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

Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

Losing Sight of Shore

Losing Sight of Shore is an amazing documentary currently on Netflix. It is the story of the Coxless Crew – 4 women who ROWED across the Pacific from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia. They started with the quote “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Of course that quote was Christopher Columbus, but I had never heard it before this documentary. Grab a bottle of wine and watch it – it’s amazing. These are among the bravest women I have ever seen.

final_ocean_quote_pictureIn any case, that quote has been rattling around my brain this week. It’s been a week of highs and lows. Let’s start with the lows and get them out of the way:
• I have been rejected for new business (OK, shit happens),
• Today marks the last day with a lovely client (I will miss them and the $$)
• A frenemy is riding that high of launching his own company and he’s on that early wave of beginner’s luck that I had. (My green-eyed monster reared its head.)
• I asked a long-ago boss for some business and he soundly rejected me, but I have to say the conversation was really constructive and he was kind enough to walk me through why he was saying no and he was right. (Life lesson, sigh).
• I can’t seem to get myself up on a consistent schedule/routine. I’m really frustrated about this.

Now let’s talk about the high’s for the week:
• I’m winning a new piece of business that isn’t easy, but it could be very cool with a nice payday.
• I have a new project that launched this week – also not easy but cool.
• The Hunter gave an amazing presentation to a small group of his ideal type of client and hit it out of the park.
• My son is hanging with us and it’s been lovely to see him
• I just had a lovely chat with a great friend and we made plans to see each other next week. She’s always a great inspiration and mentor to me.

I didn’t have a lot of wins, but these were good. It wasn’t a particularly busy week (another problem). I spent time on some things that I shouldn’t (correcting that course!). I didn’t spend time on things that do matter (like my cold calling course and other business development).

I am now headed out to sea without the shoreline in sight. I have very little to nothing in my pipeline. Yes, my bank account is now safely in the black with about 6 months of reserve, but I feel anxious and the pressure of an empty pipeline. I have to remind myself that Robin needs to pull her weight with the business development and she can’t be included on every $$ that I bring in unless she has actually worked on it. I’ve been down that road before and I ended up broke & resentful.

I talked to my BFF because I feel the stress. I wake up (unless I exercise and take a melatonin) in the middle of the night thinking about work. I’m having a few anxiety dreams (a man stalking me down a street with the intent of killing me – that was a lovely one). She sadly told me that this is all perfectly normal and probably won’t go away anytime soon. WTF? My other great friend just told me that I just need to give it another 6 months and then I’ll be more stabilized. She should know – she has been an independent business owner for many years.

The Hunter took me to the beach this week with the Kracken. I had an active, not even resting, bitch face on which scares him. LOL. The walk was fabulous. He dealt with the dog and I strolled up and down the beautiful, windswept beach watching the waves, the light dim – it nourished my soul. I have started listening to my daily affirmations and it calms my negative self-talk.  Today we are knocking off early to celebrate his great day and I hope we do a replay. This man truly gets me.

 

Resilience

I had a long, lovely chat with Taz today — she had time, I had time so we had a gab fest.  She wanted to ask me questions about my upbringing — something I rarely talk about with my kids because I have little good to say about it.  I will openly answer any question, but I will rarely volunteer information.  During our conversation, Taz had two interesting comments:

The first is that she believes my mom was a borderline histronic personality.  I just read the Wikipedia link on borderline personalities and wow, that is my mom.  Geez.  I never realized it. Then as I began reading about it and the effects it has on children, it dawned on me — my Ex has many of those same symptoms.  Wow.  I’m going to have to think about all this.  I always thought my Ex was somewhat like my mom….

The other, and more cheerful, comment Taz had was that I am the most resilient person she knows.  When she thinks about resiliency, my face pops up.  That was sweet.  She couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize that in myself.  I guess I am, but I don’t think too much about it because it digs up the bad stuff that made me so damn resilient in the first place.

I was also reading back over this blog from about 2 years ago — the beginning of my relationship with the Hunter.  It’s interesting stuff now in context with my current situation.  I have been talking to a former colleague and remembering the dark cloud that was my work life.  This colleague told me that within a week of me leaving my old firm he realized why I left.  Now 6 months later, he can’t believe I stuck around as long as I did.  I felt validated.

Life is such an amazing journey.  The twists and turns, the beautiful sights and sounds, and the lows — it all makes for an incredible journey.  Now it’s Friday and I deserve a glass of wine.

P.S.  The other good news:  Taz, the data-sucker, will be off my cell plan by July 1st.  She laughed when I asked her today and said that her Hubby was still on his parent’s plan (he, his brother, sister-in-law — 3 adults).  Taz & Hubby decided it was time to grow up.  Woo hoo — in the span of three months she has saved me over $6,000/year.  That’s going straight to my 401k.

Mother’s Day – Bah Humbug

mothers-day-throw-up

I am slowly cleaning my house today and once again it sends me into a meditative funk – LOL. My future housekeeper may be more about mental health than actual housework! In any case, I was thinking about Mother’s Days past and how I slowly came to realize that the day had very little to do with my desires and it was all about everyone showing how much they celebrate and appreciate moms.

Here is the lesson to all moms of babies and very young children – insist, absolutely insist, that YOU define how Mother’s Day will be celebrated.

My first Mother’s Day was about 3 weeks after Taz was born. My Ex is one of 4 kids and we were the first to have a child. They arranged and insisted a brunch at TGI Fridays which was relatively close to home. What a cluster fuck.

I was a breast-feeding, over-whelmed, first-time mom in an age where breast-feeding in public was still pretty taboo. Brunch on Mother’s Day is restaurant hell and the 2-hour lunch was difficult. I hadn’t learned to just hand off the baby to anyone willing to hold her – I thought she was my responsibility and that I should be able to handle the situation. Plus Taz had undiagnosed reflux at that point so she was a hot mess. It wasn’t much fun and alcohol couldn’t smooth the rough edges because of the breast-feeding (I needed copious amounts and one mimosa wasn’t going to do that).

From then on it was a series of Mother’s Days that included brunches, pool parties at my house, outings to where my Ex decided would be fun for the family (boating, beach – not too bad), movies, nice meals, etc. When I was asked for my input, it was routinely pushed aside. I was given flowers – I don’t really care for flowers because they are over-priced and short-lived with my black thumb. If I asked for what I truly wanted: a day away from my responsibilities, alone at a spa – I was deemed selfish and unappreciative.

Interestingly enough, when my no-nonsense sister-in-law had her son about four years later, she attended one Mother’s Day brunch and was done. Too much work, she stated, and from then on she spent the day just with her mom doing something special. Smart woman – I should have followed her lead.

Now, of course, I had some lovely moments. My kids showered me with their version of the absolute best gifts a mom could want: a Lion King coffee mug (I used it this morning with a smile on my face), homemade gifts that made me feel special, lovely cards and the most precious gift of all – their time and love.

I’ll be spending Mother’s Day with my son and the Hunter. They have asked what I wanted to do and I want to spend it at the beach. I anticipate a call from Taz, who has over-scheduled the hell out of her next 30 days (don’t even ask, it’s dizzying), and the day will be low-key and mellow. Just the way I always wanted it…..

By the way, I’m not the only one hating Mother’s Days. As I read some essays from others who are in the “I Hate Mother’s Day” camp, they brought up some excellent points about how this day causes people pain. Pain from lost mom, abusive moms, lost children, the list goes on. Here are some great essays backing me up on this:

Fellow Ranting Moms:

http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/526033-ill-just-say-hate-mothers-day/

http://www.bluntmoms.com/i-hate-mothers-day/

Here are some compassionate folks thinking of others (I really need to work on my empathy)

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/mother-confession-why-hate-mother-day/H7yh8oVRwBfBEtj4EwRd7L/

http://forward.com/opinion/spirituality/371609/why-i-hate-mothers-day-and-why-all-women-should-hate-it-too/\

R.I.P Wildflower

horse on beach

This looks like Wildflower during his retirement years

As you, Dear Readers, know, I have been grappling with the debate of what to do about Wildflower, my daughter’s elderly horse.  He spent 9 years in retirement at a total cost of over $46,000 during that time.  If you want to read about my earlier turmoil over this, click here and here.

Now Wildflower took care of things for me.

He’s an old gray horse and gray horses are prone to a weird thing called equine melanoma  .  It’s usually benign and he had this throughout the time we owned him.  This week he was lying down in the pasture one morning, got up for breakfast, went back down and couldn’t get up.  The vet showed up and said, “it’s time”.  Within two hours of me being notified, Wildfire went to a better pasture.

I texted Taz that he was down, then within the hour asked her to call me.  She knew what was happening, but she was OK and very understanding of the decision.  Wildflower had been part of our family for 21 years.  She got him when she was 6 years old.

I was moved because his passing came the day after my mom’s birthday.  My mom, Taz and I bonded over this horse.  The horse shows, days at the barn, all the horsey stuff was what glued the three of us so tightly together.  Wildflower was loved by all three of us with a passion.

When I talked to Taz later that night, we shared a couple of funny memories about him.  I told her that I didn’t cry when she and my son went off to college, but I bawled like a baby when Wildflower left for retirement.  She laughed hysterically and said, “you always loved him best.  He was the third kid.”  She’s right.  That’s why I could never put him down just because of the money.

My Ex posted a nice note on my Facebook post of Wildflower’s passing.  I have been thinking about the good times that Wildflower gave all of us.  The time he tossed my Ex into the water during a beach ride (wonderfully delightful), the many ribbons he won for Taz, the many long summer days she spent at the barn rather than the mall or some other non-productive venue.

I also thought about how it tied into my mom’s birthday.  She loved that horse fiercely.  Taz was remembering how my mom had shirts with his photo, hats with his name, canvas photo bags, a chair just for horse shows with his show name — she was his biggest fan.  And the photos.  My mom was never without her camera trying to capture every single minute.

I know that my mom was waiting for Wildflower.  She is standing in a beautiful field with him, brushing him and talking to him.  He, of course, is being silly but at the same time he is at peace and loving her right back.

I am glad that I did the right thing.  It wasn’t easy, but sometimes doing the right thing isn’t that easy.  But I also have to say that I had a smile of relief because now I don’t have to write another check for May.  RIP Wildflower.  You were a truly one-of-a-kind.

gray horse young

This is what Wildflower looked like when we first got him.  He got whiter as he aged, but he was a pretty boy always.  

Lessons Learned

Lessons I have learned about myself.  Since my divorce four years ago, I have learned many truths about myself.  In some ways, I would say that I learned more about myself in the last four years than I learned in the previous decade, but that might be an overstatement.  Here, in a complete random order, are some of my self-discoveries both good and bad:

  • I’m impatient – that’s quite a revelation for me.
  • I’m a perfectionist – another head-spinner for me because I don’t feel like I have an attention for detail until I delegate something and it’s not perfect….
  • I’m not very emphatic, so I’m a horrible nurse and/or nurturer
  • I’m quite stubborn
  • I’m too kind with the wrong people ( like my former boss, my Ex and more)
  • I’m too trusting, again with the wrong people (like my former boss, former clients)
  • I’m not confrontational and need to improve (probably due to the explosive reactions from my Ex)
  • I’m smart and oftentimes too smart for many men (that made dating a challenge)
  • I’m a bit of a rebel and non-conformist which makes me an outlier for my professional world
  • I’m shitty with my finances and should have done a better job of saving $$
  • I’m a bit of an introvert and have to work at pushing myself to meet people
  • I’m lazy
  • I absolutely hate housework and am in no way a domestic goddess (I cannot wait until I have $$ for a weekly housekeeper again)
  • I have little self-discipline and that’s been an impediment to weight loss, time management and business development
  • I’m brave – I do brave things like get divorced after 25 years, start my own business, let the Hunter move in after only 2 months of dating, I move out of my neighborhood of 30 years
  • I’m clever at reading people, but occasionally I’m wrong – refer back to my trusting too much.
  • I’m an inspiration to many friends and family
  • I am innovative and strategic
  • People love working with me and being around me

That’s enough for now.  I want to get back to my daily affirmations, exercise and better daily planning to manage my time.  I was amazed with my time management book (Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern) that there are people out there that sometimes only have 3-4 things on their daily To-Do list.  Are you kidding me?!  That accounts for maybe an hour of a busy day for me.  It continues to dawn on me that I need to work smarter and be kinder to myself (yes, I need to be clunked on the head several times before things really stick with me – refer back to the stubborn attribute).

Rome wasn’t built in a day and Maggie & Co deserves patience and perseverance.  Business colleagues are constantly complimenting my bravery on forming my own company.  This raises questions in my mind of the Group Think prevalent in my profession.  Are they missing something or me?  I am pretty damn sure it’s the former.

Can Somebody Loan me some Patience?

OK, Gentle Readers, this is one long bitch fest, so if you aren’t in the mood of hearing bitch, bitch, bitch, skip this and drink a glass of wine instead.  I have to vent and this is the safest place. 

I just need to be more patient.  I just need to hang on a little bit longer as Maggie & Co climbs up the steep hill of success.  I feel the momentum building.  Some weeks are better than others, but I do know that I am taking consistent action and more action than many of my colleagues.  It’s just that I have a short runway of time.  My money is running out.  Do I tap my retirement fund…again?  I don’t think I’m going to have much of a choice. Sigh.

I am a bit calmer.  I went to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday.  My son joined me but the Hunter opted to go hunting instead.  The weekend was a lovely respite, even though the flights were hell.  We made an unscheduled landing for a medical emergency.  That was a first for me and we landed 2 hours late.  The return was delayed 2 hours as well. Thank goodness I wasn’t on United!  Anyway, the Hunter and I were apart for about four days.  Four days to think and boy, he did a lot of thinking.  He’s made changes to the Kracken so that nutty dog now stays outside most of the time.  He will give up the dog if he needs to, but I have told him that I want the dog to stay.  I see daily improvement with the dog, so once again, I just need to have patience.

My dad’s birthday weekend was great.  It is really nice to be in your early 50’s and be one of the youngest people at a party.  I felt young again – LOL.  It was a wake-up call to see all of my family with secure, well-provided retirements as I am scrambling for everything at the moment.  Sigh. But it was great to reconnect with family.  It felt good.

I came home with a huge, nasty cold.  I am the crankiest, bitchiest sick person on the planet.  I don’t want people to even think about me much less talk to me.  I huddled up on the coach as the Hunter drove 10 hours to get home from his hunting trip.  He brought me soup and avoided me for fear of me snapping at him.  I held my tongue, watched TV and vegged until the cold subsided.

I am in the middle of renewing the lease on this crappy house.  I’m not happy about it, but I don’t have the Fuck You money to move somewhere else, so I am forced to negotiate with a landlady, who for whatever reasons, has been under my skin from Day One.  I have a residential realtor friend coaching me through this and even she commented that she has never seen me dislike someone as much as my landlord.  I am usually cool and calm through negotiations and I find myself writing vicious emails, holding them for a day until the anger subsides and then editing them into something businesslike.

I have to buy a car this month and I really am not looking forward to it.  My lease is expiring and I’m over on miles.  I know the overage will continue, so I’m forced to buy something.  Yep, right when money is tight I have to come up with money for the mileage overage and a down payment.  Joy.  Add to the fact that there are too many choices of cars and I have been stuck, weighed down by indecision.  The Hunter is helping and we have finally identified the likeliest candidate — a 1-2 year old compact SUV.  Now I have to drive one and negotiate terms in the next two weeks.

With all my bitching and moaning, I have to say that I feel good things coming.  I feel momentum from all my marketing efforts.  I feel like I can do this.  I know I can do this.  I went back through records of when I switched firms and had to start again.  I looked at the income stream and where it came from.  The scary thing is to see how many clients bit the dust for various reasons, but it also shows me how many fish are out in the great blue sea. The Hunter’s business is picking up momentum also and he is slightly ahead of me, which is great.  My earning potential far exceeds his — fact, not boasting — so I need my ship to catch the winds of success also.

I feel like Robin is discouraged.  I know she is because I have my discouraged days as well.  When I have them, I call someone because when I don’t have courage, I ask other people to share theirs.  It has worked for me in the past and it works for me now.  I try to be her courage.  Even with the projects we are currently working on, the money won’t be enough to hold us for 6 months.  It will hold us for 2-3 months at most.  Hopefully that buys me enough time to create new opportunities.  Every day I look at my Vision Board which is full of Patience, Underdog, Pushing Through, Stay Focused — you get the idea.  Every day I work on business development more than anything else.  That’s what will generate results.

Now I am going to the gym.  I joined a cheap one because I realized that if I am going to sleep and stay sane, then I need to exercise.  I’ll write something zippy and happy in a day or two.  I am an Amazon.  I can do this.  I can do hard things.  I am an amazing woman who will be successful.  Yep, I need to get back to my daily affirmations.

patience belief

Meltdown Aftermath

Yeah, I lost it over the weekend.  I find myself questioning the life I am now living —again.  I’m in the ‘burbs with a 70 pound incessantly barking puppy, renting a place I don’t love in a neighborhood that, well, I’ll be honest — it’s not my socio-economic level.  Yeah, I’m a snob and I’m not proud about it.  I want nice things.  I want to better my life.  So if that is what I want, I need to keep working hard to achieve it.

The Hunter and I talked on Sunday evening.  I drank 2 glasses of wine and spewed forth my resentment of the dog and how things are right now.  I asked him to step it up on the household cleaning stuff, among other things.  He looked at me and said, “we have been over this before.  Why are you bringing it up again?  You are just like other women — never happy.”  Ouch.  He wasn’t particularly mad.  He continued by saying, “we want different things.  I’m a simple guy.  I try to show you each and every day how much I love you and how much you mean to me.” Ouch again.

I don’t know what I want.  I want a lot of things and they involve money.  I want to walk down the winding country roads of Tuscany and eat dinner at different inns and hostels.  I want to go to a beautiful resort in the Caribbean with a private villa so I can make love to the Hunter in the pool.  I think what I need is a good vacation, but that’s not happening.  Not right now when Maggie & Co. is still in its initial stages.  I need more clients.  I need more business.  I need more money.  I need, I need, I need……

The other problem/issue/cloud on the horizon is that the Hunter, as sexy a man as he is, has minimal interest in sex.  He said his doctor had told him a year or so ago, during a check-up, that he has low testosterone.  He just isn’t wanting to pound my pussy with any regularity.  He claims it is not about me or my appeal to him, but his lack of libido.  I gave him a look, according to him, that basically was “WTF, go to the doctor and get that shit fixed.”  Ah, the look that says the thousand words….  But this makes me feel insecure.  I feel like I’m fat and dumpy and unappealing to him.  Sigh.

I have to be honest.  I am having doubts.  I am having doubts about what the fuck I am doing with my personal life these days.

I told the Hunter we need some date nights.  He told me the truth and I know it’s his truth:  he’s a loner.  He claims he doesn’t have any friends (which isn’t quite true because he talks to and sees hunting buddies and old childhood friends on a more regular basis than I hang with my besties).  He prefers to be alone, so any date nights will be when I plan them.  I’m actually OK with this, but here is another truth because this post is really about my deep inner  unspoken thoughts and feelings.

He has sabotaged outings in the past.  I wanted to go to a festival — he was sick with a migraine.  I wanted to go to a concert, he went and was bored to distraction (OK, it wasn’t a great concert, but I had the tickets and was going regardless).  He dragged his feet and made us late to a comedy evening with some of my old work friends — I was so pissed that night.   I could go on, but there is a pattern….

I don’t want to bury these problems.  I don’t have another 25 years to toss away on a relationship that isn’t making me happy.  Am I happy?  I honestly don’t know.  I have an eye twitch, I’m under immense pressure these days with work, money is tight, but I see a small pot of silver in the horizon so I feel OK.

I imagine my life without the Hunter and it’s lonely.  I know that.  I know that the Hunter’s new business would not survive without me and where would that leave this very good man? See, there is another pressure:  the success of his business is also partially my responsibility also.  I’m the marketing/business development force behind it.

Someone had recommended a book on Adult Attachment on ASV’s blog.  I got it and have just started it.  No big revelations at this point.  I finished another book on Morning Rituals for successful people, so I can work on my self-discipline.   My go-to move is always to find a book and try to research the answer.  I have pulled out and analyzed my business plan over the weekend — what am I doing right, where can I improve.  I revamped my marketing program and sent it to my business coach.  I created a series of marketing pieces (quite brilliant, if I do say so myself) that now need to be printed so I can use them as mailers.  Oh yeah, I have my taxes to gather up, my corporation to renew, finish up my mom’s estate, replace my car since my lease is up in 3 weeks, renew the lease on this crappy house for another 6-12 months because it expires end of May.  I’m headed out of town for my dad’s big 80 birthday celebration next weekend and I have no meaningful gift.  I did manage to book plane tickets for me and my son about 10 minutes ago. The list goes on….

Now as I read through all of this, I realize that I need to slow the fuck down.  I’m under so much stress and deadlines that I will make hasty decisions that I will repent in leisure.  I just need to get this year under my belt.  Give myself some breathing room by making enough $$ to pay the bills.  Now, I have to go join the gym down the street and get to a networking event.  Sigh.  I hope nobody notices my twitchy eye….

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