 | 9:50 pm

    Perfect timing! I am considering ending my career which I only started because I had no real passion, I ended up being real successful at it. The success has made the decision hard and I have been waiting for that “perfect moment”. I want to go to school for Journalism and pursue a career in that field. Yes, the road might be harder than it is now. Though what fun is life when its just easy and you’re unhappy?

  47. Dienna
    February 29, 2012 | 9:52 pm

    “…I knew I had to have something in my life that did not include my husband and children.”

    It’s a breath of fresh air to hear something like this. I hear about too many women who become wives and mothers, and who completely lose their individuality in the process. Good for you for not forgetting to pursue your dreams. Sounds like you’re living a very fulfilling and rich life.

  48. drugrehabtreatmentprograms
    February 29, 2012 | 9:59 pm

    Great post and inspiring!

  49. Adrienne Aaronson
    February 29, 2012 | 10:25 pm

    It was great to read Kathy’s story. I am lucky to be her friend and to have shared most of these adventures with her. You are a lucky girl to have her as a roll model.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      February 29, 2012 | 10:52 pm

      Thanks for your comments Adrienne. We certainly have shared some great times with our art and theater interests. I think we started going to theater together around 1979- about the time of that family photo that Nina posted

      Kathy. .

  50. Salman Alvi
    February 29, 2012 | 10:39 pm

    Awesome post! Congrats on being FRESHLY PRESSED!!!

  51. hisflyness1
    February 29, 2012 | 10:58 pm

    Wow, very inspiring… thanks to you and your mom!

  52. c2c8
    March 1, 2012 | 1:41 am

    That is very inspiring indeed! Thanks to your mother! Thank you also.=)

  53. rena wijaya
    March 1, 2012 | 2:17 am

    http://www.diengtourandtravel.wordpress.com
    bring your mother to come to indonesia for vacation

  54. edrevets
    March 1, 2012 | 2:34 am

    Awesome. She did what she wanted to do, something that didn’t involve depending on a specific company to fulfill her ambitions.

  55. mrbricksworld
    March 1, 2012 | 2:48 am

    About 15 months ago I had a little dscussion with God about what I can and can’t do…his answer was swift, direct, and obvious. It wasn’t so much something I wanted to do when I grow up, but it was now something I felt I had to do. Although I had never been married, have no children, and think my ability to relate to children was a bit under-developed, I felt God speaking to me to write and illustrate a children’s book. I am now about a month from getting that book being on store shelves.

    Congrats to you and your mom on always following your dreams.

    Mr. Bricks

  56. Stormhund by house of Svanlund
    March 1, 2012 | 4:47 am

    Thats a great idea to have a guest blogger :)

  57. Taras Tronka
    March 1, 2012 | 4:48 am

    What a nice story! It gives a very confident and relaxed feeling at the same time. I have left a first-class law firm two years ago and started to pursue my dream. The first step, however, was to define what I really dreamed about :-).

    Since then, I had taken photography classes, and then worked as a marketing director at another law firm, learning on the job. That was interesting, although not so profitable.

    Last autumn I have entered, and recently finished coaching courses. Now I have several clients, and enjoy every session and every feedback about their progress in personal or professional life.

    A year ago, I have started a blog, at that time a kind of personal notebook, but now it has about a hundred of daily readers, and I am starting to think of it as something I can do as a job.

    In any case, the journey continues, and I would like to thank you and your mom for inspiration.

    P.S. One think I wanted to add was that it was good that your mom had an opportunity to attend those handwriting analysis classes and further to spend some time marketing her new hobby/business. In many countries, however, young mothers have to take whatever job available just to make sure their children have something to eat and to wear. But even there, following one’s dream may create miracles, even if it takes a bit more time to happen :)

  58. James' Stuff
    March 1, 2012 | 4:50 am

    Has anyone ever told you your Dad looks like Sasha Baron Cohen. ^^

  59. reggie mateo
    March 1, 2012 | 4:53 am

    Inspiring. I want to live a life like that. :)

  60. Casey Marriott
    March 1, 2012 | 6:09 am

    In answer to your question… yes, WRITING! What a leap it takes to dedicate a life to writing. Let’s see how it goes :) Congrats on the FP!

  61. Marti Parham
    March 1, 2012 | 6:50 am

    Nice post Nina. Nice blog too.

  62. TJ
    March 1, 2012 | 7:35 am

    Your mom is made up of awesome sauce. =)

  63. bubblepie
    March 1, 2012 | 7:49 am

    Amazing Entry, very inspiring and happy making

  64. Raheleh Bahador
    March 1, 2012 | 7:59 am

    Really inspiring! We all live with our dreams from childhood to adulthood.

  65. Hillary Manaster
    March 1, 2012 | 8:00 am

    Loved hearing from your mom and love her attitude! Keeping your eyes, ears and mind open to possibilities and taking risks to peruse interests – great advice! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed :)

  66. Dani
    March 1, 2012 | 8:08 am

    Most. Amazing. Moustache. Ever. (haven’t read the post yet. will soon.)

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 1, 2012 | 9:03 am

      Dani-Ron grew the mustache in 1973 and shaved it off about eight years ago-not really sure about the time-when I was out of town. I looked at him after coming home and asked him what was wrong with his face and whether he thought we should call the doctor. He said I could call our internist but I would probably be embarrassed when I realized the mustache was gone. He now has a head of beautiful silver hair but no mustache.

      Kathy

  67. kristobaldude
    March 1, 2012 | 8:23 am

    I enjoyed this post as it is a great illustration of setting goals, and then concentrating all your energy and focus to acchieving them. But, even more so, it is a case study of making your goals match your interests.

  68. Andrea Thomson Viner @ Iowa Dog Blog
    March 1, 2012 | 8:50 am

    This is a great post! Nina, you and your mom could be twins based on that family photo and your profile photo! Kathy, your words are indeed inspiring. I admire your confidence and willingness to just go for it and learn as you go. I really need to embrace that in my life. I’m scared of everything. I’m a writer and a budding photographer, and I want to make those things my career, but fear definitely gets in the way. Beautiful greyhounds too, by the way!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 1, 2012 | 9:12 am

      Andrea-I have made lots of mistakes along the way-and I mean lots-in dealing with customers, making sales calls, learning to speak in front of people-in every aspect of every business. I was afraid too, but the mistakes are a huge learning tool, and that is how you figure out what to do or not do and thus gain confidence. Also- attending seminars on various subjects can be helpful. And of course I love my dogs. Those dogs used to come to work with me when I had my store. They had beds in back, and they were the greeting committee.

      Kathy

  69. Zahar
    March 1, 2012 | 8:59 am

    very inspiring!

  70. seanjrankine
    March 1, 2012 | 9:04 am

    Yes. Very inspiring! A Courage filled and creative environment like that has to produce successful children. Bet you’ve borrowed some of her parenting skills too!

  71. hunarz
    March 1, 2012 | 9:34 am

    Truly Inspirational!

  72. Lotto (@lottodotcom)
    March 1, 2012 | 9:57 am

    Very inspiring. I am sending this to my nephews.

  73. parimal
    March 1, 2012 | 10:21 am

    Reblogged this on Parimal's space.

  74. tarynisthebomb
    March 1, 2012 | 10:26 am

    This is an awesome post! It gives me a whole new perspective on what I want to do. I’m 16 (almost 17) and still trying to figure all this shtuff out. But your mom sounds a lot like me. There are just soooo many things I want to do. I can’t choose one. So maybe I will just do them all and not tie myself down to one. It’s like being a player, but in the occupational category. ;)
    As always, I love reading your blog!

    Peace :)

  75. The Sandwich Lady
    March 1, 2012 | 10:28 am

    What an inspiring woman! Thanks for the pep talk.

  76. theamberlight
    March 1, 2012 | 10:46 am

    Love it! You have a great Mom and Dad! I find it very serendipity that I too just had my Mom on as a guest blogger. It was her first blog ever! :o) About the perils of burning books of any kind. It is also interesting that your parents instilled in you the ability to allow yourself to do things independent of anyone else in your main circle. My mom also taught us to follow our wild and out-of-the-box instincts to learn new and important things. It has been the lifeblood of my career/life path change over the past ten years-ish. I am moving from a corporate drone to a teacher, coach, writer and inventor. It is amazing how much influence parents have over their children’s eniter lives in such a very short period of time. Cheers to you and your family for being healthy and trusting enough to be your true selves! AmberLena

  77. mutehope
    March 1, 2012 | 11:24 am

    Wow, how inspiring! What a great Mom and Dad you have. I will have to go back and look at your older posts!

  78. theconstantscribbler
    March 1, 2012 | 11:47 am

    I used to always wonder “What am I going to do when I grow up?” We’ll, I’m an “adult” (more of a child on the inside though!) now, and through my journey so far I have realized that I don’t have to have a decision right now. How am I going to find out what I like if I don’t try different things? So instead of taking a degree that guarantees money, I am taking English with the plan to take my Masters in Creative Writing and become a novelist. And I know that along the way, I’ll be many different things before I reach that goal, but I’m completely open to every opportunity.

  79. Shweta Bhagwat
    March 1, 2012 | 11:56 am

    Kindly convey my Regards to your mother. This is so inspiring … all my life I have lived so much in a supposed “Plan”.. gosh! If only I could be like your mom even for somedays!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 1, 2012 | 12:05 pm

      Shweta just do the things you enjoy doing as hobbies. If you don’t see that your pastimes lead to careers-you haven’t lost anything. You are still doing something you like when you are not working. If you can’t find something that you want to do in your free time-you can always take a class in something that interests you. The idea is to have something in your life that allows you to escape the every day stuff.

      Kathy

      • Shweta Bhagwat
        March 1, 2012 | 10:03 pm

        Hi Kathy
        I so much agree to what you suggest.
        I love to write.. I might not be good .. but I still want to , put my thoughts on paper. For the first time recently , I wrote a structure article based on my professional learnings. It was published on Scrum Alliance , and it was thrilling. It might not garner many comments but I am happy I did a formal piece. The site has accepted my second article too , to be published on 5th March. Encouraged I want to keep doing this one step at a time. I just i stick to my guns.. I tend to let go and let the mundane challenges of being a wife, mother and working professional take over too often.
        Thank you for note and Regards

        Shweta

  80. suburban eye feast
    March 1, 2012 | 12:20 pm

    A much needed read! Thanks to your mama and you for sharing.

  81. solarnebula
    March 1, 2012 | 1:14 pm

    Great post! I wish I had the confidence she must have to take risks like that.

  82. mesiegweeks
    March 1, 2012 | 1:23 pm

    Women of strength! Love it! I need a big project. Just one thing to focus on. I will have to think about that.

    Beth

  83. gingerbreadcafe
    March 1, 2012 | 1:37 pm

    Inspiring blog, I like the taking the opportunities instead of having your whole life planned out. Sometimes just going for it works out better.

  84. sweetopiagirl
    March 1, 2012 | 2:44 pm

    Reblogged this on UNIQUE GREETING CAKES and commented:
    This is a very nice blog!

  85. mjharvell
    March 1, 2012 | 3:22 pm

    Love the line: “Circimstances change and I have changed!”

  86. PostCollegiate
    March 1, 2012 | 3:24 pm

    This is SO fantastic – your mom (and you) are an inspiration!

  87. Sheila Hurst
    March 1, 2012 | 3:49 pm

    Congratulations on getting freshly pressed! Now does the honor go to you or your mom?

  88. SHERRY E SHOWALTER
    March 1, 2012 | 5:50 pm

    lovely story. Blessings to you.

  89. Anna
    March 1, 2012 | 5:54 pm

    I admire people like your mother. People who know what they want and go after it. It takes a lot of courage and passion. This is really interesting and inspiring.

  90. Alma
    March 1, 2012 | 7:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Live, Laugh, Love.

  91. I'm taking a nap
    March 1, 2012 | 8:32 pm

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed hun. AWESOME advice and encouragement here from dear mom. You’re such a lucky kid to have auch an incredible set of parents. I know you’ll be even more than your parents ever dreames. Keep up the great writing!

  92. The Retiring Sort
    March 1, 2012 | 9:38 pm

    I love the fact that she’s never finished, and keeps pursuing the things that engage her. She’s an inspiration to me as I move into a new phase of my own life!

  93. figmentsandimagination
    March 1, 2012 | 9:48 pm

    This is a great post, inspirational! We live with the same philosophy in our home, and encourage our adolescent children to do the same. There is always a new adventure waiting to be unfolded. A door, hidden by an overgrown hedge, that needs to be discovered.

  94. Grumpa Joe
    March 1, 2012 | 10:01 pm

    Personal re-invention is a tool of life. Thanks for sharing an amazing person with me.

  95. papayatree
    March 1, 2012 | 11:31 pm

    Great philosophy that seems to tie in with marriage + children. I like that your mom almost couldn’t fail. Each new venture was an adventure, business opportunity, life lesson. What a sweet story and thanks for inviting your mom on the blog

  96. Shawn Bird
    March 2, 2012 | 12:02 am

    I want to know about her wearable art shows! I have had a year of amazing artistic shoes this year, and see myself branching out… :-) Enjoying whatever you do and being open to opportunities certainly adds fulfillment to life. When you embrace those, “Hmmm. I’ve always wanted to do that. It could be fun!” moments, very interesting things happen!

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 2, 2012 | 8:30 am

      Do you create the shoes or wear them? My friend, Linda, and I are the producers of these shows twice a year. We gather the artists, but they do not appear. They send us thier designs; we set up the show and send back what we don’t sell after the event is over. It is like a giant trunk show. If you go to the link in the blog-you can see where and when.

      Kathy

  97. Natalia Sylvester
    March 2, 2012 | 12:23 am

    Love, love, LOVE this! It must’ve been so inspiring to grow up with a role model like your mother, who constantly proved that being dedicated to something doesn’t mean you can’t try new things. I love to see people truly living their lives like this. We may only have one life but I think we should try to fit as many different lifetimes worth of experiences into it!

  98. staceykatheryn
    March 2, 2012 | 12:32 am

    Very inspiring! Both you and your mother write wonderfully well, I was enthralled the whole way through. It is such a great thing to see somebody with that kind of an attitude on life, to just jump in and do it, to really focus with such intensity on the passion she feels for life and for the things she chooses to do in her life. Heartwarming :) Thank you for writing this.

  99. My Last Pen
    March 2, 2012 | 4:23 am

    Your mom is great…
    Your relationship with your mom is very inspiring…
    Like your post….

    https://mylastpen.wordpress.com

  100. leannepenny
    March 2, 2012 | 6:59 am

    Great advice, fantastic perspective and a pretty cool mom!

  101. cristineit208
    March 2, 2012 | 7:52 am

    it is really a nice relationship between your mother
    An optimistics thought about life,You are so lucky!

  102. truthliesintheeyes
    March 2, 2012 | 9:33 am

    Yes- I am actually very inspired.
    I am a college student getting my associates after next semester.
    I have been feeling the pressures of trying to “decide a major.”
    I am a very diverse person, I love everything, will try anything, and have a lot to offer.
    It is hard to ask me to choose one aspect of myself and go with it…
    Do to my personality I can do anything I want, but that is part of my down fall.
    I have no clue what I want to do or study to get where I want to sort of head towards.

    I am a very spiritual person and I want that to be in my life in a big way, but their aren’t colleges that study that type of stuff.
    I am applying to a college up in Vermont which has a really great environment.
    I have a good feeling it will bring forth some amazing experiences and I hope they help me will trying to find my path.
    I want to do something fulfilling in purpose, not money; I could care less about how much it really pays.
    In a society where money is everything, and we need it to support ourselves.
    I don’t really have any money… and college costs money.
    Loans are extremely intimidating, when you look at how much you’ll be owing I feel like I am selling my soul.
    I know that you may not ‘know me’, but I thought I could share my concerns with someone who has been out there and maybe get some feed back.
    -Jasmine.

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 2, 2012 | 11:07 am

      Jasmine-Times are so different now than when I was your age, but here are my thoughts: You need to finish college-even if it means taking a loan. You should probably pick a career choice that makes your spirit soar and at the same time provides an income so you can pay pack the loan. Having said that, no one can work all of the time. Once you start working-you need to pursue other interests in your down time. One of those activities may lead to a different career path somewhere down the line. The point is-you don’t have to do just one thing for the rest of your life. And the skills that you learn in one position can be applied to the next thing you do.

      Kathy

      • truthliesintheeyes
        April 13, 2012 | 9:12 am

        I have spent the past couple months telling myself I can’t let the fear of the unknown stop me. I need to take a leap of faith that I will find where I belong.

        Thank You. I really appreciate the time you took to reply to my comment.

  103. dnicolebranch
    March 2, 2012 | 9:46 am

    Awesome Post and great mom! I love how she just went for things and didn’t second guess herself! Thanks so much for sharing!

  104. Bountiful Giving
    March 2, 2012 | 10:46 am

    Creating opportunity is the name of the game! Be open and willing to try, leap and the net will appear. Thanks for sharing this very optimistic attitude within your family, it is very inspiring!

  105. sexlivesofmoms
    March 2, 2012 | 10:46 am

    What a fabulous example of a mom you have. As a stay-at-home mom that is a continuous struggle to find ways to find depth and meaning in my life other than my beautiful yet exhausting kiddos, she is inspiring. So many of us struggle to find the one thing we will do, but I love your mom’s example of reinventing oneself many times throughout your life as long as you are passionate about what you are doing.

  106. Being Jewish in Hawaii
    March 2, 2012 | 10:56 am

    “I didn’t have a master plan. Opportunities presented themselves, and I pursued them.”
    Beautiful. That and the recurring theme of learning on the job. Too much is planned out these days. Perhaps that could be a mission statement! Aloha.

  107. Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday'
    March 2, 2012 | 12:06 pm

    Seriously, coming back again, because I love your mom’s post. This line is so perfect. “Circumstances change and I have changed.” She made her own opportunity that I love that it’s so inspiring. So love that she/you were Freshly Pressed. Congrats to you both on this wonderful post.

  108. megk8199
    March 2, 2012 | 12:44 pm

    Wow, seriously inspiring. I also have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, but after your mom’s guest post, I’m more ok with that than ever! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and congrats to your mom for following life where it took her! :)

    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/MadebyMegShop

  109. Katrina
    March 2, 2012 | 2:09 pm

    Reblogged this on i won't worry my life away.

  110. indy147
    March 2, 2012 | 6:21 pm

    What a post, what a story, very inspiring. Thank you for sharing

  111. patchooh
    March 3, 2012 | 1:21 am

    Great post! I suppose this is the way life works out most of the time anyway. How many of us actually grow up in the careers, in the lives we had planned for ourselves at the beginning? Now I’m wondering if it’s only just some form of deluded arrogance how we make plans and decide to adamantly stick to them even when it’s virtually impossible to. Believing in some form of control and certainty in a world that’s far from that, maybe?

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 3, 2012 | 8:20 am

      I agree completely. I think you picked up on the salient point of the post. There is an old Yiddish saying that goes something like- “Man plans and God laughs” That pretty much says it all.

      Kathy

  112. Milanista
    March 3, 2012 | 4:25 am

    Nice blog dear))) Thanks

  113. dogear6
    March 3, 2012 | 9:16 am

    Your Mom wrote an excellent post, especially her comment about not being tied to one particular thing. I will have to say though, I about fell off my chair when she mentioned to her store. I’d shopped there many times! I’m not at all surprised that she is successful so very often after having experienced her passions for myself.

    She forgot to mention that besides her passion, there was generosity of time and ideas. One time I couldn’t find what I needed. Whoever waited on me that day offered to call around and see if another shop had it. She called a competitor, found it, and had them hold it for me. It was a culture at that store, a mindset of making sure the customer could get what they needed to do their needlework.

    Nancy

    • Kathy Sackheim
      March 3, 2012 | 11:50 am

      Nancy,

      I am delighted we helped you find what you needed. My most memorable request was when a customer asked the correct color of a penguin’s eyes for a Christmas ornament. I called the director of the seabird house at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I was asked,”what species of penguin?” The only thing I could manage to say was, “your basic Walt Disney variety”. Who knew there was more than one kind of penguin. Anyway, I was told copper. The customer was ecstatic to get the information; we both had a good laugh, We liked to think we were a full service organization trying our very best to make our customers happy.

  114. gheula canarutto
    March 3, 2012 | 6:42 pm

    Dear Nina, is there a new path you’ve been ignoring because it’s so different from what you’ve done in the past? the answer is yes! I graduated in Economics after delivering my fourth child. I taught in university until my sixth one was born. Now that my seventh is two years old I left univeristy and spend my life blogging on my new experience as a 39 years old mother in law (my first daughter just got married), writing books, hoping that one day they will be published and praying that my writings will give a positive contribution to the world of tomorrow…www.39motherofthebride.com.

  115. Petra Kidd
    March 4, 2012 | 1:00 am

    What a wise lady your mum is! Life is an adventure with so many fascinating subjects to explore, it is important to find your passion and pursue it! Your grandparents sound great too. Shows how we need to pass on the wisdom for future generations.

  116. Dreamz Infra
    March 5, 2012 | 4:12 am

    Nice blog dear like it very much…..

  117. Anne Ivey
    March 5, 2012 | 12:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing your mom with us! I love the flow of her life – a lesson for all of us.
    Thanks.

  118. Jolina Petersheim
    March 6, 2012 | 8:24 pm

    Your mom sounds like quite the gal, Nina. I commend her ability to shift her talents according to her surroundings. That is a skill we ALL need!

  119. artbysummer
    March 9, 2012 | 10:14 am

    OMG I think I want your mother’s life! I have a million ideas floating around in my head all the time. I want to sculpt, write, sew, act, and sometimes I think about running a home health care business. I know. It’s a very mixed list of dreams. But there are times when I feel like I could have it all! After reading this blog, I’m having that feeling again :)

    • Nina Badzin
      March 9, 2012 | 10:24 am

      I think my mom would say, start with one and see where it takes you!

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