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

Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

How About Some F*@king Gratitude?

Argh!  Where is my patience today?!  I have been testy all day.  The Hunter needed some logistical help with dropping off his truck at the mechanic and I snarled as I had to wait an extra 10 minutes.  I was testy when our walk got cut short, when I had to help him with some paperwork and THEN I was snippy when I lost a project.  It hasn’t been a day of rainbows and sparkles.  Poor guy, he’s walking on egg shells.

It could be worse.  I need to think about how lucky I am for all that I have.  My father didn’t kill himself the day before Thanksgiving like a former coworker is dealing with.  She’s a wonderful person and her relationship with her dad was fraught, but my heart goes out to her.  He was in his 80’s.

My day is much better than another person who I found out killed herself several years ago.  She was a very talented vendor, but during the recession she was laid off, then her husband divorced her and I guess it was just all too much for her.  I only found out about this last week.  My heart ached for her.  The last time I saw her was when I was out with a friend at a super trendy restaurant.  We were trying to weasel our way in and the maitre d’ wasn’t having it.  Then I saw her and she was with a girlfriend.  Her girlfriend pulled the right strings and 5 minutes later we had the best seat in the house.  They loved having our company and a splendid time was had by all.  I am happy that was my last memory of her, but also sad that it is the last one.

My day is better than the client I met last week who had several cars stolen from their parking lot.  His car was one of them.

My day is better than many, many other people.  I need to remember this.  Now, let me go give the Hunter a hug and tell him I love him.  I am grateful that he’s in my life.  I have to remember that.

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Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

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Off the Grid – Day Two

This was written last week on my Thanksgiving vacation.  For Day One, click here.

Today is a quieter day.  Windy, a bit overcast with a sporadic light rain shower.  I refuse to entertain the notion of being even the slightest bit cold, so I’m cozy with my layers topped with a lap blanket.  This enables me to stay outside on the porch’s comfy sofa while breathing the clean, country air.

We are alone here.  Just me, the Hunter and the Kracken.  Another hunter is here, but he has a nearby girlfriend so he stays with her.  They have TV, internet and central heating — who can blame him?  They have popped in and out — two 20-somethings in the first phase of love.  She’s adorable.  He’s the handsome, quiet, military type.

Last night as I made some dinner, one of the camp owners burst into the kitchen.  He surprised us both — he didn’t know I was there and I didn’t know he was dropping by.  After our mutual surprise, we chatted and the Hunter arrived. I gave him the Hunter’s gift of Florida oranges and met his beautiful teenage daughter with the adorable country twang I lost many years ago.  The Hunter’s camp is in a rural area close to where I grew up.  These are my people.

I’ve enjoyed the quiet.  Being off the grid is nice.  Having an auto-reply email message excusing me is lovely.  Apparently activity around the camp will pick up by the weekend as more folks show up.  We’ll have to share the kitchen and bathroom.  I’ll be one of maybe 2-3 women and the only non-hunter.  It will be interesting.

The Hunter is so thankful I’m here.  He has company, he’s not alone or bored.  He confessed to me during our ride up here that he has been consumed by anxiety.  I’m glad he’s talking to me about it.  I wish I could wave my magic wand and fix it.  I listen and offer a different perspective.  Here’s an example:

The Hunter was musing out loud that maybe he was bipolar or had some mental disorder.  I said no way on bipolar and explained it to him.  He then said that as a kid his parents took him to a psychologist.

Back up:  I said he’s gifted and that was part of his problem at school.  Gifted kids oftentimes are disruptive because they are bored.  He said school was hard.  I said they weren’t engaging him so he could learn.  Now back to the psychologist.

He said that his whole family went (parents, sister and him).  He doesn’t remember how old he was but it was between 8 to 11 maybe.  They stopped going to the doctor after four visits.  He doesn’t know why.

I said that I knew why.  I told him his mom put a stop to it because her secret would pop out.  I told him that he would have told the doctor that she was beating him every day, then the doctor would have to report it and then all hell would have broken loose.

He was stunned.  That gave him something solid to chew on for about 100 miles.  I never excuse his mother.  What she did was horrible.  He was a very bright, energetic, loving kid — she didn’t understand him and I think she has some serious issues, but that’s a post for another day or not at all.  Those are his demons.

On Day 2, I had a call with my business coach (OK, my phone did work and I also had limited texting, but not much).  Anyway, she asked me why I’m not a Million Dollar Producer.  She said I have the ability, the know-how but my mindset holds me back.  I told her that I agree and I finally have the answers:

  1.  My marriage held me back.  The career had to be #3 and I had no support for my career ambitions.  That’s hurt me long term.
  2. Business development involves interrupting which is a form of confrontation.  Confrontation has terrified me due to the horrific response I would get from both my mom and my Ex.  I’m slowly recovering and learning that confrontation may be awkward but it isn’t scary with normal people.
  3. Consistency eludes me.  I’m working on small changes and small new habits to see if I can build a basic foundation.

She was impressed that I finally had figured it out.  We also talked about OppA and OppB .  It was a good call.  I felt strong afterwards.  My 2019 Business Plan is so simple I can fit it on an index card.

  • Embrace my CRM and use virtually every damn feature it offers.  I pay for the damn thing and it works beautifully.  The more I use it, the more I will love it.  When I returned, I spent part of my first day watching a few videos and getting back up to speed on it.
  • Small, consistent bites of the elephant I call business development. I just need to get into the DAILY morning habit of 15 minutes of cold calls, 15 minutes of emails, 15 minutes in LinkedIn and 5-10 minutes of warm/follow up calls.  Just an hour each day.  Once I get that hour going consistently every day, then I’ll add 5 minutes to each category or add another hour later in the day, but for now I want to make this DAILY habit a reality for at least six months.

I want 2019 to be the  year I prove to ME that I’m a Bad Ass Success.  At first I thought, “I’ll show everyone”, but I realized that I need to prove it to myself.  I need to prove to myself that I am a Bad Ass.

Here’s my 2019 Resolutions (sorry for those who hate resolutions, but I like goal-setting):

  • Financial Security:  make enough $$ to pay off all my debts and start some significant savings.  $200K will suffice, thank you very much.
  • Make 3 New Friends: Make some new girlfriends that I can hang out with and enjoy.  The book, MFF Seeking BFF, really resonated with me.  Friendships will only help to improve my mental health.  I realize that I need to have a plan for this, so I’m working that into my Daily Habits.
  • Get my Living Quarters Functional so said friends can visit me without me cringing.  I need a sofa.  I am determined to get one in January come hell or high water.
  • New Job that has the collaborative environment that I have been craving.

At the end of the day, my head is getting healthier and clearer.  I feel better.  This week in the woods is great.  I have fun books to read, business/self-improvement books to explore and plenty of great walks with a dog who lives to join me….

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Off the Grid- Day One

This was written last week during my Thanksgiving off-the-grid vacation.

Here I sit on the porch of an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.  I’m surrounded by woods and fields, the nearest road is over a mile away and it is only a lonely two-lane country road. I have no internet, no phone, no TV.

When we arrived, I sucked in my breath.  Could I handle a week of this?  It was eerily quiet at night and very dark.  Coyotes howled.  It’s cold.  OK, cold for me whose blood runs thin.  This place is one big man cave — one bathroom, a kitchen without an operating stove, and a level of cleanliness that does not come close to my bare standards.  OK, the bathroom was actually clean, so I was OK.

I snuggled in my sleeping bag on a wide lower bunk on the first night.  I slept well.  I awoke the next morning after the Hunter had left for his tree stand.  He left me coffee — what a love.  The Kracken and I went outside to the comfy sofa on the porch so I could suck down some caffeine and get my bearings.

My mind launched into story-telling mode.  I did this as a child.  I would tell myself stories.  Long, detailed stories — the type I would want to read.  I spent the majority of the day telling myself a very long, detailed story of a young woman who inherits her grandmother’s farm and turns it into a retreat/vacation spot.  It was lovely to let my mind go.

The Kracken and I took a series of walks, both with and without the Hunter.  The Kracken is deliriously happy.  He’s off the leash, dashing all over, exploring.  In his mind, this is the Best.Vacation. Ever.  At night he dreams constantly.  During the day he is perpetually in motion.

By the end of the first full day, I conquered the farm house/hunting bunk house.  The kitchen is figured out, light switches are located throughout the house and comfy nooks for me are tested and identified.  I moved a space heater into a sitting room that is filled with afternoon sunlight and it becomes my cozy evening reading spot.

My favorite spot is the comfy couch on the porch.  To my right is a huge field of soybeans ready for harvest and the dirt road that leads out to the highway. To my left are two old barns and trails leading into the woods.  In front of me are woods just past a large lawn.  The lawn has two very old oak trees and the area is chock-full of birds:  blue jays, cardinals, finches, warblers and more.  I watch them busily chirping and singing as they go about their business.

I am at peace.  My mind is calm.  I feel good.

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It felt like this.  Muddy dirt road…  Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

I Feel Better, but…

I wrote this back in August/September 2018 and somehow it has been sitting in my drafts…

I do feel much better these days.  Mentally and physically I just feel like my mojo is returning.  My daughter, Taz, remarked as much this week.  I still have some demons to deal with like the IRS and a small mountain of debt, but I feel like the financial stuff will work itself out.  I still have days where I feel a little funkish, but they are fewer and fewer.

Working for myself and being really the only member of Maggie & Co is a lot of work.  I have a lot of things I want to get done and not enough hours in the day.  I keep making lists and trying to prioritize, but it’s not easy because I get interrupted frequently and these aren’t interruptions I can avoid.

Then I do silly things like plopping in front of the computer and writing a post instead of working.  I worked on some things for a potential small new client that will be a complete waste of my time and I didn’t start on the moneymakers until late in the day.  Plus I didn’t really do any meaningful business development.  This is the kind of shit that gets me into trouble.

I do have a lot of work — good work that makes me money.  But I’m finishing up these projects and it will be time to begin new ones, but I gotta find the new ones first.  I refuse to stress about it.  Yes, I have lots of things to do.  Yes, my time is limited. But, that’s all OK, I’ll get it figured out.

The Hunter’s new company is rolling along and gaining momentum.  He is creating income streams where we didn’t think they would be.  He’s trying out new concepts and he likes some and hates others.  We discuss that it is all a part of prototyping.  He has been making more money this year than he’s made in the past two, so we are excited for him (and it takes some pressure off of me).

I think we are headed out of the woods now and it’s a big relief.  I cannot give myself too much slack on the business development side of things.  I have to create my own opportunities, so I cannot sit on my butt and wait for the phone to ring.  I just need to be strategic about it.

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Photo by Joanna Szumska on Unsplash

Friendship

I am reading MWF Seeking BFF:  My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend.  I have mixed emotions about this book.  On the one hand, it has a lot of great information about making friends and different approaches to take.  Rachel Bertsche is a great writer who combines the science of research with the fun of a witty memoir of her own journey.   On the other hand, it shows me how much my fucked up childhood has impacted my life long term which in turn makes me a bit melancholy.

Before I start my pity party, let me first congratulate myself on recognizing the fucked up aspects of my childhood and refusing to replicate that for my kids.  They grew up in one town, basically one great neighborhood with two parents.  My daughter has an extensive circle of friends from middle school through med school and beyond.  She stays in touch to the best of her ability and that really makes me happy.

My son is a bit of a different story.  He’s a guy, and friendships are different for men.  But he did have continuity and stability plus great team sports throughout his childhood which lead to him rooming with his high school buddies in college.  Mission accomplished.

But this post is about ME!  As I read this book (and I do recommend it), I have moments of sadness and regret.  Regret that I don’t have many close girlfriends from my childhood.  Sadness that I don’t have many close girlfriends now and apparently I haven’t been using the proper methods to attract such.  Sigh.

I get it.  I had a tough marriage that did not lend itself to giving me time of my own.  My Ex hated and actively discouraged me from having friends or “Girls Nights” or anything remotely symbolizing Me Time.  Here’s a classic example of how he would punish me:

When my son was several months old, a GF invited me to go shopping.  We went to a big outlet mall and spent a great afternoon without kids.  I came home at dusk to a home with no lights on and a crying baby.  My husband was lying on our bed with the crying baby.  His explanation was basically it was all my fault for being gone so long.  WTF, can’t you man the ship and give me some time off?  The answer was clearly no.  I was furious.  Furious that he wasn’t caring for our children properly and then guilting me for trying to have some time to myself.

Now this is the man that would come home around 8:00 in the evening after usually having a drink or two with “clients” or his partner.  Now how the heck am I suppose to have friends with an active saboteur in my bed?  The answer:  it was impossible, so I pretty much gave up.  If I could have lunch with my friends during the work week, that was the best I could do.  Anything else was a logistical clusterfuck.

One of the few times I carved out time for myself was when I had a brief affair and then it was only once a week and immediately after work — I said I was working overtime.

Towards the end of our marriage, I met the woman who has become my BFF.  He actively tried to sabotage that.  Interestingly enough, he had met one of her work colleagues and at first was OK with it.  Then the work colleague ended up being a complete bitch to my BFF and of course the Ex agreed.  I’m convinced that work colleague traded sexual favors for his legal expertise….but I digress.

Between a childhood of moving around constantly and an Ex who discouraged any friendships, it’s no wonder I feel like a social pariah at times.  I was thinking about the town I lived in the longest during my childhood and that duration was only 3-1/2 years.  That’s insane.  OK, I know that military families are moving constantly but that’s expected and usually those families actively help their kids address that situation.  There was no reason for my moving except for an impulsive mother and virtually non-existent dad.

Now I have the time and a man that actively encourages me.  I am lacking money for serious friendship cultivation, but I think that’s surmountable.  I have a new goal:  expand my friendship circles by meeting new people and learning how to be a better friends.  Consistency.  Yikes, that nemesis of my character/being.  I need more consistency.  Now, let me go email a couple of women I have been trying to friend.

Oh and go read Rachel’s book.  It’s a good read.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Who am I?

Today was funny, I had the accomplishment of pushing another woman into recognizing her own worth.  Even though I don’t know her well — she is a LinkedIn acquaintance who has been calling and texting me lately for some advice — I candidly told her that she needed to stand up and take control.  She was very grateful and I felt like I had my shit together.

Then I had an afternoon call with a frenemy.  I was checking in with him because it’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.  He was back from a very successful business trip.  My green-eyed monster lurked around a bit, but mostly I hung up the phone and thought, “Good for him, but WTF – what is wrong with me?”

My thought process was why wasn’t I doing something similar?  Why are my business development efforts not so bold?  I listened to a woman last week, who I like tremendously and see as a role model.  She’s not much older than me, but what a career!  She has done it all including having kids, taking time for them and still kicking ass and taking name, but on her own terms.  I listened to her story for the first time last week and realized how many similarities we have and  yet she has great success and I’m just showing up.

I’ve been thinking about why that is.  How did I miss the magic train to career stardom?  I know that it’s because of decisions I made early in life and heck, let’s be honest — decisions I have made throughout my life.  I decided that my kids would come first, always.  Couple that with a controlling husband who was always jealous of any success and that put a kaboosh on me doing anything rock star with my career.  Am I making excuses?  Are those my limiting beliefs?  Perhaps, but perhaps that is also my reality.

Am I OK with that?  No.  I want a replay.  Actually I was writing, “I guess” and I realized that fuck no, I want the replay.  I see young women coming up in my profession and I’m jealous of them.  They have their careers ahead of them and they are pushing up the corporate ladder.  I didn’t get that.  People talk about their mentors.  I didn’t have one that helped me.  Seriously — I haven’t had one that truly helped me.  What is wrong with me?  Am I just the norm and everybody else is lying through their teeth or am I the outcast?  Am I really unpopular for reasons unknown to me?  Am I too honest in the corporate world and I should keep my mouth shut more?  Naw, that wouldn’t be any fun.

Last week I spent a morning with a potential new client.  It was our first meeting. She’s in her 20’s.  It didn’t go off well.  She warmed up towards the end, but I knew that she wasn’t comfortable with me because I AM TOO OLD.  WTF — seriously?  You think I’m kidding?  Nope, I got the rejection email this morning.  It’s fine, I understand completely, but geez louise.

What’s funny is I’m OK.  I’m a little concerned about business which of course is why I’m ranting about this stuff, but it’s also Monday and I tend to rant on Mondays.  I’m in a great mood, life is good and I’m busy as can be.  I need to be grateful for what I have.  Yep, that’s my next move:  a nice hot soak in the tub while I think about all the things I’m grateful for.

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Photo by Karla Alexander on Unsplash

 

I’m Alive

I’m Alive
So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars
That I’m alive and well
It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive.
And today, you know, that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive and well
Yeah, I’m alive and well.
Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul and there’s not a soul in sight
This boat…
It’s been awhile since I started with a song lyric.  I heard this today after a lovely lunch with Robin.  We got all caught up on how the other was doing.  We talked about how long it takes to finish grieving for a marriage that has ended, how to be kinder to ourselves as we sort out our money issues and a host of other things women of our age talk about.  It was good.
Then as I got in the car to head to an appointment, the above song came on.  I hit repeat and listened to it again.  I’m not a Whoo Whoo religious person, but I know that the Mother of our Universe sent that song to me.  Thank you.  I needed that today.
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Photo by resa cahya on Unsplash

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