"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

I’m Having a Meltdown

More will follow as I hash things out, but I pitched a world-class, shoe-throwing temper tantrum this morning all before coffee.  Let me set the stage:

I spent yesterday cleaning the house.  It was filthy and I was disgusted with the squalor.  I cleaned for about 4-5 hours.  Then after a quick dinner at a taco stand, I plopped in front of the tv.  Time slid and I didn’t take a shower, so I crawled into bed smelly after dosing on the couch most of the night.

My sleep-deprived self was awaken by the Hunter merrily announcing that the Kracken had gotten some of my shoes and there was a “shoe graveyard” in the living room.  WTF  – I asked what shoes? The Hunter merrily responds that I should come & see for myself.  Then he says, “let me grab my phone so I can record this”.  Boy, he misjudged the situation.

I go to the living room and there are my 4-month old $70 sneakers, wet with the laces stripped off and the inner sole ripped out of one.  My favorite pair of keds for around the house – one of them was completely destroyed.  Second fave pair of keds chewed but salvageable.  “You need to put your shoes away – you left them out and this is what happens,” the Hunter gleefully tells me.

I fucking popped a gasket.  I begin screaming, “Fucking  dog.  I’m sick of this.  I can’t have anything nice anymore”.  Then the shoes begin flying around the house as I picked them up.  I was very disappointed that they do not have the umpf and velocity of a baseball.  I wanted to break shit.The Hunter went silent.

I decided then and there I needed to get the fuck out of the house.  I took a shower got dressed and left.  The Hunter had disappeared on a walk with the Kracken so  I left a note.  I turned off my phone because I was beyond livid and needed some space.

I’ve been out of the house all day – from 9-4.  I have thought and written down my thoughts on why I got so mad.  I have shed a few tears, and I’m still pissed but calmer. I walked in the door to the smell of cigar smoke permeating the house from the Hunter’s mancave aka garage, my dog had pooped by the back door and a swept patio (it was on my To Do list). I’m trying to take deep breaths and not lash out just to be hateful.

I am waiting for my bottle of wine to chill and then I’m going to have a Roommate Check discussion with the Hunter.  I am not a happy camper about our living situation and aspects of our lifestyle.  I now realize that I really miss my little townhouse and perhaps in my haste to please him last summer, I over-compensated resulting in me simmering with low grade resentment.  It’s nothing that can’t be fixed — I just need my glass (or 2) of wine, put on my big girl panties and USE MY WORDS.  More to follow.

Last night was rough.  I woke up at 3 AM and was sucked into a vortex of fear.  The spiral started a few days ago, but last night it sucked me down in earnest.  New business is slow to develop and, of course, I am inpatient.  I sat down to re-group, pulled out some books to refresh my approach and figured out where I am lacking.  Basically I want to castigate myself and saying that I’m sucking at all levels of business development, but that would be melodramatic.  It boils down to two simple problems:  1) not enough time spent on it 2) not enough focus on the right actions.

Back to 3 AM.  I woke up, laid in bed for about 45 minutes, got up.  Worried.  Worried some more, totaled up the money I have spent out of my savings over the past year and gulped at the amount.  Panicked a bit.  Went back to bed.  Had a really good idea for a marketing piece and finally fell asleep.  When I got up this morning, the Hunter realized I was freaked out (which actually presents as angry and grouchy) and that I have been freaked out (i.e. angry and grouchy) for a couple of days.

I told him I was afraid.  I told him that I was afraid of peeking into my bank account.  I’m afraid to tap into yet more of my retirement fund (yes, I tapped my retirement fund for some of this $$) and I’m afraid because failure is simply not an option.  I told him that I need to work more, much more.  I told him that I needed to work smarter and so on and so forth.

He hugged me.  He told me how much he loved me.  He told me that we have been through a lot in our two years and we will get past this as well.  He then spent the morning hustling so he can come up with some $$ over the next couple of months.  It was great.  I had felt alone and isolated before talking to him.  I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders because I felt like I have to produce business for him, me and Robin.  But he made me remember that we are all adults and we can all shoulder some of that burden.

The remainder of the day was good.  I felt more positive.  I feel strong.  The Amazon is strapping on her sword and tomorrow she will be back out there slaying dragons. But first, it’s off to meet my book club for pizza, wine and chat.  My soul is looking forward to it. And who knows, I  could get lucky later on……

What’s Going On?

Last week Taz and Hubby were in town.  I had two days of Taz and utter relaxation.  Seems impossible, right?  Actually she needed R&R in a big way, so we chilled on two different uncrowded beaches.  One day her college chum and her dog joined us, one day it was the two of us.  We sat on the windy beach, trying not to fry our delicate winter white skin and listened to the beautiful sound of the waves.  It was divine.  Even more divine because I am a firm believer that the beach is better with adult beverages.

For the first time in almost 2 years I had Taz in a normal, calm state of mind.  She slept, ate and enjoyed being outdoors.  When her Hubby joined us midweek, he took one look at her and said, “Your mom is great medicine for you — you look so rested.”  She played with the Kracken, the Hunter made her delicious home-cooked meals and I made her amazing coffee from the fantastic espresso machine she gave me at Xmas.   We saw Hubby for an afternoon because he flew in a few days after her and we enjoyed a fun afternoon outdoors ending with drinks at a legit biker bar.  It was an idyllic visit.

Now I feel like I’m behind at work.  Some potential new business has fallen apart, but that’s the nature of my beast.  I just say, “Shit!” or “Fuck it” and move on.  Robin, my business partner, is a solid comfort to me.  We just keep moving and trying new approaches.  I’m more willing to chase some minnows, but she’s too smart for that. What’s interesting about my minnow chasing is that it is taking me down unforeseen paths — like talking to a Masters class at a nearby university or having a whole bunch of folks calling me instead of me calling them.  You never know where these things lead which is why I hate to say no to the minnows.

In the meantime, my big, beloved client who followed me to Maggie & Co is moving on.  They are changing their business model and it will no longer include us.  It has nothing to do with our service and they have already told us how much they will miss us.  If all goes according to plan, we will part ways in the next 45 days.

I’m looking at March, April and May with horror.  My car lease is up, our house lease is up and we are moving for sure, the Hunter turns the big 50 and I still have to do my taxes….Oh yeah, and my dad’s big 80th birthday bash which requires me traveling out of state falls in April.  And the Hunter has a huge speaking gig and….well, you get the point.  It’s never dull around here.

Now let me continue my hunt for new clients…..the Amazon needs some cash!

 

To Those who lost their Mojo

I have discovered several women (and guys) in a career funk. Obviously they are good friends or they never would have confided such a weakness to me.  They have all lost their mojo and are stuck in the mud, but they are all at different points of this cycle.  I find that Lost Mojo has a distinct cycle/path that has to be traveled.

I thought I was the only one to lose my mojo when I ground to a halt back in 2015.  Looking back, I see how depressed I was.  It stemmed from a bad job situation that I failed to fully recognize.

In my profession, the key phrase is “fake it until you make it”.  You never tell the truth to anyone except your absolute closest confidantes and even then you don’t tell it all because you can’t be sure even they can be trusted 100%. You tell your frenemies that you are busy, life is good, your partnership is great, you are happy, etc.  I did that, but my problem was I believed my own lies.  Once I woke up and looked around, I realized: 1) my partnership wasn’t real, I was only an income stream; 2) my boss was not who I thought he was; and 3) the only person who cared and could make things right for me was ME.

The next step was planning.  I had nothing to offer to another firm.  No book of business that would earn me a signing bonus, plus I was sick and tired of the corporate BS at the firms.  I couldn’t see the benefits of these corporate giants.  I had been with one for a decade.  It had been great on the resume, but so much of my earnings went into the black corporate hole that it made no economic sense to me.  These corporate giants don’t value me.  They consider my clients theirs and expect to keep them if I leave.  They can even take them away from me if they decide someone else is better suited.

But going back to funks/loss of mojo.  My dearest BFF is going thru the deepest slog of the muddy pit of despair.  Her ray of hope has been watching me plow through and come out the other side seemingly sanity intact and happy. $$ are still my concern, but I refuse to be afraid or anxious about $$.  Although my banker just called me and I trembled about taking that call….all was fine.  She needed a referral!

Anyway, I’ve been in this crazy profession for 20+ years and I have spent 15 of those years eating only what I kill.  I know that I’m a badass Amazon and I’ll be fine.  It may only be rabbits right now, but my vision board is full of elephants because I know that I can land something that will feed me for a long, long time.

BFF has experienced far greater success than me.  So perhaps her funk was a greater fall for her.  To win her freedom, she made a not-so-great deal with an OK devil.  She too wants to believe her boss is a good guy — not a self-centered prick who was sleeping with a bitch in her very small office.  A bitch that methodically uses every tool at her disposal to sabotage BFF.

BFF wished for a man who would take care of  her.  She found him —  he has volunteered to support her while she reinvents herself.  He believes and supports her wholeheartedly because he’s an entrepreneur and understands the great risk/great reward gamble she needs to undertake.

I have suggested a plan that keeps her in the game while she waits out a new non-compete.  She needs to make bold moves this year.  She needs to open her eyes again and tell corporate America to go fuck itself.  I know she can do it.  She’s brilliant, likable, driven.  The question is — can she let those of us who love her, help her?  I’ll let you know….

My other GF is also in my profession. We bonded over trying to raise kids in our crazy careers.  Her story is one of amazing heartache and I think she is one of the strongest, most resilient women I know.  I’ll have to write her story one day.

This GF has just recovered her mojo.  She is emerging from the mud pit of despair to once again kick butt and take names.  She hasn’t changed jobs — she tried but couldn’t find a new spot that was an improvement over her current one.  Last week over dinner, she told me that she admires my bravery in setting up Maggie & Co.  Her niche does need a big corporate profile, but her competition is brutal.  I have no desire for it.

She told me that I was invaluable to her breakthrough.  I was so flattered!  I think it was because I’m not afraid to speak the truth to her.  She has told me her deep secrets and I have shared mine.  We see each other for a monthly 3-hour gab fest and we always have each other’s back. Her outlook is bright once more and I am absolutely thrilled for her.

The guy who is in a funk was once at the top of his game.  His fall from grace was stunning.  He has an older half brother in the game and I’m convinced their father has some sort of crazy gene he passed on to these guys.  Both had a fall from grace, both are a bit crazy but everyone loves them.  I have heard the rumors of his depressive tendencies, some anger towards his partners, but I’ve never seen it.

This guy jumped out of corporate America when I did.  He immediately started his own firm while I stopped at my previous job.  He was doing OK but he has struggled with a sense of purpose.  He’s tried different things, gotten divorced, found new love, just had a baby, but he hasn’t gotten back to his previous earning power.  He was once part of a powerful team that was making tons of $$.  The team is no more, but their friendship remains which says a lot about all of them.

This guy wants to be affiliated with Maggie & Co — maybe.  He wants his independence and to keep his own firm, but he finds the daily solo slog difficult.  He doesn’t want a boss, but I have never agreed to be a boss — only a facilitator.  My brilliant idea is to match him with my BFF — they would both be formidable once again….That meeting will be soon. Very soon.

So if you have lost your mojo, it’s OK.  It happens to us all.  You just need to realize that the answers are within you.  You and you alone are the only person who can fix your funk. Don’t look to others, don’t blame others — take a deep breath and look inside. And talk to people that you trust because they will tell you the truth.  I’ll write some more about this on my journey out of the mud pit of despair….

 

How I am Loved

I’ve never known a man like the Hunter.  He’s complex yet straightforward.  He’s a man of simple needs:  a good truck, a roof over his head, food in the frig, the outdoors, a dog to keep him company in the woods and a couple of good guns so he can hunt.

He likes simple pleasures:  a fire, a toke (0r two), nature, good comfort food.

He gives me space to flourish, but makes sure that I don’t over-work, and he does it gently so I don’t feel controlled.

He is a man thru and thru.  He’s strong, capable, resourceful — I always feel taken care of. He’s self-confident enough to not feel threatened by my career — that takes a special man.

I told him my number.  I have never told anyone my number.  It’s how much $$ I want to make.  I may hit it this year — Year 1 of Maggie & Co, but I know I will hit it in 2018 and every year thereafter.  I have never hit that number — I’ve come close, but never hit it.

I’m so lucky to have the Hunter on this journey.  I’m sure, in fact I know, people may judge us by outdated social norms that think the man should be the primary breadwinner.  I could care less about that.  I was married to such a man and it didn’t work for me.

I would far rather have a man who strives to take care of me with innumerable Acts of Service.  A man who celebrates my business savvy and wins.  A man who is so easy to live with that I’m still in awe of my good fortune.

My needs may not be as simple as the Hunter’s.  I want a nice home — which may be a bit of a challenge with the Kracken, but attainable.  I want travel to distant lands:  the beauty of Tuscany and Provence, the wilderness of Alaska.

The Hunter loves to travel, so I think he will love it too.  He gives me space to breathe deeply and in turn I can love deeply too.  I love him dearly.

I read this to the Hunter.  When I finished, I looked up at him and he was wiping his eyes.  “I hate when you write things like that,” he said.  “Why?”  I asked.  “Oh silly girl, I’m the lucky one,” and he kissed me.

Reflections on My Walk

Last weekend the Hunter and I went camping. We took both dogs, the crazy now 70 pound pup and my aging Lhasa Apso.   The Hunter was deep in the woods with the Kracken, so I was leisurely walking my old dog down a path through a meadow and this parable popped into my head.

We are walking slowly at his pace — he was tired this morning.  My old dog is approaching 16 years old and he has lung cancer, so we take each day as a blessing.  The day before he wore himself out with an exuberant (for him) walk.  Although we were on the same path, our sights, smells and experiences were completely different.

He is low to the ground focused on the sights and smells immediately in front of him.  I’m taller, so I’m looking at the beautiful sky, the trees, the meadow — but we are together.

I turned back from my planned hike because he couldn’t handle a long walk.  I took him back to the tent and made him comfortable.  Once he was settled, I left on the hike I wanted to take.  I enjoyed a long walk, although I didn’t have a hiking stick or water (poor planning!).  I still enjoyed the beauty and quiet of me alone with my thoughts.

I thought about how all of this relates to my kids.  I have them settled as adults.  Their experiences along life’s path are different than mine — different pace, experiences, etc.  I’m free now to hike my own path at my own pace.  The Hunter gives me that freedom willingly and with great love.

I feel calm, confident, ambitious — I’m ready to be the Amazon that has always been within me.

Back in the Saddle

I am back in the saddle at work. I am busily working on business development pursuits as well as some current projects that will yield decent pay days. Then I have the elephants. An elephaElephantnt (to me) is a business pursuit that is so crazy and outside of my normal line of work. I have three elephants right now. One is much smaller than the other two, but all three have some viability. When the Hunter asked for a probability, I gave all of them about 5% chance. The odds have risen to 25% on two. It will take a couple of months for the two big ones to play out and it involves other folks taking the lead, so there is a lot of uncertainty. I shouldn’t think about the $$ but I can’t help it because the paydays are so substantial.

Cash flow at the beginning of the year is always tight and this year is exceptionally tight.  I’ll be OK in about 30 days, but until it will be by a razor-thin margin.  I just need to work hard and stop dreaming about those elephants…..

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