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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.

Ebb & Flow

The Hunter makes me laugh. Living with someone 24/7 is not for everyone and I completely understand why based on my former marriage. Fortunately the Hunter and I make a lot of room for each other to have the independence to do as we please. Each of us has the right to take a pass on an activity without repercussions from the other. I tend to be a homebody (typical Cancer) and can be perfectly happy with a book. The Hunter has pointed out, gently, that I don’t have any hobbies and few friends up here. He has been advocating that I do more activities. I think he does this so he doesn’t feel guilty when he goes to the woods, but also he cares about me and my well-being.

I have taken his advice to heart and have been trying a bunch of MeetUps in an attempt to cultivate new friends. I joined a book club (great), went out with a group to a movie (great movie, met one nice woman, the rest ignored us), walking group (old farts, but nice) and business networking (more fun than I was even hoping for). This has resulted in me being out and about more than usual this month. The Hunter has been supportive but slightly, ever so slightly, teasing me about having an affair. I typically invite him unless it’s a woman-only event and I am clear on where I’ll be and with whom. I think his teasing is a residual of his old controlling, insecure ways from his Pre-Maggie days.

I was getting a weird vibe from him this week. Something was ever so slightly off with him. He asked me to initiate sex more and be more assertive in bed. I tend to be an Alpha submissive. In this conversation, he reminded me that he has requested this before. Since it was post-sex and he compounded this request with another regarding my performance, I had to swallow hard and think about it in the right context. Yes, he hurt my feelings a little, but I appreciated his candor. I think taking constructive criticism is a skill in itself, so I reminded myself that he loved me and to not get all freaky about it. He also realized I was a bit hurt and scooped me up in his arms to cuddle me. The air was cleared, but the weird vibe still lingered.

Then I came home last night from a networking event. I had a couple of drinks and was feeling randy. I walked in the door, grabbed him and headed to the bedroom. We stripped off our clothes and he told me that he might not get erect. We’ll see about that! I gave him a great blow job, got him hard and he proceeded to fuck the shit out of me. He, as he so eloquently put it, “pounded the pussy” until I was begging for mercy. The bed moved about 3 feet across the wood floor. He didn’t come, but I made up for it by really enjoying it. We stretched out together and he triumphantly declared the preceding events were basically to stake his claim on me. We snuggled and the weird vibe has disappeared.

The Hunter is an interesting man. I know that it’s hard to be with an Alpha female. You have to be comfortable in your own skin first – which he is. I know that he has his moments of something (self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety – whatever you want to call it or perhaps all three on a rotating basis) because he’s so dependent on me these days. He’s dependent on me for helping create his new business, providing living expenses, plus all the aspects of our romantic relationship. We are deeply intertwined now and it’s only been three years.

As for me, I cannot imagine my life without him. I love him deeply because he allows me to be me without compromise. He loves who I am and has no desire to change me (except perhaps the hobby part). He is my biggest fan. People always look aghast that we work together in the same home office. They ask us how we make it work without driving each other crazy. The reason is simple: mutual respect and love.

But man, relationships are weird things. Always changing, always shifting, always interesting.

Repost – A Year of Celibacy (by choice)

Thus is an interesting article by a gay man in LA who took a break from sex – but not dating – and the lessons he learned.

My year without sex

http://wapo.st/2iNQaTd

Defining My Journey

Cleaning the house is meditative time for me. I crank on music or podcasts for some of it, but sometimes you can’t hear it, so you end up spending time inside your head. As I ranted about Stuff, I have also been thinking about where I want to be in a year, 3 years, 5 years, etc. The Hunter mentioned this past week that we are coming up on two years together. Wow, really? It seems so short yet so long. Time is a funny thing.

In any case, he has a clear direction on what he wants and where he wants to be. He wants to be out in the country with his dogs, his toys, his land. I like that but only so far. We compromised with thought of two places. I just wrote a post about how Life is good and it is, but…..

I have been thinking about me. Am I living my dreams or someone else’s? When I was a growing up, I did as my parents wanted and what everyone expected of me: get good grades, get a college degree, get married, have kids, etc. Then I finally had enough and got my divorce. Some of the “what is expected” continued due to my son’s graduation, my daughter’s wedding, things like that. But old habits die hard….

Right now I have entered a period where the only “Expected” event will be my son’s college graduation next year. In the meantime, I want to ponder about what I want. During my entire life, I have subordinated my dreams, wishes, desires, career, etc. to what others want. Shit, I’m so damn submissive that I rarely picked out the restaurant, the TV show or the movie during my marriage – it was simply easier to acquiesce. Now that I can make my own decisions and have a say that will be heard and valued, I am realizing that I often don’t have an opinion. I don’t have a cool idea of something to do or someplace to go. I don’t know the hip things going on in town anymore. That’s a shame and it makes me a bit sad at times because my FOMO kicks up.

For example, next summer is the Hunter’s big 50th birthday and he wants to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail for a couple of weeks. Cool, but not really my thing. I will day hike with him, be a Trail Angel, but he can haul the 30-pound backpack up and down mountains, sleep in rat-infested shelters with other unwashed bodies while I cool my heels at a nearby B&B. The weekend camping trips are his thing, not necessarily mine. I enjoy them and it’s very relaxing, but I enjoy going to the beach, art festivals and other things too.

But what’s my next big trip? Where do I want to go? Italy has always been a dream, so perhaps that should be my goal. This summer I had a couple of poignant FOMO moments as everyone was on summer vacations and the like. This year I have been trapped during the first half with family obligations (Taz’s wedding and graduation) plus the new business launch for the second half of the year, so very little time or money is left for any big trip for me.

The other issue at hand is money. I need to replenish my savings and get my act together at work. This new company is fine and dandy, but I need it to generate revenue quickly because my savings are small. The Hunter is doing great, but he needs a year to 18 months for it to really solidify an income stream. I’m not sure he even realizes that it will take that long, but I’ve been there, done that and know this for sure. In the meantime, I need to put my head down and WORK. Work hard and work smart. I can make a whole lot of money if I put my shoulder to the wheel and really stay disciplined. Then I can enjoy 2-3 weeks in Italy…..

Too Much Stuff

I have been thinking about stuff over the past couple of days. Stuff and things that matter in life – very heady topics. The catalyst is a book I just started reading, “No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love & Wandering” by Clara Bensen. I will provide no spoilers since I’m not even halfway done, but it’s a charming memoir piece about a young (very intelligent) woman who is emerging from a 2-year despair of immobilizing anxiety. She falls in love with a guy who she meets on OK Cupid. This man values his freedom and avoids attachments yet he invites her on a three-week journey from Istanbul to London. The catch is that they have no luggage – only the one set of clothes each is wearing and they are using couchsurfing.com for accommodations. So far, that strategy is working beautifully for them, but I’m sure havoc will ensue.

As I began the book, I had a business event that the Hunter forfeited to Robin (a night full of my frenemies did not entice him, although when he saw the menu he had regrets). In any case, it was one of those evenings that the ½ of the 1% are familiar with: very expensive dinner (probably about $200 – $250 per person when you factor in the private happy hour complete with piano player) and great gift (another $50-$100 each) with other odds & ends including people flying in, so I’m guessing the evening for this group of 2 dozen cost about $15,000 to $20,000. Over dinner, the conversation was about how one guy bought used 3 engines for his boat because at the time he didn’t have the $30k to replace them with new ones; trips to exotic locales, multiple homes – you get the drift.

The next day, as I sat with the Hunter over a nice homemade pasta dinner, I began my rant against Stuff. I ranted about how complicated the lives of the ½ of 1% really are and how money of that nature usually makes life so complicated because you keep accumulating more Stuff which then requires more responsibility. “Enough!” I said. From now until the end of our lease on this current abode, I want to shed unnecessary belongings. I want things that bring me joy and don’t burden me. I want less living space so I have less to clean (I am in the middle of my Pre-Thanksgiving heavy-duty house cleaning which always brings out the Grinch in me).

The Hunter piped up that he wanted to accumulate things because he has spent years on the other side. His Wish List includes tools for a workshop, various recreational vehicles , another dog to keep the Kracken company. I paused and then amended my rant. “OK, if you are getting things that you will USE – not just sit around for a once a year use, then I would be OK with that. I’m talking about houses chock full of STUFF. So much stuff you don’t even know what you have.

I was guilty of the too much Stuff in my previous life. I walk the dogs around our neighborhood and shake my head at the number of homes that have garages so crammed with Stuff that they can’t even store a car in the damn garage. When my Ex moved out of the house (I left him with all of my Stuff because I realized I wanted very, very few things), he tried a garage sale and then literally threw all the Stuff to the curb. It was a mountain (I drove by). It was a shame to see my previous life all piled up on the curb. I told him to hire an estate company to liquidate it, but of course, he couldn’t take a good idea from me.

When I liquidated my mom’s house, I realized how much stuff she had crammed into an adorable 2-bedroom house. It was too much for one person. I vowed not to do this to my kids. I vowed that I would only have things that I use and bring me happiness. I have wavered intermittently because old habits die hard, but I have done much better. It is time to cull things back again. I want less Stuff in my life, but more experiences. Next up is the question, “What experiences do I want?”

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