Wow, I can't even believe I have a blog post with that title. Humbled. And ya know what? Clint isn't even the kinda guy that sees himself as anything to fan over. He is as down to earth a guy as they come.
Getting the invitation, along with three other bloggers, to meet and chat with him at the Old House New House Home Show meant more than I think Clint could ever know. On a day when I was feeling inadequate to even think of myself in the realm of being a "blogger" - this message came into my inbox. What timing.
Of course, I know Clint from HGTV's Fixer Upper and his show, Wood Work - but also from following him, his wife, and Harp Design Co. on social media. It was there that I really appreciated the love and intention that they had for everything they do - family, business, you name it - they are kind and thoughtful people.
After squealing like a little girl, I decided it would be a good idea to read Clint's book: Handcrafted before meeting him... since he was at this event in Chicago on his book tour after all. It was on my list to read... but in my 10 months of being a mom, the only book I have picked up to read is Baby411 (searching for the answer to... if this diaper rash looks normal), Baby Wise (in desperation to get my child to sleep), and the Bible (to get me through it all)... so let's just say other books were off the table.
I added the date to my calendar and time flew by... and next thing you know... the event was two days away. So, like any procrastinator would do... I binge listened to the audio book the whole day before and all the way up until pulling in the parking lot. It was almost serendipitous the words Clint's voice was saying as life swirled around Brad and I yesterday.
To make a long story short... so much of Clint's story and message is about not settling for a life that isn't true to who you were created to be. His journey from job to job and place to place ultimately lead him to a place where he new that he was operating as a shell of himself and it was time to pursue his passions as a career. So here I am... crash course listening to his entire life story, dream inspiring book, on a day when things go hay wire at my husband's job. A day where we both stop in our tracks and realize that we (especially him) are operating as shells of ourselves. We are on the cusp of making our side hustles real bread and butter... it's scary, and it feels silly to chase sometimes with the stress of everything else life brings... but Clint's story in our ears all day gave us hope and courage that with grit and determination we can pursue our passions too.
When sitting down with Clint, we talked about the furniture, the show, the journey, the ups, the downs, and how he balances it all. When listening to his book there was a point when he shared how he would procrastinate (like me, ha!), but that last minute drive is what fueled his fire when having to create pieces.
I love how he describes his story. “I didn’t share my story because it was a great grand story to tell, I tell it because we all have a common ground somehwere that we can relate to in our journeys, to realize that we aren’t that different in the end, and we are not alone.” - Amen to that my brother. And I did connect to so much of his story - not in the details, but in the dreams. His dream to provide for his family while doing something he is passionate about.
In his book, he walks you through all of the jobs he held, the times that providing was just the main goal, how the tides shifted and he hit rock bottom, dusting himself off and pushing forward... and talking with him today he put it all into a perspective that resonated so well with me. After all he has been through, how far he has come, and how his business continues to grow - he said that while yes, he loves the business him and Kelly have created but he will never let his success get to a point where he can’t coach his kids football team, or be able to attend their daddy daughter dance or spend too much time away from his family. ”Then, what’s it all about anyway?” - passions and pursuits are one thing - but family is everything. Just when I thought I couldn’t agree with the man more.
He said if he could re-title his book from ”Handcrafted“ it would be “It’s not about the furniture.”
It‘s the feeling of being connected to something, of creating something he felt compelled to create, of leaving heirlooms to his family, of moving forward even when feeling unequipped and learning as you go & doing it all so he could be the whole hearted man his family needed him to be.