Im taking a little detour from my usual Sunday Styling Sessions to share something more personal with you.
On Friday, NBN Television came to the store to interview about a balloon giveaway I was doing. It's called the Isolation Insanity Balloon Giveaway. The idea is you share a story about some crazy thing that has happened in your house with the kids during Iso. Has the gold fish put on an incredible amount of weight because its being fed 12 times a day, have your Zoom Meetings being terrorised by a Woody & Buz invasion? Has dad been nearly caught nakie on a zoom hookup with your little school friends?? (This was actually a story!!) And I will randomly gift the children in your home a balloon to keep.
Here is a link to that story:
Isn't it funny how you just have an attachment to something in your life? I don't know why? I have a photo of myself as a little one, maybe 18 months old running in the backyard, one shoe off one shoe on holding a balloon with the biggest smile on my face. That particular day must have meant so much to me. I don't recall the day, but the feeling from that day has stayed with me my entire life.
Balloons = Smiles = Happy
When my granddaughter come along the first thing I did was share balloons with her. My daughter (Who says she hates balloons) didn't want me to, but I did anyway. I gave her a made up balloon dog in one hand and a helium balloon in the other, and this kept her occupied for hours. She had so much fun and the balloon went with her everywhere.
So with all this isolation going on, I thought what better way to give parents a moments piece than to give their children a balloon, so that's where the idea stemmed from. I couldn't tell you the number of balloons we have delivered over the last couple of weeks. Hundreds maybe. Some parents share a photo, some don't and want to stay private, that's ok I respect that. This giveaway isn't about exposure, it's about smiles. And my smile would be the biggest.
You don't know the joy of bringing a smile to someone's face until you do it. Most of my staff are blown away when they do a delivery for the first time and feel the absolute joy & gratitude of being the conduit between the person gifting and the person receiving the gift. It's a very special feeling and often it brings tears of absolute joy to whichever person is delivering it. It's a truly unique experience.
On a personal note:
Balloons represent freedom to me. I quiet often think about the graffiti artist, Banksy and his "Girl with a Balloon" piece. That's me.
Before I bought the balloon business I was mentally trapped in a heavy depression and anxiety. There were alot of events over a number of years that I had not dealt with and it all culminated in a single event in my workplace that sent me over the edge. I quit the job and holed myself up in my house and I couldn't leave it. If I had to leave the house it would result in a massive panic attack and I would literally find myself on the footpath in bawling my eyes out and not seeing a way out. If I saw anyone from my old workplace (Quiet a few of them were very nasty in the street, or make crude gestures to me if I was driving past) and this would trigger a complete meltdown. The doctors had recommended that I attend a psychologist. These were Workers Compensation psychologists and I have to say these people caused more harm than healing. Infact the whole process was so mentally destructive and had the exact opposite effect of mental healing I stopped attending. I had a conversation with my local doctor advising that this whole process was doing me more harm than good. The longer it went on the worse I was becoming. I couldn't talk to anymore, I couldn't have a conversation with my husband without crying, I was paranoid beyond comprehension because of what was being said about me by my old work colleagues. Some of the stories coming out after everything I gave them horrify me still to this day. People can be very cruel, very nasty and when you are a caring, soft, giving person like myself it can trigger the most destructive thoughts.
I was sitting at my kitchen counter one day reading the paper and noticed that a hobby balloon business was for sale. I said to Stu, I should buy this. It will give me something to do and people will always be happy to see me. I talked to my Mum about it and she graciously gave me, as she put it "An early inheritance" to buy the business. That was in 2004. I remember going to my doctor and telling him that I have decided to buy this balloon business as diversional therapy and a way to heal my broken brain and broken heart. If I continued on the medical path, I was sure it was going to result in the exact opposite of healing. I had two small children to raise and a husband to care for, and at that stage neither of them were getting a mother or wife they deserved. The doctor stated that I could kiss the Workers Compensation away if I did that. My response was no amount of money can fix a broken brain. Only I can fix my mental health, they can have their money.
So that was that. I bought my balloon business and began the healing process. I remember the first order that came through. I was lying in bed, not being able to get out of it and the phone rang wanting a delivery. My first emotion was panic! How am I going to do this! I told myself just one step at a time. I still remember preparing the balloons, putting them into the car and driving to deliver them. I remember getting out of the car, walking down the footpath and knocking on the door and my heart was in my mouth. I had to push every single step I took, trying not to cry or melt into a blubbering heap. Thinking about it now I have tears in my eyes, it was so hard! But I did it, I knocked on the door and the most beautiful person opened the door and gave me the brightest smile! It was just so worth all that work to get out of bed, prepare and deliver these balloons for that beautiful smile. I'm friends now with this person and I have told her she was the first balloon delivery I ever did.
So you can see why balloons are so important to me, why I am still so passionate about them. Balloons to me mean freedom to face the day with a healthy brain, freedom to pursue a career I enjoy and not have to work for people that are so ungrateful and careless with your heart and mental health. Financial freedom, to be able to buy new shoes if I need them! (That's my idea of being wealthy!) Freedom to live my life and be happy.
Balloons = Smiles = Happy.
This might give you a bit of an insight now into why I have done what I've done with my balloon giveaway. No one knows what goes on behind the doors of other people's houses. If by giving someone's child a balloon which gives them a moment of happiness than that's all I want.
If you haven't shared a story yet, please do. I am making my way through the stores and I will get to your place over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for reading