Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Countdown to 40

It's Dec 1. That means I have 17 more days until I say goodbye to my 30s forever. What will that mean? Probably not much, I think. After all, I've been in the year of my 40th birthday for over 300 days already so I'm already used to thinking 40 even if I'm not saying it yet.

Will 40 bring an epiphany? I doubt it. All of my major shifts in life have happened in somewhat off years. I clearly remember finally feeling like an adult when I turned 24, over a year after I had moved away from home and was totally on my own in a state where I knew no one. The year I was 34 was the year I made the emotional and mental shift from balancing my desires with the traditional way of living life - 9-to-5 job and all that boring stuff - to making what I want and need my priority and excluding from my life anything and anyone that didn't bring something I wanted in my life, including traditional jobs. And now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I was 14 when I first decided on a career path, which I ultimately diverted from though it's still part of what I do in my business. Hmm. Hadn't made that connection until just now. Interesting. But by that logic, I won't hit whatever 40s bring you until I turn 44, I suppose.

I'm in no rush to be mid-40s, but I am curious about what that shift might be. I already say what I think. (Never have been good at hiding my feelings.) So that can't be it. I suppose there is always room for improvement in how I feel about my physical self, but that's already in hand too so hopefully I'll just be in a better place by then. Only God knows what's coming, but I'm open to it (if it's good or at least stuff I can handle). My 20s flew by. My 30s have been wonderfully slow and productive. I think my 40s have some good things in store that I don't expect. Bring it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Has It Been 3 Months Since My Last Post?

Well, ok. I just counted. It has been FOUR months and 7 days. Holy cannoli! But why? Why have I abandoned my blog baby?! Why?

  • because my real baby turned 7 in October and had her first sleepover and I took them bowling too, but it was just 2 friends (thankfully), although 3 little girls in one little car can feel like a gaggle of giggly geese.
  • because my baby nephew turned 2 this past Sunday.
  • because my baby business is really more like a teen-ager and it is having some serious growing pains.
  • because my big girl job is a monster right now and I have NEVER EVER EVAH been as busy as I am right now there. As I always say, it's a good thing I love it!
  • because I went to the rheumatologist on Sept 20 and finally decided to look at the number on the scale (why weight us, doc?) and finally hated it enough to get back on the health wagon.
  • because I started paying attention to the things that always work for me to lose weight - no programs, no major effort, just drinking all my water, hitting my treadmill, cutting the soda by way more than 70%, increasing the fruits and veggies - all stuff that makes weight loss really slow but a slow pound down is better than another size up.
  • because after I got back on the health wagon, I started feeling odd, like I was hungry but I knew I wasn't and when I told my doctor I suspected an ulcer, she said, "Let's test for that and gallstones." and found out I had gallstones.
  • because the doc told me to see a surgeon who has said that he doesn't think what I am feeling is gallstones, especially since the Nexium prescription is helping (and even now I am no longer needing it daily. Maybe every other day?) and so while I should take out the whole gallbladder, unless and until it attacks me (whaa?) I can do it whenever I'm ready - and oh by the way, the thinner the better and oh by the way, how do I not know now that the gallstones weren't there for a really long time already and there is no need to be laproscopically doing anything to me and mine?
  • because another friend is expecting a baby early January and I think it will be late December and I hope he's on my birthday, so I am designing invites for her shower and I hope my artist is done soon.
  • because I'll be 40 in exactly a month (yesterday) and I'm wondering if I'll have any epiphanies. Don't feel any coming but I suuuuuure am speaking my mind more and more and more - and it's not all PMS, either. There is someone I want to tell about herself right now and it's taking every fiber of my being not to do it, but to let the current, correct course happen instead. But if she even cracks the door, I'm taking it off its hinges.
  • because my brother is getting married next July.
  • because I don't have my VA for my business anymore because it's just too much - for now - but we do have plans for a VA who will do a specific project and when the business is fully taking care of itself (almost there!), we can go crawling back to that phenom of a VA who is just too smart to walk away from and in the meanwhile I REALLY need to get my business social networking back on track.
  • because I have a whole new business blog the phenom VA started for me that I have yet to learn how to operate over on Wordpress but it will be so awesome when I get it going.
  • because we had one co-worker leave us to be closer to her mom in D.C. and we had to hire another one assistant and get her going.
  • because I'm watching my kids every Saturday morning learning how to swim and neither of them are willing to jump in so they both feel bad and cry about it, but all Mr. T and I can do is tell them they have the power. When they are ready, they'll jump. (I hope they jump. I don't want them to hate the water like I do.)
  • because my son is in his last year of Cub Scouts - mondo work! - and he WILL cross over to Boy Scout, but will he stay? Who know.
  • because my daughter is now a happy little Brownie doing happy little Brownie things and I tried to avoid that, but darn it! Here I go all over again! Her meetings are after school, so THAT Mr. T has to help with.
  • because I decided to start my allergy shots up again after my skin was more of a pain than usual this summer and this time I'll have visual evidence of whether or not the shots help and if next summer is more of the same, I stop again.
  • because my full-time job has become my full-time AND part-time job. Oh wait. I kinda said that already.
because I was lazy. But maybe I'm back on track.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speak Up!

Every now and again I have to come back to remind people that death and life ARE in the power of the tongue. Just about every day I get proof of that, not just in my life, but in the lives of people I know and frankly not all of them are of my belief system so that should tell you something too.

I can only imagine that people find it to be an over-the-top declaration that simply speaking things can make it so. I'm sure there are plenty of people who believe that things are going to work a certain way anyway and that we really have no impact, no matter how much we'd like to believe we do. I don't know what to tell you. It's pretty simple to prove me right or wrong - just start talking. That's it. Now, mind you, talking does NOT mean don't work at it. It does not mean to say it with your mouth but in your mind believe the opposite. Even God has said that faith without works is dead, so there is something to say for believing AND doing like you believe, yet at the same time not being irresponsible in your actions. If you have more people in that boat of yours than you, then you really can't ignore that fact. But this is indeed an act of faith I'm talking about here. There are some things that can work against you - usually you and surrounding yourself with negative people like you. Don't like your own attitude? Consider the company you keep and see if maybe you can make a change there. It goes a long way to have people who can pull you out when you're down in the dumps or just have too little faith to carry yourself that day.

Just last week Bizzy Girl and I were talking about a puzzle client - 2 actually - and thinking we really need a few more of a certain number of orders to help get everyone a better price overall. "All we really need is one more," we said. Why do we do that? Now that, I admit, is what I am still striving to remember for myself. Be careful what you ask for because what did we get this weekend? One of the kinds of orders we were looking for and at the moment I have no clue where this person came from, but it's an ideal client, that's for sure. We really should have said something more like, "It would be great to have X more jobs this month or make $X amount this month," given our goal for this year. That's not to say we won't get more. We're doing some things to try to make that happen, but we said one more, so we got the one more.

Think bigger people! (That goes for us too.)

Mr. T and I went to see Twilight: Eclipse this weekend. (Believe it or not, it was his idea.) It was as action packed as we thought it might be, but what was so heart-warming was not the eye-rollingly romantic vampire movie. (Come on. Wouldn't YOU choose the warm, living wolf over the cold, dead vampire? OK, yeah the wolf does look 15 and you'd think you were robbing the cradle even at 17, and yeah, the vampire is cuter and more mature since he's been alive forever...whoops! Tangent.) What was heart-warming was the trailer we saw right before we saw the movie. The trailer announcing the movie coming soon that was made by Kerri's script-writing husband, Chris. The screen was dark, I heard breathing and a phone conversation and a familiar voice, and as it became more apparent that the voice was Ryan Reynolds', it dawned on me what I was seeing (well, NOT seeing) and I was thrilled the world was finally going to see what we knew was coming. It felt like an inside joke as I clapped and I'm sure had people around me wondering why I was clapping for a preview.

Every time I see word about that movie, Buried, I think back to how much Kerri was ready for all this stuff to happen and not 100% convinced it was going to happen fast enough to keep her sane, but we kept talking about what it would be like when it did. I'm sure Chris had more than enough faith to see even more than that. So when it hit, it hit like a tornado that swoops in to bring life, not take it away, and so far I think she has received or is in the process of receiving everything she had ever hoped for (not sure if she prayed about it before, but I can promise you I prayed about it for her, especially since it was clear a change was coming her way.)

I even think of my pregnant little co-worker (she's small so even before she was 3 months, you could tell she was pregnant). I told her I wanted to say early on that I thought she was having a boy and she laughed because that was exactly what she wanted, but her husband wanted a girl and her mother was saying girl. And on our job, the thing that works against you is the baby history. I've been here 5 years and the last person to have a boy was 5 years ago, and she was on her way to a new job in a new state at that. Every woman who has been here or every man who has had a pregnant wife has had a girl. So we thought about the tradition that no one was purposely trying to start and we knew what she really had to fight was that. Sure, it's all light-hearted but really, I'm talking about more than a few babies in that 5-year span and all girls? But my little co-worker and I and one more co-worker kept saying boy. So far, the docs are 95% certain that's what she's having. Eh. It's a small example compared to the bigger ones I mentioned, but that boy is going to turn around a 5-year tradition. No small feat!

Bottom line - say what you want. Believe what you say. Wait for what you believe. You may be surprised at how things change.

Friday, July 09, 2010

A Test and A Gripe

What I am looking at at work today and why I am getting nowhere. (This is also me testing my photo blogging again since that may be my best bet right now.)

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Summer Slacking - Sorta

Now what am I doing? Not blogging, that's for sure!

My business has got me hopping and before you know it, I am going to have to come up with a blog post plan for that blog AND this one. My VA is hard at work setting up our new Wordpress blog, because the business just needs that sort of convenience.

There was the virtual day I spent online and on the phone with a small group of other businessowners along with our fearless coach as we planned out a 6-month strategy to build business.

There is the time involved in doing the work that came from that virtual day.

There is the early mornings and late evenings at work trying to get as caught up and ahead in as much as possible, as well as guiding our interns as they help us prepare for a major site change at work. (Isn't it funny how my work life and business life kind of mirror each other sometimes?)

There are the wonderful puzzle clients who have been giving us wonderful puzzles challenges - no really. That's a good thing! We're blessed to be keeping up our at-least-1-job-every-month streak.

And of course there's me hanging with my husband whenever he is not working, because he doesn't want to take any days off so we can take a slow trip to get our kids from the grands when the time comes and come back again.

And last night he tells me he's in the mood to go to Vegas. OK. Let's go! (I'll let you know if we really do.)

Really. It's makes it hard to blog. Maybe I should get in the habit of taking pictures to send to my blog. I think I can do that. Let's find out - next picture taking opportunity. And when I get the stamina, I MUST vetch about The Law of Attraction. (eye rolling commences here)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Changing of the Guard

Out with the old.

In with the new.

Parting was bittersweet. This Nissan Versa is a 2008 and thankfully I did not have to settle for a silver or white one. Dealing with having a car payment now, but at least I have mechanical peace of mind once again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Jobaversary!

5 years today - the day of my mother's birth and her wedding anniversary as well. Five years ago I started on the track to doing what makes me happy and feels worthwhile. It's been fast too because at the previous place of employment, the first 2 years were a learning curve. The last 2 1/2 were about as close to hell as I ever care to be. I felt every. freaking. day sloooooowly crawl by, my mind dizzy with confusion knowing what I wanted and yet no so certain I could get there from here. It's easier to make leaps right out of college. Not so easy when you're leaping with a family and, at the time, the hope of homeownership on your back.

But I learned that speaking things DOES make them happen. You have to KEEP speaking it though. And write it while you're at it. Faith is a powerful, powerful force. Stepping out in faith is scary, but so necessary if you do want to get there from here. God conducts the orchestra but there will be no beautiful music from your instrument if YOU don't play it.

And so I play. Happily. And five years later I have more wonderful people added to my repertoire of friends and colleagues and I am as content as ever. I don't know yet when I'll plan my next major move. It's just a blessing to be able to be still and not feel like I have to know right now.

Ah, sweet peace.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Help! I Need Somebody!

If I've learned nothing over the past few months, I have learned that I absolutely can't get to the next level alone. But it's not just about having help, it's about having quality help. And the kind of help I truly value is the help of someone who knows how to do things I don't, someone who works like me and/or someone willing to do whatever they can without complaint. I've found I need that in my business. I've found I need it at work. I've even decided it's time to embrace the fact that I need it at home. To have that help is to free my mind to do what I do, whatever that may be depending on where I am.

And so I now have my virtual assistant whom I pay. She knows more than I do about a variety of things AND she works and thinks like me AND she's willing to do whatever it take. Who can't appreciate that? And I also have my virtual assistant who has been with me since day one - literally - my mother. She has done so much of what we have needed to lay a foundation for Village Works. We are on our way to making her glad she was there.

At work we have a really good set of interns who prove that you can find quality people still in college, even high school. It has brought a glimmer of hope that I can get out from under an ever-growing mound of work that is a mix of keeping track of yesterday, keeping up with today and planning for tomorrow. To-do lists are resurfacing because of this glimmer and I'm determined to make the most of this good fortune.

At home it's time to give up the things I hate. There are many things that don't bother me. I can do laundry any old day. My hatred of washing dishes when I was young has turned into a greater disdain for sinks overrun with them. But the refrigerator and the stove? I don't know what it will cost me, but I am giving them up.

In one of the many teleseminars I have listened to, one expert said you have to stop saying, "I can't afford it" and start saying, "What do I need to do to make this investment?" And so I ask and I move forward.

The result? The business has been busy every month and I'm about to dive in deeper with the business coach who leads the inspiring group I am a part of. I expect to see that next level I always knew was there.

At work, I can feel the control coming back stronger than ever as I give up some of the minors in order to make the majors. After all, one of my strengths there is being the person who knows the history of things and the where and why, in addition to managing projects in a way that makes it easy for the person behind me to do what they need to. I like being that person and I want to strengthen that as much as possible.

At home? Well, I still have to find someone to do what I need and then I'll be able to say for sure. But I imagine it'll be a sweet feeling to click away on my computer knowing that my family at least has a clean stove and fridge to use. I don't need much more than that. After all, that's what kids are for and it's for them that I'm doing this in the first place.

Ah! Things are lightening and brightening making it easier to go far. Stay with me. We'll get there.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Car for the Course

A month. It's been a whole month! Too sad. So now what am I up to? Oh the usual. The business has been busy, as have we. We have had jobs every month so far, thus my delinquency over here on my personal blog. I have finally taken on a virtual assistant to help do the things I can do but that take a lot of time to do so I can focus on other things, like the membership program we recently implemented. That was actually a lot of fun to put together because we were thinking about what we can do for our current customers, as well as new people who come along. And now we have someone we don't know in a state nowhere near us wanting to sell our puzzles.

It's been good.

And now I am looking for a new(er) car because mine needs to take a long break, or go to someone else who is willing to put the money into it that I no longer am. This is what I have now:

She's been good to me for 10 years. I love love love her. She can handle anything and I can't tell you how many times strangers have offered to buy her (I'm talking people following me into parking lots here, folks), but it's time to part ways. Trouble is I have never had a car payment before so I am not looking forward to that part of things. I need to keep this as easy as possible while I continue working on aspects of the business to help make things easier down the road for all of us. Plus I still have credit card debt that I want to kill. So I'll probably go smaller and do this:

It's a Nissan Versa and that may even be the color I get since the ones I found were either gray or white and I really don't want to do white if I don't have to. I've seen some lovely 2007s and 2008s that won't make me feel robbed. I think this one can keep up with me the way my Honda does now. Hopefully I'll make the purchase this month so I can put this whole car thing behind me because I'm just not into this right now. However, the reason I think I may do this (other than the fact that the car is cute enough for my taste and I had a good test drive yesterday), is because I told myself that if I get rid of the credit cards the way I want, then in 2 or 3 years I'll upgrade to a luxury SUV of some sort. Preferably an orange one. Now that I think of it, this is a fantastic incentive. I think it's time to fixate on a car to help keep the goal in mind - more business growth and no more credit card debt that can't be paid off in one month.

Yeah. That just made me a happy girl.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Becoming the Proverbial Woman

This morning I looked in my fridge for Miracle Whip. I love Miracle Whip. I tolerate mayo. My husband buys what I prefer. So I went looking and it's a little nuts in there because Mr T. tends to keep things in the grocery bags he buys them in. He also fills the freezer so I don't even see the REAL deal going on in there most times.

I HATE to the clean the refrigerator. I can wash dishes until the cows come home. I can do laundry every single day and pretty much do. I tend to be the one to clean the tub and walls (we have that crappy formica that I had really hoped to avoid when we bought a house, so this is no small feat) and I also clean the huge bathroom mirror, whereas Mr. T gets the floor and toilet, as he should. Men are usually the culprit there anyway. He vacuums and grocery shops and usually cooks (though this could be healthier) and we both change all the sheets (not easy either) and mop the stupid kitchen floor, which is only horrible because I have two short people living there who can't seem to see the messes they make even though the floor is off white. (Hope we get to change that one day.)

No, of all the things we have to do, the thing I despise is the refrigerator. I just hate pulling that darn thing apart to wash it out. I have yet to defrost the freezer to really scrub it.

This morning I thought to myself, "It's time to give this away."

If you have not met the woman from Proverbs 31, let me introduce you to her. She means well, but she has made life hard for many women - usually Christian since she is from the Bible after all - as they strive to be like her. But here's the thing. She's actually misunderstood.

Too many women are probably looking at her thinking, dang she does it all and I have to be superwoman too! But that woman does not say to do it all. Men may have said this and some women may have heard it from people who choose to ignore what this woman is doing. But you have to read the words that are here and not twist them.

Meet the wife from Proverbs 31:10-31:

10 c]">[c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

She's cool, right? MY interpretation of her is:
  • Her husband trusts her.
  • She, in turn, does what she can to be of help to him - this includes not trashing him to others.
  • She works - no one said this was a traditional 9-to-5 job, ladies.
  • She goes outside of her borders if need be to get what she needs.
  • She's taking care of her family and even the people who work for her. (Note that she has others working for her. THIS is how you do it all, in case you didn't know.)
  • She's got her OWN money and she's wise about it.
  • She works hard and she's able to do a variety of things too.
  • She volunteers.
  • She prepare for the future.
  • She makes sure her own home has the best she can get for it. (And in doing so, she pretty much keeps things in priority, not neglecting home OR herself. Make a bed out of fine linens and you benefit as well as your husband, right? Right.)
  • Her husband is respected, most likely because she chose a quality man in the first place, but also because of her helping him in that way women do - gently guiding them, whispering our opinions but letting them have their pride about things. What's wrong with letting them have their pride, I say.
  • Being clothed with "strength and dignity" speaks volumes all by itself, and being able to laugh at the days to come indicates a certain amount of maturity and preparation and also the ability to not stress over small things.
  • She's wise.
  • She's diligent.
  • She's got her children's best interest at heart.
  • Above all, she keeps God first and in doing so, so many of these other things become easier to do.

Becoming the Proverbial Woman most likely requires some dying to self - dying to the need to get your way all the time or to be right about everything. If you are even a little bit of a man-hater - and plenty of us have some of that in use - dying to the need to rule him and make him do whatever we think he needs to do to make us feel good about ourselves. How about you take that job on yourself, huh? Go boost your own self-esteem and stop letting it all rest in his hands in the first place. The better you feel about yourself and the more willing you are to do whatever you need to to achieve this (everything has limits. Don't take this out of context.), the more he's going to love your confidence and the glow you get because you're happy. If he doesn't like that confidence, I'd question it.

My search for a VA for my business was work, but just thinking about having help doing the things I don't know how to do or don't like to do lifted my spirits so much. And made it easier to seriously talk to myself about getting someone to come clean my fridge at least once a month. It's good for my family and it keeps me from looking at the fridge with disdain. At some point I'll get a cook too to do maybe 2 meals a week because I also HATE cooking and I refuse to make myself like it. Why waste my time on things I hate? I could be doing other things and my family still reaps the benefits.

I am also more and more unapologetic about disliking the things I do. I know it's hard to imagine a mother NOT wanting to cook, but guess what? I'm not the only mother I know who is this way. So get over your traditional ideas, or at the very least, don't try to hold me to your standards. I won't stick. As I strive to be me more and more, and to let go of the things I never wanted to hold on to in the first place, I find myself unknowingly becoming this woman I do believe is the ideal - ideal, not necessarily what we SHOULD be, but it doesn't hurt to look at her and what she does and think, "What do I want for my family? What do I want for myself? How can I achieve these things?"

Now go do it. You'll be happier for it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Bad Poem

Ick. Ick. Ick. I've been sick. Even sleep won't do the trick.

Ache. Ache. Ach. My head aches. My throat is sore, my stomach quakes. (sometimes)

Ow. Ow. Ow. My neck hurts now. The room, it spins. I hate to chow.

Work, work, work, yes it's berserk. But I don't care. It's just my quirk.

Gotta go.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My friend Kerri is in captivity. She's bed on hospitalized bed rest since last month and she's losing her poor mind. Baby is coming Thursday, though! I wanted to see about carrying on a meme she did on her blog, Six Until Me.

Me? I need a nap right now. Between creating a sample book allll day Staurday and looking for a virtual assistant and all the stuff going on at work, I needed a little break myself. So let's see how I answer these questions. Feel free to meme it up on your blog too!

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Just ate a Wendy's fish sandwich that I got 2 hours ago, but couldn't eat because the fried filled me. Now if I can just keep the darn office dog out of my trash.

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
With the iMac at my job.

3. Can you play Guitar Hero? Never have, likely never will.

4. Name someone who made you laugh today? My nephew! You should see his 1-year-old self babbling and celebrating God knows what. Life, I guess. He makes me happy.

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? About 12:30, because I wanted to chill a bit before I fell asleep, I insist on it, so I watched some taped stuff - House and a little bit of How I Met Your Mother before my eyes called it quits.

6. If you could move somewhere else, would you? When I am older, yes. For now, I am happy to live in my house that I own and to let my kids experience the same people from school to school to school.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? Hmm, they cause fireworks, but under them? Don't think so. Ask me again July 5th.

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you on your FaceBook list?
The VERY closest is my sister-in-law who lives around the corner, but I have a friend equally close the other direction on my street. Kind of sad we're Facebook friends, right?

9. Do you believe exes can be friends?
I've seen it happen.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? Can him.

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Beats me. Maybe I'm overdue. Wah!

12. Who took your profile picture? Me, myself and I. Gotta do better.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
One of my kids. I think my son after he won his 4th-place trophy in the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby Race.

14. Was yesterday better than today?
Eh. It was better because I was already home at this point, but today I have more done so I guess that wins.

15. Can you live a day without TV? As long as my DVR is working, sure thing.

16. Are you upset about anything? Tired right now. Not upset. Just need a nap.

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? What?! If all you get are the kids like I have, then heck yeah! But if you get someone to play with when you're old, like I have, then all the better.

18. Are you a bad influence?
I wish.

19. Night out or night in? In! In! Kick the kids out and stay in!

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Chapstick, hands down.

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? Whew. Not sure I recall.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
It's a 1SaleADay message from Twitter. You don't wanna know.

23. How do you feel about your life right now? When I think about what I've experienced and what I've been blessed with, I still ask God to pinch me.

24. Do you hate anyone?
Hate is a strong word. No one has done anything to me that requires that.

25. If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find?
Waaaay too many pages I should see and games people are playing and I really should just hit delete.

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Not sure. Just took 2 Advil. Does that show up?

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Not to my face.

28. What song is stuck in your head? - You asked. Now Mary J. is in YOUR head too. And oh, Terrence Howard is in this video so excuse me while I hang here a bit.

I'm back.

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., a secret lover or George Clooney?
My husband just forgot something.

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50? That would mean my son would be about 20. Better not!

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Work. What else is new?

32. Do you think too much or too little? I give myself a headache. Answers your question?

33. Do you smile a lot? Eh. Enough.

Bonus Round...

34. How many hours a day do you spend on the computer?
I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may make me seem like I ignore those people I live with.

35. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be? I keep seeing people with bigger issues than me. Can I just be me?

36. Facebook or Twitter? Twitter is faster.

37. Chicken or Beef?
Chicken is cheaper.

38. Mac or PC? At home, I'm PC down but if I ever win a Mac (Hey. I attract computers. This COULD happen.), I'm all for it.

39. Have you ever punched anyone in the face? Ohhhh, how I'd want to, but it looks like it hurts!

40. Last music received or purchased?
Got Whitney's single Million Dollar Bill on iTunes. Sure hope she gets her act together.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

We Are Here! We Are Here!

I have not been here in two weeks and two days (yowza!), because I have been here

and here

and here.

And networking here

and here

and here.

And visiting her

and her

and her.

And writing and learning and doing and working and reading and talking and planning and seeking and finding and generally, growing my business. Two jobs in the hopper, one job on the table, virtual assistants to interview (don't ask me where the money is coming from. I just know we need help), guest bloggers to find, our first real art puzzle underway (can't wait to see it). So. much. fun.

But I am here, oh yes I am. Here to tell you that I am still keeping on and so can you if you are pressing toward your special mark. I've been really buried in the computer and I'm sure my kids would like me to untie that particular cord, but I can't! Not yet! I am working on things being set up so that I can more easily do that in the future, but that's the challenge - I am setting things up in a way we should have set them up years before. But who knew? Who wanted to pay? I didn't and honestly, I still don't, but it's a true investment in my freedom in more ways than one. And you know what? There are a TON of really smart, capable people who get our vision. You can't keep it to yourself, you know? Other people CAN carry the torch if you pass it to them. And so we shall. We'll still lead the way. It is our baby, after all. But we're more than happy these days to let others help us carry the load.

If you hang out at the Village Works Blog from time to time (and please do visit. I'm working like crazy over there!), you'll meet some of those people in the form of guest bloggers or people I get quotes from for posts or people I feature. All supportive of our vision and we theirs.

I'd say more but who needs to? Instead I need to go remake my list of things I do and start getting my Virtual Assistant needs better sorted so I can respond to the plethora of people who are responding to my call for help. Just the thought of working with some of them makes me so happy.

Next time, I'll see if I have anything going on in the rest of my life to talk about!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deep Breaths

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you're excited? Like you can't quite catch your breath?

I am so exhausted right now and I need to sleep. It's 1:30 in the afternoon and I did sleep last night from 1 in the morning until almost 9 a.m. when I heard my own voice at the tail end of my answering machine message. Daughter was still knocked out beside me. Son was at a sleepover. Mr. T was working. It's a beautiful Saturday but all I want to do is sleep.

Since I was up, I checked email and Twitter followers. I am still trying to get that Twitter email under control and I am almost there. I saw I had another great comment on an article I wrote. Made me happy. I thought about all the work I needed to do to get the business blog moved back where it was - here, Blogger, a better place for it right now. I was ok with the work. I thought about all the stuff I had learned to improve our Facebook fan page and it's a lot but I'm ok with the work. I thought about the next article I needed to write - and the one after that. And the one after that. I saw all the subscriptions I had to my blog feeds just since YESTERDAY when I redid everything and added the ability to email for a subscription - both here and to the business blog. I'll link it here later.) So you guys ARE out there, huh? Nice. Again it was hard to catch my breath - in a good way.

Fact is, to do what you love to do means simply doing it because you love it. I went to a new Twitter follower's profile and he had tweeted to the marketers he knew, "#Marketing people! Can someone go to this site and tell me why not a single person has requested this #free book?" I took a look. It actually looked interesting, but I won't check it out until later because, as I said, I am sleepy right now. But he made me think more about doing what you love. I don't know what his gameplan is, but it looks like he's going to give away a book. That's no small thing. But if you love something, you set it free, right? And if it's your talent, it will come back to you more than two fold.

I think I see it in the distance. I have to take a nap before it gets here. Oh, and fix tacos. They are waiting for me right now to fix tacos. Then I'll take a nap. Then I'll be ready.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Last Straw

No really. It was the last straw. I have come home to undone homework, trashed rooms and yes, juice box/CapriSun straws on the floor for the last time. How many times have you read me complaining about my messy daughter? Numerous. And countless times have I told her to have her homework done before I come home. She's home by 3:30. I am home by 7 most times. She really can't get it done?

Undone homework is maddening enough. Repeatedly asking her to clean her room put me over the top. Do you see this mess?

I refuse to go in it to hang up her clothes so some of that mess is me tossing clothes on her bed. But coming home to the undone homework and pigsty, I swear I was going to develop an ulcer on the spot. For sure my head was hurting. My son isn't perfect but his mess I can tolerate and when I say clean it up, he does. The girl is just stubborn and unmotivated by the loss of her DS, going to bed early, the loss of allowance, not being allowed to go to a cheerleading class....unmoved. I knew what I had to do and it requires commitment on my part. The hard part about teaching these kids a lesson is that usually YOU are deprived of something as well. But my husband can't seem to get as riled up by this as I am so unless I am home to have a fit, the crap continues.

Not anymore.

The undone homework - again - sent me into a spin. I had called her over an hour before I got home to tell her I would be home and to get the work done. I checked. Not done. Why? No reason. Then I see the room again. That's all I can stand. She goes to get a pencil to finally finish the homework. I refuse to let her. "You had your chance. Leave it, take a bath, brush your teeth, go to bed."

She's not too fazed. Umm hmm. OK. After she gets in the tub I am still fuming. Before long I snatch a trash bag from the drawer and storm to her room, tossing clothes and school papers and books to pick up whatever toy my hand lands on. She hears it and begins to ask what I am doing. Before long she is wrapped in a towel at the door and it has hit her.

"Please, wait!"

Too late. I ignore her crying and pick up toys until the bag is full. The tears are flowing and suddenly she is fazed.

You think it's easy hearing a child begging you to do or not to do something? It's not. I had no desire to start trashing things. But the I-don't-care attitude had to go. For the first time in weeks I had her attention. The bag went to my car as swiftly as I had picked it up, leaving her to stand crying in her mess.

She has no clue how pissed off I am at the relentless mess. She has no idea how it hurts my heart for her to be sad in any way. But this was a war and she had to go down.

"If I come home tomorrow to this mess STILL here, you lose more," I tell her with the best poker face I have.

All she could do was ask me to help her button her pajama top. Kind of pathetic really and freaking cute. But I am standing my ground.

"If I clean up my room, can I have my stuff back," she sniffed. "I don't know what I am going to do," I tell her without feeling. "The only reason it's not at the dump now is because it's closed."

Threats are pointless. You can't start something like this and not follow through. I can't say the bag is going to the dump and not dump it so I won't go there because it's not what I want to do. But of course if cleaning once gets her her stuff back, then what's going to make her keep cleaning? It's a conundrum. Thankfully, her being 6 may be in my favor since she most likely won't think quite this far. Let's hope I'm right.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh, My Word!

It's been a busy week. Writing articles for the sake of our puzzles. Writing for publication in a women's networking magazine.

So far I'm here:

And here:

And here: (I'm not sure if you have to be a member to see this one. You can tell me.)

Submitted to here:

And working on here: (Yes. She is expecting me here.)

And now, I am looking at virtual assistants and social networking help. It's been a good month.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ahh, The Genius is All Around

It's been awhile, right? Well, a week. It's like it's been a month. There is this woman in one of my networking groups, Savor the Success, and her name is Christina Morassi. Christina sent a message out to the group about a project she is doing for the next month called 30 Days of Genius. I am a very introspective sort and I also love figuring people out, so this is right up my alley. I went to her site and learned that the agenda was to call people into themselves; get them to figure out or acknowledge the thing that spoke to them and that made them shine and then move toward living in that for good. Precisely the plan, Christina.

Christina came at an interesting time when stars were aligning and sown seeds were blossoming. It's like she came to provide the commentary for all I am seeing in my life at the moment and to help me recognize them for what they were - me living in my genius, as she says.

The business has been at the forefront of my mind. Last time, I told you about the coaching group I joined with a woman I wanted to work with anyway, so when this opportunity came along, I jumped. I thrive when I am accountable to people so it's been great reading what other people are doing and getting even more inspired; sharing what I'm doing and getting great responses. One of the members asked me to write about the benefits of jigsaw puzzles for the brains of seniors who suffer or could suffer dementia. It was a thrill to do it. Because of the group, I finally figured out what to write for another online friend who asked me to write something for her networking group in exchange for an ad. Sure thing, I said. But then I couldn't figure out what to write. Now it's all ready to go in my head. Pen to paper. Or key to screen. This one is about how my partner and I do this thing called business. Boy do I have some words on that - now that I know what I'll say. I have one more writing opportunity to take advantage of that will put us in a new magazine out of Atlanta. I haven't figured out that focus yet but I suspect releasing this story already in me will be the key to finding that focus.

It's been a busy time. Last Friday we secured a relationship with a manufacturer that makes our puzzle production process as smooth as silk. They can't do EVERYTHING we may ever need but they can do the stuff that costs the most money and that is what matters. Now let me tell you about the power of words, my friends.

Late last night, Bizzy Girl and I were discussing yesterday's most recent event - finding out that we are $1,500 away from breaking even for the first time. Talk about celebrating! You know she was excited because we were on the phone after 10 p.m. I am the night owl. She is not. As we talked, we gushed at how we had ALWAYS said, without really thinking (and that is the mistake here because we are Christians and we know that life and death are in the power of the tongue), that oh how we wished we could make our puzzles a very specific way. I can't tell you that part. Gotta have SOME trade secrets you know. But it was specific. We wished we had someone who could do it in a certain way, pretty much in a certain place. Now, forgive my vagueness here but the key is that we wanted something specific. As we talked about the limitations of our new-found process, something made me think.

"Hey, Bizzy Girl. Remember when we said a million years ago how we wished we could do this a certain way? Well, his limitations are making me think. Weren't those the very same limitations of the process we had in mind?" No, it wasn't exactly said that way, but you get the picture.

So we Googled. And lo and behold, we found the connection we were thinking. This was the very same process we had aspired to years back. ALLLL the way back to when we first started researching how to do what we wanted to do and even since then. And not only the process but it was even down to the type of people, my friends. It was like they had walked out of our vision and we didn't even recognize it at first.

The power of the tongue was reinforced yet again. Bizzy Girl said she did think about some other connections to our past discussions and it motivated her to tell her daughter they need to do a vision board. This is a major thing for her to say because Bizzy Girl appreciates the creative but she'll tell you in a heartbeat that she's not the creative one, I am. She would be the one to look at someone's vision board and say, "Ohh nice!" But she wouldn't think to do one for herself. The power of these past few days has her thinking differently, and that's a good thing for a creative business like ours.

The genius is all around, as Christina recently discussed. She wanted us to note the genius in others around us. And I thought a moment today about former co-workers. One left to start a business as a life coach. I just saw her on The Today Show two days ago. One left to focus on her writing, have a baby and be there for her moviemaking hubby, whose movie was the hit at Sundance this year and he's got another script sold and on its way. One is leaving now to go help his wife with her small business. They will be on Martha Stewart in about 2 weeks talking about their chicken business. The commonality is they all walked away before the stuff really blew up. That's not to say these things weren't in the works while they were here. In two of these cases, spouses had the ball rolling already but them leaving here really helped things to take off. Now, that's a risk I'm not quite willing to take and I already told God that yes, I will take risks but this one will require a bridge so I don't freak my family out while doing my thing. Life and success are in the power of the tongue. I'm not worried about getting it the way I need it to be.

The genius is truly all around rubbing off on me. I wonder what will happen next.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

This may be hard to see and that's fine. The details of the picture don't matter. It's the big picture that counts. This is the beginning of revamping our business plan and I'm excited by it because it finally reflects ME. How did I get here?

1 - I asked my new business coach, Sandy Martini, about her timeline for the program I am participating in with her called Get It Done Right the First Time. "But this isn't your first time, Monica. You're already started!" I know, I know, but it's never too late to get it done right. Anyway, she told me and I thanked her, telling her that I need to see the big picture before I could get mired in details. She thanked me for telling her my preference for receiving information.


2 - I am preparing some thoughts for a meeting I have with Bizzy Girl and Design Guru next Friday as we start to create systems for soliciting new business from our target market. My telling Sandy about my big picture preference and thinking about the systems made me think of our business plan, which I never loved because - believe it or not - it was too wordy. Me - a runner-up in the Mrs. Loquacious Contest (I've met people worse than me) and it was too many words. "I am creative," I remember. "How do I learn best?" Seeing then jumping in and doing. (I'll read the instructions later.) "Of course! I need a visual business plan!"

3 - That led me here to a man named Andrew Smith. And I really appreciated the simplicity of what he was saying and his visual examples.

4- I then went to the site a guy who was talking about circular business plans and I got dizzy right away. I already had circles in my head. Didn't need more. So I ended up here on the site of a woman named Julie Stuart who draws these AMAZING visual business plans. You can even see her portfolio on her site. Good stuff. Still not quite right for me, though I did sign up for her newsletter. She was on the right track at least. She asked the right questions about my ideas spiriling out of control.

5 - I need a mix of the spotaneity you see with Julie and the clarity you see with Andrew, but a little linear thoughts too because I need things to be visually organized. Julie stuff is great but I can't look at her plans and see the direction like I could in Andrew's example.

Thus the picture you see at top.

I stood in my living room racking my brain, wishing I had a chalkboard or white board or a way to write on my walls that came off easily. I needed to write the vision, not type. Not yet. I thought about that chalkboard and imagined making something to use on my refrigerator so I could stand and write. Then Mr. T's not-yet-discarded-40"-inch-TV-box winked at me. I remembered I had brought home a dry erase calendar that my boss couldn't use and I thought I could. I had paper and markers. I would make something to help me purge. And I would perch it on my ironing board because the next best place was downstairs on the table in my office and it's cold down there in the winter when you're just wearing a long shirt!

Now, on my makeshift white board (card board?), I could write and still take the paper with me later. I could see the mess dumped on paper in every possible category. I could ask the questions and write whatever answers I had and then leave it there while I continued to think of things to add. Then, when I think I've purged it all, I could start working on whatever details I had for each section of the brain dump. Only then could I see maybe typing some stuff up, but not yet. I've got to finish getting the stuff out of my head. I need to sleep on it, come up with more stuff if there is any and then call Bizzy Girl to see what she can add to it. By the weekend, I should be able to start getting details down.

This is good. It helps to know how I think and learn. We may just get organized yet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Happy Place

Where am I? Doing regular meetings with Bizzy Girl and the Design Guru and we are making headway like cra-zay. Hap-pay!

And, I have secured a financially bitesized piece of time with a business coach who felt like a kindred spirit and now I can test her out for CHEAP! Again, Hap-pay!

And this week one of my very, very best friends from my early, early days after I first moved to Philly has found me on Facebook! I have thought of her often and I assumed I'd never find her because I assumed she'd gotten married and who knew what her married name could be? But our 20th high school reunion last year (well, technically it was 2008 but the reunion didn't happen until 2009 - still scary) prompted mega Facebooking of the high school classmates, one person led to another and voila! She's back in my life! Happy, happy, joy, joy. Talk about coming full circle.

I am in a happy place.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Tiger's Tale

Here's the thing. Tiger was unfaithful. I. Don't. Care.

Really. After the first week, I was over this thing. What is he, the first one? So now he's a disgrace to all athletes who typically lead lives above board? A shame to all Cablarasians, or whatever the word is supposed to be? Should I really cry for his wife, who may or may not have known about the affairs 9 mistresses ago? It's not that I don't think she deserves some sympathy but why must all this continue to play out in public? Congratulations world. You are continuing to shame him AND his publicly humiliated wife for....her benefit? No? The sake of all those poor children who now won't believe they too can play golf after all? Wait. That's just nonsensical, right?

Is his sin any greater than anyone else's? The higher standard he's called to I'm sure wasn't implemented by anyone who was in his shoes previously. The public pretty much thinks celebs, politicians and such should be beyond reproach and when one lets us down, we all cease to be capable of living good lives. Oh wait. That's another stupid idea. So, why DO we still care about this?

The 12 steps call for reparations to be made. Seems to me Tiger's family and people immediately in his purview deserve that apology. I don't think I do. Ok so, the kids. Maybe kids who looked up to him deserve something - later. After he gets his act together and makes amends with his own loved ones. After he's had time to process and get back on the road. Then maybe then he can say something to the kids.

I didn't listen to Tiger's statement today. I overheard some of it since it was playing on the TV at work and what little I heard sounded like he was not quite ready to be out in public yet. As a matter of fact, it sounded a tad like there may have been some contempt in there, feeling forced to be the public man he never was. Gee, could that contempt I heard (and maybe I misheard) make him look any worse? Seems like it could. You know more judgment will be passed because he is the only one who lives in a glass house. The rest of us reside on clouds above it all, pointing the finger at our fallen diety.

Can you imagine being forced to reveal all the stuff YOU have hidden right now that hasn't been brought to light like Toger's transgressions have and doing that on TV, apologizing for stuff that really few people have any business being a part of in the first place? I suppose if you could see yourself doing that and you're cool with the judgments you'd get, then you have the right to sit and watch Tiger, shaking your head and wagging your finger.

Personally, I can't watch it. His act should shine a light into the souls of all of us and make us cringe. Humanity isn't just his fall from grace. It should be us saying there but for the grace of God goes any one of us.

Let the man deal and heal alone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Want to See What Would Happen If...

...I didn't help the kids with their holiday homework. Every day I have to ask if they did it and every day it's like I'm the one who gave them the homework in the first place. At this moment, I'm done asking and pretty determined not to ask again until Monday night when I come from work and hear how their day went handing in incomplete stuff.

...I just let my daughter's mess grow and grow and grow in her room. I am very anal about clutter but she doesn't care so I don't want to care either. She's 6, I know, so my head knows I can't expect much but I still want to ignore it for about a month and see what happens.

...I let my son do his cub scout projects all by himself. He's a Webelo and has a lot to do to get the various badges and pins. He says this is what he wants so maybe if I just stop trying to help him do a little at a time, he'll find a way to get it all done himself.

It's ridiculous pulling teeth trying to get them to care about the neatness of what they do. It's exhausting saying the same stupid crap every day about common sense things like picking up dishes/food off the table when they're done. It is maddening explaining for 3 days in a row what the ones column is versus the 10s columns because instead of doing all the math pages on that same topic at the same time, someone wants to do only 1 page per day but gets amnesia after completing each page. It's like some truly evil Groundhog's Day. I'm going to go stick my head in the dirt now.

Friday, February 05, 2010

All's Quiet for Now

I stay in my bubble.

My laptop battery died earlier this week so a host of things continue to see me sporadically.

  • Facebook has barely seen me. (I should probably jump on now and say hi.)
  • Twitter sees me daily because it's just so easy to tweet but I'm not looking at my new followers right now.
  • The VWE newsletter had to be done at work so it's late going out.
And I? I am ok with it all.

It's been all about work (tres biz-zee) and my closet (tres mess-ee to me). I go home, help with homework, which I basically loathe because frankly, I am not a teacher to young children. I have no patience with the repetitive nature of it. But somewhere between school and home, they lose everything they know. Most likely it's been jarred loose on the school bus ride, but it's only a good 5-7 minutes or so away so what does that say about how much is in those little heads anyway? Still they leave home and forget how to act. They leave school and forget how to do whatever it is their homework is based on. So, this is my life at the moment - par for the course. Standard stuff. The kind of things loads of stay-at-home and/or work-outside-the-home moms do every day. Oh, and I happy to watch most of my shows too (especially Lost and Big Love) so it's nice to just chill. But I know there is a book waiting for me and a business I have to keep bouyed and having that helps fills me in a way I don't think I would be otherwise if I ONLY had a job and my family.

I'm content to let those things tread water while I listen to closet organizers tell me why their company is the best and how the end product is worth the money. I sit now with 2 sets of ideas in my proverbial hands and I will hear the 3rd bid on Saturday morning, if the snow doesn't scare her off. Mr. T continues to not understand that cutom closets actually give you more space, not take space away but he also knows he really has no say in this happening; only in what it will look like. My wallet is telling me that I have to take this slow so I'll most likely have the installation done in late March after I've had time to add on to the money I have for this instead of literally going for broke. Plus, I am certain I really don't want a white closet anyway. I'd rather hold off until late March and pay for some sort of wood grain that will make me happy, most likely espresso, unless Mr. T finally speaks up and states a preference. I'm flexible on that.

I wanna show you the plans! But in fairness to the people I won't be using, I'll wait until I pick one and share that. And that will be on Monday. See you then!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Closet Shopping

Still looking into the whole closet organization thing. For a second I was afraid I may have to stop because the washing machine died sometime Friday. But Mr. T had already been looking around and next thing I knew on Saturday, I was at Sears saying yes to one he had picked out. He wanted a color but it was a tad more than he wanted to spend so we stuck with white but who cares. The back and forth to the laundromat for one day will tide me over for at least another decade. So my closet hopes stay intact. Whew.

So far I've had one guy come check it out so I can start getting an idea of price. I figured while he was here, he may as well take a look at the kids' rooms too even though I doubted I'd be doing theirs too unless it was crazy not to. I had to have him tip toe through my daughter's messy madness of a boudoir so he could measure and think about what's possible. We realized that son's closet was actually a little deeper than hers so he had different thoughts for him. We were looking at something like this for the kids:

The wood is more flexible than I expected because most of it can be moved as the kids grow. Maybe there would be baskets for Daughter because she could use the organization help. Slightly neater Son wouldn't need that much help but Ken, the guy doing the consultation, said we could give him a little help with his toys as well. White would be cheaper than any color wood so I'd probably say yes to that.

We talked about how there is actually room to spare in my closet and a back wall that's more usable than I expected. Again with the white wood to save on cost but I really don't want white, although I am not closed to it if the cost difference is that great. I keep thinking of espresso wood and brushed nickle hardware and it'll be hard to go in another direction. But then Ken told me what it might cost to do all three closets (he will be sending me an actual bid for just my closets and for all three as well) - $3,200. Oh boy. Which means I am probably looking at $1,500 alone, if I'm lucky.

But think of something narrower than this (maybe as wide as one side of those shelves):

In a color like this:

A place for everything. No more shoe boxes. Double hanging. Espresso and brushed nickle. Ahhh. Mr. T doesn't see the need but this is like makeup - he wouldn't wear it but he can appreciate how it enhances. So, I have an appointment with California Closets this week (I already know I'm not going to like their numbers). I am waiting to hear from two other companies I emailed and hopefully by or in March, I'll have a new closet.

Let's hope I won't feel broke afterward.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Full Speed Ahead

  • Kerri and her hubby, Chris, are at Sundance right now and a few minutes ago she let us all know his movie was just bought by Lionsgate. Check out the clips at her site. I may or may not have told you they are expecting their first child in May. I'd say it's full speed ahead for them, wouldn't you? I couldn't be more thrilled.

  • The ladies and I met for about 3 1/2 hours on Saturday night and it was most productive. I know I need other people involved in order to get things done sometimes but this really proves it. We all have our times when we don't feeeeel like doing things, but as long as one of us is motivated or we all at least meet together, we can get through those times.

  • I am trying oh so hard to get my bedroom closet done, something I've wanted since we moved here. My kids need it too and it wouldn't hurt to figure out a system for the leftover that falls to my office and hey, the garage too so it never gets nuts. But one closet at a time. My heart leaps at the thought of a place for everything and everything in its place. I can't get a consultation fast enough.

    • Isn't this pretty? I'll take before shots of mine and I'll let you know how things progress.

      Thursday, January 21, 2010

      Back to Juggling

      Didn't take much to get me back in the groove. After clearing out the emails, I saw I still had control and few people were waiting on me impatiently to get back to them. So it's back to business and oh the business we have to get worked out - the planning still needs to be done; the newsletter still hasn't gone out for the month because I am trying to get something worked out first that will allow us to offer our customers something different; there are jobs going on (yay!) but the numbers still aren't there the way we need (boo!); there are 2 magazine articles on the horizon that will give us free press; and overall there is the whole thing with having small but manageable growth because all three of us (I include Graphic Guru since she's integral to what we're doing) have jobs with a ton of responsibility and, thankfully, employers who like what we do enough to keep us around.

      So the juggle goes on. But watching me juggle isn't nearly as fun as you'd think it is. Instead, how about I send you to Kerri's site (it is HER husband after all) so you can see clips of the movie I was telling you about before when I was talking about her husband having sold a movie script last year. And of course since then he sold another one because someone finally woke up and realized he's brilliant. So is his wife, if you get a chance to peruse her blog.

      I'll let you enjoy that and go see if I can go get something worked out for my customers right quick. Sure to see you later!

      Monday, January 18, 2010

      Cave Dwelling

      I watched a movie this weekend called "The Answer Man" with Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham.

      Semi-quick note about this: I have been finding bliss with my Netflix membership, which I just got in November. Not because of the ease of movies coming and going. I don't really care about that because I was cool with stopping at Redbox at a million and one different locations on the way home. I started Netflix only to get caught up on "Lost" so I can watch the final season next month and know what the heck is going on. I wanted the cheapest membership possible - about $5 per month - which is one movie at a time, twice a month (I believe it's how it works). We're movie people so that's really confining but I still didn't want to spend much. I went up to the next level - about $9 per month - which is one movie at a time but I get unlimited movies. When you choose this option, you also get the chance to get Instant Movies on your computer and you can have one queue of those and one queue of movies that come to your home. (No, not all movies are instant ones.) My husband wanted PlayStation3 for Christmas but he got it 2 weeks later for his birthday instead. I had toyed with canceling Netflix when I realized how slow it was going to be to get the "Lost" DVDs to watch and also because they don't get the newest movies as fast as Redbox. But along came PS3, which lets me get Netflix instant movies there too. And now it's worth my money. I have movies coming to the house and I can add a ton of movies to my Instant queue, see all those choices on my TV and watch as much as I care to in one sitting. And they stay until I remove them. So, if you were wondering if Netflix was worth it, now you know how it can be.

      Back to the real blog post.

      In the movie, there was a scene where someone asked Daniels' reclusive character, Arlen Faber, about doing what you really want to do in life. His response, "You are always doing what you want to do. The trick is to realize that." I paraphrase big time. See the movie to get the exact quote. It's a good one. I think I saved it. I may just watch it again before I let it go. Faber had some interesting points about children too that I believe I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

      This was not an ah-ha moment for me. I knew this. The trick is remember what I know and stick to that. The greater trick is to either own it and make my life easier or keep letting it guilt me until I change something. In this case, it's my tendency to go into my cave. This is what I do. Men do it too, except I am still open to the people who are in my house. They aren't always that way. What I am closed to is just about all other forms of communication and I suppose it's just a necessity to recharge my batteries.

      Thus my lack of blogging for the past few weeks. But not just blogging. I barely Tweeted, Facebooked, checked any email for weeks. After the holidays, it was back to work I went, so first I got my work email back under control. Then just focused on work and going home. By the second week after the holidays, I got my personal email back under control and kept on top of the work stuff. And then just focused on work, personal email and going home. (Work has been monumentally crazy since I don't know when and it just got worse. This is why I must love what I do.) I tweeted again after the New Year, here and there but not checking the site right away. Today was the first day I looked at Village Works email again (bad business, Monica) and the first time I spoke up on Facebook. As you can see, it's also the first time I came back to Blogger. It's a slow transition but darn it, I'm ok with that.

      What I'm not OK with is not being quick to respond to business emails. But I also admit I don't want to be THAT accessible. So my challenge is to think long and hard about the tools that let me see the emails (I really, really, really don't want a PDA) and maybe devise some more ways to handle some of the repetitive stuff. Folders only work so much because you still have to go in the folders and deal with the mail that got sorted there. I still dream of my ideal - a version of me who can handle the repetitive stuff and only send the pressing stuff my way. The read-at-my-leisure emails can go into a folder for me to look at, well, at my leisure.

      So here I am, I suppose fully out of my cave since I am working my way through VWE emails now and planning to call the troops to make the plan for the rest of the year. But it makes me think. How much of my life do I want my business to overrun? It's possible to have a full-time business and have a life but you have to know what you want and don't want. You have to know how to compromise. You have to just do it and be OK with doing it. This all also makes me think more about the direction we need to move in in order to get where we want this business to go.

      I'll be talking to Bizzy Girl about it because we tend to be on one accord about these things. In the meanwhile, a Happy Belated New Year to you all. I'll be back as soon as I finish clearing email.