October has been a significant month for me, ever since I took over this quirky little florist shop in October 2012.
At the time I had just started my second year of European Studies in college as a mature student. It had never occurred to me to start my own business as I had always wanted to study and travel. But then one phone call, one decision, changed the entire course of my future…
Naively, I thought I could run the business and continue my studies, but very quickly I realised I would have to choose. So I left college in order to focus all my energy on the business.
The last seven years at Green Door Florist have had ups and downs, fun and disappointments. But I continue to learn every day, and even though it can be challenging, it is incredibly rewarding too.
Through Green Door Florist I have met so many amazing people, including my partner, my rock, Stephen, who was there with me when I got the news on the 10th of October last year, another significant October. The colours and smells of autumn will always remind me of the day of my diagnosis…
Like everyone diagnosed with cancer, I was scared. Terrified. I didn’t know what stage cancer I had and what was in store for me in the future. But I never wondered, “why me?”. Instead, I worried about the shop, how I would manage, would I be able to work, would I lose everything I had invested in this business for the previous five years? This shop was not just my livelihood, but my baby, my passion!
I didn’t want to leave the shop, I just wanted to continue coming to work every day as normal. But after the first round of chemo, which caught me completely off guard, I realised that I would have to take a break.
But it’s funny how things sometimes work out, my friend Kasia was looking for an opportunity to leave her boring job and find something more enjoyable, so she had taken on a few hours in the shop until she found something new. Now, with me recuperating, and in need of someone to take the reins, Kasia stepped in and made my baby her own. She knew exactly where I was coming from and I was able to relax, knowing that the shop was in good hands. Thanks to her, and my other, endlessly supportive staff, the shop has survived and is still thriving, for which I can never thank them enough.
The first few weeks were the worst…until I realised I had to surrender to the process. I learned how to take baby steps and only focus on what was right in front of me. I learned how to prioritise only what was important and stop wasting energy on unnecessary things...getting well was my primary aim, so that I could get through this difficult phase and again begin to enjoy the short time we spend in this world. Through all these trials, I gained a new appreciation for life and learned to remember what’s really important.
Friends, customers, even strangers, were so supportive. I will never forget the hearty homemade soups, gentle hugs, inspiring books and endless numbers of cards containing heartfelt wishes. These simple things were exactly what I needed, even though they made me cry; my heart was full of fear, but full of gratitude for such amazing support.
Through this whole ordeal I had a mantra:
“If my mind is calm, my body will survive.”
ARC Cancer Support was instrumental in helping me to keep my mind calm and my emotions balanced through this time. So I decided, this month, fateful October, I will give back. From now on, October will always be a time for practising gratitude.
This month, Green Door Florist will be donating 10% of all profit to ARC. ARC centres provide a safe haven for cancer patients, their loved ones and carers. They offer complementary therapies, counselling, support and understanding for anyone affected by cancer. http://arccancersupport.ie/
Please note that during October, we are accepting additional donations for ARC. Just let us know how much extra to add to the cost of your flowers, and this amount will go directly to ARC.
Coming up in December…
You may be wondering how to make the most of your house for the festive season, well, check out our Christmas workshop. We show you how to dress up your house for Christmas, and how to make rustic creations using greenery from your garden, including wreaths and table arrangements. We’ll be having a few seasonal treats too; mulled wine, mince pies and cupcakes for all! Take a look at our blog post from last year to see some photos of our day. https://www.greendoorflorist.com/blogs/news/our-christmas-workshop
Last year the Christmas workshop was incredibly popular, please book early to avoid disappointment.
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