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Life is Short…Buy the Beach House (Part 2): Live with No Regrets

You might be wondering…why cover beach house decor again? It happens to be a personal favorite, and I know from your feedback, that it is a favorite of many of you, too. But there is another reason to bring up this topic again…its more than just looking at pretty images of this style. There’s a lesson we can learn from this little saying, “Life is short, buy the beach house.” I don’t mean go into debt to buy stuff that you want because life is short. The lesson here is to go after the things you want in life—take steps toward your dreams—because life is short. Live with no regrets.
Toward the end of my father’s life, he began to spill the beans about all the things he wished he had done. One being he wished he had gone to law school. I told him that he could still do it, but he brushed it off as an impossibility. There’s a real sadness when someone believes a door has closed, never to be reopened.
That conversation made a huge impression on me in my early 30s. I was neck deep in the career that I had worked really hard to obtain. I was pursuing my goals and I was lucky…I had talent. I loved what I was doing and the job was full of challenges for me—something I desperately need. But, people change over time, and what I had really enjoyed doing came to end at some point a few years ago.  Even though I’m still good at it, it doesn’t bring me the joy that it once did.
It took a while to admit it aloud to my family, but I finally told them I wanted to go into interior design. It takes courage to say what you want, especially when it is so far removed from what you have done in the past. And believe me, I was scared. How can I, someone with a background in education, start a new career in design? I had no formal training, and I couldn’t afford to quit my job and go back to school to get that training either. I felt like my father had felt—despairing to some degree, frustrated for sure.
The good news is that I’ve spent the past 3 1/2 years taking classes of various kinds; just a class here and another class there.  It was one step at a time. Many of you know that I do custom upholstery and have a shop on ETSY. I do many custom orders and help people with the decor in their spaces, most of them far far from Austin (thanks to technology!).
I’ve learned how to draw, sketch, and render as well as how to interpret house plans. I’ve learned so much about decorating and there’s still more to learn. It’s been a long road, and it’s not always been easy. But nothing really worth having in life is easy, is it? I’m telling you with absolute certainty that you’ll have to work hard. But, there’s joy and a real satisfaction in that work, too.
I had to make a hard decision…and I decided to buy that beach house! I’m not living with regrets. I don’t want to reach my 70s and wish I had pursued my dreams.
Perhaps this type of situation describes you or someone you know. Let these words be ones of encouragement. I’ll be your cheerleader. You can do this. Buy the beach house today! It’s taking small steps toward what you want. Don’t let the discouragement of those small steps get to you…you are not alone. I look back now over the past several years and see how far I’ve come to living my dreams. You can do this, too—buy that beach house. Live with no regrets.

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!


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