Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Elusive Search

I have a friend, she's a sorority sister, and she is the mother of a son who is about a year older then my daughter. He was recently diagnosed with a slight form of autism. His mom and I have been friends since college and while we don't talk often, we keep up with each other and pick up wherever we left off last. To say my friend is organized is an understatement. Do I have drive, stamina, determination, organization skills? She's on a whole other level with it all. She spent a few years as a teacher, then became a principal before becoming an entrepreneur and running her own store - successfully. We had lots in common over the years and it seems even more as time went on, which is why she and I managed to stay in touch. Those skills of hers are what guided her as a parent and got her son to a level of behavior that overcame the symptoms of that autism they never even knew he had back when. When he was diagnosed he was already more advanced than others in his situation would have been. She is worthy of being admired, but don't try to be like her. You growing sense of inadequacy will just send you to therapy.

Then there is the brother of a friend of mine, a co-worker. He came by the office recently with his mom because they were bringing my friend's baby in for a visit. I hadn't seen him in a while. He's a musician, but that's not his day job. He's got a pretty busy day job in the telesales industry, I do believe it is. Works many hours and then still has gigs to play, traveling to do. I mean the music is no hobby. He really does his thing. But it's a business too. He was telling me about the struggles of doing both and asked how my business is. We commiserated over our love for the business, but the difficulty of giving them our time and he seemed so happy to talk to someone who understood. He plays with his musical father but he's basically the one doing the business end of the music. "People tell me to find a partner. That's not so easy!"

I guess you've guessed what they have in common. My girlfriend has gone back to doing a little teaching with her store in tow and she wondered, how the heck does anyone do this superwoman thing? My friend's brother is nothing like us in terms of responsibilities of family but he too wondered how the heck do you balance it all?

Ah the eternal question. And it was good to see such different people asking the same one. I always knew I was not alone, but right now it was really good to hear. Right now I am probably getting back a little of my long-gone drive - well, it wasn't gone. It just took one of those really long breaks it takes. But I felt a little, just a tad, kicking in last night after I got back from my son's boy scout parent meeting, which took 2 hours, after which I had to go pick up a prescription that costs me double what it did last month because my husband's state-provided insurance skyrocketed. I came home needing to email a few scout people a few questions since we are still new to this group. I came home to notes from my kids' school about upcoming field trips, book clubs that will help the teacher get books for her class, fundraisers and hey! We have 6th graders now! Let's all join the 6th Grade Committee! Well I had already just told the scout people that maybe, if they tell me where to go and what to do, I can do a monthly meeting that no one else was able to easily do and represent the group. Asking a lot, even once a month, but the group is just so darn active and doing so much for the boys I do feel the need to help however I can. After all, I want Son to stay in there through high school and get this on his future college and job applications. It can only help him.

After emailing my willingness to do those monthly meetings, I then seriously considered that 6th Grade Committee. I mean I haven't joined anything like that in all the years he's been at that school. Sure I go to PTA meetings but I know very well that everyone pitching in makes it easier on everyone too. I also know, after years of volunteering at my church before I had kids, that once you open that door, it will not be flooded with others looking to helping and you will join that sad 20% of people who do 80% of the work and that will never change no matter how optimistic you are. So I pondered it last night and filled in the slip and went to sleep on the idea of making any sort of additional commitments to something. I mean my job is getting more time from me than ever right now because there is just so much to do and the same number of people to do it all. My business hasn't had me doing any marketing for months because the Groupons kept up really, really, SUPER busy. For the first time we felt what our ideal business situation would feel like and it was draining, but good.

And my kids' schedules? A monthly calendar on the fridge just isn't enough anymore. Thank God a free yearly calendar book came in the mail for the rest of this year and all of next year because we have to write this stuff down! Girl Scouts and soccer for her. Boy Scouts and basketball for him. Swimming for both of them. It blew my no-more-than-two-activities-at-a-time out the water for the meanwhile because they were all things they wanted to do and could only do at certain times, a few for only 6 or 8 weeks. But they happened to all get going about the same time. So the weekends are a little nuts and my business? It's going to stay in the game but here I am back to wondering how to balance it all and deciding that maybe the trick is to be a little more transparent so our customers understand who we are. So far sharing we are moms with full-time jobs has HELPED us! But now I feel led to take on a scout committee role and maybe a 6th grade committee role, which means I have to at least be open to something a little more involved in my daughter's activities should that arise, and I still need to get the marketing of my business back to normal?

Am I crazy? Sigh. No. I am a working parent.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's Next?

Had one of those days when I couldn't concentrate because my business kept tapping my shoulder and whispering sweet nothings in my ear, telling me of all the wonderful things we're going to do together. And I believe it because although it's been a long road, things have been slowly progressing and I have every reason to believe it's all worth it.

I looked at my email and it's still insane, but not AS insane as it has been. Did you watch my video about killing the noise? Or at least turning it down? Still, as I listened to the recording of a teleseminar I had missed, I thought to myself how much I really want to work with the woman I was listening to. Her name is Christina Morassi and she is one cool chick. I have been following her since early last year and I just love her energy. She's a photographer and I really would love to see what she could capture from me and I will. One day I will work with her and I know it's going to be fun. But for now, I'm thinking it would be cool and I'm thinking how she is one of a few people who sends emails and I happily read them. And then I'm thinking, I need to pare down some more.

See, something is coming. I don't know what precisely but it's related to my business and I'm hearing the same things from everyone and just becoming way more visual. Bizzy Girl has been stirring in the juices of change herself, finally hearing me when I told her recently that what she wants our business to do for her life is just as important as what she wants our business to do for others. "Where there is no vision, the people perish," I reminded her and one week later she heard me. Really heard me. She's got it and I'm gonna jump on it. "Excellent! Let's have a vision meeting and finally get this thing down on paper. Let's dream big!" So we're going to. And another week later I am clearing out more electronic and mental stuff because I can feel it. Something is coming.

It feels good. I made a quick list of the people I know I want in my emailbox and I'm unsubscribing from even more emails and newsletters. Tomorrow we talk vision. I think I have an empty book downstairs. I've been wanting to create a vision book and I had thoughts in my head about how to do that but screw that. I'm just gonna do what I do best - write and take it as it comes.

Something is coming. I'm so curious and excited to know what's next.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Thought for Today - Info Overload

Still getting it together regarding getting the videos from my camera. Actually recorded this yesterday but this is my first chance to post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Closet Culmination

Remember I wrote about getting my closet last January? I thought the least I could do is bring it full circle on me ole' site.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Next Steps

Friday, April 08, 2011

Video Vixen

I won't stop writing. Some things come across better in written form. But for a little while, to help keep things alive, gonna do a little vlogging. And believe me, this was no piece of cake to get working. Technology sucks sometimes. Enjoy! :-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

20/20 Vision

I'm working on vision boarding. Well, not a board but a book. And I'm not working on it NOW, but I am planning on how I want to create it. OK, so I'm PLANNING on working on a vision book. There. :-P

Anyway, I've been perusing the thought of a board but something about it was so limiting to me and because I like change, it felt like it could be a straightjacket. But writing out the vision is nothing new for me. I write letters to myself all the time as if I am already in the future. I'm sure I've mentioned here before how effective that can be. Sometimes I'm still astounded by how word-for-word some things turn out to be. (Be careful what you envision!)

So in this planning, I'm on Oprah.com using her Dream Board just to get something going and to help me figure out what I want my book to do for me when I get it. I can print out what I create on her site, which lets me import my own pictures, so it's not a waste of time. This whole thing is what helped convince me that it's time to get a smart phone because I can pull up the dream board on the phone too in the future. Or use the phone to take great pictures of things that I see and like and I can add it to my board or list of things to print out for my book right then and there. Someone already told me of a great app that will finally let me make audio notes to myself again too. (I don't know if you recall I was lamenting the loss of this feature first found in a simple cell phone years ago and never found again, despite all this super dandy technology.) So a smart phone and a vision book it shall be.

Know what I really liked about this vision board/book plan? As I thought about all the aspects of my life to include in this and all the things I want to see happen, it felt almost like it had indeed already started to happen. But what was even more interesting was what was missing - any direct reference to one of what may be only 2 things that really try to plague me in my life - my weight and my skin issues.

My skin I can live with. What choice do I have? I take care of it as best I can and consider the material of clothes I buy, the detergents I use, the material of anything I may touch, my husband vacuums deeply, I get my allergy shots and see the dermatologist at the first sign of something I won't be able to control with the current meds. I drink all the water I should (some days I fall short) and wear sunblock (no, not in the winter because it's not my bad season and I'm too lazy to go that far). My skin will do what it wants to and I assume that just like it started doing things differently with the conception of my first kid, it'll probably do something again when menopause starts edging closer. Hormones are no joke, people.

Now my weight? Well, that's another of my occasional blog topics. You know I've never been thrilled with it. Well, no that's not true. I was VERY happy with it 5 minutes before the conception of my 2nd kid. After all I was within 5 pounds of my goal and smaller than I had been in high school. Jennifer Hudson wouldn't have felt threatened but I was content with it. But with another baby came more of everything and less weight watching. Then my skin threw another curve ball for awhile. Then everything got quiet and I was just happy to be me again.

The thing is I don't really care about weight. All I care about is that I am comfortable in my skin and I really do hate to be too big because then I have to do the work of getting back down. But when I am fed up enough with something, I WILL change it. My vision board/book, though, didn't mention weight. It said I'm gonna finally get that chef who will cook us delicious, healthy meals at least twice a week because I hate cooking and refuse to pretend otherwise. It said I will get that treadclimber I really want because I did so love my treadmill. When I wanted to move, it let me do that in the peace of my own home. But it's dead now and I'm not sure what I shall replace it with until I can get that really pricey treadclimber.

That vision board/book said I buy all the clothes, shoes and purses I want when I want without thinking about sacrificing something else first. I'm no clotheshorse, mind you, like my husband can be, so you won't feel a need to call Clean House on me, but I do love to wear stuff that makes me feel good and if my husband can do one of his silent doubletakes in the process, then all the better. I could do more now, but I just have different priorities at the moment so I do what I can when I can and I go for the more costly if I can since it lasts longer.

Clothes do make the woman, don't they? When you wear stuff you like and that FITS, your weight is usually the last thing on your mind. But I may be a little off because some women see themselves as bigger than they really are - at least to the rest of the viewing public. I tend to do the opposite, but don't worry. I know I don't dress like it. I just see myself probably a little better than I really am and in my vision, at my very best, I'm just a wife and mother who is enjoying life and her business, and who love to let other people use their talents to fulfill themselves and keep me from having to cook and clean refrigerators, thank you very much.

I was really happy to see I unknowingly left this little issue on the cutting room floor. Maybe it's one of those changes from being 40 that I was expecting. Maybe I've just got too much good in my life to let this be bigger than the seed of doubt it is. I'll still keep on deliberately working to lose weight for now. It's been 7 months so far and I'm only down 17 pounds, but I'm not sad about it or anything. Now way! Better down than up I say. When it comes to my self-esteem, though, better up. So, I'll just keep on going.